Author Topic: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)  (Read 9866 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2014, 08:45:19 AM »


I guess I just don't really understand anti-registry people. I get that sometimes people go overboard with them. But if someone has a registry, I always buy them either 1) an item I like off of the registry or 2) a gift card to the place where they have registered. My thinking is this: I want to get the recipient something they want. They've given me a list of what they want - so for me to buy something that's not on the registry is to imply that I know what they want better than they do. And to me, that seems pretty entitled. We've seen lots of threads on here about frustration with friends and relatives who think they know better than the poster does, and everyone seems to agree that is annoying/frustrating/rude. So how is it different when it comes to the registry?

I really can't get behind this.

This is where my frustration with the registry lies--it takes -me- right out of the equation. When I feel pressured to choose gifts from the registry, I feel that I've simply been turned into a Shopping List Fulfillment Agent.

I *am* supposed to "know better" than the gift recipient when the question is, "what would I like to give her?" Of course I want to give something the recipient will like, and suggestions are welcome.

But if I don't like any of those suggestions, then I'm not "entitled" or presumptuous to give them something that came my -my- brain instead of there.

Honestly, the registry sucks all the fun out of it. I just went shopping for a bridal-shower present, and I ended up getting things from the registry list--I didn't feel I knew enough to get something on my own and I got lazy. And it really wasn't all that fun for me.

Gift giving is supposed to be an experience that brings the giver and the receiver closer. The way that happens is when the giver spends some time and energy choosing a present; that mental process is what creates the closeness. And for the recipient, even if the present turns out to be a miss, when they can see the thoughtfulness that went into the present, that generally makes them feel closer.

Buying something from a registry list doesn't do that. At Christmas, my cousin who bought two presents off my Elfster list got me exactly what I wanted. Which is nice, and I appreciate it. But if she'd taken my first suggestion (long-sleeve dress T-shirts) and picked out a color she thought would work, I'd probably have felt closer to her.

People like Amy, who focus so heavily on how useful the gift is to them, miss out on the true purpose of gifts.
   I would go so far as to say that people like Amy (and like me, w/this bridal shower) who just get something from the registry also miss out on the true purpose of gifts.
   I'm trying really hard to find a way to turn these registry items into a gift that is truly "from me."


I also get frustrated with registries that are too detailed; they feel way too controlling. I'm OK w/ registries that say, "here's the china pattern I've chosen" and "here's the towel color that will match our new bathroom." But some of the low-ticket items, I think are too controlling. Do I have to get you the OXO brand of nylon-tipped locking tongs? Can't I just get the Cuisinart ones?


wolfie

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2014, 09:36:59 AM »

Gift giving is supposed to be an experience that brings the giver and the receiver closer. The way that happens is when the giver spends some time and energy choosing a present; that mental process is what creates the closeness. And for the recipient, even if the present turns out to be a miss, when they can see the thoughtfulness that went into the present, that generally makes them feel closer.


Or it can take them one step further apart. My mom asked me for a list of things I wanted for christmas last year. I gave her a very general list - some specifics (like a cd I wanted) and some general (just more sweaters). Everything she gave me just about 1 - 2 degrees off of what I asked for.  Instead of sweaters she got me 3/4 shirts. Which are nice. But I need more sweaters since I wear them for about 5 - 6months of the year and 3/4 shirts are useful for about a month in the spring and a month in the fall. A box of chocolates - very nice. But i had been looking forward to a very particular flavor and these were just the regular ones.  The gifts were nice and well appreciated but I had to wonder why she bothered to ask if she wasn't going to take my suggestions seriously.

TurtleDove

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2014, 09:45:39 AM »
What I call SS and ungrateful is someone's feeling so entitled to their own pre-selected items that they question the motives and generosity of anyone who gives them anything else.

I don't think most people feel "entitled to their own pre-selected items."  I certainly never have.  But I think some people, like me, are just more practical and find it a waste of time, energy and money for a giver to be more concerned with what they want to give than what the recipient wants to recieve.  No one is rude for giving a gift, whatever that gift is. However, I do think that if a person publicly labels someone as SS and rude and entitled for not appreciating a gift in the way the gift giver wants them to that would be rude. I also find labeling people who have registries as entitled is rude.
Now, be fair.  I never said any of that, and I most certainly did not say that people who have registries are "entitled."  What I did say I find SS, ungrateful, and entitled -- you quoted it, in fact -- is to question the motives and generosity of anyone who gives them anything else.

