In life, there are some things you cannot control… say, falling in love with a co-worker… who then happens to be on the same odd shift as you… who then happens to become your boss.  Yes, that was one of the many uncontrollable situations in my life… but that’s another (happy) story.  On the other hand though, there are some things in life you can control — say arguments, disputes, heated discussions — whatever word one may substitute.  It is because of this, I cannot stand the words: wine glasses, silverware (or even silver), tupperware, gravy boats, and daggon syrup pitchers.  Oh yes… those items are on my sh… erm, not-so-good list, right now… and for the unforeseeable future.

Now to an explanation: Today, while I was at work, I thought, “What if walls could talk… what would they say about me?” and “What if my mom and dad really did become flies (which they constantly hope for) and followed me around… what would they see?”  I started laughing because like everyone, there are some deep, dark secrets that you just don’t want your parents — or walls — to know… but in the world of share-all-bits-of-information-about-one’s-self, I decided to take the cyber-plunge.  That’s how this new category got sparked… and that’s why I’m sharing with you now my hate for those nine very nasty words.

It all started last weekend.  James and I were thrilled because we decided to take the wedding-registry step.  And PS-“Thrilled” is a great word here because who wouldn’t be excited about holding a powerful scanning machine and instantly creating a gift wish-list of one’s dreams?  I mean, I’m instantly thinking of this huge Alton Brown-style kitchen — something covered in All-Clad, KitchenAid, and colors so bright it looks like a fresh market.  On the other hand, my better half was devising a plan to decorate his massive man-cave — a table-top beer system, a one-cup coffee machine, bar accessories and the loot.  Now despite the fact that James and I will never — in our wildest dreams — be able to afford the Alton Brown-style kitchen and the  massive man-cave, that didn’t seem to hold our big wish-list items back.  No, no.  We were thrilled to be registering for our wedding!

So first stop:
We love Crate and Barrel.  In fact, we both have a huge crush on Crate and Barrel, and as my sister said when she was little, “If you like it so much, why don’t you marry it?”  Trista, we would if we could… or at least I would if I could.  (For some reason I hear James suddenly saying he doesn’t like Crate and Barrel half as much as I’m making it out to be, but love bug — I know you’re just trying to strut your stuff and look guy-cool… and that’s okay with me).  Anyway, so Crate and Barrel we go…

Because James loathes shopping, I wasn’t going to risk him hating (and getting bored… and therefore rushing me on) the wedding registry experience… so I gave him all the power I could possibly muster — the scanner.  Ah yes, the scanner.  For those that have never registered, I did not realize the pure power a simple tool commands.  James was in charge that second, those hours, that day.  He was the man with the plan, as they say… and our plan was to start at the front of Crate and Barrel and work down.  First item at the front: Silverware.  I was pumped about silverware because my mom and I had haphazardly wandered into Crate and Barrel one day, and she casually brought up, “When you register, are you going to register for silverware?”… which then left me carelessly caressing the forks, knives and spoons… and it was here I just happened to bump into a set of silverware I loved.

Emerge at Crate and Barrel

It had a super thin, smooth handle and the forks had thin, long prongs close together and the spoons were in a huge circle-shape.  They were beautiful, different, smooth and super nice to hold.  The only problem: Was James looking for thick, heavy silverware or would he agree on this find?  … Now fast-forward a few days later, we were pulling weeds and I confessed about my silverware — I didn’t think he’d like it, but he said he’d give it a shot…  So here we were now at Crate and Barrel, and I proudly picked up my fork and displayed it for his opinion… which was… he was okay with it!  See, James is really into — what he calls — “conversation starters”… which basically means he’s looking to decorate our imaginary house with the newest, most modern, odd, eye-catching pieces… and my silverware fit the bill!

I should have been elated, right?  I should have said, “Yes, scan it!” when he asked… but I didn’t.  Instead, I wondered around the silverware table… until I saw it — a super fancy set of silverware.

