a rant, of sorts….

so. it is this registry thing. my rant, that is…When I was a sweet young thing going through the whole process of wedding event, you registered your china, silver and crystal. I do remember a conversation with my sister, Belinda, about how cool it would be to register at Builder’s Emporium, a LA 60’s version of Home Depot/Lowes Home Improvement. I loved that store. I could wander in there for hours and figure out projects.

Actually we got little of practical use for the wedding. The shower, yes, that was practical, but thankfully stuff I didn’t know I and some of which I still have. Now, thirty-five years later, I love that. And, for the wedding, we received gifts of Dorothy Thorpe crystal platters and bowls, Lennox vases, crystal candlesticks, even matching Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy figurines about three feet tall! Tom hated them and I think that’s why we no longer have them, I think he helped in their demise….

Even today I can look around at the various gifts and think, that’s from John Castle, or that’s from John and Anne Myers or that’s from Mike McCall, or from my grandparents, my aunt and uncle. It’s kinda cool that my memories of dear friends and relatives are wrapped up in what others thought at the time we might enjoy. What might decorate our home. What we might use year-in and year-out for celebrations, holidays, everyday events made more special. Can you say that about a Cuisinart mixer or a toaster oven, Calphalon pots and pans? No. Unlikely that they will last as long as the memories of the people who found your registry and bought an item. Purchased, wrapped, sent, delivered. Done.

So. that brings me to the definition of a gift and why registries are becoming a bête noire for me. A gift: a thing given voluntarily without payment in return. To honor an occasion.  [2003 Revised & Updated Illustrated Oxford Dictionary] Similar words are grant, bestow, largess, confer, donate…you get the picture. Nowhere does it state demanded, requested, appealed, called for. To me, the current trend, and maybe I’m just off on another planet, is that when an event happens such wedding, birth, baby showers, bridal showers, for all I know divorce, first day of school, graduation, housewarming, birthday; all of which you can probably create a registry for now, is just another way of  saying, ‘I need these things NOW, so get me this stuff.’

Forgotten is the thinking about a gift that the recipient might remember and treasure for years, the shopping for the item that reflects your relationship with the recipient, the honoring the occasion, whatever that occasion may be, with the effort of finding the perfect gift, hopefully bringing joy and love to the gifting process. Bah! Humbug! Registries make it just too damn easy!


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