The wedding registry: One small step for man, one giant step toward being able to live together on a teacher’s salary

While I am definitely not a “wedding girl,” I have to admit that I’ve gotten into a few aspects of planning the big day. I have a venue, a date, a DJ and a photographer. And the fiancé has been wonderful and booked the honeymoon for us.

I even have a real wedding dress. It’s white and lacy and everything. It was obtained with ease at the second store that I went to. The first store was a horrific nightmare starring an evil witch who banished my mother from the dressing room, ignored everything I told her, and then kept forcing me into puffy monstrosities that made me look like a marshmallow Moby Dick until I sobbed that I was fat and didn’t want a wedding. Literally. I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if she chased me through the store with a harpoon yelling, “Call me Ishmael!” The evil witch wouldn’t leave me alone until I squealed that I was a little piggy who didn’t deserve to get married.

Then I went to P. Lawrence in the Kentlands, had a lovely experience, and emerged an hour later looking forward to my wedding again.  

So with the dress ordered, I started to get excited about the idea of registering for gifts. I mean, this is pretty much the only time in your life when you can pick out the exact presents that you want and force people to buy them for you (ignoring the fact that I’ve hacked my dad’s Amazon Prime password and can therefore pick out presents for myself and order them, forcing HIM to pay for them with free two-day shipping… that’s a close second to a wedding in a lot of ways. But he screams at me and then changes his password if I buy anything too extravagant on his account, so that has to be used with caution).  

So on Saturday, the fiancé and I set out for the mall.

The end result of which was shockingly similar to the first wedding dress shopping experience, because I wound up curled in the fetal position, sobbing that I didn’t want a wedding.

Retail does not seem to be my friend these days.
What could have happened to turn shopping into something so horrible?

Well, to start with, I was completely overwhelmed. The fiancé and I are in the process of selling my bachelorette pad and buying our perfect suburban dream house. Which, shockingly, was much easier than I could have imagined. We found a buyer for the condo, fell in love with the perfect house, made an offer, and boom! We’re moving in a month! (Message me if you need the best real estate agent in the DC area. Seriously. He’s amazing.)

Which is all wonderful and happy and the birds are singing and I’m so excited about it that I don’t even care that the new Bruce album comes out tomorrow. (Besides, I’ve had it for three weeks. And stopped listening to it two weeks ago. Next.)

But it means we need a LOT of stuff. Yes, my one bedroom condo was pretty full, but it’s not going to make a dent in a five-bedroom house. And the fiancé has declared the new house to be an Ikea-free zone, so none of my furniture is making the trek with us.

AKA we need pretty much EVERYTHING.

Which is fine. I’m my mother’s daughter, so I’m a pretty freaking awesome shopper. No, I’m not quite at her level, because she can walk into stores and basically have them pay HER to take clothes (or at least that’s how she explains her purchases to my father, a trait handed down from my grandmother. You can buy anything as long as it’s a bah-gan (bargain with a Gloucester, Massachusetts accent). But I’m good. So picking out all new stuff that I don’t even have to pay for? Piece of cake.

Or it would be, if I was just shopping for myself.

Here we reach a problem—I have pretty much the only fiancé in the world who not only has a distinct opinion about every single thing we put in our house, but he was also raised in a much wealthier area than I was. So while he wouldn’t characterize his family as “rich” per se, the idea of shopping anywhere below the level of Bloomingdales is as abhorrent to him as the idea of shopping below the level of Target is to me. Like I’m pretty sure he equates Bed Bath and Beyond to Walmart or Big Lots.

And I didn’t understand that prior to Saturday.

So savvy shopper that I am, I figured, okay, we’ll start at Bloomingdales. He’ll see how absurd the prices are, laugh, and say okay, let’s go somewhere reasonable.

I like Bloomingdales. It’s one of my go-to stores when I need a really nice formal dress. No, I don’t buy anything else there. But formal dresses, if they’re on sale, are doable at Bloomingdales.

Unfortunately, my plan backfired, because when I laughed at the absurdity of spending $750 on a duvet cover before even factoring in pillow shams or anything else to go WITH the duvet cover, my fiancé said, “Wow, that’s a good deal.”