Grand Hotel II at Crate and Barrel

This one had little intricate beadwork on the edge and weighed more… I even felt rich holding it.  But James wasn’t buying.  He explained that it was beautiful, but that it reminded him of the silverware his parents have… and that wasn’t going to do because he wanted a new image for himself and his household, instead of feeling like he was eating off the same silverware he had since he was a child.  I tried my hardest to convince him of this silverware’s beauty and traits, but alas, we were at an impasse.  So while I pondered on ways to convince him, he went back to the first set we liked and asks again to scan it… to which I say no, because by now, I’m 100% confused… which by the way — why, why, why is this a female trait?!  Why couldn’t I be happy my fiance liked the same set of silverware as me?  And why am I now even looking at a second set of silverware right now, when I really do like the other one?  But what dooo I like more… hummm…  This one is more for every day… but this one is more for the dinner parties to impress our guests… and I do intend to throw dinner parties… so I should get the nicer one, right?  …But then again, I want the first badly… and James likes it too.  …But both James and I already have every day silverware… so that means we should register for the fancy one… and — “Baby.  Do you want me to scan this one?”  That’s how James interrupted my train of thought — which was truly going a zillion miles an hour… and that’s when I realized why in the hell am I even debating silverware so much in my head?!  It is just a s-t-u-p-i-d set of silverware!  Have I lost it?!  And I ask my fiance this, “James — Have I lost it?  We have just stood in front of the silverware section for about 45 minutes, with no end in sight.  I’m more confused, and I feel so incredibly anxious.”  Then I plead, “Can we please move on and come back to the silverware?”  And James looks me in the eyes… puts his hands on my shoulders and says, “Breathe.  Just breathe.  It’s only silverware.  This is supposed to be fun.”  Then he kisses and hugs me.  There are some seconds in life when I realize “This is what love is”… and that very moment was one of them.

So after an almost-hour in stupid silverware, we move to wine glasses.  A piece of cake, I’m thinking and that’s because again, I know exactly what glasses I want.

Vineyard at Crate and Barrel

They are huge with long, delicate stems… and the red wine glass looks like a balloon.  I pretend to sip from it and it takes me back to Napa Valley, where James and I sampled several different wines, but all wine glasses remained the same and looked like this.  James though is less than thrilled.  He looks at the matching white wine glass and tells me, “A white wine glass is supposed to contain about 15-ounces… and not 22, like this white wine glass was marketed!”  I then argued for him to look at all the different wine glasses because out of the tons they had there, there was only one or two that were near 15-ounces; all the rest were over that amount and resembled my white wine glass.  James then heatedly explained that he’s read up on wine, and the proper wine glass is not 22-ounces, and furthermore, that he refuses to buy a white wine glass if the creator cannot adequately create a white wine glass.  I frustratingly tell him that all white wine glasses have gotten bigger, and they are no longer the little 15-ounces anymore; that it’s about appearance over function now… to which he disagrees and says he doesn’t like the appearance then and that he will not scan a white wine glass that looks like a red wine glass.  …And so we continue to go back and forth — James wants to now scan one wine glass and have it be for both white and red wine.  I’m furious because he’s the one that introduced me to wine in the beginning so making me have one glass is not reasonable at all!  …It was here — in the middle of my yelling and arm-flailing — that I realized, we are in Crate and Barrel. in the middle of the aisle. arguing over wine glasses. while registering. because we were getting married.  Who does this?!  I try to look around in hopes I wasn’t caught, but by people’s clear avoidance of eye contact, I knew I was too late.  I was super embarrassed and angry at everyone in the store because gosh darn it, my fiance and I really do love each other, and we really are a great couple, and I didn’t want us to be judged in this fashion!  I looked at James and apologized for my actions and almost begged for our registry experience to be over.  “I’m anxious.  I’m stressed.  I’m freaked out.  I don’t know what to do about silverware.  I don’t know what to do about wine glasses.  I feel so a-n-x-i-o-u-s.”  And again my love explains this is supposed to be fun, that we aren’t signing any of these items in blood… and that this is a wish-list for goodness sake!  A gift-list!  And all we have to do is pick out things we like.  He then ushers me lovingly to the doo-dads section where little conflict occurs.