My post responded to yours, but my statements were not directed to you specifically.  If youdon't identify with the behavior I find rude, then you don't!

TurtleDove

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #63 on: March 20, 2014, 09:48:57 AM »

For example, my friend Amy put things on her wedding registry and baby shower registry, and she wanted those things, not something similar, not a cheaper version, not a different color. She's pragmatic and decisive, she researched everything before deciding on it, and she truly didn't understand why someone would get her something different. She wanted sage green towels in brand X, someone gave her chocolate brown towels in brand Y. Why? Obviously they didn't realize that the color, brand, and store were selected very carefully, and that she will immediately take the brown towels back to the store without even unfolding them. I think I accompanied her on at least 3 trips to return things to stores, before the wedding even took place. And returning something to a store is not always the fastest or most pleasant experience, and you start thinking more about the time and inconvenience and gas, and "Why couldn't they have just given me something from my list?! Was that really so hard?!"


That's not a registry... that's a shopping list  ;D

But then I really dislike the idea of registries (or 'wedding lists' as we call them) anyway so I may not be the most unbiased. I can just about get behind them as a suggestion, ie, 'we could use some new glasses' or whatever, but I think when it gets into this level of detail, it rolls over into expecting people to fund your household choices, and 99% of the time it's not like these things are needed for setting up home, like the 'olden days'. They're *wants*, not needs, so I find specifying to that level a bit cheeky.

In my experience, no HC needs anyone to fund anything.  Most if not all of the couples I have seen get married are quite stable financially.  For me it more that givers are "wasting" their time, money and energy on gifts that are not likely to be used by the HC. I don't see how anyone benefits there. 

TurtleDove

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #64 on: March 20, 2014, 09:49:58 AM »
That's not a registry... that's a shopping list  ;D

But then I really dislike the idea of registries (or 'wedding lists' as we call them) anyway so I may not be the most unbiased. I can just about get behind them as a suggestion, ie, 'we could use some new glasses' or whatever, but I think when it gets into this level of detail, it rolls over into expecting people to fund your household choices, and 99% of the time it's not like these things are needed for setting up home, like the 'olden days'. They're *wants*, not needs, so I find specifying to that level a bit cheeky.

But any wedding gift is a "want" and not a need, isn't it?

I guess I just don't really understand anti-registry people. I get that sometimes people go overboard with them. But if someone has a registry, I always buy them either 1) an item I like off of the registry or 2) a gift card to the place where they have registered. My thinking is this: I want to get the recipient something they want. They've given me a list of what they want - so for me to buy something that's not on the registry is to imply that I know what they want better than they do. And to me, that seems pretty entitled. We've seen lots of threads on here about frustration with friends and relatives who think they know better than the poster does, and everyone seems to agree that is annoying/frustrating/rude. So how is it different when it comes to the registry?
Exactly this.

Lynn2000

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #65 on: March 20, 2014, 12:05:04 PM »
Don't get me wrong, although I love wish lists in general for keeping track of stuff I want, I do think they can become controlling when you're saying that THIS THING HERE and only that thing will do--like TootsNYC says, does it seriously have to be THIS brand/model of tongs, and not any other? Actually what I mean is, I think it's fine to want only that brand and model of tongs, for any reason at all--because you've researched them and think they will best serve your needs, because you like the color, because you own stock in the company, whatever. But if you need that level of control and can't handle well-meaning deviations, maybe you should just buy the tongs yourself, and not put anything about them on a list. And that's totally fine.

