To any of you girls out there who are soon-to-be brides:
We need to talk about registering for your wedding.
You see, right now you're probably flipping through the Crate & Barrel catalog oohing and aahing over all the pretty fancy things that you can't afford because you just blew all your money on your honeymoon or the down payment on your first house. You're thinking THIS IS IT! MY ONE CHANCE TO HAVE NICE THINGS! And they ARE nice things, there's no denying it. And so online while your fiance is off doing Man Things like golfing or washing the cars you REGISTER! All you have to do is point and click and on your list are twelve place settings of a lovely tableware that which you will serve your Beloved romantic homecooked meals! That you will use when you host your in-laws for supper on Sunday nights! Upon which you will serve Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham! That off which your children will one day scoop mac and cheese with their sweet cherub hands! Therefore this tableware must be NICE! It must be CLASSY! It must be EXPENSIVE! Because quite obviously if things are EXPENSIVE! then they are also sure to be long-lasting in terms of quality and style. Right! RIGHT?!
I am here to tell you that this is FALSE. NOT TRUE. LIIIIIIES.
I registered for LOVELY, FRAGILE, EXPENSIVE plates at Crate & Barrel once upon a time. I received six place settings … $39.99 PER SETTING.
When we'd been married just a month, the first plate was cracked (by who else, my new husband!). I cried.
And then it was a mug. CRY.
And then it was a bowl. CRY!
And then Crate & Barrel emailed me to let me know that my dishes? The ones that my future holidays and MY FUTURE CHILDREN had been structured around? Were now being discontinued. And so I'd better hurry up my little poor-newlywed-with-our-first-mortgage butt and purchase what I needed (THIRTY-NINE-NINETY-NINE, ahem) while supplies lasted.
Fast forward five years and I open my cabinets and find what is left of my dishes: Four bowls, four dinner plates, lovely mugs with saucers which have been used ONCE, a serving bowl and an awkwardly shaped platter (both of the latter have been used only a smattering of times). The dishes we use the most? The ones that my husband used as a bachelor … a now-chipped set of four place-settings that he probably bought at Wal-mart for $10.
Can I just go ahead and recommend that you register for some sturdy, cheap, WHITE, easy-to-replace dishwasher-and-microwave safe everyday tableware? Stuff that will last through your fickle design phases (like that yellow kitchen? Lemons? Was I serious?). Stuff that can take it when you clumsily bump it against the side of the sink, whack it on the counter when you're trying to get it in the dishwasher, stuff that won't make you CRY if it accidentally gets dropped? That you won't feel SO GUILTY about throwing in the trash can when it's sporting a huge, ugly chip? Stuff that can pass as "matching" with stuff that is not made by the exact same company? That instead of running amok in Target and Macy's with your fancy little laser gun (OMG those are SO MUCH FUN aren't they?!) that you beg your friends and relatives for gift cards to IKEA? To Costco? To (GASP!) Wal-Mart?
Because you know what I just did? Replaced ALL my dishes and then some at IKEA for thirty bucks. For less than what my sweet friends and relatives paid for FOUR of my other dishes, most of which are taking up space in landfills right now. And if one of them soon goes to dish heaven? THERE WILL BE NO TEARS. Because they weren't that expensive. Because there are MORE OF THEM TO BE HAD should supplies run low.
The sad part is that they probably won't chip any time soon because they aren't made of the feathers of baby birds or crushed pearls or some ridiculousness. Which is why they didn't cost thirty-nine-ninety-nine (!!!!) for four (!!!!), no doubt.