I love to buy things for people. Seriously – I make shopping for other people an event. I window shop, peering through glass at brightly lit displays and creatively curated pieces, and I imagine the life of the product – would it go with So-and-so’s kitchen colours? Can I see What’s-his-Face using this at a BBQ? If I get those guys this adorable Onesie with a giraffe am I going to be annoyingly encouraging them to procreate?
Ah, so much fun!
The Boy does not understand this – he hates shopping and wrapping and card making and in general the whole bloody hoopla of it.
Case in point – over the last ten years, when his Mom couldn’t wrap the present he bought me for birthday/Xmas, it would be stored in the plastic bag from the store from which the thing came, and the thing itself would be wrapped in a mixture of magazine/newspaper/The Economist, duct tape and permanent marker. For contrast, I wrap presents with decorated paper, strings, ribbons and sometimes even things like tissue paper flowers or sparkles or both.
We’re very different people when it comes to this, it seems.
However, when it comes to asking people for gifts – or even just answering the question “What do you want for your birthday?” from a friend – we’re both horrible at it.
I know, I know – it’s just so awkward. You never know what a good price-point is, and you don’t f asking for something like (in my case) Full Frontal Feminism or the latest Lori Foster would send the gift-giver in a tailspin of cloak-and-dagger like stealthiness in the bookstore so as not to be seen buying that. And in general, it’s just something I hate doing. I do it, I do, I cave – ultimately because I know how frustrating it can be to want to get something for someone and have no bleeding idea what they could want. Would they like this ginormous pasts dish with the painted sunflowers? Or am I just projecting? (I am probably projecting on that one, sunflowers are the bomb). So, whenever my gift-reciever can lend me a hand, I appreciate it … and therefore, ought to return that favour …
And you see, it comes to be a problem with that whole gift registry thingy.
Like I said, I love crafting the perfect presents for people. When my cousin J got married we had a bridal shower for her and to minimize the time she spent opening presents (and thus maximize the time we got to goof off all together as women – and play with playdough as it turned out) she asked for any presents brought to be wrapped in clear paper. A smart idea I think – and so when it came to her present I not only wrapped it in cellophane with a huge bow and glittery ribbon, I also took the glass jug out of the box, taped it to its own box and wrapped around ALL of that in order to maximize displaying of present. Then I did the same for the present my mother bought because … I am a fiend. And it’s cute.
Anyways, weddings are these affairs where people come out of the woodwork with presents in their arms and smiles on their faces. The union of two people, young and in love and bright about the future and what not, just seems to ignite this rush of well wishes and happy emotions from others – and I can’t say it isn’t delightful. Even my old cynical self sort of lights up when I see two people in love. And of course, the next response for me is – what can I do to make them stay in love? And of course the answer isn’t prayers or not-so-subtle thumbs up in their direction but presents, and gushing. I gush a lot.
So I know, since I am human and this is a relatively human response, that others will feel the same way towards our wedding and will also respond with “What can we get you for the kitchen?” or ‘Do you have a throw blanket? Seriously – when we first got married, snuggling under a throw was how we kept our heating bills low!” and so on.
And so I am back to the dilemma at hand … what do I say?
Because the things I want aren’t really always things I can put on a list or scan with that little machine thing at Macy’s.
And no, I don’t mean love. Or friendship, for that matters – I know my getting married won’t change the fact that I love and am loved by those same well wishers.
Rather, I want things of meaning – and I think I am in a great position for them.
Let me explain: The Boy and I have been living together for near to 3 years now. Before that, I lived on my own for 3 years while at school, and before that, The Boy lived on his own for … 4 years. So, basically – we’ve already accumulated a bit of stuff. Granted our plates are mismatched (and sometimes cracked) and our cutlery is the stuff our parents didn’t want and so gave to us, nevermind the ancient but still working juicer I dug out of my parents’ basement, or the particular cereal bowl the Boy took from his Mom’s because cereal tastes better in that bowl – but the point is, because we’ve already made headway in establishing a home for ourselves together, we already have a lot of stuff. And yeah, a lot of it is on the cheaper side and yeah, we could ask for beautiful china patterns for when company comes over or something like a bread maker just for fun (and because I make a lot of bread) but that doesn’t really appeal to me.
Instead, I kind of want heirlooms.
I want that one wineglass that I drank from the first Christmas I spent with the Boy’s family in the house his Mom grew up in – it’s old, it’s pink and it’s fragile, but it reminds me that I was welcomed into another family’s home without rings exchanged or formal contracts written up. I want my grandma to crochet me another blanket – 00h, or make her fancy mark on the edges of a pretty tablecloth I can use day-in and day-out to remind me of her. I want a picture frame made up of insta-pictures of us through the past ten years I can hang on the wall or even something like a waffle maker, given anyone who has heard us argue about waffles vs. pancakes would understand the meaning.
So much meaning.
I think I spend half my waking hours looking for meaning, but when I started writing this post, it was all around me.
Unfortunately, that’s not what will go on the list.
The registry will have a cake stand, because my plastic one is near to falling apart and I like to display cakes and piles of cookies on the table for when people come visit.
It might have a loaf pan, since the one I currently own is starting to fray at the edges, making me wary every time I pull it out to bake bread.
It’s held on so far though!
I will probably put a little saucepan on the list too, the wear and tear of the one I have is minimal for now, but I intend to make many hot chocolates in the future – and there is nothing quite like the hot chocolate made from a lindtt bunny on the stove, eroding into a saucepan of milk.
And yep, am totally asking for a waffle maker. Just to convert the Boy to the dark side of buttermilk waffles …
But ultimately, I kind of wish I could just say: “Bring me something that makes you believe in true love – something that sustains love through hardships and low times.”
But … so far, I haven’t found a list or app for that …
What would you want on your registry?