Disrupting Dating/Marriage: What is Up With Wedding Registries?

Last month I wrote a post about singles treating themselves like adults. But a recent conversation on Instagram got me thinking that maybe everyone else needs a bit of a reminder as well.

When I first posted that blog, many of my friends latched onto the point about wedding registries, and the fact that single people don’t have registries. And it’s a really good point. It actually makes you wonder why married people have them to begin with. It’s a conversation that’s taken different iterations among my friends over the years, but the overall sentiment is the same; we make a HUGE deal over weddings. We spend time and money and weekends showering our friends with gifts when they get engaged. But what about the other milestones? Getting into grad school? Moving into a new apartment? Getting a dream job? What if all these milestones happen while single? Where’s all the brouhaha when that happens? Why is the wedding the be all end all? Why in the world are we buying you the contents of your new apartment just because you’re now engaged?

I get that there might be another dream job, another new home, but hopefully your life partner will remain your partner for life. But we place a LOT of hype on this one transition. It’s THE moment of change. THE moment of growth. THE moment when you move on from stage one to the rest of your life. Especially in the Modern Orthodox Jewish community. But that is not healthy. Because let’s be real. You’ve likely been an adult for a while now. You’ve had a job or been in school. You may have experienced massive struggles or difficulties. A ring on your finger means absolutely nothing about how much life you’ve lived. Why are we suddenly deciding you’re now transitioning into adulthood? Why is everyone buying you all of your housewares now? What if you’ve been living on your own for years?

There’s a scene in Sex and the City where Carrie throws her own Bridal Shower for her marriage to herself after getting fed up with her married friend not getting that her single life has merit.

And we can laugh and dissect the ins and outs of the scene, but the overall idea hits home for many of my friends. They shell out TONS of money every time a friend gets married. And sure, they’re aware that if they get married one day in the future, they too will get their turn. But after a while it gets kind of annoying. And the entire concept is kind of confusing. Why are you buying someone else cookie sheets just because they found someone they love? Why are you buying them lingerie? No one bought me my immersion blender when I found an apartment I liked. No one buys me my sneakers.

And I know-starting a life together is expensive. I know that. You know how I know? Because I/ we/ many singles have been living our lives for a while now/ have already started our lives. We know how expensive living life is, because, surprise! Singles we’re just like married people :). We’re adults too!

Some of us are in school. Some of us get help from parents. Some of us work and still get help from parents.

But some of us are completely on our own. Some of us live off the money we make. (I know–CRAZYYYYY). We pay our own rent, and often live in EXPENSIVE communities. (Fun fact–the Upper West Side is NOT CHEAP!) We have 401(k)s! We put away money for the future (maybe it’s for a future down payment on a house or apartment, an engagement ring, Yeshiva tuition…). We give charity! We save up for vacations. We make Shabbat meals. We buy groceries. We buy our own clothes. We pay for dates. We have loans to pay off. We pay to freeze our eggs. We pay for health insurance. We pay to see therapists. We pay to move from apartment to apartment when our leases are up. We buy all the things for our apartments when we move into a new spot, because we don’t have registries!!!! :). We buy pots. We buy pans. We buy dishes….

We’re not looking for you to pat us on the back. We’re just looking for you to acknowledge that we’re doing it. We’re anxious about money and saving and all that fun adult stuff just like everyone else, because well, we’re adults too.

If I made an apartment registry tomorrow, everyone would think it was so off. But why? Why does my friend with the diamond on her finger get to walk around Bed and Bath , marking everything she and her future partner want you to buy them for their home, and I have to stand in PotteryBarn checking my Chase app, debating whether or not I should invest in new sheets for myself? It doesn’t make any sense.

So what is there to do? Do we scrap the registry altogether? Do we as singles register when we move into a new apartment? Honestly, I’m not sure. A good place to start might be by having married people simply acknowledging that single people are adulting too. We actually are really proud of it :). Especially since, no offence to all the married people, but we know that many of you are getting financial help-(someone after all, bought you those fancy dishes)–and that’s fine-many of us are too-it’s just frustrating to be treated less like an adult when you’re getting help to pay your bills and buy your housewares, when there is zero acknowledgement that some of us are out here struggling. But I don’t know, maybe a housewarming gift would be nice? Some new towels? A set of pots. A pair of kicks?

So do I relate to Carrie? Oh 100%. I would register at Nike tomorrow if I could. Can I? Does Nike have a registry? Sign me up. I’m a size 5.5 men’s if they don’t ;).

But in all seriousness, it might be time to look at this whole wedding registry thing, because honestly, it’s weird AF. Seriously. It makes absolutely no sense. So @my friends @my parents friends, I know you think the preceding paragraph was kind of a joke, but honestly, maybe it wasn’t?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.