Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A light day?

Our first day of registering for our wedding was no light day! After returning from being in Ft. Worth with our friends, we went straight to Foley's and began to register for wedding gifts.

Actually, we started to go into Foley's and then as we started to get edgy, we decided to go into the mall and eat lunch, which turned out to be the wisest move of the day. With our blood sugar levels restored, we returned to Foley's and began to formulate a plan.

We decided that before we even registered, we needed to pick out a China pattern. Now, we had looked at China patterns for several hours the previous weekend, but could never settle on anything that seemed to reflect our tastes. I seemed drawn to more Romanesque patterns, and Bethany's tastes seemed a bit more elegant.

We made four passes through the China section, ranking our favorites, debating the merits of each choice and then finding great reasons to discard each. I am thoroughly convinced that most china sets are designed to make one fall in love with one component of the set, only to be repulsed by by one of the others. Beautiful plates seem to be paired with the ugliest cups and saucers imaginable. Beautiful cups would waste their fine lines by being placed next to gaudy and garish plates and bowls.

I was beginning to think that we ought to see about registering for individual pieces mixed and matched from different sets when we happened upon the Hyde Park collection by Mikasa. It's a simple yet elegant white china pattern that contains a bold border of platinum laid over a contoured and flared lip. And the cups were just fabulous.

We decided that this collection fit our tastes, not too gaudy, not to frilly. And they were even a rather economically priced selection, which should make adding to our collection later much easier on us.

The sales associate came over and after a few moments, explained that there were no sets on-hand in the store. I asked her to check for the Foley's in Austin, and she informed me after a few moments that there did not appear to be a single non-display set in a Foley's in the entire state of Texas. She told me that the sets could be special ordered, but that the likelihood of anyone finding them in stock was not good. Bizarrely, she discovered that a Foley's in Denver has four sets on hand, but that those sets seemed to be the only ones in stock in the region.

We talked over for a while whether to go with our second choice, but in the end decided to stick with our primary selection. We just liked the pattern too much, and by this point were too invested in it.

We next began to register for casual dining items, finding a cute set of white french-style dinnerware that perfectly complemented our china (after looking closer, I realized they were made by the same designer, which explains their similarity).

After we finally got the dinnerware behind us (except for the cutlery and the silverware, which we still have yet to find), we started on a blur of activity with the registry scanner. A coffee pot here, a spatula there, and three hours later, we were both exhausted and starting to get irritable again.

So, we decided to call it a day. We limped back to the registry desk and waited for our turn to consult with the registry associate. While we were waiting, I grabbed the gun and headed for the picture frame section (what can I say? I hate sitting still ...).

We made all the appropriate judgements and then decided to quit while we were ahead. We went to Cafe Brazil for dinner and slowly unwound. Realizing that our other registries were going to be just as time consuming (if not more), we resolved to set aside time on Sunday to get some of those tasks out of the way.

Until I figured out how to create our registries online, that is. ;-) Sunday afternoon consisted of three hours on the couch and thumbing through catalogues. It probably took as long as the Foley's trip, but boy, did my feet and legs appreciate the difference.

We're still not even close to finished registering, but we now have substantial registry lists at Foley's, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and Target. And though I still dread the return trip to Foley's, I finally feel engaged. Those lists represent OUR stuff.

Whoever knew we could cement our relationship over shopping?


Blogger L. E. Howard, Jr. said...

I hope you picked a china pattern that you can live with. My father-in-law spent the first couple decades of his marriage "accidently" breaking the set he and his betrothed picked out. :)

On an entirely different subject, I was curious about your thoughts concerning Dan Rather's recent departure.

9:16 AM  
Blogger jrichard said...


Yes, we actually spent several hours ruling out selections that one of us loved but the other hated. What we would up is elegant enough for her and simple enough for me. Less is more, more or less.

Dan Rather? Well, I have several thoughts.

I do think he's been unfairly judged because of that one story. But I also think that 90% of people crucified in the media are being judged over one moment in their lives. So while it is regrettable to see such a strong body of work trivialized over a single controversy, I think journalists should be at least as thick-skinned as the people they investigate.

I like Dan Rather. I do find him a bit elitist, but I have enjoyed the fire and tenaciousness with which he pursues his craft. I think he has been a bit sensitive to criticism, and might even dish it out a little better than he can take it.

I was doing research in the LBJ Presidential Library a few years ago and came across a transcript in the oral archives of Dan Rather's perspective on LBJ. The two have been linked by history, and so the interviewed revealed about as much about Rather as it did Johnson.

The two never got along and Rather's accounting of their first meeting had LBJ cursing at him.

But perhaps the most ironic twist to the story was that when Kennedy had been assassinated (Rather had been present in Dallas, naturally) and LBJ became president, some network suit at ABC offered Rather the network job because he thought the two Texans would have a natural rapport. Which is how Dan got his first network reporting position that eventually led to the anchor position.

And of course, Rather and LBJ hated each other and weren't even on speaking terms at the time.

Oh, the ironies of history ...

1:15 PM  

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