To get back to the honeymoon registry in the OP, the way I see it, it's basically asking the guests for one thing only--money. I don't want to exaggerate this, but there seem to be hints that the OP's DF really wants only that, and might be disappointed with anything else. And that seems like a very stressful situation to put oneself in, I think. There are ways to reframe that mentally, which is a personal choice; but in terms of etiquette, I think anything that pushes guests in only one direction should be avoided. So, as others have said, the honeymoon registry should be mentioned only when people actively ask, and it would be better to phrase it as, "Well, there's this; or anything else you think would be cool/useful/etc.." I like the wording of "we're saving up for X" which to me sounds like it's something you're planning to pay for totally on your own if necessary, but FYI, the saving up is happening if anyone wants to contribute to that.
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Tea Drinker

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #66 on: March 20, 2014, 12:27:42 PM »
To me, registries make sense when it matters that things match: the classic of "I'll buy some salad plates, and maybe Aunt Petunia will get the tea cups..." and when it's done the people have salad plates and tea cups and so on that go together, and in a style they like. I wouldn't look at your registry and think "those tea cups are too small, I'll get the kind I like instead": I'll either get the tea cups you asked for, or something unrelated that makes sense to me as a gift. Also, it's unlikely, if I'm in a mood to buy someone housewares, that our tastes mismatch so badly that I can't deal with their style of teacup, preferred colors of towels, or the like. If the towels you've asked for are too expensive, I'm not going to be thinking that you're unreasonably profligate with other people's money: I'm going to figure that you probably have usable towels, but thought someone might want to indulge you in something fancier. If I'm not that someone, so be it. If my budget here is $25 and the least expensive thing on the registry that I would even consider buying is more than that, I'm going to write a check for $25 and tuck it into a card.

If I know that your favorite color is sunflower yellow and you're trying to decorate your house mostly in that, I'm not going to insist on giving you violet towels because that's what I'd prefer. I'm not going to be living with those sheets and towels. If I get something from a different category, I'm saying "you might find a whistling teakettle useful" rather than "my taste in towel colors is enough better than yours that it should govern in your home."

The non-obvious disadvantage of needing to exchange something is that there's usually a time limit: these days, a gift card is good for a year or more, but those wrong-color towels may have to be exchanged within 30 days, meaning 22 days after you return from your honeymoon, and six different exchanges may need to be trips to six different stores.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

gellchom

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #67 on: March 20, 2014, 01:26:39 PM »
I guess I just don't really understand anti-registry people. I get that sometimes people go overboard with them. But if someone has a registry, I always buy them either 1) an item I like off of the registry or 2) a gift card to the place where they have registered. My thinking is this: I want to get the recipient something they want. They've given me a list of what they want - so for me to buy something that's not on the registry is to imply that I know what they want better than they do. And to me, that seems pretty entitled. We've seen lots of threads on here about frustration with friends and relatives who think they know better than the poster does, and everyone seems to agree that is annoying/frustrating/rude. So how is it different when it comes to the registry?
I didn't want to post anymore in this string, because we are talking past each other.   But Menley's specific question about registries deserves an answer, so I'll try. 

The difference is based upon what, in my opinion, is a mistaken premise in your reasoning, in this part:
Quote
I want to get the recipient something they want. They've given me a list of what they want - so for me to buy something that's not on the registry is to imply that I know what they want better than they do.
What I see as an incorrect premise is the assumption is "what they put on the registry" = "what they want."

Yes, of course, presumably everything they put on the registry is something they want.  But the converse -- that everything they want is on the registry -- is simply not true.  They may well want as much as or even much more than the registry items things that can't be registered (e.g. handmade items, family heirlooms), things that aren't sold at those two or three stores (e.g. antiques, artwork, one of a kind items, specialty items), or fancy stuff (e.g. an amazing Waterford bowl or Tiffany pitcher).  So I disagree that "for me to buy something that's not on the registry is to imply that I know what they want better than they do."  Yes, true, if they register a china pattern, and you buy them a place setting in a different pattern.  But not if you simply buy them a gift elsewhere.

