I‘m supposed to be at a wedding shower in a few hours and forgot to buy a gift. Down South that’s a real faux pas. I’m sure they have the same rules of etiquette up North, but down here something like this can severely damage your reputation. Permanently. Social mistakes are somehow written indelibly on your DNA thereafter like a fow-pah tattoo.
“You know Monda over there? She teaches over at the college…writing or literature or…”
“Oh yes. She’s the one who showed up empty handed at that Bannister girl’s shower.”
“1988. That’s her. Here she comes…”
I can’t let that happen. Luckily, today’s brides register everywhere, even Wal-Mart although I find that practice too tacky to even acknowledge. Target is perfectly fine, Wal-Mart is NOT. You might as well put on the announcements that you’re registered for linen and china at The Dollar Store.
In my mother’s generation, young brides registered for china and silver – real silver – and that was it. Girls in the ’50s expected to get four toasters and odd clocks. That changed a little for those of us Generation Jonesers. We made it more casual by registering for “everyday” dishes and flatware. While we sere more casual, we still had to sit through “tomato aspic” bridal showers thrown by our mothers’ women-friends. The rules were strict and the etiquette, unbendable. Legs crossed at the ankle and embossed thank you notes, that sort of thing.
These women are still around. In their golden years, all they do is go to church and rattle their pearlsls at showers. And they still scare me to death. Besides, these old gals remained married to their high school sweethearts while most of us Gen Jones brides made more than one trip to the altar.
Gen Y brides aren’t afraid of anybody. I love that about them. They register everywhere and run around with little electronic guns shooting a very specific gift list onto the internet. No worries about four toasters for these young women. They show up to their bridal showers in flip-flops and bring their men. Whoa. Maybe they learned something from our mistakes. I hope so.
Since I’ve procrastinated, I’m scouring this bride-to-be’s online gift registries and wondering what opens at 9:00 so I’m not socially banish-ed forever. It seems she’s signed up for everything but a perfect life. Bed Bath and Beyond probably doesn’t carry that, though.