The registry lady didn’t like me

Making a registry was one of those things we hadn’t gotten around to doing. Partially because we’ve been in “Oh shit!” mode about the save-the-dates. Mostly, though, our professional and personal lives as of late have prevented us from buying groceries most weeks, let alone thinking about “outfitting our home” with things like place settings and wine decanters.

But one of the side effects of sending out your save-the-dates is having your aunts ask you where you are registered. My fiance’s mother has apparently been interrogated by everyone she knows about where we are registered, and, so, last week, she informed us that we needed to “get on it.” I’m sure that, after the wedding, she’ll say the same thing about us having kids.

scan all the thingsAnyway, last weekend, my fiance and I hit up a kinda-nice-but-not-too-expensive home-goods megastore. After a quick spiel from the kindly registry man, I was solemnly handed a scanner that we could use to Scan All the Things. Kindly registry man gave us a nice tour of the store, pointed out some things we might find helpful and then said, “Have fun!” and walked away.

Little did I know that this was Act 1 of today’s “Good cop bad cop” routine. Bad Cop showed up 10 minutes later in the kitchen section.

“Hi!” she said brightly. “I notice you’ve been looking at this cookware set, but let me tell you about my FAVORITE one.”

Her “favorite” one cost $499. Her favorite one would feel better in my hand (“Go ahead, lift this saucepan up. Feel that? It’s got some heft.”) Her favorite one would be a gift one of our guests would “feel happy to give,” unlike that $299 piece of shit set we were looking at.

I held tight to my scanner and said, “Thanks, we’ll keep that in mind!”

“Great!” Bad Cop said. “Are you registering for knives? We have some GREAT knives.”

What Bad Cop doesn’t know is that my stubbornness is exceeded only by my practicality. I’m not registering for shit until I’ve read reviews and done price comparisons. If my mom were there she’d have told her, “It’s no use. Some brides want nice things, but this one is no fun. She won’t even wear a veil.”

“We already scanned some knives,” I told Bad Cop.

“Yeah!” my fiance says, pointing to the $200+ knife block. “Those ones.”

Big mistake. Huge.

“You know,” Bad Cop said. “When people buy gifts, they really like to feel like they’re giving you something nice. Something that you’ll keep forever.”

“Oh, there are so many choices!” I said with a sigh. “Maybe we should go home and come back later when we’ve had more time to think …”

Bad Cop laughed.

“I’ll give you both a minute to digest,” she said. “And I’ll follow you up with you later.”

The next hour was actually pretty fun. My fiance and I picked some nice-ish, practical things that would actually fit in our tiny apartment and that were a HUGE upgrade from the rusted-out, ripped, stained household items we’ve held onto since college.

After my fiance left for work, I scanned a few more items he could give a shit about (pretty new soap dispensers, don’t mind if I do) and went to return the scanner. Thank god — Good Cop was manning the registry desk.

“Did you have fun?” Good Cop asked.

“I did,” I said.


Shit. Bad Cop.

“Let’s see what we’ve got here,” Bad Cop said, bringing up our registry on the computer. “Some nice stuff! But, you know… I see you registered for some dinner plates, stainless steel cutlery and some bowls. But I’m not seeing any fine dining stuff.”

“Fine, dining?” I asked, thinking about the folding card table we eat on.

“Yes,” she said. “Now, I’m going to say the ‘C’ word, so don’t get scared.’


I explained that our apartment had no room for china.

“Well think … five years down the road,” she said. “You’ll have a house. You’ll host family for Thanksgiving. Do you picture china on that table?”

A HOUSE? IN FIVE YEARS? A REAL TABLE? COOKING THANKSGIVING DINNER??? God, will the registry business even survive Generation Y?

“Well,” I said, “If we by some miracle pay off our student loans in five years *giggle snort* and buy a house, my mom is giving me one of her three sets of china. And I don’t even know if we’ll have room for that.”

I mean, come on, has this bitch ever met a Millennial?

“Well, you’ll want something that’s YOU,” Bad Cop said. “And be honest. Do you really like your mom’s china?”

Laughing on the inside, I did my best to deadpan my response.

“I do. Very much. It was originally my gradmother’s set. She is dead.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that,” Bad Cop said. “You can always add more things to your registry later online.”

“I suppose we can!” I said cheerfully, handing over the scanner.

Look, I’m sure Sheets, Towels ‘n Other Shit forces their registry people to be pushy. But I’ve been getting pushed to do wedding things I don’t want to do for 16 months at this point. This has only strengthened me. I still haven’t registered for china, but I did add some wine glasses.


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