Tiny Violins

So okay. My last post was all a prelude to talking to all y’all about wedding registries and my massive discomfort with them.

Basically, after my year of non-consumerism, I spent another year as a poor student in very expensive London, followed by another year of under-employment in the very expensive San Francisco. When I got a job last January, it was my first experience having a disposable income in a very, very long time. 

But I was also planning a wedding. And had a crazy full-time job. And frankly, I don’t really love to shop very much anymore.

So I’ve never really fallen back into any bad shopping habits. Four years after I began my non-consumerist project and I still have not re-developed a desire to throw cute Target purses willy nilly into my shopping cart. (I’m not going to lie, some status cravings die hard and I was slightly tempted to buy myself a Kate Spade purse when I got my new job, but I didn’t because I never carry purses anymore and also, I’m extremely lazy when it comes to shopping.)

So when it came time to filling out a wedding registry, we procrastinated. And then procrastinated. And then procrastinated some more.

Then one day, we wandered into a William Sonoma and promptly started arguing over what kind of pans we might hypothetically register for whenever we finally got around to it (did I mention that Dave has very definite OPINIONS about everything from chopsticks to Cuisinarts and it leads to lots of bickering in front of crazy-cheery-because-they’re-hoping-we-register-for-a-boatload-of-crap sales ladies? Yeah.)

In any event, I asked one of said sales ladies for some information on registering and she immediately perked up.

“When’s the wedding?!!!?” (Did I also mention that it is totally impossible to tell people you’re getting married and have them respond in anything other than exclamation points?)

I told her that we were getting married in November and that we hadn’t registered yet at all and her jaw dropped because four months is TOTALLY late and some people register even a YEAR ahead of time and really, we needed to just get on it. Now. And ideally at several stores.

Did I mention that Dave also hates shopping?

It’s so weird too, because there are so many times past in my life when I would have killed to get to register for a bunch of pretty, pretty presents. Like when I graduated college and moved to LA and had no money. Or when my first roommate moved out and I still had no money. Or when my second roommate and I split ways and I again, had no money. Or when I was sad and depressed and convinced a set of pots would make me happy.

Truth is, I’m 32, I have a kick ass job, the most amazing friends ever, and the love of my life. In November, I get to get married to said love surrounded by all my favorite people and then I get to go to Vietnam. It feels utterly ridiculous and completely unnecessary to add a whole boat load of presents to the mix.

And yet I get it. I’ve seen enough friends getting married to know that as a guest, I want to give something to my friends as they embark on a momentous journey. I know people want to give me things, and I want to be a gracious recipient. But I find myself utterly overwhelmed with life’s generosity right now. And I know that I really don’t need anything more.

So we struggle to fill out a registry and in the background of our bickering, a tiny, tiny violin is playing just for us.

3 responses to “Tiny Violins

  1. I like to buy from registries, but you know, if you have everything you need, maybe consider doing a honeymoon registry or a charity registry. That way, people can still give something, but they’re not necessarily giving stuff, if you know what I mean.

  2. I think both honeymoon registries and charity registries are great ideas, but for us, the honeymoon registry wasn’t the right decision. We will probably add some charities to register for, though it seems to be the experience of most of my friends that people don’t actually give to those very often. For better or worse, people like giving stuff, and I’m learning to respect and appreciate that.

  3. Not only do some people dislike charity registers they dislike ALL registries!! I kind of understand people wanting to buy something ‘original’ and with true thought put into it, but unless it’s one of your best friends (even then) it is so hard to be sure you are getting them the right present.

    And I really hate receiving something (even worse if it’s expensive) that I don’t really like but I’m basically forced to hang on to forever because ‘that’s our wedding present from Aunt X and it’s worth $200’. So everytime you put those non-registry sheets on the bed you are thinking ‘I wish we’d gotten the sheets that were on the registry’ but instead we’ve got these which we will use for the next 25 years because they are good quality but I don’t like them. And it’s just like being a student and taking old furniture etc from relatives because it’s free…

    Clearly I’ve thought about this a fair bit! It bugs me that people would ignore the registry and force their taste onto me! They’re basically wasting their money AND making the gift receiver feel bad about it but so many people have expressed their dislike of registries to me, it’s really weird…but maybe it’s just an Australian and German thing…

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