My husband and I met just after my twentieth birthday. He was an older man—a whole 3-1/2 years older. I tried to ask him out, but ice skating wasn't his thing. He finally asked me out. We were dating for about a month when I met his family. He tried to hold my hand under the dinner table, but I thought I was just sitting too close and our hands kept bumping. I scooted away. It wasn't long after that he asked me to marry him. I was incredulous. Me? He wanted to marry me? I tried to convince him there were other girls, better girls out there. Lucky for me, he didn't buy it. We were married six months after we first met, almost to the day.
Our wedding preparations and the actual event are an entirely different blog post . Several blog posts, I think. Perhaps a mini-series of blog posts. In any case, I did not get the traditional engagement and wedding that I thought I would have. This means I did not have a wedding registry. It has never really bothered me, but after looking at registries for several friends getting married this year, I decided it was time to do one of my own. It may be 21 years overdue, but that means I really know what I need. It's not like being 20 and thinking I could really use a copper melon baller for all the entertaining I was going to be doing. This registry reflects 21 years of figuring out what we really need.
1. White noise machine
No one tells you how many night noises you have to deal with when you share the same bed with some one for two decades. The snoring, the CPAP machine to stop the snoring, the sleep talking, the flatulence—after dark can get very loud.
2. Hand towels
You don't think these are important when you're young. When you're 40 and your guests are drying their hands on blue automotive towels, their pant legs, mismatch socks, corners of dirty bath towels or the holiday-themed kitchen towels that repel water, you start to think they might be a good investment.
3. Printer Ink (Costco- bulk buy)
This stuff is freaking expensive. When I got that great deal on last year's model of that fancy printer that scans and does double-sided prints I didn't think the ink was going to empty my bank account. I haven't used that printer since 2004 because the ink refills cost more than what I paid for the stupid printer.
4. One-size-fits-all Sheet Sets
I don't know if these exist, but they should. Every bed we get seems to be a different size and now they have mattresses that are a foot and a half thick and require deep-pocket sheets. I don't even have deep pockets (literally and figuratively- designers don't think women need deep pockets because we have purses. Those people suck). I would also like to have soft ones, but not too soft. I don't want to slide off my bed in the middle of the night, but I also don't want to wake up with a full-body contact rash.
5. Friends (that we can share- not in a kinky way)
It's so hard to make friends at this age. We're not looking for bosom buddies, just a few people who want to hang out on the occasional weekend and get dinner or have a BBQ. They must be low-maintenance and have low expectations of us—we are not always particularly interesting, but it helps to have other adults to talk to when you're sick of talking to each other.
6. Gift Certificate for Attorney Services
What do you call attorneys that do wills? Estate attorneys? As we get older we realize it would probably a good idea to update our will. Wait. Do we have a will now? We need to know our dog will go to a loving home if we both pass together. And our teenagers too. Don't forget about them. Which sucker will take those two in? If we pass at separate times (I would prefer to go first) we need to specify who gets what to remember us. I'll be sure to leave all the crap I don't have time to take to Goodwill before my untimely death to my least favorite relative. Can names be crossed out and changed as people move in and out of favor? Do these types of changes have to be notarized? Should I become a notary to save myself the hassle?
7. Talking point note cards
We can enjoy a comfortable silence, but it always seems a little awkward when you are out on a dinner date and staring across the table in silence. It's not weird to us, but I am sure observers find it odd. This is assuming others are watching us at all times to make sure we are conversing and acting "normal". This is where the note cards come in to play. We don't want to use our fall-back topics: our kids, our jobs, our parents, the weather, or whose turn it is to do the dishes. We want some conversation starters that make us sound really smart to the outside observer. The talking points should have a little bit of background information to get us started so when the hedge-fund manager and her YouTube-famous husband at the next table eavesdrop they will later remark, "Did you hear the conversation that famous author and her famous artist husband were having about the Assessment of the Indo-China Ice Cream Market? What an interesting couple."
Do I really need to explain this one?
9. Meal delivery service
Forget a registry with a bunch of kitchen gadgets and pots and pans and crap. I don't want to cook. I am so over cooking. I want the home-cooked meals without the work and the clean up. I don't want people to bring me meals they cooked- we could absolutely hate them and our view of the person would be forever colored by the fact they brought us a tuna fish casserole topped with sour cream cheddar cheese Ruffles. Nobody wants that. There are a bunch of services out there that will customize meals and deliver them to your door. I'm okay with a little reheating, but that's where I draw the line. I might be open to a subscription service that brings a chef to your home to do all the shopping, cooking and clean up, but that would mean the kitchen would have to be clean to begin with. That's a lot of pressure.
10. Give a donation
Don't get me wrong- I still want everything else on our registry, but I also want you to consider donating to help alleviate hunger in the United States. I've done a little research and Feed America seems like a good place to start. You can also check with your local food bank to volunteer or give where you live.