People have started asking where we're registered.
Initially I was not going to register anywhere. We've both been living alone for a long time. We both have stuff. Why get people to buy us presents?
I sort of feel the same way about the wedding as I do about my birthday. I like throwing my own party, I like treating people, and I really don't need presents. I mean this completely.
So I told Nick that I wanted to pick a charity, and ask that in lieu of gifts, donations be made to it.
"No way," he said. "I want a waffle maker."
Now, this wasn't enough of an argument for me. His birthday is coming up, and his parents or I could certainly get him a waffle iron. I was pretty adamantly against registering.
Two people changed my mind.
One was my friend Tejal, who got married last summer. She said that her cousin had opted to ask people to donate to a charity in lieu of gifts. And here's what happened: people bought them a whole bunch of expensive stuff anyway. Stuff they couldn't begin to imagine how to use. Like a fiber-optic peacock statue.
She said people really, really want to buy you gifts to celebrate your marriage. And they get annoyed if you don't let them. She said guests are going to spend the money and give you things, even if you tell them to donate it to charity.
The last thing I want is for loved ones to buy expensive things that we don't need.
And then Nicole and I were emailing about cake, and she asked about the registry. And said that if I had any questions about Williams-Sonoma products, I could feel free to ask her, as when she worked there she loved registering people. She finds the registry process fun.
So I wrote back and said I was hesitant about registering, mainly because we are old and honestly, what do we need?
And here's what she said, thus providing my second excellent reason for registering.
"Yes, you've lived alone for awhile and have everything you "need," but there's really no other/better time than a wedding to get everything you WANT for your life ahead. The sentiment that I've heard most frequently from people in that second category is along the lines of 'but we have everything we need! Isn't it wasteful/selfish to ask people to spend all of this money on us?" And the first piece of advice I give them is: NO. You're getting married! Who cares that you're in your 30s and not your 20s? Who cares that you already have a lot of stuff? Get new stuff! Get stuff you've always wanted but could never justify! Get matching stuff!'"
I asked her if she'd make suggestions on products. Because how can you have access to a food studies major, someone who loves food like crazy, and, on top of that, offered to help with something that I find incredibly daunting and not take her up on it?
Because truthfully, tasks like this are not fun for me, and not my strength. I look on these sites, and there are 83 choices of each product. How the fuck to figure out which one of anything?
I've realized that it's not just want - which assuages my guilt about being wasteful. Growing up in India, Bangladesh, Egypt, you realize how much you have compared to others. I definitely didn't grow up with a disposable mentality. You use something till it just doesn't work anymore.
But we do have some actual needs.
Because look at our stuff. Some of my towels, for example, we had in the 70s. I remember them from my childhood. These towels - some of which are hideous - are a good reminder to get things you like, because they sure can last and hang around forever.
And my blender? Used to belong to a friend of B's. Who gave it to him years ago when she moved overseas. And he passed it on to me. I could, without guilt, pass it on to someone else and get a new blender.
And Nick's favorite Pyrex pot? He found in the attic of the house he moved into after law school. A zillion years ago. And I have some from my parents. But we need more than a couple old pots. And we don't actually have a decent knife between us.
So yes, we have plenty of stuff. But clearly there are household things - beyond a waffle maker - that we could really use.
Now we just have to figure out what they are.