A sad fact which has come back to haunt me, repeatedly, throughout my life, is my inability to return a gift. Far from being a person who will bald-faced ask you for a gift receipt before the first piece of wrapping paper hits the floor, I will keep pretty much anything you give me, even if it doesn’t fit and/or completely sucks.
Never was this a bigger problem, than when I was getting married, many, many years ago, to whatshisface. Now, creating a wedding registry is basically like handing people a list of shit that you want them to buy you, because you don’t trust them alone with their own credit cards. It’s also stressful as hell, because, as the bride, you know damn well that your new in-laws are going to be looking at this thing and judging the crap out of you. And while you really want those lovely plates that aren’t the cheapest, nor the most expensive things available, you want to make sure that they’re just expensive enough that they’re truly lovely, while not sliding into the “Who the fuck does this girl think she is?” territory.
Now, on the flip side, having a registry is just totally and completely necessary. How else are your loved ones going to know what serving pieces you’d like to store inside of your most out-of-reach cabinet, never to be seen again, because taking them out terrifies you? This shit matters…especially when, a decade later, you’re paying your divorce attorney $300/hr to argue over it. (That’s almost two place settings/hr, goddamn it!)
Now, despite having an airtight registry that contained the things that we really needed (pfffffft!), as the gifts trickled in, we quickly found out that what our loved ones REALLY felt we needed was crystal vases. Lots of them. Stunning, expensive, perfectly gorgeous, crystal vases. And, collectively, they felt that we needed thirteen of them. Thir. Teen. Of which, we had registered for exactly none.
Now, because, as I’ve already stated, I am incapable of returning a gift, mostly out of a sick guilt over the fact that someone GAVE me this treasured item, I refused to let anyone convince me that we should return them, so I could buy, I don’t know…towels. An eternity of dripping naked in my bathroom was acceptable, but rejecting a $3oo Orrefors vase (worth 1 hr of legal service) was not.
Which is why, now, many, many years later…this is happening…
And that’s why I love gift certificates.