I laughed harder, and he looked at me uncomprehendingly. “What?” he asked. “It’s on sale. It WAS $1200.”

And suddenly, I realized that he wasn’t screwing with me. He actually thought $750 for duvet cover was a good price. And that a $3,000 set of four pieces of cookware was a steal. You don’t even want to think about what he was willing to spend on towels. I did a quick tally in my head and calculated that at the prices he was considering, a casual dining set would cost more than our combined gross income for two years.

It was time to regroup. If we registered the way that he wanted to, it would take all of our guests combining their gifts to buy a full set of bedroom linens, before we even got into anything like dinnerware, cookware, glassware, or silverware.

So, faking a deathly allergy to Chanel perfume, I dragged him out of the store.

We tried Crate and Barrel, which he conceded was tolerable, despite having never heard of it (how has anyone never heard of Crate and Barrel? I wanted to register there for my bat mitzvah, but my mom wouldn’t let me!), but we honestly didn’t know where to start. And when he began admiring the $3,000 dressers, I debated tattooing the words “Teacher’s Salary” across my forehead.

And then I took another page from my mother and grandmother’s book. Bribery. I had come prepared with Reese’s peanut butter cups in my purse, which are the fiancé’s kryptonite. Just as I can be placed under a hypnotic spell by pretty shoes, peanut butter cups allow me near-total mind control over my beloved future husband. A man’s secret weakness is necessary for any woman who plans to spend her life with him to know, as long as it is only used for purposes of good, not evil.

So a handful of peanut butter cups later, we got to Bed Bath and Beyond. Where he insisted on registering for a $200 sheet set in Exorcist-vomit green.  

Which I took as progress. One small step for man, one giant step toward being able to live together on a teacher’s salary. That kind of thing.

And at least I can modify the Bed Bath and Beyond registry from home.

But when we turned in our scanning gun to go home from an eight-hour day of shopping, the guy manning the registry counter looked surprised. “Still getting married?” he asked us.

Apparently we’re not the only ones who found registering to be a complicated process. But at least they sell peanut butter cups there, for future registry excursions.

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Dear everyone: Stop asking me where the ring is. If I knew, it would be on my finger, not in his sock drawer–I mean–wait–what?

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately folks—it’s been a whirlwind of activity at Casa de Goodman between getting an awesome agent for my newest book (which is currently “out for submission”—love it!!!), school starting back up, and, in much sadder news, my grandfather dying.

I considered writing about him, but this is a humor blog (For anyone who may be new to my blog or who may have missed the fact that the entire thing is intended to be funny, that’s what I’m here for—entertainment value only. Most of what I do here is satire, designed to exaggerate and make fun of myself. The narrator of my blog is a caricature, not an accurate representation of me as a person.  I take events from real life and twist them out of proportion to make them funny through hyperbole.), and Grandpa loved nothing better than a good laugh, so I figured the best tribute I could give him was to stick to my normal posts.

(This was referenced in my uncle’s eulogy because my grandfather was, in fact, buried with his five wood.  And Grandpa would have been laughing the hardest of anyone in the room at the reference.)

And there IS something else big going on at Casa de Goodman right now. I’m just not supposed to know about it.

The boyfriend and I are rapidly approaching the one year mark of our relationship. In common parlance, known as an “anniversary.” And while prior to meeting him, I was staunchly in the school of advising everyone to wait before committing to anything, I’ve switched teams and now hit for camp “When it’s right, it’s right.” (Did I mix too many metaphors there? I feel like I’m yelling, “Hit a touchdown!” at a baseball game… oh well…)

Maybe it’s because I’m a little older. Maybe it’s because everyone I see is checking my left hand with unabashed frequency. Maybe it’s because six (yes, count them, SIX) of my Facebook friends currently have profile pictures of themselves kissing their significant other with an engagement ringed-hand in the shot. Or maybe it’s all of my relatives repeatedly asking “So nu ven?” (Which is apparently Yiddish for, “When’s it gonna happen?”.)

But whatever the reason, I’ve turned into the girl I never expected to be. The girl who is absolutely DYING to get engaged.

