The [In]Convenience of Dating May 23, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Women, Dating, Relationships, Real World, GoodGuys File.
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The GoodGuys File
My friend turned to me and said, “Things are great…but you know, as usual, never easy.” Right, this isn’t a secret to any of us. Relationships are hard work, involve patience, compromise and even a little bit of arguing here and there. If this is news to you then GOOD MORNING and welcome to the home many of us like to call Earth. What bothered me about this particular conversation wasn’t that sentance…but it was the fact that I had heard this before.
Relationships aren’t easy, but they aren’t hard either. Anyone who is in a successful relationship knows that, for the most part, it came together on its own. Sure, there were struggles and obstacles and maybe some logistical head bumps, but when a relationship starts out difficult, there’s little on its side to just become smooth sailing one of these days. The point is, relationships are a lot of work, but they’re work, not frustration.
It seemed to be the month of contradiction in DLIH world. When it wasn’t one friend just trying to make her relationship work it was another convincing herself that the relationship she was in was working. Here’s some food for thought, when you’re out and you see someone your attracted to, it’s okay to smile about it, maybe tell your friends, and even get them to notice you to fuel your “I’m in a relationship and people still want me!” tank. Then, you remember the great individual who’s at home waiting for you, or in the bathroom, or still at work and you know that no matter how hot or cute or sweet that human over there is, they’re nothing compared to what you’ve already got, and you stop. So, what happens when you don’t stop? When you initiate conversation? Maybe give them your phone number? The entire time convinced that you’re only going to be friends? It’s not cheating, but it should be enough to make you stop and evaluate how happy you are in the relationship. Those who have everything they need may wander for curiosity, but they don’t stray far because they know that what they have, can’t be found elsewhere. Perhaps waking up each morning and telling yourself the relationship you’re in is “successful” isn’t really working.
When you meet the right person (and by right, we mean, right for one another), things are seamless. No matter what road you take, or how you get from “Hi” to “Let’s move in together”, the process isn’t something you have to force, or convince yourself of. Trust your gut, in today’s high pressure society, not being single by a certain age or even being engaged makes people force themselves into situation where they need to remind themselves of happiness. Giving Baywatch Babe your number doesn’t prove your secure…it shows how unhappy you must be feeling. Likewise, if you and your partner of four months still haven’t managed to see each other more than once every two weeks, maybe it’s time to have that conversation about “right person, wrong time?”.
Yes, DLIH has not completely lost its grasp on romance and of course, if you’ve met the love of your life, fight! Fight like it’s the last thing you’ll do; Fight for them like nothing else even matters, but when someone can’t commit to you, make time for you, support or encourage you, see you or you can’t do those things for them, then you’re not fighting for love but for the convenience of dating someone you happen to like. There’s a reason they call it happily ever after, because after the storm, the skies are blue…if all you’re ever getting is patches of sunlight, maybe it’s time to make some changes, or just one big one. Dating isn’t just about convenience, it’s about being with someone who fuels you and lets your take care of them. Sometimes, it’s just logistics getting in the way, but sometimes, it’s something greater.
The Betrayal of Hypocrisy May 19, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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Something happened between “I’m on your side” and “Hey! Check me out! I’m half-way across the globe!”, or at least that’s what it feels like when your closest friend becomes your most well know hypocrite. Over the last few weeks, there has been a reoccurring theme in my life of people saying one thing and then doing the other. I, myself, have had a difficult time dealing with it and understanding my own feelings, so I knew I couldn’t be the only one. What’s the right reaction? What’s the best way to deal with it? Do you call people out, or do you stay quiet? There are some moments in life you aren’t prepared for, and this is one of them.
Perhaps your best friend said she’d never take a job that demeaned her as a women, and then took an assistant position where her employer harasses her but she won’t leave because of the “promotion” she was promised. Maybe your best friend keeps ditching you for his or her boyfriend of three months, something they vowed to never do. Or maybe, after years of being a career driven, straight-A student, your sibling is suddenly in a band with purple hair. On one hand, you want to protect them and keep their best interests at heart, you want them to be happy and if this new road makes them happy then that should be okay. On the other hand, you’re screaming on the inside “What the &%#&*$( !?” You spent so much time bonding over your lives, how you want to do things, and what you believe is wrong or right, now it seems like “I would never throw away my college education to be a housewife” has become china patterns and Pampers.
Maybe the betrayal you’re feeling isn’t directed towards you. When you’re sitting in a coffee shop discussing how crazy it is that your mutual friend is ignoring you because of a guy or has suddenly taken up brand shopping and alcohol to fit into her new crowd, you feel like this person is on your side. When, six months later, they’re doing the exact thing they chastised someone else about, what are you really supposed to think? Perhaps, the person they were chastising was you? Were you being scolded for not cleaning the apartment enough? Spending too much time with other friends? Going out too much? Are you now staring at a person who is doing exactly what they yelled at you about?
