Category Archives: Stuff

Registering Continues to Suck

Last Sunday Collin and I attended a Crate & Barrel “registry event.” We dropped in the store (which is brand new to Pittsburgh) a few weeks ago to check out dish patterns and were immediately made as an engaged couple and invited to this event where the store opens early for registering couples so they can be given lots of attention to manage all their annoying questions like “is this carafe hand blown?” all while  mingling with other engaged couples over mimosas and pastries.

It was disappointing. First of all, growing up without religion has left me extremely ill-prepared to do anything outside the house before noon on Sundays. The event started at 9:00AM.  There was coffee, but it wasn’t enough.

Particularly because the mimosas did not exist. There was a  carafe (and I don’t know if it was hand-blown, but I’ll get to that in a minute) of freaking seltzer water with strawberries floating in it. And the pastries amounted to one stale apricot danish cut into thirty thumbtack-sized pieces.  Sorry to be an entitled bitch, but when I’m promised mimosas and pastries, I need more than fruit chunks in seltzer water and crumbs, especially at 9:00AM on a Sunday.

It got worse from there: the woman running the event pointedly handed the scanning gun to the dude in every couple, and a checklist to the woman. UGH.  BUH. BOO! I wonder what she would have done if there were a gay couple there? Given the gun to the more butch partner? I WISH I WERE JOKING.  This whole idea that men can only be made to tolerate wedding planning/domesticity when given toys, and women crave ever more wedding-related check boxes makes me feel pukish. And goddamnit, I want to use the scanner gun! That’s like 2% of the reason I got engaged in the first place!

The tour of the store was very spend-pressure-y (“be sure to register for furniture, just so your guests have an idea of your taste. And you never know, maybe a group of friends will go in on a $1,200 chaise.”1) and not nearly as informative as I wanted it to be (“The type of cookware you want depends on what kind of cook you are.” Full sentence. No follow-up. Not about what kinds of cook there are, and not about which cookware suits which.).

The lameness was not all Crate & Barrel’s fault, though. None of the couples talked to each other. I tried a few times to break the ice (“A multi-use avocado tool? What a space saver!”) but heard only crickets. Wedding blogs have spoiled me into thinking everyone else getting married around now will be awesome and friendly.

We’re also to blame. Collin and I were both grumpy and indecisive. Collin has bizarre issues about receiving gifts/attention that I blame on him having grown up with a twin sister, in particular one who is abundantly enthusiastic about everything she encounters. He got his painfully uncomfortable “present face” from the moment we started (or should I say HE started, grr) scanning. He wouldn’t make choices because he doesn’t like getting presents. I wouldn’t make choices because I don’t like making decisions. It was a very unpleasant stalemate.

And I couldn’t help but conflate Collin’s lack of enthusiasm about registering for a lack of enthusiasm for getting married, even though intellectually I knew that wasn’t fair. Plus, all jokes aside, I really do want that avocado spoon thingie. Registering isn’t all bad.

1Confidential to Liz: I only included that link because I know you already have a chaise. If you didn’t, I’d censor that for your own good. You know I love you.


I Think I Am So Funny

Because reading wedding blogs makes me see the world differently, I ran around my friend Liz’s 4th of July BBQ taking “detail shots,” and then I did some crappy photo editing.

First the detail that inspired it all, the detail that actually merited a detail shot: Kaitlin’s masterful red, “white,” and blue sangria pitchers. In addition to white wine and fresh and frozen fruit, red had brandy, “white” had apple-flavored gin, and blue had brandy and blue Curaçao:

I had to follow up with a shot of my brother-in-law’s idea of how to present libations:

At this point I was on a roll, so I hit up a classic: a pair of shoes without feet in them.

Here’s another detail actually provided by the hostess:

And finally, the alley out back after ten people shotgunned beers:

You can tell it was a great party because I have shown you close-up photos of the stuff at it.

Ring Thing Solution!

My future mother-in-law Viki found the solution to my ring thing problem: individualized butter dish from Crate & Barrel:

It meets all my criteria: it looks nice (mine is cuter because Viki painted on tiny hearts and swirls), it is relatively cat-proof, I can see inside of it, and it doesn’t appear to be a sex toy.  Thanks, Viki!

In other news, it is my birthday! In The Knot’s imagination, that means I am exactly one year away from our wedding.  Tell it to the imaginary venue we haven’t booked, The Knot!

Speaking of which, tomorrow, despite the varsity-level celebrating I have planned for tonight, we begin a marathon string of venue tours at 9AM.  Any last-minute advice for questions to ask and things to look for at venues?

Failing that, any recommendations for cocktails I should try tonight?

In Which the Weddingstar Catalog Hurts My Soul

My future mother-in-law sent me a care package filled with wedding literature, including the Weddingstar “magazine,” which is actually a catalog for superfluous wedding paraphernalia, like monogrammed cake cutters and ring pillows to match your color theme.

They also have several pages of cake toppers.

I don’t know why I looked through them. Collin and I haven’t even decided if we’re going to have a cake, much less something on top of it. I should have known I was going to see the cake topper that has been annoying every feminist bride for decades:

But it. gets. worse.

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Ring Things

I just took off my engagement ring while chopping veggies for a pot roast, leaving it in the middle of a table so it wouldn’t accidentally fall into my garbage disposal or anything terrible like that.

Of course, by time I had the Crock Pot set, the ring wasn’t where I left it. I failed to take Collin’s two cats into consideration. They see anything shaped like a circle, and they go nuts over it.

Cue adrenaline spike. Where’s my ring? Did one of the cats EAT the ring? Did they knock it down a vent? Could they have knocked one of the diamonds1 loose?

After a few deep breaths and a quick survey of the floor surrounding the table, I found my ring, perfectly intact. I immediately turned to the Internet to find… those ring things.

It turns out “ring things” is not a very useful search term. So I tried “ring holdy thingy.” Also no dice, but Bing suggested “ring holder,” which I suppose is what I am actually looking for.

Now that I have the proper vocabulary, I’ve found, to my dismay, that there are only two varieties of ring holders readily available:

  1. Ashtrays with a phallic pole in the center:
  2. Animal-shaped figurines that I also find weirdly reminiscent of marital aides:

Ok, I don’t want to have anything like that on my counter, much less pay for it. On the bright side, I’m saved from buying another tchotchke. But I still need a practical way to safely and easily set my ring aside for cooking, showering, and other drain-adjacent tasks. I’d love to hear suggestions!

1Yes, my ring has diamonds in it. No, they aren’t Canadian, and they weren’t cut in the States after I personally reviewed their Kimberly Process Certification. Yes, I realize this damns me to hell. I suspect I’ll write a long, defensive, offensive post about The Trouble With Diamonds one of these days.