“Do we get dessert tonight? How about some crème brulee?” My husband Jeff is nothing if not a jokester, though this is long-running inside joke has run its course. He refers, of course, to the wedding registry disaster of 2006.
I have no idea what I thought marriage would be like when, at 26, engaged, and on top of the world, I grabbed my scan guns at Target, Beth Bath & Beyond, and Pottery Barn. While other girls I know had mapped out strategic plans of fantastic kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and home décor rivaled only on HGTV, I had no plan. I wandered each aisle with my trusty gun and a list of items that Target suggested we couldn’t live without, and off we went. The result was a study in randomness never equaled in wedding registry history.
I apparently thought that “married Carrie” would enjoy hand-washing dishes and delicate wine glasses. I firmly believed that I would never ever get tired of the red paisley PB duvet cover in our bedroom. “Married Carrie” just knew that our lives were going to be sophisticated and worldly, and I thought this without a trace of irony.
So, I humbly submit my wedding registry disasters for your amusement.
1. I Didn’t Register for Pots and Pans. You can feel absolutely justified in calling me the biggest idiot you’ve ever heard of. Why? This was actually a conscious choice (supported by Jeff). We had two perfectly decent sets of pots, one at his house, one at mine. These pots were in great shape. However, they were not the nicest pots in town. We had both been cooking Ramen noodles in our pots since college, and today, they look like pots we used in college. Yep, they’re still around because we passed on free pots and pans from generous wedding guests. Geniuses we were not.
2. The Shower Curtain Debacle. I found a shower curtain in BBBeyond that I just had to have, and it was fine. There was absolutely nothing at all wrong with it. I loved it, in fact, for approximately eight weeks after our wedding. Then, it was over. And the towels that matched it? Over, too. Overnight and in one too many Starbucks lattes before heading to register, I chose something that sweet, unsuspecting wedding guests purchased lovingly for us, and in about the time it took for the first bathroom cleaning, it became the “Tell-Tale Heart” of my bathroom…staring at me like a big old shower curtain that no longer made me happy. Ugh…
3. The Corn-on-the-Cob Holders. “What are those?” you say. Feast your eyes. These are dishes where you can rest your COTC, roll them around in melted butter, and use the handy COTC spear-things on the end so you don’t have to touch the COTC. These are beautiful and nice, but I can’t remember to ever use them. We like corn on the cob, but I hardly ever fix it because I just…forget about it. And then, when I remember that, hey, my family actually likes corn on the cob and actually cook said side dish, I don’t remember to pull these babies out until it’s too late. And there are four of them and five of us. Sigh.
4. The China, Crystal, and Silver…look but never ever touch. Let me just say that I don’t for a second regret the gorgeous pieces I chose at the local place in my hometown where everybody registered. They. Are. Magnificent. This is not some “Carrie changes her mind” garbage. This, friends, is a sincere and honest fear that something will break, and I could not stand to subject such perfection to my insane family. The boys…break plastic. Plastic, people. I’m not sure what I might do to some unsuspecting offspring, who, unbeknownst to me, attempted to use my piece-of-perfection coffee cup as a place to dip her watercolor paintbrush. She begs, every once in a while, to have a tea party with said coffee cups and saucers, but I’m just not there yet. So, I stare at them from afar, dreaming of the day when I might one day be able to bring forth the china in all its packed-up-since-the-wedding glory. Until then, I will huddle, Scrooge-like, around my china and not share with anyone.
Finally, in a cosmic ha-ha that could only mean that God has a great sense of humor, I was pregnant with Sarah a mere four months after our wedding and, thus, subjected my poor friends who had just finished paying off the wedding presents they gave us and now, what? They’re having a baby?!? They want another gift? Someone else gave this girl a scan gun?!?
So, today I am haunted by the ghosts of my weird choices in 2006 when I had no idea what I was doing. Should I have registered for sippy cups, plastic plates, and an endless supply of mac n cheese? Probably. Has our marriage survived and even been strengthened by the sometimes random stuff around us? Most definitely.
And we might just have crème brulee for Thanksgiving dessert. But that would mean I need to get it out of the box first.