this looks nice, right. those cucumbers look fresh and delicious, the slices v healthy and organic-looking. and that kitchen looks delightfully and adorably cluttered! not so messy that you'd confuse it for a hoarder's home, and clearly not belonging to the type of person whose homemade preserves would send you to your grave with a nasty case of botulism, rather gently and lovingly disheveled. you can really tell that a person who loves herself enough to wipe down the food processor after every use lives in that sunshiny kitchen. that's the kind of kitchen you want to sit in and gossip about what mallory was wearing at the pta meeting last night while sneaking bourbon into your pour-over coffee. so a thing about me is that i am basically forty, and you know what i have been doing for many of the horrifying years i have spent waiting to die on this planet? acquiring items that make me look and feel like a functioning adult, even if i do not put them to regular use. i already have:
a grownup blender. while my toaster probably definitely came from the dollar store, i have the kind of blender that is heavy and expensive and never gets shoved in a cabinet because it is 1 heavy and 2 expensive. if i spent a third of a paycheck on a vitamix then you are going to look at it. every time you wash your hands or refill your bourbon that gleaming master work is gonna be looking at you like "hi." that is not a tool for grinding up frozen berries, bruh. THAT IS A SHOWPIECE.
flatware. a full set, heavyweight, essential for making takeout food feel like an actual meal, especially if you put it on an actual plate. i hate those flimsy sporks that come with your lo mein, so i invested in some quality silverware ages ago. i do not need any more goddamned forks.
plates and glasses. sets of dishes are ridiculous to me, as i have only ever been one person inhabiting one small space who rarely, if ever, invited the kind of company over for whom matching soup plates and salad mugs from sur la table were a prerequisite. but then the thought of living with one plate and one glass felt too dickensian to me so i gradually accumulated a full set of intentionally mismatched plates and bowls from anthropologie, and i am telling you that because i am more proud of my yellow patterned cereal bowl than i am of every single paper i wrote in college.
the good kind of knives. you know the kind, the ones with the tang that goes all the way to the butt. the sturdy kind that won't bend when you're trying to cut up a carrot (lol what is that). i spent more years than i am proud to admit using sizzler-style steak knives to do my actual cutting and chopping in the kitchen. dudes, i was trying to make ~complicated meals~ with what was essentially a box cutter from the grocery store. IT TOOK THIRTY-SEVEN MINUTES TO CUT UP AN ONION. *cringes to death at the thought of all of the disproportionate stew chunks in my past*
bath towels. remember in your first apartment when you used a faded old beach towel after getting out of the shower and all your dishrags were cut-up t-shirts you wore in high school? YEAH ME NEITHER. i drove my beat up '88 escort to marshalls and got some calvin klein towels with weird stitching or whatever makes an otherwise decent-looking washcloth unfit for sale in a department store and a pack of kitchen towels the day i signed my first lease. i grew up very, very poor, and one of the things that nagged at me the most was never having absorbent towels. i decided that the minute i got a real paycheck i would get all luxuries i couldn't have as a kid, starting with 1 boxes and boxes of name brand cereal and 2 towels that would actually dry you well enough after a bath so it's not a struggle to get into your jeans.
if i want to do something, i just do it. i don't have to clear it with anyone or worry about making anybody look bad, once i decide a thing is happening? then i just make it happen. being an orphan is 9/10 amazing!
cons: no one to constantly borrow zero-interest loans from.
pros: LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE.
so when i was like, "let's just spend an intimate afternoon at the courthouse, bride," mavis, at first, was cool with it. why waste money on white dresses and an open bar when we could just hit the drive-thru and maybe go to a movie after? i hate smiling and pretending i can tell a whole bunch of cousins and uncles apart. at every wedding i've ever been to the happy couple can't even pause for a bite of rubbery $75/plate chicken because they have to run laps around the room shaking hands and thanking people whose envelope on the money tree might only have twenty bucks in it, which they won't find out until the next week. i am not doing that. all i wanted to do was swear my fidelity in front of an officer of the court before driving over to the nearest blue cross blue shield office so i can upgrade my insurance and start planning a bunch of dental cleanings and surgeries.
but then this hoe started telling people, and their collective response was "GREAT CAN'T WAIT TO JOIN YOU." three weeks ago i'm in chicago, blissfully unaware, daydreaming about how cheap my ativan is gonna be, and she's in michigan arranging a processional to the tiny municipal building. i was just going to bribe a dude hanging out at the bus station with a pizza to come bear witness to this unholy matrimony, meanwhile she's on the phone with the one judge in town asking if he might be able to set up folding chairs and a concession stand before we get there. MAVIS WYD.
so we switched gears and decided to have a party at the house because it was too late to book the kind of venue i'd actually want to host a wedding in and here is another thing about me: i understand that no one, not anyone, ever really wants to be in another person's home. let's talk about why:
1 it's a home, but it's not your home, so you can't really relax. i mean undo your belt and spend twenty minutes in the bathroom relax, which makes you feel cheated.
2 it is unreasonable to expect a normal person with a regular budget to have all of the things you might want to eat or drink or dance to. and i say this as an irritating sometimes-vegan whose favorite cocktail is campari with soda. i am perfectly happy to eat those cocktail weenies wrapped in flaky biscuit dough and drink a can of coors light on the porch but you know and i know we'd both rather be in some air conditioning eating little sandwiches being carried around the room on silver trays.
3 no waitstaff.
at this very moment homegirl is loudly vacuuming the stairs nobody is even supposed to be inside to use while i hide my pills in drawers nobody is supposed to open and then i should probably dust the chandelier nobody will probably look at but can't i just call mcdonald's to see if anyone has booked the playplace for this afternoon instead!? i mean, who doesn't like nuggets. this evening there are 70+ women, men, and children coming to listen to me recite some vows (i haven't even written yet) while visibly sweating under the summer sun (and worrying about whether or not my feet look ashy) before warning everyone in attendance that helen is to be seen and not touched, and every single one of them (well, maybe not the kids) texted/emailed/called asking HEY WHAT CAN WE GET YOU when we sent out invitations. because that's the sweet thing about getting hitched, right? the presents!? but between the two of our rapidly decomposing asses we already have a lot of the kind of grownup home stuff people typically ask for:
kitchenaid stand mixer check
immersion blender check
quality non-ikea couch check
le creuset cookware check
not to mention hampers and rugs and stemware and sheets and SUPER ABSORBENT LUXURY TOWELS check check check check check. but everyone i know was all, "who cares! make a registry!" you know what i really wish i could put on a bed bath and beyond list is my fucking cable bill. i got cinemax, showtime, HBO, and starz, hoe. the level of entertainment i require is hella expensive. so i went on amazon and made one, but i am a child, so i basically filled it with garbage. things i fear are gauche but i put on the registry anyway: flonase, chuckles jelly candy, a badminton set for the back yard, a bluetooth speaker, the new nick jonas cd, five unscented sticks of dove deodorant, some iphone chargers, and a jar of first aid beauty repair cream. mavis got embarrassed about people from her job seeing that she was marrying a dumbass so we made a crate & barrel one full of adult stuff like shower curtains and a mandoline, but i just got an email that someone just got that see's peanut brittle i wanted so i am already a winner.
it is not lost on me that we are having a big gay wedding days after a hundred of our brothers and sisters were gunned down in a nightclub while just trying to celebrate and love each other. i will never not proudly be who i am, in the face of whatever opposition may present itself. hug your people close today and every day. maybe wrap them up in a luxurious towel first.