Saturday, November 12, 2016
Birds & Bucks
A friend is getting hitched this month. She is living with her fiance in a small apartment above a store he owns. Most of her stuff is in storage and they do hope to buy a house -- but she has no clue how long it would take to get him to act on that. He's been single a long time and is happy living the way he has been. They are both in their forties and this is a first marriage for them both.
A few months ago, my friend mentioned bridal registries to me. Being a foreigner, she had never heard of such at thing and was struggling with the idea because she didn't want people to buy her stuff. Since most people tend to give money these days, she had gravitated towards a site that was based entirely on the premise of collecting money from your guests. I don't know how others think and maybe it is because I am old school, but my cultural make-up is such that asking for money is considered tacky and it's something I'd never do. Our friend's fiance is of an overly generous and socialist sort of nature -- he's the least mercenary person I have ever met, so my guess is he'd also feel uncomfortable about soliciting for cash.
My suggestion was that she use another popular bridal site that is focused on the entire process, not just the collection of money. Using a phrase like "We are not registered for gifts; we have everything we need for our home," seemed to me to be the best way to hint that money could be an appropriate gift. Besides, the day, the experience and the institution should not be based on the gift component of the event.
The picture I'm showing today is part of a wedding present we are giving this couple. I found it at an estate sale and it is an original. Painted at some time in the mid-seventies, it was part of a collection of art and fabrics collected by a man who had a passion for India and traveled there extensively. I took it to a dealer who re-papered the back and looked it over. He said it was a fine piece and you could see the artist had sketched a few ideas on the back of the canvas. It is not an assembly line piece you can buy in a home store that was made in mass in China.
We are giving this along with a set of high thread count cotton sheets and a set of pillow cases. My thought is the painting is something that I hope is of lasting value (which cash is not) but won't take up a lot of space, and the bedding is something useful that I hope will give them something of comfort. I love art and high thread content sheets. Is it selfish of me to pick a gift for someone based on the things I like? Probably, but old habits die hard!