In discussing wedding gifts with my boss today, who is being added to the fifty bazillion people I know who've gotten married in the last few years, she mentioned how, at 34, she's already got everything she needs, so she simply asked for money for her wedding. It reminded me of a long-standing proposal I've had, that hasn't caught on quite yet, but makes total sense:
Broke Single People Showers
The whole idea behind a wedding shower is that you're starting a new household and you need things. In years past, when a woman got married, it was the first time she had ever lived on her own. She would not have had pots, spatulas, kitchen appliances, etc. Upon getting married, suddenly she'd have a slew of things that she'd always borrowed from her parents, or used in a dorm room/college apartment, that she would now need to have on her own.
This is not so much the case anymore. The Census Bureau estimates that the average age of marriage for a woman is 26.6 years, and 28.6 for men, up from 22.5 and 25.2 (respectively) just thirty years ago. Women are graduating from college and starting a life of their own approximately four years before starting life with a husband.
We need stuff too.
As my friends have been getting married, one right after the other, for the last six years or so, I've watched as they rake in their new towels, and 550 count bed sheets, and the crown jewel of wedding gifts: The Kitchen Aid mixer.
I sleep on a futon. I cook on pots that have been passed down from roommate to roommate. I have particle board furniture in at least four different colors in my bedroom.
Why is it that not only do these girls get the affection and love of a husband we're all seeking, but they also get the goods?
It's as if they're being rewarded for finding the love of their lives. "Congrats, you've found him! On top of being able to be cuddled to sleep at night, here's a nice down comforter under which you can rest together. Oh, and you get to split the rent too"
How is this fair?
I want a registry. When I graduated high school, people gave me tons of money to spend, and like any good eighteen year old, I bought a bathing suit, a gym membership, and several nice purses.
When I graduated college I got a card and a new blow dryer (which yes, is an awesome gift, but that's beside the point). A few months later I moved to a new city with no job and a suitcase. THIS is when I needed money to start out on my own. THIS is when it would have been really nice to get all these things one gets upon finding a husband.
Instead I end up broke, paying my way through grad school, working two and three jobs, and as single as I was at twelve - only then, I at least had someone cooking my meals every day.
So when I finish my masters program and yet again settle in a new city (or at least a new apartment), if you receive a card from me stating that I'm registered at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Williams Sonoma, it's simply because I'm starting a new life, and a new home, and I need some new stuff too. If I can't find the love I've been searching for, at least let me have the stuff that goes with it.
But really, all I want is a Hurom juicer.
Stay tuned for a planned follow up entitled: "We're busy too."