Here are some of our favorite wedding gifts:

- a silver plate platter my great aunt and uncle received as a wedding gift themselves
- theater tickets to a great show in our honeymoon destination
- a lovingly hand-embroidered tablecloth
- a Steuben centerpiece bowl
- a fancy dessert set that wasn't sold where we registered
- a set of funky and gorgeous cobalt blue glass canisters
- a really good set of handmade pottery bowls
- a few things we didn't think we would need but very quickly wondered how we would've managed without

The people who gave us those gifts could easily have chosen something off our registry instead.  We were so glad that they didn't!  It's almost 32 years later, and I still think of the givers every time  I use the gifts they selected.  (I used the dessert set just last night -- thank you, Aunt Charlotte!)  Sure, there were a few things people selected that we didn't especially like.  So what? 

See my point?  There are evidently some couples who do only really want gifts that are sold at Macy's, Bloodbath and Beyond, Target, and a few other popular choices.  But I suspect that there are many more who do not.  They want the gifts to reflect the giver, and to remind them of the giver for the years to come, not just their own choices today.  So when you get them something that you think will please them someplace else, you are getting them what they want.

Now, back in the year zero when I got married, people only registered things that came in patterns and perhaps a very few -- like, 4 or 5 -- other items. You could put preferences and colors on the registry, too: "Likes glass and silver and contemporary style.  Bathroom is blue; kitchen is yellow."  The first time I saw a registry list that went on for pages and pages, I laughed so hard I had to sit down on the floor in the store.  Now of course it is common.  But that doesn't necessarily reflect the couple's wishes -- I often suspect it reflects the stores' wishes.  Obviously, they want all your gifts to come from their store!

I think that my daughter is planning on doing it the old way -- primarily patterns.  She has a few reasons for that, including that she lives overseas, but I think she also wants to let people choose for her.  I think she is wise.  That way her gifts will always remind her of the givers. 

I think Toots put it very well with this:
Quote
When I feel pressured to choose gifts from the registry, I feel that I've simply been turned into a Shopping List Fulfillment Agent.
Nothing wrong with having a registry.  Something very wrong with thinking that you are entitled to choose your own gifts, that people are "supposed to" choose gifts only from that list if they want to give you what you "want," and assuming that they have bad motives if they don't.

Teenyweeny

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2014, 01:37:27 PM »

To my mind there's a difference between getting something not on the list at all (like theatre tickets, or a painting, or a china duck), and getting them the thing they registered for, but different.

If I register for blue towels, I still might love a china duck. But it would be weird to buy me pink towels.




TurtleDove

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2014, 01:43:41 PM »
Nothing wrong with having a registry.  Something very wrong with thinking that you are entitled to choose your own gifts, that people are "supposed to" choose gifts only from that list if they want to give you what you "want," and assuming that they have bad motives if they don't.

I still think some of us are talking past each other.  A person can give whatever they want to give, but that person would be silly to be upset if what *they* chose is not something the recipient actually wants or uses.  I don't think anyone has said anything about "bad motives."  It's more the idea that when your motivation is to give something *you want to give* as opposed to something *the recipient wants to get* you may be disappointed that the recipient says "thanks" and then returns or never uses your gift. If you are okay with that, great!  If you instead say that the recipient is SS and entitled, that is the problem in my view.  (All you's general).

perpetua

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #70 on: March 20, 2014, 02:13:30 PM »
Nothing wrong with having a registry.  Something very wrong with thinking that you are entitled to choose your own gifts, that people are "supposed to" choose gifts only from that list if they want to give you what you "want," and assuming that they have bad motives if they don't.

I still think some of us are talking past each other.  A person can give whatever they want to give, but that person would be silly to be upset if what *they* chose is not something the recipient actually wants or uses.  I don't think anyone has said anything about "bad motives."  It's more the idea that when your motivation is to give something *you want to give* as opposed to something *the recipient wants to get* you may be disappointed that the recipient says "thanks" and then returns or never uses your gift. If you are okay with that, great!  If you instead say that the recipient is SS and entitled, that is the problem in my view.  (All you's general).

Well, my immediate thought about that is that if a guest isn't close enough to the HC to know their tastes and what they want/like, why are they invited to the wedding in the first place?

I think this might be why I find it a bit grabby, I don't know. If I'm close enough to be going to someone's wedding, I know them and I know what they like (and what they don't like).