After wasting two hours, our next few went like this…
Him: “Do you want a peeler?”
Me: “Yes.”
Him: “Okay, then I’m going to scan the only one here.”
Me: “Okay” (*breath of relief*  Our first item).
Him: Do you want a citrus squeezer?”
Me: “Yes.”
Him: “Okay, then I’m scanning the only one here.”
Me: “Okay” (and another breath of relief).

In the end, James and I started to have fun after the doo-dads section.  We scanned items like gravy boats and syrup dispensers (much more on them later) with no ill-will in sight.  In fact, we were so happy, we ventured up to the second floor furniture section — just to lay on the sofas and sit at the tables and imagine that one day, this will be us forever.

So we were on a denim sofa — no joke… and that deserves repeating: An absurd d-e-n-i-u-m sofa… and we were dying of laughter because of it.  I was doing my laugh where it’s unheard, because I’m laughing so hard on the inside I can’t catch my breath and tears are falling down my face… and James is laughing so loudly and hunched over me because he thinks it hilarious when I can’t breath when I laugh that hard.  We were having a grand time… until I got up… and I realized… I didn’t have… the scanner.  You see, James had gotten tired of holding the scanner so I took it from him when we went on the second floor… but juuust to be sure my memory served correctly, I asked, “Do you have the scanner, fiance?”  He didn’t need to reply; his look said it all.  He then jumped up from the denim sofa and questioned me, “You don’t have it?  Are you sure?  Where did you put it last?  You realize if we lose it, all our six hours here were for nothing?  Are you positive you don’t have it?  Did you leave it in the couch?”  …and after searching the couch, a lecture, “Jesus, baby!  You’re supposed to be the responsible one!  What are we going to do if you can’t keep up with things, because we know sure as hell I can’t!”  We then re-traced our steps — rapidly… sitting on all sofas sat before, running hands in between the cushions touched before, moving pillows we leaned on before, re-sitting at tables we just got up from… all to no avail.  I was freaking out.  If I felt anxious before, I didn’t know what anxious was.  I asked if we should consult an employee because maybe someone turned it in, but James didn’t want to give away our careless actions yet.  He told me, “Search again” to which I complained, “I already looked over everything three times!”

…In the end, many anxious moments later, about 15 minutes of searching, I suddenly had a thought — What if I shoplifted the scanner?!  Oh no.  I couldn’t have done that!  I wouldn’t and haven’t shoplifted anything before!  (…Well, except for the purple fuzzy dinosaur ornament that I chewed on when I was teething, but that was my mom’s fault because she didn’t even notice until we got home!)  …So I checked my purse… and there was the scanner.  James was relieved, agitated I lost it so easily, but relieved.  I, on the other hand, was mortified!  What if there were cameras here that caught me trying to steal the freaking scanner — of all things!  Would I get questioned?  Would I have multiple employees following me, whispering their alert words when they see thieves?  Would we be allowed to use the scanner again?!  …At this point, I looked at my fiance and told him, in all seriousness, “Let’s plug in the stupid scanner, save our items and please. let’s. just. leave.”  And that’s exactly what we did — We raced down the stairs, successfully registered our items and disappeared out the store — before any further customers or employees could judge us.

Afterwards, James and I had a calm, non-eventful dinner.  And truth be told, sometimes the non-eventful moments with your fiance are the most rewarding ones.

PS-Back to wine glasses…  When James and I had finished scanning the doo-dads, we stumbled upon the perfect wine glasses.

Oregon at Crate and Barrel

They were away from the wine glass section, and the set had a huge balloon cup for the red wine glass and a 15-ounce white wine!  What luck.  There is a God after all.

PPS-We are still debating silverware…

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