Thursday, August 14, 2008

Registry Blues

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I'm not the marrying type. Much to the chagrin to my girlfriend, marriage is not something I'm interested in. However, after I browsed through the various wedding registries for a friend of mine, I sort of got... jealous. Yeah, jealous that married people get tons of cool stuff like knives and Wii accessories for their friends and families to buy for them.

For me, I feel somewhat cheated mostly because my friends get married then get divorced. I spent thousands of dollars over the years on wedding gifts and even more money traveling to weddings, when I'm not going to get anything in return. I'm only there to share in the joy of their union. A completely selfless act on my part. Sure I've gotten plenty of exquisite thank you notes on expensive colored paper, but a couple of instances, I never even got a thank you note or an acknowledgment of a gift, which I always thought was in poor taste.

In some ways, wedding gifts are sort of a cruel joke for people already married and ducking the slings and arrows for ordinary married life. They know how difficult marriage can be and their attitude might be, "Good luck, you're gonna need it. Here's a dozen wine glasses. Maybe at some point, you'll throw them at each other."

Maybe I'm too naive and my parents were the only married people on the planet that threw kitchenware at each other.

I also feel weird about buying stuff at online registries because the one item I pick will favor one of the married couple over the other. One person might be pumped for a toaster but their bride-to-be might have wanted a bunch of soup bowls instead and it complicate matters. All of a sudden, I'm that guy who bought them something they never use. Hey, in my defense, if it's in the Williams-Sonoma registry, then that means it's something that you want.

I dunno what the exact numbers are, maybe 50-60% of all marriages last in America. Those numbers are not very advantageous for a gambling soul like me. I want better odds. The people involved in the nuptials I attended over the last 15 years have a much higher success rate than the national average, but a couple of friends who got married in their early 20s (a decade ago) have already gotten divorced while a handful of friends are on their second marriage.

So I bought "Kevin" a blender ten years ago. He got divorced and his ex-wife now has the blender. He's going to get married next Spring. So if I show up empty handed, his new bride to be thinks I'm a cheap bastard. I'm in a no-win situation.

How about all that money I spent gifts and on hotels, rental cars, plane fares to get to the obscure spot for a wedding, only to find out many moons later that it didn't work out? Times that by seven or eight other failed marriages. I must have blown thousands of dollars in my 20s and 30s on those folks. Shouldn't I be entitled to a refund?

Maybe I'll have a new rule.... if you get married and it doesn't last at least ten years, I'm entitled to a cash refund of at least $50 per year. For example, if one of my friends is only married for three years before they file for a divorce, then I get back $350. If they last seven years, I get $150. If it goes over a decade, then they are free to do what they want.

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