Monthly Archives: December 2009

Appliance Crisis

Wedding presents are one more thing our culture has all wrong.  Or, I guess, had right at one point but failed to keep up with the changing times.  When Chris and I got married, we’d each been living as independent adults for over a decade.  A decade in our culture turns out to be far too long to live without a pasta maker, a full set of ramekins, a small army of waffle makers, and dozens and dozens of other kitchen gadgets that our forebears somehow managed without.  So when two 33 year olds get married, the last thing they need is a giant registry at Williams-Sonoma, and if they decide they really must have one because Otherwise We Will Get Things We Do Not Want, they are usually going for the seriously esoteric (by which I mean ridiculous) shit.   When two 33 year olds get married, what they really need is a 21 year old to give half their stuff to.

Over time, however, things break, you give duplicates away, and the married couple’s kitchen ends up holding approximately what a kitchen ought to hold: one of each of the most useful things one needs to cook, or at least feel reasonably like one could cook if one wanted to.  And just about the time that all settles out (approximately seven years, in my experience), the couple divorces.  She gets the Cuisinart, he gets the Kitchen Aid.  She gets the non-stick wok, he gets the muffin pans.  And then it’s Oh My God I’m Turning 40 and I Don’t Have a Slow Cooker.  That’s when a registry would really come in handy.

My friend Semi used to bitch about the wedding present custom.  She was just never interested in getting married, and has floated the concept of the masters thesis registry, the made-my-first-movie registry, and even the broke-up-with-boyfriend-#7 registry.  Just because tying the knot isn’t her cup of tea doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have Egyptian cotton towels.  She’s felt the whole thing has been pretty discriminatory, and I have to agree.

Though current demographic trends would suggest that the wedding is often too late (or in our case, perhaps too early) to bestow gifts upon your loved ones, I am going to resist the temptation to start a divorce registry.  I don’t really need to fill the gaps in the kitchen cabinets .  Maybe I can just admit that if I absolutely need to make carrot juice I can borrow a juicer on NeighborGoods, or even from my ex-husband.  Chris and I are lucky to have a very friendly, cooperative divorce.  If we can share a daughter successfully, shouldn’t we be able to share a few small appliances?

I do, however, need my own blender.  If you have two, make a vote of confidence in your own marriage and give me the spare one.