(I never thought I'd be planning a wedding. Then again, I never thought I'd convince a girl to marry me. But here I am embarking on this grand adventure. I will chronicle my trials and tribulations in a new segment called "I Do.")
You would think that registering for presents would be the most fun part of getting married. It's like Christmas but with a higher price point. And since you've presumably reached a point in your life where you are nearly self-sufficient, you already own all the boring necessities like underwear and water filters. Your wedding registry, then, is reserved solely for crap that you want – stuff that you might point to while window shopping one spring day and think, "Soul-crushing consumerism aside, that's a really attractive serving bowl."
But I soon learned that wedding registries are all smoke and mirrors. Like strip clubs, they are great in theory. Naked women serving you drinks in between provocative dances involving polls? Heaven. Then you get there and the women are subpar, the dances are half-hearted, drinks are overpriced, and nudity is top only. The disappointment is only compounded by the immensity of your expectations.
So too is it with registries. For example, Shitty Fact #1: You can't register everywhere. So let's say I really want this set of antique dueling pistols. And why wouldn't I? Vintage is really hot right now, and I'll be needing to defend my wife's honor, right? Not according to Williams Sonoma! Because neither they, nor any of the other members of the United Confederation of Wedding Registries (UCWR) sell my coveted antique dueling pistols.
So what's an antique gun enthusiast like me to do? Well, one option is to create some sort of freestyle registry where you pull together items from all over the Internet into one big wish list, regardless of where they are sold. But if you think that sounds too easy, congratulations for paying attention. Apparently you can't just go making up catalogue of items on some renegade registry site because Shitty Fact #2: there are fucking RULES here. This is wedding country, and you're just visiting.
For example, you've just announced your engagement, be it via blog, Facebook, or old fashioned word of mouth. Apparently, this sends people into an etiquette frenzy. My mom called the other day and was like, "Are you registered?" and I'm like, "As a sex offender?" and she's like, "There's no time for jokes." It seems ever since word got out that Brooke and I are making all the premarital sex legit, people have been asking my mom where we are registered. And my mom, who has made it clear that she is neither a money tree, a house keeping robot, or a wedding registry directory, is flustered.
Brooke says there's only one way to solve this: register on The Wedding Channel, STAT. For those of you unacquainted with The Wedding Channel, it's basically the site where THE ENTIRE WORLD INCLUDING AUSTRALIA goes to search for you gift registry. And since they only partner with certain stores (isn't it everyone's dream to register at Kohl's?), you're not only cock blocked from those antique guns, but also from cool stores that have their own registries (CB2 comes to mind) which The Wedding Channel refuses to partner with, presumably because of NATO alliances.
Of course I balked at signing up at first because "disestablishmentarianism" is my middle name. I mean, I use Firefox for Christ's sake. Take you’re wedding registry puppy mill someplace else, Wedding Channel. But then Brooke explained that if we want presents (which we do, because one of love's greatest rewards is a vegetable juicer) then we have to do it. Short of creating a viral video entitled "Megan Fox Justin Bieber sex tape starring Dan and Brooke are engaged," this is how people find out where to buy you all the stuff you want.
The other problem? Shitty Fact #3: This has to be done now. Not five minutes from now, not after you're done with that ice cream cone – now. Brooke even made me miss this week's episode of Lost so we could register. I told her we'd better order a crapload of presents, because that's all we'll have left when we're social pariahs.
So there we are at Crate & Barrel with the gun thing, which everyone makes such a huge deal about regardless of the fact that it's basically technology from the 80's. Still, there's something fun about being sheriff of Crate & Barrel Town gunning down my enemies. BAM! Highball glasses. BAM! Table lamp. BAM BAM! Cheese platter and matching knives. I am the Wyatt Earp of home entertaining accoutrement.
Once the novelty wears off, though, Shitty Fact #4: it becomes overwhelming. Sample situation: There's a glass pitcher that seems kind of cool. It's sitting on a picnic table with colorful placemats, a tin ice bucket, and an umbrella overhead. You think, "That pitcher is part of the life I want to have." So you scan it. Then you leave the store and you start to think. Do I really want that glass pitcher? Do I put things in pitchers? It's not like the last time two of my friends came over to watch the game I was like, "Let me mix up a pitcher of lemonade." Panic sets in. What is someone is on The Wedding Channel RIGHT NOW purchasing this pitcher and I don't even know if my friends like lemonade!
This is how it goes with everything on your registry. The anxiety is oppressive, which inevitably leads to insane arguments like:
Brooke: "We should register for a lamp."
Me: "We already have three lamps."
Brooke: "Someday we'll need more lamps."
Me: "If we get a fourth lamp now it's going to look like a lamp store in here."
Brooke: "I'm registering for a lamp."
Me: "STOP SAYING LAMP!"
Brooke: "I can't believe this is my life."
Me: "Why don't you buy a lamp about it?"
But even though you're just a pawn in the Wedding Registry game and the powers that be at have exercised so much authority over your whims that now you're stuck getting all your wedding presents from Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn (or CB2 and Amazon.com if someone were so inclined to look), every so often an item comes along that makes it all worth while.
Bend over, Wedding Channel. I won this round.