This is going to be a quick and dirty post about the love-hate relationship with registries.
You’ll notice from my past several posts (unless you’re just skimming) that SLS and I are tying the proverbial knot. We’ve both been married before and are well aware of the pomp and circumstance that comes with getting married.
Including the registry.
This time around, however, since we are only having a family event, it didn’t occur to us to register.
And then, Jewish mothers happened.
Both of them told us (in their own ways) that regardless of what type of wedding we were having or who was attending, we should have a registry. You see both of them had close family friends ask where we were registered because they wanted to get us something.
Nobody puts the pressure on like a Jewish mother, so we finally succumbed and headed to Bed Bath & Beyond, where I love to make it rain with 20% off coupons.
Since this wasn’t our first rodeo, we thought we’d be in and out. We are both in our late 30s and have accrued ample serving platters, silverware and other obligatory stuff one would typically put on a registry. So we put our heads together and came up with a few things we really did need/want. Ok, BBB, hand over the scanner gun so we can get to work.
If only it were that easy.
You see, as fate would have it, we got paired with a very sweet, but socially oblivious woman who wanted no part of our speedy registry plan. We were raring to go and she was like a flat tire to our plans.
“Do you guys want a checklist?”
“Nope! We know exactly what we need and it’s like 5 things.”
She’s clearly disappointed, “Oh, ok, I see. Well let me get you set up in the computer and we’ll get started.”
It took like 30 minutes to get us “set up” because of technical difficulties and pure human error. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this was her first time using a computer…ever.
“So what type of wedding are you having?”
“Oh, just a private & intimate family dinner.”
“Ugh, my daughter was threatening to do that.” (Thanks for shitting on our wedding within 5 minutes of meeting us.)
“Ok so what do you guys need?”
“Bedding, a garbage can, dishes, chair pads and placemats!”
“Wow! That’s all?”
“Yep! We’re ready to go, we really need to get out of here.”
“Ok, almost ready to get started. Do you want china? Most people register for china.”
“Hmmm, ok, how about towels?”
“Nope. That’s our list and we’re sticking to it.” At this point my friendly facade is about to crack. I can feel the bitch face coming and I’m trying so hard.
“Ok, well then, let me grab a cart and we’ll get started.”
And that’s when the panic started to kick in and I thought I might need a Xanax or 10. She’s coming with us?!?!? Why can’t we just have the effing scanner?
She stops at the first section. “Ok, any bathroom accessories?”
I felt like Steve Martin in that scene from Father of the Bride where he’s on the verge of a psychotic break because of Franc the wedding planner, they send him to the store to get hot dog buns and he goes on a crazy tirade about how hot dog makers and bun makers are colluding to scam people out of money. (If you know exactly what I’m talking about we need to be friends. If you don’t we might have a problem.)
Yeezus Christ, I am going to gauge my eyes out with a spatula.
She followed us around the entire store, crashing her cart into everything, couldn’t get things to scan, kept suggesting other stuff for us. It was painful.
SLS was texting me guns-to-the-head emoticons (we’re always on the same page) and we were both ready to climb into one of the display beds and hide until she went away. But we couldn’t lose her and she had the scanner.
And then, finally after we finish, “Oh guys, I’m sorry, the scanner is broken. I’m going to have to enter all of this by hand if you want to follow me back to my desk.”
You might think I’m exaggerating but it was harrowing.
We obligingly call the mothers to tell them so they can now tell their friends and we think we have succeeded.
And then, over the next few days the comments start rolling in like gold metallic bibs at Century Village.
“That’s all you registered for?”
“Don’t you think you should add more?”
“People are complaining there’s nothing on there!”
OY TO THE VEY
I have schooled my mom on registry etiquette so many times. People register for what they want – for weddings for babies. They carefully curate a list of things (it could be 5 or 500). This is not a guessing game. They WANT everything on that list. Down to the coasters and little corn cob skewers. My mom has had to buy gifts for so many events and like clockwork the dreaded words come out every time that are like a knife to my heart, “I don’t think I’m gonna get something off their registry. I’m gonna do my own thing.”
“Why mom? Is there not something in your price range?”
“No, there is. I just don’t like anything on it.”
NEWSFLASH – You don’t have to like anything on any registry ever, unless it’s your own.
I can promise you that you may not want to buy one set of pillowcases or a stainless steel garbage can, but I think I speak for all registrants when I say, we really want it. I swear. We are not messing with you and will not talk about you after we open gifts. “Ew, I can’t believe they got me the garbage can I registered for…what a jerk,” said no one ever. That’s why we put it on there. But people get skittish if they don’t see something THEY like.
Now, are there times to go off registry? Of course! I get it. Sometimes you want to get something special, or sentimental. And if it feels right, you should do it. Or maybe there really isn’t something in the price range you want to spend. It’s happened to me a million times. And if I don’t do a gift card or a group gift, sometimes I have done my own thing. And as a gift recipient, whether it’s on the registry or not, I can assure you it’s appreciated. The registry is meant to make things easier, not more challenging.
I personally love when people have registries. There’s no bullshit, no guessing, no weird convos forcing the person to confess what they want. It’s all right there and if the mom-to-be wants 10 of the same pacifier, or the bride wants the ugliest table runner ever made, I don’t question it. I grab every last one of those binkies or the ugly table runner, throw them in a bag, slap a bow on it and call it a day.
Who’s with me?