Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Single registry?

Lately, I've been doing a lot of things that make me feel freakishly grown-up.

Like leaving work at lunch to walk to Time Warner Center to buy bridal shower presents from Williams-Sonoma. First of all, it still makes me shiver with surprise that I work in Manhattan. I feel like I'm an extra in a Kate Hudson film about being a fabulous working gal every time that I wave my ID over the sensor in order to reach my elevator bank at work. If that kind of act is a rush, I think walking towards an altar would cause me to swoon.

That said, I felt like I was whispering a secret when I told the salesclerk that I was shopping for a bridal shower and what do I need to do to be sure what I choose is marked on the master registry list. It's disconcerting to then let the person at the register know that this gift is on a registry for someone with whom I feel like (just yesterday) was at 7th grade soccer practice with me.

I remember when this particular friend was in college. She went a little crazy in the home supplies department and started getting things like ravioli molds for her 19th birthday. Um, I think I wanted Radiohead: "OK Computer" that summer. Williams-Sonoma was not on my radar.

So she probably doesn't find it weird to have a five page list of desired gifts, but I can't imagine buying super nice things to use in my communal apartment.

Then again, this friend already owns a house with her husband to be. She's not agonizing over who used her nice coffee and how annoying it is to buy nice things when other people use it up.

Maid of honor to be, Helene waved the printed invitation for the bridal shower at me last night and said, "Do I have to do this for my sister?" Not only are these things intutively expected of us, we're not supposed to be surprised by it. I think I stared at the invite and its suburban New Jersey return address for 10 minutes when I received it.

These are the reasons I know I cannot get married despite the fact that everyone makes it seem totally normal. I'm not being critical or jealous. It just feels like an out-of-body experience to realize that you are still on some level not unlike your 13 year old self when everyone else appears to have signed up for adulthood and the Williams-Sonoma care package that came with it after Freshman year of college.

Suddenly, amdist the All Clad pans, fancy olive oils, teak salad bowls and delicate glasswear, I wanted to play dollhouse and be married, too. But I know that marriage is not a schoolyard game that ends when recess is over. After the sugar shock of presents and attention is over, you're back where you started, looking at the same person that got you into that year of engagement madness. You better hope they are all you hoped they would be and not the marzipan figurine on the top of the cake.

Which makes me wonder, what do I want?

I like having dates with my boyfriend in the middle of the week. I like having a boyfriend and not a husband. I like long, chatty, wine-fueled girl nights with my other very unmarried New York girlfriends. I like not having to tell someone I won't be coming home because I've decided to see a movie or make a Target run. I admire the clean look of my naked left hand.

I wouldn't mind a new crepe pan, though. Can't a single girl register?


Blogger R J Keefe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thu Aug 11, 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger R J Keefe said...

Darlin', you are going to marry as a woman, not as a college grad who has run out of other options.

You just need to let these girls do their hitching. When the dust settles, you'll know something about marriage that they didn't and don't.

But there ought to be a registry for smart girls who share apartments with several guys, some of whom are not quite salubrious. Wolf traps?

Thu Aug 11, 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Slimbolala said...

Did you see the very funny Sex in the City episode which precisely addressed the issue of the single girl's bridal registry?

Though I only know you through this narrow, little bloggy-window I will throw my two cents in, regardless. Many people see marriage as a radical departure from an earlier existence where all of the trappings of youth are packed away and stern adulthood becomes solidly entrenched. I don't. Some things change. Many of those changes can be very good. Other things are sacrificed. But my life now as a married man (and even as a father of small children) is still very connected with the life I had before. In many ways I'm still very young, and in many ways I hope I always will be. Certainly I have responsibilities I didn't have before, but that's o.k.

And people get really crazy about weddings. They shouldn't. It's just a big party with all your favorite people.

Married life can be good. But so can single life. Take your time. It will still be there if and when you're ready for it.

Thu Aug 11, 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

Thanks for your support. I tend to vent on here just because it doesn't mean I'm harping about this to my boyfriend who could see this as a very confused stance...

But thank you for listening and giving advice. I need to remember that everything has its own time.

Thu Aug 11, 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Lit/chick said...

Yes, I was going to mention the _Sex and the City_ ep. I have long whined about not getting gifts for important milestones, such as adopting Loulou. Maybe I should have just set something up at Petsmart or whatever and made people buy things for me. And hello, I just received a worthless degree (an M.Phil.) in May--where are my goody bags? And then the Anthropologie Fall catalogue comes, and it's like, fuck it. People need to just celebrate my lifestyle. Period. Especially if you have to buy boring kitchen goods for them.

Thu Aug 11, 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

But the kitchen goods are far from boring. We're not talking ravioli molds which are boring. I would actually be happy to have some nice mixing bowls and pans. And casserole dishes. I bought my first pyrex dish the other day. Dear God, save me!

Tue Aug 16, 01:05:00 PM  

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