There need to be Wedding Registries for single people. Allow me to make my case.
The other day, I was invited to the wedding of a distant acquaintance. After browsing the registry options within my price range (very few), I settled on a colander for $30. I added the cost of the dress I’d be buying for the occasion, as well as the train ticket, and the shift I’d be giving up at work. Suffice to say it was not cheap. Which is fine, because I know this person would do the same for me… if I was getting married.
So I’m just going to say what we’ve all been thinking here…which is that it’s fucked up that couples get showered with silverware sets and champagne flutes and high-thread count sheet sets, while the rest of us schlep out half our paychecks for shitty plastic ware at Target that will break in six months. It’s like, it’s not enough that you have no one to go home to at the end of the night, or text you sweet things, or hold your bags when you’re fumbling for your keys. Not enough that you go on excruciating internet dates with people with usernames like “Robinator” and “RydeOrDine.” No, you also have the added snub of having to stock your own house 100% by yourself. Could there be a more apt example of ‘salt in the wound’?
I’m sure that, at one point in time, the registry was a beautiful idea. When people got married by their early twenties, it would seem that registries were designed not only to honor relationships but to help young people get a leg up in the world – a way for the older generation to collectively help out the new. After all, it’s incredibly expensive to start a life, and to fill out a home. There are hundreds of things – small, mind-numbingly boring things like silverware trays and vegetable brushes – that add up to a fortune before you know it.
The first time I got my own apartment, I was stunned at how many things I ended up needing to buy. Between plates, glasses, pots and pans, tupperware, spatulas, serving spoons, dish towels, kitchen mats, bathroom mats, brooms, vacuums, mops, mugs, and those things that catch your hair in the drain…I could barely afford to eat the next day. When I finally do get married, I’ll have already bought all this stuff by myself. What use will the registry be for me then?
Once we finally get the whole same-sex marriage kerfuffle sorted out, the next movement should be “Registries for Singles” – a new tradition that honors everyone when they turn 25 by allowing them to create registries for the specific home stuff they want and need. Many cultures have special benchmarks for certain ages, but the Bat Mitzvah and the Quinceanera celebrate teenagers. Sure, 12-15 was once the threshold of “adulthood,” but let’s be honest – these days, we don’t really grow up until we’re of legal car-renting age. And that’s where weddings step in. Unless you’re single, in which case you’re fucked.
“Registries for Singles” is about more than wanting free shit. It’s about not validating some people’s life choices over others, or punishing those who do not choose conventional paths. Not everyone is a failed romantic like myself. Some are happily independent. Some just don’t believe in the patriarchal history of marriage, and would rather cohabitate without the legal ramifications. Still others are LGBTQ, and are legally not allowed to tie the knot in their states. And yet, when we’re good friends and contributing members of society, does our singleness make us any less deserving of your stoneware?
Diehard Sex and the City fans will know that I’m not the first one to make this point. There’s that fantastic episode when Carrie goes to a married friend’s house, and her designer shoes go missing. When her friend balks at paying her back for them, Carrie points out that she’s spent hundreds of dollars on wedding gifts and bridal showers. In other words, hundreds of dollars supporting her life decisions. In the end, she leaves a message on the friend’s phone announcing that she’s getting married…to herself. The registry? Manolo Blahnik. At this point, my registry might just be the nearest grocery store, but you know, if anyone feels the need to go the designer shoe angle, I’m definitely not about to stop you.