So my parents got me (& Marshall, but really me) a KitchenAid 5-quart heavy duty stand mixer at our first wedding shower, which was Saturday.  I haven’t dreamed about it yet, but expect I will, because it occupies much of my waking thought … I haven’t even graduated to actual plans.  I mostly just look at it and (when I’m away) imagine it.  It’s an amazing gift, because it’s just the kind of horsepower that I’ll need to make bread for fifteen years, and will seriously last that long.  My mom’s mixer is just a step up from this model, and hers has lasted sixteen years of weekly bread-kneading.  WOW.

This wedding shower business is funny.  I have expended a fair amount of energy eschewing things like gift registries and “showers,” in my life.  The humble joy of the “pounding” has given way to a super-commercialized industry of gifting that still has everything to do with generosity, but now is mostly the property of retailers.  I have wanted something more meaningful than the scanned barcodes, the pre-printed lists of “household necessaries,” the websites and guides and huge, yawning buildings stuffed with plastics and aluminum and people walking around looking dazed.  The registry printer spitting out pages and pages of wants and wants and wants.  Up to the past few months, I never thought I could participate in something so scripted.  But yeah things have changed.

The fact was, people kept saying, NOBODY MINDS, OK??  Get the hell over yourself and tell people what you want.  (The last comment on the subject, after which I abandoned the last bit of guilt I still had about gift registries, was that it was good to tell people what you want, because otherwise you end up with lots of weird crap you will never use.  You could argue that it happens anyway, no matter how vast & encompassing your registries, but — still a compelling argument.  Compliments of Jay Cowan.  Thanks, Jay.)  So, we did.  Resulting in modest registries at Williams-Sonoma and Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Mostly towels and nice pots & pans.  Also an AMAZING dutch oven, and some other kitchen stuff.  I hope all the people we know who look at the registries know that we’re not limiting them to these lists … I think they must, since we’ve gotten several gifts that are handmade, or found at places other than W-S and B, B & B.  I’m reassured.

And the KitchenAid mixer: that, now.  We registered for one, just in case someone really wanted to get one for us — a little Artisan model, brand-new.  Just so anyone interested could know that we didn’t have one, and would appreciate one greatly, were we to get one.  The registry served our purpose, though it didn’t serve Bed, Bath & Beyond’s (which is, ostensibly, to sell as much of everything as possibly possible): Mom and Dad went online and found an incredible deal in North Carolina, drove out there, and bought it.  Put it in an old cardboard box, wrapped it with glittery ribbon, and put in in amongst the B, B & B bags.  So, all that to say, the gift registry industry — as everyone already knew except me — will help you if you know where to draw boundaries.

M’s parents, by the way, also did some looking on their own, and got us an amazing sushi set.  Seriously.  Wow.

I’ll post something very morose next week to balance this out.

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