August 2012

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I see the appeal of it. It’s neat, it’s concise, it’s convenient. It’ll track everything for you, all but eliminating gift duplication. And it lets your guests know not only what you want, but what you really need. It’s wedding season right now, and of course I am talking about wedding registries.

I’ve had the pleasure of perusing a few of them lately, and I’m trying to figure out what to make of them. You see, for me this is all relatively new. Very few of my friends got married young, so now that most of my folks are hitting their late twenties and early thirties, the wedding bells are a ring ring ringing. And I am a shop shop shopping.

Part of me doesn’t like this. I guess I should throw that right out there. I propose that there is something at least partially effed about registries, and I suppose that explains my need to explore the thought.

Let’s look at one wedding: one of my best friends’ little sisters. I just purchased for the lucky young couple a voluminous footed bowl. Now, if I could entreat you just for a moment not to snicker at the name of the voluminous footed bowl, I will assure you that it is a very fine piece of glassware. It’s a table bowl. The type of fine crystalline object that ensconces a bunch of apples (as pictured) or whatever other decorative bric-a-brac one drums up, and while displaying such decorative objects, indeed in doing so, ties the entire room together. It is an ornamental center piece, ready to anchor many a room for many a years to come.

But what does it mean? What the hell does it say about my relationship to this young couple—what personally—that I just bought them a fucking bowl for a gift? I don’t know, and that’s what I’m struggling with. I guess I want every wedding gift to be intensely personal. I mean, I at least had the class to get the couple an ornamental, elegant centerpiece instead of, say, towels. Or forks. Or an over the sink colander.

With the other wedding I just shopped for, I did at least a little bit better. I went BBQ themed, getting them some grilling items and a cookbook. The registry site even allowed me to gift wrap them neatly in one box. I’ve toasted with this couple many times, especially the bride who I’ve known for some time, over many burgers, beers, and such. But does the BBQ gift set belie a closer connection between myself and the couple… or did they just have a more eclectic registry?

With the last wedding I went to, I actually went out on a limb. Unsure at the time if I was being appropriate or being foolish. I went half on the registry, half off. Of course this was a gift for a friend who I know a lot better and have some history with. And the off the registry gift was a risk too—it was a board game. What kind of schmuck brings a board game to a Tupperware party? The couple can neither sleep on it, cook with it, nor use it as a chip n dip. But this is a couple who likes games, and besides games aren’t cheap anymore. Good ones run $50 – $100. And besides besides, they liked it.

I’ve got my sister’s wedding coming up, and that’s the one that’s really driving me nuts. It’s my little sister.  I want to get them something special, and I sure as hell don’t want to get it off the registry. I mean, is the registry only for more distant friends and family in the first place? Is that the point that I’m missing? Maybe.

But I’m working on this one. Something special for my little sister and the luckiest guy in the world. I need a home run on this one. Nothing short will do.

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Here she is. My little joy Juno.

I’m actually still working on the name. Everyone things that she’s named after the movie. Read your damn classics, people. That’s all I have to say.

But she’s what I’m focused on right now.  The little bundle of joy I have waiting for me at home.  She is adorable and playful and cuddly and all of the things that a kitten is supposed to be.  And she’s the only positive thing I have to focus on at the moment.

My grandfather passed away this week.  I’ve searched for some profound words to say about it, but all I’ve got is a messy ball of feelings.  His health had been in decline, so the family was prepared for this… as relative a term as that is.  One is never truly prepared.

But there is something profound about the expiration of a generation.  I never met my other grandfather, actually, he passed away before I was born.  And both of my grandmother’s passed on a little while ago too.  I was too young then to realize what I was really losing… I guess that’s the way things go for many of us.  And now that’s it.  My parents are the last generation.  And after that it will be mine. We march, rank and file, a step closer to the end.

My grandfather was a quiet man who kept to himself. I sometimes wonder if anyone ever really knew him.  I’m glad at least I got to visit with him one last time while he was still lucid. And I don’t have any profound words to offer about his life either. He fought in the war. He was a company man, a family man. He loved his football. About as American as they come. I suppose in looking for something profound to say, I’m digging for some deeper way of expressing that I’m simply going to miss him.

The week has generally sucked in other, less dramatic ways as well…. I started to write about that here, but you know what, skip it.

It’s strange. I haven’t told any of my coworkers yet about my grandfather. I mean, I’m genuinely depressed about it… I wonder if it shows. I’m in a training session all week and even though I’m not running it, it would still behoove me to be energetic and social. But it just feels like me and them right now after this loss. There are only two men left in my family. It feels pretty lonely.

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