Registered Male

January 29, 2009

I’m looking over my ex-husband’s wedding registry on the Crate & Barrel website and feeling awfully strange about it. Why, you may reasonably ask, am I looking at his wedding registry? He got remarried about a month ago and I did a Google search to see if there were any pictures up. Again, this begs the question…why?

I don’t really know. We split up two years ago this month; he left me for the woman whose registry I am now looking at, a registry that includes a god-awful sauce boat and a glass decanter that looks like it accidentally got too close to a blowtorch. I guess I’m hoping to find clues to the man I once knew and loved, the man who once pledged to love me above all others and who now has pledged the exact same thing to someone else.

I’m not bitter, I don’t think. I’m happily recoupled (newly engaged, in fact) and realize now that my marriage to my ex was doomed from the beginning—we’re just very different people. The woman he’s now with (his current wife—yikes) was a friend of mine for a time, which I think adds to the strangeness. You think you know your spouse, and you think you know your friend, but it’s very hard to wrap your head around the remelding of those people into a new marital entity that excludes you entirely.

An entity that has requested a truly impressive array of cookware (reversible griddle; two cooling racks; a $400 ten-piece set of pots and pans; brownie pans; cake pans; muffin tins; all manner of brushes, whisks, and ladles). This astonishes me because I know that neither of them cooks, or used to. They’ve also registered for a fancy coffee/espresso machine even though a) Thomas never once used the similar one he made us register for, and b) he should still have it since I left it when I moved out. They’ve requested enough glassware and place settings to host a state dinner. They want water goblets (goblets?) and champagne flutes. They seem to be stocking up for an aspirational life that bears no resemblance to the one they’re actually living.

Or maybe it does. Maybe this new pairing is more than the sum of the parts I once knew—or, if not more, a different version of those parts. People change. People learn to cook. People decide to make fancy cappuccino drinks at home.

There’s something ostentatious about a wedding registry. It boldly declares both that “We are a committed couple” and that “We, collectively, need stuff.” It’s like my ex and his new wife are flaunting their love in a way that’s always ticked me off about Brad and Angelina.

I know I’m being irrational. Sometimes a water goblet is just a water goblet.

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