What is wrong with people? Buying someone a wedding shower gift should be the easiest thing in the world because of that time honored tradition: Bridal Registries. The happy couple actually takes the time to zap half the store with their little scanner gun so you have a list. All you have to do is run down the prices, pick your poison, and “Boom!” you’re done.
And if you perform this act of magic online, one more click, a little extra money, and that sucker is wrapped and shipped. It’s so simple even a zombie can do it as long as she didn’t lose her AmEx along with her soul. But if this is still just too much trouble, a check is always appreciated . . . as long as it’s not rubber.
Yet people spend the extra energy to go off the reservation all. of. the. time. The results are rarely good, unless the bride-to-be really did just forget to register for that ceramic pig sundial. If that is the case, we’ll just kick Santa to the curb and anoint you Mayor of Giftingville right now. Oh wait, even Santa follows lists.
For everyone else, here are five types of shower gifts to avoid.
1. The Registry Rejection
This might be the most egregious violation of all. Buying something that is “like” what is on the registry, but not quite. Ellen actually received a gold, burgundy, and green Navajo print comforter (why yes, it was just as lovely as it sounds) with this comment from the giver as she opened it, “I saw the comforter on your registry but I just didn’t like it so I got you this one.” But truly, what is better than ugly with a side of disdain for your taste?
2. The Leftover Gift
Erin has an uncle who likes to buy animatronic figures in bulk to take over to Poland as gifts when he goes to visit family. (Just keep reading that sentence until it sinks in.) He’ll have leftovers that he’ll gift to a few lucky stateside relatives. This is how Erin, at her bridal shower, became the fortunate owner of a Grooving Santa. The same type of Santa her sister-in-law had received the year before for her wedding. Yeah.
3. The Matching Outfit
Ellen has seen this one go down—the matching shirt and shorts for the couple to sport on their honeymoon. They are getting married, not auditioning as the protagonist couple for an Adam Sandler movie. No matchies! And just to throw it out there, does anyone really want to receive lingerie from her future mother-in-law?
4. The Subtle Hint
The bridal shower is not the time or place to give that heirloom hand-knitted baby sweater, especially if the couple is marriage before carriage. Relax . . . and go return that bulk box of ovulation tests, too.
5. The Re-Gift
Ah, re-gifting. Is it tacky or recycling? Regardless, try to follow along with what happened to Ellen on the bridal shower circuit. One fall, she watched her friend open an electric blue fondue pot. Months later, Ellen then received an electric blue fondue pot from that friend at her own shower. Wait, this is a time for air quotes—“friend.”
Don’t gift things out of your closet unless you happen to have a million dollars lying around. In that case, inbox us and we’ll make sure the bride gets it.
And Now for the Gem!
After all of this, are you like, “Ellen and Erin, it would be a relief to conform, but it would ruin my street cred to do anything as mundane as follow a registry.”
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But it’s not just for brides-to-be! Every woman wants this in her life, needs this in her life.
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-Ellen and Erin
Check out our books, please, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”
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By Ellen Williams Erin Dymowski