Dear Mouthy Housewives,
So I found myself in a popular big department store today, bridal demand list, er, I mean “registry” in hand. And for the first time, I was genuinely resentful of all the crap on it. I remember getting married at 25 years old, setting up a household with a young man. But this couple are both over 45, have each lived on their own their whole lives, and have been living together for at least a year. They each make plenty of money, am I *really* obligated to feel happy getting them brand new cookware when mine’s falling apart?
What’s the going rate for late-in-life wedding gifts?
I’ll answer your question, but first I will have to extract the virtual knife that you’ve plunged into my soul by referring to people who are 45 as being “late in life.” Maybe it’s because I’m 45 years young myself that I find this near analogy of wedding gifts to the wares that were packed off with the Pharaohs at their funeral so that they can be used in the afterlife particularly distressing.
But it’s not about me.
It’s about this couple, who have decided, actuarial tables be damned, to marry at 45. And now, just because they are starting a new life together as a married couple, they have the nerve to request new cookware. Seriously, the nerve. Do these geriatrics even still have teeth?! Wouldn’t it make more sense to register for a lifetime supple of Depends and just be done with it?
But here’s the thing: younger people don’t have a monopoly on love and happiness and marriage. If someone meets her soulmate later in life, who is anyone else to deny her that joy? And for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, gifts are a part of the marriage celebration. It’s just tradition. You are not obligated to get any specific item, but you are obligated to get them something. If you feel that you cannot in good conscience give a Le Creuset pot, then find something that is more affordable and that you can give without any hard feelings attached.
Because at the end of the day, it’s about celebrating the couple starting their lives together.
But if they pull this “we’re renewing our vows” crap a few years later, it’s totally fine to buy them a bottle of wine.
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