Growing up

As I think I’ve mentioned, one of my best friends from college is getting married in less than a month and I’m flying to California for the wedding. As I think you might have figured out, I’m not super good at this “adult” thing. I mean, I’m not living under a bridge or anything; I’m employed, I pay my taxes and my rent and have zero debt (I actually beat most adults in that department), I manage to feed and clothe myself and keep myself out of danger. I have insurance. So, you know, it could be worse.

But I don’t own a house, or any property at all. I’m single. I still consider a drink on my tab a more than adequate birthday present, even for my closest friends. I will eat whole wheat pasta with a little Smart Balance and some garlic salt for several meals in a row because it’s easy and I’m lazy and I don’t need that much variety. I’m a New York adult, which for a large percentage of us (i.e. the poor ones) is not a real adult. Being a young adult in New York often means you’re living like a sixteen-year-old would live if they didn’t have to go to high school anymore. It’s a cobbled-together adulthood that involves a lot of dumb mistakes, procrastination, taking a stab at things and hoping they work out (i.e. apartment hunting).

I realized this (or, re-realized this, as I realize and then forget this over and over again) a couple of days ago when I remembered that I was going to have to get my friend a wedding present. Then I gave myself a day to once again be weirded out by the fact that people my age are allowed to get married, and then yet another day to remember that in New York I am normal but outside of New York I’m a stunted adolescent so of course I think it’s weird for people my age to be getting married because I still think of myself as a high school senior.

So, anyway, wedding present. I’ve never bought a wedding present before, which is fairly sad because I’ve actually been to two weddings of people my age and had my name on a card for a present for another wedding I wasn’t able to attend. Twice I just pitched in on a group gift with my friends, which someone else picked, and one time my mother bought the gift because I was a senior in college and it was my cousin getting married. See how effortlessly I maintain this idea that I’m still a teenager?

Now I have a dilemma–buy from the registry or not? First of all, I couldn’t find where they were registered for a while, which confused me. I checked all the usual suspects–Target, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, etc.–before finally digging through all my recent mail for the invitation, which didn’t say where they were registered, either. But! They had a profile on The Knot, so I keyed in the address and went to the page.

Can I just say how much I love Carmen and Tim? Some people go so over-the-top with everything that their Knot profiles are usually a nightmare, with all this crazy information and babbling about everlasting love and, you know what, I’m a jaded New York single girl, I don’t believe in everlasting love, so that stuff kind of ticks me off. But Carmen and Tim kept it simple, restrained–who they were, how they met, a couple of sentences about the proposal and a picture, the bridal party, and THE REGISTRY. Turns out they were only registered on Amazon. I didn’t even know Amazon had a bridal registry, although now that I think about it it makes absolutely perfect sense.

Now here’s my problem. Do I buy off the registry or don’t I? It seems like I should because they put it together for a reason and these are things they actually want/need versus something that I just pick out that they could have seven of or have no use for. Plus if I buy it through Amazon I can just have it shipped to my parents’ house no hassle; maybe I can even bribe my sister to wrap it. But buying off the registry seems so…impersonal. It doesn’t seem thought out or special or interesting in any way. I mean, this set of dishes, it doesn’t say, “Carmen, Tim, I really thought about what to get you and I love you and hope you’re happy together forever, Love, Anna.” It says, “I’m a set of white dishes that came in an Amazon box. Who bought me? I don’t know. I’m just a sensible purchase.” I have no ideas for what to get them if I don’t go off the registry. So I probably will. But still. There’s not going to be a whole lot of me in it.

I’m seriously considering getting them the extra Wii controller, as a compromise. At least that’s funny.

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6 Responses

  1. Just so you know, I have several married acquaintances, and they actually seem ANNOYED when people get them things not on the registry. Obviously, you know your friends better than a stranger, but this seems to be a common theme among the marrieds. They are sometimes poor too, after paying for a wedding, and they actually need some stuff that is useful.

  2. Yeah, makes sense. Seeing as I always err on the side of caution, I’ll probably buy them something off the registry. But they really did register for a Wii controller! AND they didn’t prioritize anything–like, actually, we’d prefer a bowl over a Wii controller.

  3. A friend of mine who likes puzzles found a puzzle where you could slide paper money into it, and you had to solve the puzzle to get it out. So he stuck a bill in there of giftly denomination and said in the card, here’s something to do on your honeymoon! I have weird friends.

    Anyway, I’d take a Wii controller over a bowl any day. I could justify buying a bowl myself, but not a Wii controller — that’s practically a luxury item!

    • Okay, now that puzzle thing is AWESOME. And one vote for the Wii controller. Carmen, don’t read this!

  4. Here’s what I did: I looked at my friends’ registry, found the most ridiculous item that I could afford, and got that. And then in the card, I said “I hope you think of me every time you use this heated foot bath/massager or chop n’ serve bamboo cutting board or what have you.”

    You could also say, “Carmen, Tim, These white plates symbolize the purity of your love. I love you and hope you’re happy together forever. Love, Anna.”

    What I’m saying is: Registry.

  5. I’m still trying to get over the “adult” thing, and rarely feel like an adult most of the time… however nothing like bills making the bank account balance drop dangerously low to remind me of just how adult I am — or something like that! 😉

    On the gift end, I try to pick something semi-personal from the registry most of the time… from my experience I did receive some great non-registry items though and then some that umm… are in the attic. 🙂 Good luck… and I vote Wii too.

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