Real life Tuesday is all about the "stuff" of life. Stuff is a big part of getting married. You return home from the honeymoon to a house-full or car-full of mailbox-full of boxes, cards, packages -- all filled with stuff. As we waltzed through Crate & Barrel or Bed Bath & Beyond with our list and scanner wand, it seemed we needed all of these things.
Then, overwhelmed by styrofoam and wadded paper packing materials, we realize that oodles of glasses for every occasion are not really needs. They're things and expectations, like the mums and pumpkins I recently balked at.
It dawned on me, reading another blog's post about being a wife, that "stuff" and having it is another part of what changes when two people become partners. You see, until about a year ago (when cohabitation officially began), I was a young, 20-something nomad. I owned very few things. Those things were: hand-me-down dishes, worn pots and pans, discount sofa and chair, photos, and relics collected from college life, childhood, knick-nack gifts, and a few prints from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Impressive, yes. Worth? Only on a personal level.
What changed after all the packing material cleared away? Well, for instance, we've been throwing bickers back and forth about coffee mugs. Thanks to generous loved ones, we have 12 ivory, ceramic mugs. They were hitchhikers -- piece 5 in our cream-colored, everyday, porcelain placesettings (pictured above).
I think there is an implication in marriage of readiness to be weighed down by things, readiness to settle down. That's something I didn't really consider while waving the wand through the aisles of Crate & Barrel like I used to circle toys in the JCPenney catalog.
The immensity of settling down into life has slowly been settling itself into the pores of our life together. We own a house. We own 12 pretty matching mugs and 16 wine goblets and Calphalon spatulas. We needed a lot of these items to fill up our home. We own wedding bands. We wanted these to show our commitment. We own a permanent relationship. That's more commitment than a 30-year mortgage. I think it must be normal to have an ah-ha moment about all this a few months into marriage.
Yet, there is more to this "stuff." If I were "scanning" items in the registry of our life together (at least for the next few years) I wouldn't need to add much: a few great vacations, a little less student loan debt. Oh, and about 1,000 extra sq. ft. to store all of our "stuff." (wink, wink!)