I never thought shopping could be such torture until I got engaged. Suddenly, something I previously found fun, and maybe even therapeutic, has become pure torment. Registry shopping is like retail waterboarding – cruel and unusual.
The selection is overwhelming. There are so many choices, so many decisions, so many brands, models, gadgets, and so many different tastes and opinions, you could almost hit someone over the head with a frying pan – and Robby almost did.
Being single people for most of our lives, Robby and I aren’t exactly fluent in the language of housewares. Not that we don’t like nice kitchen stuff, it just hasn’t been a priority for either of us. I know as a single girl, I’d rather spend my money on a cute pair of Kate Spade sandals than on a set of expensive Kate Spade dishes.
So you can understand why this registering for gifts thing is a little confusing, and at times, combative – in a loving way, of course.
Welcome to “Registry Hell,” where couples go head-to-head in a battle of the blenders, a clash of the coffee makers, and a war of the wine openers. You can catch all the action not inside a boxing ring at Staples Center, or inside a mixed martial arts cage at Caesar’s Palace, but at Bloomingdale’s, the place for true hardcore fight fans.
Bloomingdale’s was our first stop on the registry hell ride, and where Robby and I nearly had a knock-down-drag-out, right in the middle of the home furnishings department. Over what you ask? A cheese board: a really fancy, very expensive, slightly ornate, heavy black granite designer cheese board with silver chalice handles and a matching cheese knife that I was convinced we HAD to have.
There was some light sparring a few minutes earlier over a hi-tech toaster oven, a multi-piece knife set, and an overly-complicated espresso machine, but nothing compared to the main event: a fight over the cheese board.
Here’s a little snippet of the heated discussion:
Treva: Honey, look at this cheese board we should get. We definitely need this.
Robby: A cheese board for what?
Treva: For when we entertain with cheese!
Robby: We don’t need a dedicated black granite cheese board with silver chalice handles!
Treva: Yes we do!
Robby: What else can you do with it?
Robby: Unless someone’s gonna cut some coke on it, which isn’t going to happen, we don’t need it.
* * * * * * * * *
I love my fiancé. He’s so practical and sensible, and yes, he’s right. We don’t need a $199 cheese board.
We didn’t get much accomplished in our first outing, but I did learn some important things about registry shopping:
• Don’t ever go on a busy Saturday at the mall.
• Don’t ever go at the end of the day, around 5pm.
• Don’t ever go when you’re hungry and cranky.
Next time, we’ll either get liquored up before we go, or we’ll go first thing in the morning when we’re both rested and fully caffeinated.
A few days later, with the help of some strong Urth Café coffee, we hit Crate And Barrel, and hit it good.
Armed with a game plan and a merchandise scanner, we zipped around the store and zapped barcodes on items we really needed: glassware, a good set of pots and pans, silverware, and a nice set of dishes. We managed to get Crate And Barrel done in one fell swoop, without any punches thrown. It was fast and furious, but without either one of us getting furious.
In the end, we managed to turn Registry Hell into Registry Heaven, and now we can’t wait to go again.
Bed, Bath & Beyond, here we come!