By The Wiz
Today I was at Target (one of my favorite stores of all time, by the way) and ran into a young woman in my ward who is getting married. She and her fiance were “registering,” that very strange act that informs people which gifts are appropriate. She was in a horrible mood, because she and her man were tired of trying to decide exactly where to point that little scanner gun. We were in the storage aisle, DH and I picking out toy storage, she and DF (dear fiance?) trying to decide which storage bins would best serve them throughout their married life.
It got me to thinking about registering, and my own experience with wedding gifts. We received a lot of platters, which we would have returned in a heartbeat if we knew from whence they came. Who needs this many serving platters, especially THIS one shaped like a giant fish? Why do people get us these things? Why don’t they pick specifically from the registry? Isn’t that what it’s for?
Well, it’s 8+ years later, and we love that fish platter. We use most of the platters regularly. The fish one is a great size, and is absolutely perfect for serving shrimp and/or crab. If we had returned them, as had been our original thought, we would have been far more stressed for several small parties we have thrown over the years, and probably would have dished out the money later for the very serving platters we rejected. (Although I don’t think we would have ever picked out the fish one. But seriously, it’s a great dish).
So I started wondering, and now I send that wondering on to bloggers everywhere…is it better to let a couple of twenty-somethings decide what they need for their married life, or better to let experience guide the gift giving? Do I buy the specific storage bin that was on the registry, or go with the great kitchen shears that I know they will love in later years? I know a couple that turned in all their registration credit, and simply bought a big screen TV for their wedding gift. I think they will regret that decision in the future, perhaps when they want to have a formal dinner and they have no china, or possibly when it comes time to bathe, and they realize they have no towels.
Of course registration is necessary if you want people to buy you a specific china pattern, or towels a very specific color to match the horrific bathroom that seems to be required in all first married apartments. But I also know that I opened present after present that I hadn’t registered for, and I did not recognize their value until long after I was married. I also loved the gift of cash, which I thought was very thoughtful (and still do, especially if the couple has to travel right after the wedding), but now realize that I spent the money on thoughtless things.
I know it’s weird to have an epiphany in Target, but it struck me as very metaphorical for life. We pick out the things that we think we need (Hey! Look at this basketball! Point the scanner there, honey!), but more experienced people give us the things that we’ll actually use (Did we register for this knife set?). Sometimes we have to give up and have faith that others actually know more than we do, and we have to let them guide us. Also, many of the choices that stress us out so badly (Do we need the big storage bin or should we get the one with the drawers?) really are insignificant in the long run. It just seems that so often in life we are so stubborn about the choices we made long ago, and hold on to them so tightly, we don’t realize that all we are really doing is just “registering” for grief in the long run.
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '24' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date