I still don’t want a real wedding. My dream wedding is still Rabbi Elvis in Vegas with NONE of you invited. But my best friend has vowed to stalk me and bring both my mother and grandmother to Vegas with her if I elope without telling her, and I am fully aware that if my mother and grandmother are not at my wedding, the level of Jewish-guilt/wrath will make the ten plagues look pleasant. So I’ll probably do some version of a real wedding, but that’s not what I’m interested in right now.

Right now, I’ve turned 100 percent into Gollum (but with better hair and makeup… although I may go on his diet plan if my mother plans to force me into a puffy white dress), desiring nothing more than that precious, precious ring.

Which probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t happen to know that he already has it. Yes. Sorry, honey, your secret is out.

You see, like all good Jewish girls, my grandma (or bubbe if you will) has a jeweler friend who has been telling me since I was five to go to her when it was time to get engaged. Actually, she’s probably been saying that since before I was five, but I only remember it starting then. I’m picturing her cooing into my cradle, Sleeping Beauty-godmother style, “And when she’s old enough, I’ll give her the gift of a gorgeous diamond at a wholesale price.”

And while my grandmother claims she’s able to keep a secret, with all the hullabaloo surrounding my grandfather being in the hospital, there was no keeping the secret that she and the boyfriend went shopping.

So now, because I know he has it, and because he knows that I know he has it, the boyfriend has begun an active campaign of torturing me. Okay, maybe it’s not an active campaign, but it feels like it. Because whenever I try to get any kind of a hint as to when he’s going to pop the question, the only answer he’ll give me is that he loves giraffes and monkeys that throw poop.

Like he’s started texting me with emojis of monkeys and poop.

Actual text from the boyfriend.  Which I interpret to mean, “Kisses to you, my angry chicken baby, monkeys throw poop and push penguins into volcanoes.”  Perfectly logical in every way.

Which yes, makes me laugh, but I’m not even sure if he’s ACTUALLY saying these things or if my weirdo girl lizard brain has gone completely Gollum-style ring crazy and if I’m just hearing utter gibberish whenever he ISN’T talking about the ring.

It also doesn’t help that there are a very limited amount of hiding places in our apartment, and when I can’t sleep at night (which is a frequent occurrence), I feel like there’s this odd, pulsating, diamond-like object calling to me from his dresser. I won’t get near it, because I know the pull of the One Ring is strong. But I can sense its presence.

And the only thing that he WILL tell me is that he’s planning something special. And I want to let him do this his way and let him make it special.  So I know better than to go looking, and I’m trying not to talk about it too often.

By which I mean that I’ve limited my questions about when we’re getting engaged to three times per hour. Relationships are full of compromises, people!

Lucky for him, my romantic standards are notoriously low. For which we can thank my parents, who got engaged when my mother told my father to “defecate* or get off the pot.”
*”defecate” was not the word that she used.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the super romantic story of how my parents formed the union that created me. So I’ve warned the boyfriend that as long as I don’t have to use that particular expression, anything at all that he plans will be magical and wonderful and romantic.

Even if it DOES involve monkeys throwing their poop.

Thank you, mom, for instilling me with such low expectations when it comes to romance.

Which means that until he decides to make his move, I’m planning to wait patiently. Okay, as patiently as I can. But at least he knows I’ll say yes.

And for the rest of you, LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE! ASKING ME WHEN HE’S GOING TO DO SOMETHING AND CHECKING MY RING FINGER EVERY THREE SECONDS IS TURNING ME INTO A PSYCHOPATH!

 K thanks!

(And if you still haven’t gotten the message that this is satire and are sitting there reading this thinking, “Oh my God, her poor boyfriend! Why does he put up with that girl?”, you should know that he reads my blogs before I post them, totally gets my sense of humor, and loves me for the crazy weirdo that I am—just like I love him for the crazy weirdo that he is. It’s a match made in crazy weirdo heaven. Which makes sense, since my crazy weirdo mom* and his crazy weirdo aunt* set us up. Crazy weirdo yenta-devised love all around!)

*Neither of you is a crazy weirdo. Please don’t hurt me. I love you guys! ❤