Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crystal Rose Bowl or Mop and Broom?

I have mentioned before that my husband's sister is going to be married soon and I have some trepidation's about it all. Not the marriage itself but the ceremony and the family dynamics that could arise if I don't curtsy at the right moment.

For us the wedding was a fun, cheap celebration to show off that we got hitched but as time passes it become more and more obvious his family looks down upon us for not being good consumerists. We're not fancy people by any stretch of the imagination and have a habit of hording things just because they might be useful someday.

His sister by contrast will throw away anything she does not want or that fits her taste. Even if you spent a lot of money and thought on a gift, if it is not what she was expecting she'll get rid of it and fast. My husband joked that for the wedding I could make them a nice big painting but I gasped in shock on the fear that something I'd devote hours to would just wind up in the garbage can after two weeks.

The wedding is not until the end of July (so prepare to talk me down come July 20th), but in the mail I just got a shower invitation with all the inserts to all of her registries. And now I face a large conundrum.

The fact is, the stuff she wants is to my eyes impractical and extremely pricey. The only things under $30 are spatulas (and most things range in the $50-100 range for little things) and even those cost about $15 each. There is no flatware, no dishes, nothing for actually setting up a house to live in so one could do laundry or clean the floors.

While they lived together while going to college they have recently both moved back home until after the wedding where they will then move in together to their house. I also know that they rarely if ever ate in or did their own laundry. So a part of me thinks, well as someone who did move out and live all on my own (and does cook most meals and has done her own laundry for at least 10 years as my mother cannot be trusted with socks) and learned all the important little things that one suddenly realizes they need do I use that knowledge to select a gift? Maybe a laundry hamper and a trash can (you can never have enough)?

Or, knowing that anything not bought off the registry will probably find it self in the dumpster as soon as the Thank You notes are written, do I just suck it up and buy some incredibly impractical thing off their registry? Even if I am worried that if I pick the cheaper things it leaves the rest of her frankly not well off family to pick up the slack?

This is also a little plea to anyone out there that is working on a registry for your wedding, for the love of God please think of all of us that are dealing with this depression and may have our own expenses. We do not all have 6 figure incomes we can just splurge on your $200 blanket or $75 picture frame.

I can understand wanting some nice things for the future, but a $5 meat thermometer works just as good as a $30 one and really think if you'll use it or if it will sit in the cupboard. Or worse, don't register for expensive things just because you plan on returning them for cash.

I never really thought someone used the registry as their own personal shopping spree without footing the bill but now I am beginning to see just how deluded I am.


Ashley said...

we reluctantly set up a registry. i was appalled by the sales associate's advice "to put anything and everything you want on the registry. pretend like it's christmas and your birthday rolled into one!" whatev. and she also said we should register for 2 items per guest - we only had 60 at our wedding - I wasn't going to register for 120 items! i didn't want anyone buying that many things for me! And I couldn't even bring myself to put anything over $60 on the list. the whole gift thing gets taken way overboard in my opinion.

withoutadornment said...

BOo. That's frustrating. I'm not a huge fan of those types of people.

Mr. Bean and I tried to keep our registry reasonable by having many items in every price range. We didn't want people to go into the red because of our wedding!

To be snarky, maybe you should get her something really practical and give instructions on how to use it in the card.

Chesney said...

Weddings have just gotten more and more outrageous as time has gone by. It's amazing that these young couples can afford to get married (probably they are paying off the wedding for years to come)!

Linda said...

Is going in with someone else an option? Or just go with a gift card then she can buy what she really wants.

sammik said...

Uggh, I hate registries like that!! We have several friends getting married soon with the same deal...expensive china at Macy's and $50 pillowcases at BB&B. Stupidstupidstupid.


I agree with the gift card idea. If she doesn't like it she can just stick it up her spoiled butt. Hmph.

Cleric at Large said...

I have been known to give fire extinguishers/smoke detectors, especially appropriate if the new house has a fireplace or stove... or kitchen.

The gift that says "hey, don't die horribly in a preventable disaster"

Leslie said...

I love the fire extinguisher idea. But, when I got married, I really appreciated the practical things most. I never thought to put a mop and bucket on my registry, but a very good friend of mine bought one for me anyway. It was GREAT!

valerie said...

I see your conundrum. We recently went to a wedding where we just could not afford many of the gifts (most of the smaller stuff was already purchased, to make matters worse). This couple was moving into a house they'd been working on renovating for years, so we figured... hey, we'll get them house related stuff.

SO we loaded up one of those cloth lined baskets with things like kitchen sponges, dish soap, paper towels, napkins, trash bags, etc, etc. Then we wrapped it up in cellophane (thanks Easter commercialism!), tied it with a pretty bow and we were done!

Those are things we had to go out and buy when we finally got our own place. And it was kind of annoying to have to do that at the last minute. I don't know whether they liked it or not, but hey, they've got some things to start out with and they won't have to run to the store when they suddenly realize, crap! We didn't buy sponges to clean with! Or crap! We don't have any trash bags!

So I say, either go with a mop and broom or a stinkin' gift card. They're idiots if they throw out a mop and broom because, hello! How are they gonna clean their nasty kitchen floors when they finally try to cook (because they realize that it's expensive to eat out!) and spill crap everywhere??

Man I am long winded.