High and Dry: Life Without a Shower

The reason I posted about moving out is because of a link to a post that The Jolly Green Midget sent me. The post is about how married people get gifts and single people don’t. Just think about it: engagement party, wedding gift, baby shower… we spend on married people constantly. And what do single people get? A thank you card afterwards.  If we’re lucky.

The post, methinks, is a tad whiny. If you gave birth while single, I’m sure you’d be entitled to a baby shower. And seriously, a divorce party? How many of those are there, really? But I can’t help but wonder if the author doesn’t have a point about whole engagement party thing. Okay yeah: I’m jealous.

Because let’s face it: what can match the sheer joy of ripping the wrapping paper off a Kitchen Aide of your very own? Are single people never to experience this exhilaration?

And I was also thinking that if I’m going to move out, I need stuff. Even if you plan to camp in an empty apartment, you need a sleeping bag. Or an air mattress. You need something. When friends got married, we all chipped in to get them the things they needed to start their own household. But when single people move out their friends just offer to drop by and eat cake at the housewarming.

I tallied up the household goods I’ve accumulated over the years. I have:

One pot

One pan

One spatula

One bowl

Two knives

Two food-storage containers

One microwave

One iron

I’m not in such bad shape. With a pot and pan spatula and bowl and knife I can make and serve most things, in one form or another. The lack of fork and spoon might be an issue, so I’ll have to stick with finger food. I can reheat things in the microwave, make grill-cheese sandwiches with the iron, which I can also use to rearrange the creases in my shirts to more acceptable patterns. What more can a person need?

I can think of two things:

Potato kugel

A couch (or bed)

The couch nobody ever gets at a wedding shower. But the food processor with the vaunted kugel blade is a standard item for engaged folk. And yet, because I’m single, I’m doomed to face life alone, without even potato kugel as comfort, at least until my first paycheck comes in. (The furniture can wait ‘til the second paycheck. I do have my priorities straight, you know.)

Someone suggested I throw myself a goodbye party and hint that gifts are accepted. It’s a good idea, but yeuch. I can’t imagine throwing a party for gifts.  I had never even heard of the concept until my third annual Chanukah party, in 5th grade, when the mother of a new kid in the class sent her along with a present. I was puzzled at first, then a little insulted. How dare her mother insinuate that I’d throw the party for material gain. As if. I still think the idea is obnoxious.

The truth is, I don’t actually want to schnorr off my friends. I just want to complain about the injustice of it all.

Now someone explain why I’m wrong.

12 thoughts on “High and Dry: Life Without a Shower

  1. There’s always housewarming parties…. Just put on the invite “registered at Crate and Barrel.”

    … and watch no one show up.

  2. I decided when I was 21 that I did not want to be looking at nice Jewish boys through the lens of “Would YOU be my ticket to a Kitchen Aide?” So I used one of my first paychecks to buy the Kitchen Aid (on sale, of course). Met the husband 3 years later.

  3. Oooh, Chana, your mother got you the Corelle Chutney Set! I had my eye on that pattern.

    My mother is like Chana’s; she sees a pot on sale, she buys it for my trousseau. I don’t mind; it’s in the attic, safe for future use. I feel even zealously protective of my merchandise, as my sister purloined my milchig pot set. My mother promptly replaced it, but for now my sister is referred to as “The Pot Thief.”

    In terms of the injustice, true. But also keep in mind that throwing a party has some expenses in itself, so probably in terms of material gain it is a wash.

    I like to buy my own shiny toys. The Kitchen-Aid stand mixer comes in so many awesome colors, plus there are decal sets you can buy to make them fiery like a Harley. Hee hee.

  4. My mom bought me one or 2 things as gifts when I moved out, but nothing close to what engaged couples get. I did throw a housewarming party (not for gifts) and also got some small little things. My grandmother had bought me a set of pots as soon as I came home from seminary. I think she thought I was going to get married right away, even though I wasn’t even dating. But I took those with me when I moved into my own place. And Mom bought me a kitchen aid shortly after I started dating, as well. She knew I would want one and I guess it was on sale. I took that with me, too, and I love using it. Everything else I bought myself. I love to cook and host so I have lots of kitchen gadgets, dishes, etc.
    It’s worth it to be happy if that’s what you enjoy.

    But this is a huge beef that I have. I have spent countless thousands of dollars on bridal showers since I was 19. I’m not even friends with most of those girls anymore, and they will not be invited to my wedding.

  5. Lots of places sell potato kugel. Food processors are generally overrated – they are a pain to clean.

  6. Married over a year and still no food processor (and you’re ahead of me with the microwave. But I have dishes. Nyah nyah.) I’m doing fine, thanks. If you invite me to the housewarming, I can probably spring for a grater suitable for potato kugel et al.

    It’s not so much a matter of injustice. The reason single people don’t get showered with household items is that everyone is anticipating their imminent engagement, whereupon they will throw a bridal shower. It would make more sense to just shower each other at whichever point in time one moves out, but some people forget each other until they get a wedding invitation. C’est la vie. I guess it’s also easier to keep track that way. (“Bridal shower for Bad4? Didn’t we just make her a dormwarming party? Wait no, that was Bad3. Bad4 had a job-seeking goodbye bash.”)

    If we’re going to whine, though, I do think those who marry later get the short end of the stick. The first few out of seminary get a big party by a bunch of bored teenagers who have their first paychecks ever burning holes in their pockets. The rest get whoever’s husband/kids/job can spare them that night, if they’ve even gotten their acts together enough to pick a night, and you can forget about them getting together to shop around for you.

  7. I said this when I moved to the Heights two years ago. But I think this is the wrong attitude. The logic should not begin with registering and saying “I want.” It’s not like people say, “I want new stuff! I should get engaged.” People wish to get things for their friends and/or family who are getting married, but they don’t always know what to get. Thus, registering becomes useful, because then people get you things you pick out instead of having to guess. It makes it easier for everybody. And I think it’s only a Jewish thing that people only register for engagements. If you go onto Bed Bath and Beyond, this is the list you can choose from to create a new registry: wedding, commitment ceremony, anniversary, housewarming, college, birthday, retirement, other. So you see, it doesn’t HAVE to be something only engaged people do.

  8. What’s wrong with a hand grater? No food processor still by me- but we only make potato kugel on Pesach 😀

    On the KitchenAid issue- even if they do buy you one for housewarming or marriage- it may not be the one you like. I splurged to get the Professional one 😀

  9. You hand grate potato kugel? I like mine to be perfectly white inside. I can’t imagine getting it done fast enough with a hand grater. So keep it, Bas~Melech.

    What’s the difference between a regular and pro Kitchen Aide? Larger bowl?

    Erachet – I still wouldn’t feel right registering. I don’t know why. It seems greedy, I guess.

  10. Hey, I never had a bridal shower either!
    Once we’re bending the “rules,” can I have one too?
    While I’m at it, maybe I can make some baby showers for my kids also!
    I still don’t have a mixer, I recently bought a schlocky food processor, and most of our furniture is (gasp!) second hand.
    I did get one horribly ugly set of red cutlery for 2 with the $2.99 Marshall’s tag still attached. I can re-gift that one to you if you’d like… 🙂

  11. I can handgrate an amazing potato kugel with the whitest insides you have ever seen. It’s an art and most people tell me they have never tasted a better potato kugel. I learned from the best! I am sure Bas Melech knows whereof she speaks! But I am not concerned, that leaves so much more delicious potato kugel for me to eat!

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