Diary of a Marriage: I Registered For What?

After three years, I’m finally ready to revisit my wedding registry.

iStockphoto courtesy of ThinkStock.com

My friends and I had our monthly cooking club last week, which meant I needed to cook something. I decided I’d channel Martha and make her recipe for pumpkin pudding, which she bakes in mini pumpkins that she’s carved into little bowls and seasoned with cinnamon and sugar. The night before cooking club, I found myself roaming the aisles of the grocery store at 9 p.m., a grocery store I never visit since my husband is in charge of all food shopping (and food preparing). Once I finally figured out where they kept the spices, and the canned pumpkin, and the cream, it had been over 30 minutes. I made an executive decision: My pumpkin pudding would not be served in mini pumpkin bowls.

I lugged my purchases home (but not before calling J. to ask him if it was a bad idea to just buy a few pumpkin pies, scoop out the filling, and pretend I made it—he said yes, that probably wasn’t the point of cooking club) and prepared to start making my pudding. First, I had to reacquaint myself with our kitchen, and figure out where we’d stored all the appliances we registered for three-plus years ago. I looked at the recipe. It called for the pudding to be baked in a casserole dish. What the heck was a casserole dish?

“You have to have one somewhere,” my mother said, when I called her in a panic. “Didn’t you register for one?”

Register? As in wedding registry? I had no idea. After some searching, I found something that looked like a casserole dish (I sent a picture to a friend, just to be sure) and decided that it would have to do. And then it was on to the big stuff. I turned to the fancy, shiny thing that had been sitting unused on our kitchen counter for over three years, the thing I probably registered for first, since it’s pretty much a required registry item, the thing that looked so good in the space, all white and gleaming chrome: our KitchenAid mixer.

“Well, hello there,” I addressed the mixer in a low voice. “We haven’t met yet.” I tried to move it, but it was stuck to the counter. After a few minutes, I figured out how to detach the bowl. There were two teeny dead spiders in it, along with three years worth of dust.


Another call to my mother, who informed me that I didn’t need to use the mixer; I’d registered for a hand mixer. Who is this woman and how does she remember my entire wedding registry? I thought. But I looked for it, and there is was in a cabinet, in its box, neatly stacked next to the juicer, the toaster, blender and mini-grill I’d registered for, all in their original boxes, untouched.

What was I thinking when I registered for these things? A mixer, yes. That’s a necessary item that most normal people use, I’m sure, on a weekly—or at least monthly—basis. But a juicer? Really?

I thought we’d done so well with our registry. We’d tried to keep it to the basics: small appliances, china, bedding, towels. (I secretly wanted to register for shoes, but my mother said that was tacky. I agree with her, of course, but I’m sure they’d have gotten a heck of a lot more use than the mixer.) We didn’t even register for the pretty ice cream making kit, or the cool popcorn maker.

Even so, most of the things we registered for sit unused. Our china doesn’t come out nearly often enough, and I still haven’t used that damn mixer. But I guess that’s the thing with wedding registries: You register for the life you want to have. And three years ago, I guess I wanted to be a homemaker who made pumpkin pudding in tiny carved-out pumpkins. But I’m not. I’m a slight workaholic who is afraid of her own kitchen; who screamed when the hand mixer whirred to life, sending bits of canned pumpkin to the ceiling; and who secretly wishes she’d registered for shoes.

What are you taking into consideration as you and your fiance register? Are you going all out, zapping things you know you’ll use some day? Or are you sticking to the basics, and figure you’ll see what you need in life as you go?






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