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Engaged or Newly Married? Here’s Your First Piece of Advice.
Just married? Now what?
My wife and I were married almost 28 years ago. The word “almost” in the first sentence could also refer to the fact that we were “almost” not married because of a small china cereal bowl in the bridal registry section of an old-timey department store.
See as a guy I had very different expectations of the “registering wedding gifts” part of engagement than my beautiful fiancée. To her, this event was high holy day, a pinnacle of wedding and domestic planning, a celebration of the celebration to come. To me, it was a wasted Saturday afternoon.
After all, how much china did we really need? The two staples in my kitchen at the time were a handful of old stadium tumblers and a couple of plastic bowls Everything I needed to eat, or drink would fit one of those.
It turns out that this was not enough for my-bride-to-be.
So, we found ourselves at the department store on the appointed Saturday registering for more better, important, substantial kitchen items. Over the course of what seemed like a month and a half, the “mostly tolerant of me store clerk” let’s call her Ethel) helped us review ALL THE CHOICES IN THE WHOLE STORE.
I seemed to be doing well until Ethel pulled out the bowls for china pattern that my fiancée had chosen. And for some reason, still unknown to me almost three decades later, I thought the bowl was much too small so I took it from Ethel, put it on my head and said “Hey, it looks like a hat.”
Stunned silence from the both of them.
Because evidently it turns out that putting a china bowl on top of your head is not “what we do in this department.”
And so, Ethel says to my fiancé, “Are you sure about him?” And it was not a ha-ha funny “are you sure” kind of question; it was a “this man is a neanderthal; you still have time to run” kind of question.
It was this kind of experience (and hundreds of others for both of us really) that we learned from. Getting married is such a huge leap, no matter how long you’ve dated or even if you have been friends since the second grade, getting married brings a whole new level of commitment which brings pressure which brings a raft of completely heretofore unknown challenges.
I'll give you your first piece of relationship advice for free: when registering for wedding gifts, don’t put a china cereal bowl on your head.