I’ll admit that I have neglected to buy wedding presents for a friend or two. This was in my distant youth, when I was broke all the time and felt that if I was going to buy plane tickets, book a hotel room and rent a car, my coming to the wedding was gift enough.
There is a part of me that now feels this way about the present of friends’ “presence” at my own wedding.
While I love, love, love receiving gifts as much as the next fella, by no means do I want them just out of tradition or obligation. The traveling and finding a babysitter and all those things can be, for some people, a greater gift of time, energy, and dedication than the Cuisinart Griddler (Product plug! But I’m not getting paid for it!), which, by the way, I adore and use almost daily (thank you Sarah of the Upper Valley!).
Faye agreed with me on this. She even had a brief “Hey! Let’s buy our friends gifts instead!” fantasy. We decided to put a disclaimer on our website that says “we have set up three registries as a guide, but we would love and appreciate any gift, or none — your participation at our wedding is the best gift of all.”
Then one day I found myself at a major department store with a price gun in my hand. I felt like Davy Crockett holing his first musket. I walked around the store, my eyes narrowed and concentrated, trying to find just the right thing to shoot. It took almost an hour to find something worthy of zapping. But after I pulled the trigger (I believe it was a bamboo cutting board) I sort of went nuts. I morphed into a little boy dressed like a cowboy on Christmas morning (except I was wearing pants). I darted around the store aiming and firing. If Faye would have let me do a somersault into sniper shot position, believe me I would have. “I want that and that oh my god! That!” I shot a salad spinner sitting harmlessly on a top shelf. The wine decanter never stood a chance. “Of course we need a metal thingy to put on top of a hamburger while cooking! And when WOULDN’T we cook on a combo grill/griddler/panini maker?” Once Faye wrestled the gun away from me, she fell to its charms. She became weak with dishtowel desire (I think she registered for eight different models!)
We got stumped when it came to fine China. We were told that this was our only real chance to have a beautiful set with which to entertain and host important holidays. (And to pass down to our children, which was a brand-new concept.) But we were horrified by the sticker price. For a 5-piece set of our favorite pattern (which we settled on after almost two full days of China comparison shopping!) the price was around $150. What what what? I would be too nervous to carry the dishes to the dinner table. I would watch the guests like an English nanny. “Is it really necessary to cut your food so HARD?” Where would we keep the china? In a padded safe?
When I asked my mom for advice, she wrote back, “You don’t need fine China. You’ll be nervous washing and stacking dishes that cost that much. We bought our ‘fancy’ dishes ourselves after about 25 years at an auction, as well as lots of miscellaneous pieces at antique shops – and had fun doing it.” We took the China off the registry.
Another thing we are debating is whether or not to register for help with our honeymoon. There are all sorts of websites that allow for the user to register for specific parts of the honeymoon (massages, dinners out, even plane fare). But registering for a facial feels somehow more greedy than registering for a duvet. And you don’t get to shoot it with a gun.
Now I turn to you, fearless readers. Do you think it is Gauche to register for a honeymoon? Did we do the right thing cutting out the China? Is there anything really cool or important that I absolutely HAVE to register for that I might not have thought of?
I wish I could register for a registry gun. Now that would be useless fun.
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