Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Showers: Why I am Against Registries

It seems the season of weddings and birthings is upon me. If you are female (and if you are reading this there is a 97% chance that you are) you are required to attend all sorts of showers. I think the idea is that you shower the prospective bride/mother with gifts. Having once been a bride and once been a mother and having been subjected to no less than 6 showers for both events, I must say I can see why a new mother would need to be showered with gifts. She is getting an infant, and most infants are not that pleasant to be around. But a bride... she is getting a husband, and hopefully that is gift enough. But I digress. The purpose of this particular rant is the wedding/baby registry.

Unless you are my best of best good friend (hi, wicked rage!) you are NOT getting both a wedding gift and a bridal shower gift. I am going to give you one gift and one gift only. If you are a child of a co-worker, you are not getting a gift. If you are a distant cousin, no gift. If you are someone that my husband met once through work, no gift. If I sense that I am being invited because you want a gift, you will not get a gift. But if we are truly friends, and you want to share your big life events with me, I would like to share a gift with you... I DO; however, take exception when you tell me WHAT to get you. The purpose of a gift is to be... well, a gift. The idea of the gift loses its luster when you tell me in no uncertain terms, what you'd like that gift to be.

Okay, I know in this day and age it has turned into wedding 'tradition' and is meant to be helpful to all of those people who might not have an idea of what to get you. I also know that when the Beardocrat and I wed several people asked us why we hadn't registered. One of the main reasons is I did not see our wedding as a means to get gifts. I genuinely wanted to celebrate with those who I invited. A gift wasn't necessary at all. And THAT is what I told people who inquired (an interesting fact, the Beardocrat does not agree with me about registries. He loves them. But he also doesn't like to think of what gift would be a perfect fit and what would be meaningful). If I am giving a gift to you, it means that I know you, and want to give you something from the heart. I am grateful for those who attended all bridal showers, wedding events, and baby showers and to everyone who felt the need to give us gifts. The most wonderful gifts were things that were a complete surprise and things that if I had registered, I never would have thought of. Having a registry takes the spontaneity and joy out of giving. There I said it.

In short, I think the registry is tacky. Yep, tacky. But there is something even more tacky. My cousin had a baby shower and in the invitation, told people that 'there were certain things she needed' and she would prefer cash to gifts. I had the opportunity to attend a baby shower WITH said cousin who then whined because her friend got all sorts of cute things. It was then her mom said that they would throw her another shower, and hopefully people would bring gifts. Yeah, my family is classy sometimes.