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Harvest Beer Festival
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Stephanie Wilbur Ash
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By Real Brides-to-Be
A Premarital Valentine's Day
By: Ashley Woodhouse | Posted: 07/05/2013
As I mentioned in a previous post, shopping is not my forte. Not only am I horrible at it, I turn into a horrible person while doing it. Long lines, crying children, pushy sales people and escalators completely irk me. Kurt, on the other hand, could browse any retailer—grocery stores, clothing stores, sporting goods stores, and pretty much any other kind of store—for hours and be happy as a clam. And do you know what the worst part is? He seldom actually BUYS anything! This horrifies me because if I venture into the warzone, you better believe that I’m coming home with something. Given our completely opposite spending methods, there is an unsaid rule that shopping is done individually at our house.
So one morning when Kurt cheerfully strolled into the kitchen and said, “I have a fun idea! Why don’t we register for wedding gifts today?” I nearly spit out my coffee. While I knew this day was coming, I was banking on having at least a week or so to mentally prepare to shop with Kurt. He must have caught me at a weak moment because I found myself uttering the words, “Um, yeah. Fun idea, indeed!”
Since it was only 10:00 a.m., I couldn’t justify having a glass of wine, or three. Rather, I made a second cup of coffee, took a few deep meditative breaths, and grabbed the car keys. This was it—we were going to Macy’s. Together. I knew we were either going to return home as a no-longer-engaged-couple or I was going to be thanking my higher power for the divine intervention that kept me sane.
As we walked into Macy’s Home section, I started to panic. The rows upon rows of cookware, kitchenware, dinnerware, appliances, and fine China completely overwhelmed me. I felt my complexion turn white while Kurt’s glowed. In the car, we had made a plan to divide and conquer the things we wanted. Kurt was in charge of cookware and appliances, while I got to attack the China and linens.
Before “blast-off,” we checked in with the Macy’s Registry Specialists, Joan Becker and Luann Ahart. If it weren’t for these ladies, I don’t think I could have done it. They understood my limited tolerance for shopping, as well as Kurt’s enthusiasm. I knew I loved them when they reminded us that registering doesn’t have to be completed in a day, and that any items we didn’t have time to look at could be selected online. Phew! Empowered with this new information, I convinced Kurt to meet in two hours with our selections.
Armed with my scanner gun (which is a lot heavier than I imagined) and a clipboard, I headed right to the China section. My eyes were immediately drawn to a beautiful Kate Spade set. Scanning each item 12 times, I moved onto utensils. Silver Kate Spade with a checkered pattern on handles? Looked good to me! Again, I aimed my scanner and pulled the trigger. Hey, I thought, this is actually kind of fun! It’s like shopping for things you really want but can’t afford. When I looked at my watch, I was shocked that an hour and a half had already passed. As I made my way to find Kurt—not without scanning a few “impulse buys” on the way—I realized I had survived this dreaded experience and was excited to show Kurt what I had selected. Spotting him in the blender section, I could tell that he, too, had enjoyed himself (hardly a shocker). When he said he was nearly ready to leave, I told him that I was in no hurry. We spent another hour together skimming the aisles for more possible registry-candidates, all while imagining the fun life we are going to have as a married couple. Not only did this day turn into an enjoyable one, it also taught me about the compromises I can make for the one I love. Now if only I could get him to like horses . . .
Carly is manager, Social Media and Audience Engagement at MSP-C. See her engagement story.
Vanessa is creative director and co-founder at Bow & Arrow Magazine. See her engagement story.
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