Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Highly Gifted Marriage

When I was little, I, like every child, would drive my parents crazy when we went to the store by asking for all sorts of things that caught my attention, all of which, of course, were absolutely unnecessary for my little life.  My dad would diagnose me with "a case of the 'I wants'", and explain that, while there are many pink, sparkly, sugar-coated, chocolate-infused things in this world (oh my goodness imagine all four at once), we must all learn the difference between the things we want and the things we need.  This is not to say, of course, that I lived a spartan childhood (though we didn't have cable or a puppy, so it was close).  Birthdays, Chanukkah and Christmas, even Valentine's Day and Halloween were accompanied by gifts and trinkets, almost none of which I needed, but were lovely presents to receive.

As I grew up, I got better at tempering the "I wants", and learned to request rationally or purchase for myself the things that I needed.  In fact, I got so good at suppressing the "I wants" that a new problem arose:  my dad never knew what to get me for those widely-recognized gift-giving occasions.  When I graduated from college, he got me a vacuum because that was all I really needed.  An untraditional graduation gift to be certain, but what's a poor befuddled dad to do?  This year for my birthday he asked for weeks what I'd like for a present, but I really had nothing to tell him.  I was preoccupied with the "I needs" of looking for a job and moving into our new apartment, and paper towels, eggs, and a box of cereal aren't exactly birthday present material.  My father had done such a good job teaching me about not being greedy for things I didn't need, and how to acquire for myself those things that I do, that he turned me into an awful person to have to buy gifts for.  Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate the gifts I do receive, and both Joey and my dad have discovered my not-so-secret lust for "as seen on TV" products (I thank them for my Magic Bullet, Snuggies, Mighty Putty, and ShamWOW), it is very hard for me to ask for gifts.

And so we come to the wedding gift registry.  As someone who loves to cook and has been living away from parent and dorm for three years by the time I get married, I have already purchased for myself many of the "setting up the home" things that would traditionally go on a gift registry.  Joey and I did a bit of in-store registering over winter break, partially to get an idea of what it was like and partially just as a fun thing to do when it was too cold to spend much time outside.  I've also done some poking around on, since it seems like a good place to collect ideas without needing to make a whole trip out of it or worry about differences in stock between stores.  It's also a good place to snoop on other couples' wedding registries and see what we should be looking for, but we don't know those other couples and they don't know us.  But you do!  So today we are putting the comments section of this blog to work.  Friends, I am asking for your help.  Those of you who are married, recently or not, what things did you register for that you absolutely loved?  What did you register for that seemed like a good idea at the time but hasn't come out of its box enough times since to justify the space it takes up in the garage?  Where are the best places to register?  Unmarried friends, what's the best kitchen utensil you own?  As far as I can tell, that's what makes up half of the registries I've seen.