TurtleDove

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #71 on: March 20, 2014, 02:23:18 PM »
Nothing wrong with having a registry.  Something very wrong with thinking that you are entitled to choose your own gifts, that people are "supposed to" choose gifts only from that list if they want to give you what you "want," and assuming that they have bad motives if they don't.

I still think some of us are talking past each other.  A person can give whatever they want to give, but that person would be silly to be upset if what *they* chose is not something the recipient actually wants or uses.  I don't think anyone has said anything about "bad motives."  It's more the idea that when your motivation is to give something *you want to give* as opposed to something *the recipient wants to get* you may be disappointed that the recipient says "thanks" and then returns or never uses your gift. If you are okay with that, great!  If you instead say that the recipient is SS and entitled, that is the problem in my view.  (All you's general).

Well, my immediate thought about that is that if a guest isn't close enough to the HC to know their tastes and what they want/like, why are they invited to the wedding in the first place?

I think this might be why I find it a bit grabby, I don't know. If I'm close enough to be going to someone's wedding, I know them and I know what they like (and what they don't like).

Maybe I am coming at this from a different perspective.  For me, it wouldn't be so much, "Sally didn't get me what I want," as it would be, "What should I do with this gift Sally gave me that I can't/won't use?"  It's not "grabby" or entitled - the focus isn't "I didn't get what I wanted" but rather "I can't use what I was given - how awkward."

Teenyweeny

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #72 on: March 20, 2014, 02:23:33 PM »
Nothing wrong with having a registry.  Something very wrong with thinking that you are entitled to choose your own gifts, that people are "supposed to" choose gifts only from that list if they want to give you what you "want," and assuming that they have bad motives if they don't.

I still think some of us are talking past each other.  A person can give whatever they want to give, but that person would be silly to be upset if what *they* chose is not something the recipient actually wants or uses.  I don't think anyone has said anything about "bad motives."  It's more the idea that when your motivation is to give something *you want to give* as opposed to something *the recipient wants to get* you may be disappointed that the recipient says "thanks" and then returns or never uses your gift. If you are okay with that, great!  If you instead say that the recipient is SS and entitled, that is the problem in my view.  (All you's general).

Well, my immediate thought about that is that if a guest isn't close enough to the HC to know their tastes and what they want/like, why are they invited to the wedding in the first place?

I think this might be why I find it a bit grabby, I don't know. If I'm close enough to be going to someone's wedding, I know them and I know what they like (and what they don't like).

Well, some people are just bad at presents. Or, you could be like me and have an absolutely HUGE family. I love all of my cousins to bits, but I haven't actually been to any of their houses, because family gatherings still happen either in public places or at our parents' or gran's houses. So, I have no idea about their decorating style etc.






TootsNYC

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #73 on: March 20, 2014, 02:39:39 PM »

Well, my immediate thought about that is that if a guest isn't close enough to the HC to know their tastes and what they want/like, why are they invited to the wedding in the first place?


Oh, I totally don't agree with that!

I love my nephew dearly, I expect to have a life-long relationship with him. But I'd never met his fiancÚ, and since he lives half a country away, how would I know what color their first bathroom will be, or whether they like European florals on their china or modern graphics?

Ditto the shower I'm going to this weekend. I know many things about them, but I would -never- have guessed that she would register for very sleek, modern square plates in apple and plum! That was actually one of the fun things about the registry.

perpetua

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Re: We're so going to E-Hell... (3 new questions on post 15)
« Reply #74 on: March 20, 2014, 02:46:27 PM »

Well, my immediate thought about that is that if a guest isn't close enough to the HC to know their tastes and what they want/like, why are they invited to the wedding in the first place?


Oh, I totally don't agree with that!

I love my nephew dearly, I expect to have a life-long relationship with him. But I'd never met his fiancÚ, and since he lives half a country away, how would I know what color their first bathroom will be, or whether they like European florals on their china or modern graphics?

Ditto the shower I'm going to this weekend. I know many things about them, but I would -never- have guessed that she would register for very sleek, modern square plates in apple and plum! That was actually one of the fun things about the registry.

True. I can only speak for my own experience though, and I personally would not be going to the wedding of someone I wasn't close enough to to know their tastes.