We’ve all been there, we all know that feeling; it starts with confusion, moves into anger and ends with hurt and most of all there’s no right answer on how to handle it. It seems like when people are being hypocritical they don’t know it. Either your calm, sit-down conversation will help them see the bigger picture or it’ll make them defensive and probably insulted by your accusations, and there’s no way to know how they’ll react. So, how do you face it?
Number 1, let it go. If what they’re doing isn’t directly hurting you or others, and it’s not illegal or morally wrong, try to get past it as best you can, forget about it and move forward.
Number 2, find it in your heart to be happy for them. So what if your on-the-road-to-becoming-CEO boyfriend just quit his job to be in a band, he’s either going through something or was really unhappy. No matter how slighted you may feel, address the pros and cons within yourself and find the space in which you can be happy for them.
Number 3, address it. If you’re really feeling hurt or feel that these actions are wrong, find a way to confront the hypocrite. You can bring it up as a joke to segue into a conversation, you can use the “can we talk” opener, or you can write them a non-passive aggressive e-mail telling them how it makes you feel.
Know if it’s worth it, is jeopardizing your friendship more, or causing yourself further stress worth it? If it’s not…let it go, if they do it again, ask yourself if this new, changing individual is someone you still want in your life. There’s no right answer and there’s no right way, but at least there’s a touch less of confusion and a little bit of hope that the way you’re feeling today won’t last forever.
Fuel Your Own Happiness May 14, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Are you happy?
Don’t we ask ourselves this all the time? It seems that no matter how happy we think we are, there’s always something else we need to obtain, reach, strive for, need. Can we really be happy at a single point in our lives? We believe that if we aren’t happy today, we’ll be happy some day. A friend once told me that her thirties were the best time of her life, that her twenties were a work in progress and her thirties were her time to finally start living her life. It’s all objective, everyone goes through different experiences and battles to make a certain point in their life better or worse, but it’s safe to say that we all look to the future thinking “when this happens, I’ll be happy”.
There’s an article in the Huffington Post, by Paula Davis-Laack, that’s all about happy people. It’s not a recipe for how to be happy and it’s not a step-by-step on how to stay happy, but rather an insight into why happy people are happy and not just for today or in the future, but all the time. It’s the way happy people live their lives to be happy and remain happy and why their tactics work.
It feels like it’s impossible to be completely fulfilled in your twenties, there’s so much stress, so much to worry about, and if all that isn’t enough, your student loan bill keeps coming. Guys keep not calling you, girls keep calling you, your parents keep trying to send you money or practically don’t exist as far as your concerned and the moment you think you’ve finally found your dream job, it turns out your boss is a [insert favorite profanity here]. They expect us to be happy?! What we’re trying to say is maybe, none of that matters. Yes, it all occurs and it’s real and it matters in that moment, but maybe it doesn’t REALLY matter. Happiness is about fulfilling who you are on the inside, living up to your potential, and surrounding yourself with positive, even if positive can’t happen this very minute. Happy is the bigger picture.
Here’s how those happy people do it:
Happy people have strong social environments. Strong does not equal many, it means quality over quantity. You can have one good friend, or a strong family, or be open to meeting new people. It doesn’t mean everyone needs to be your best bud, who hand you tissues as you cry, it simply means you’ve got people who bring out the good in you and make you laugh. Genuine.
Happy people are nice. They say please, thank you, hold doors and help with bags. They have gratitude to those around them and understand that when times are tough, they’re only going to be tough for a little while. They look back at their life experiences as beneficial and look at their accomplishments proudly, but modestly.
Happy people don’t focus on what they have or don’t have, to them, materialism isn’t happiness. Sure, it’s nice to have fancy things, go on lavish trips and be able to give expensive gifts, but it’s the smallest part of who you are and how happy you can be. Happy people focus on being happy without objects and money, they know they could still be happy if all they had disappeared.
Happy people exercise, they eat heathy and focus on their well-being. Happy people are religious, and that doesn’t mean going to church, or have a batmitzvah, religion can be anything you need it to be. Faith in fate, faith in humanity, or just holding your friend’s hands and sitting quietly.
Happy people have direction; and when they don’t, they strive to find it in the most positive way possible.
Being happy isn’t easy…but being happy isn’t hard either. Read more about what happy people do differently and how they’re able to fuel their own happiness. And then…eat some chocolate cake and laugh, because I don’t know anyone who can be sad around desert and a dancing cat.
Friends Are Like Melons… May 9, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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After twenty-something years of life, many can tell you I’ve handled more friendship battles than a fair share of people. Some might even call me an expert in the game. It’s not that I have trouble making friends, or keeping them, or having too many, it’s that I’ve only now began to understand how different my relationships with other people can be and will be, and how to accept that. The toughest part in my journey was learning that people change, and that sometimes it’s okay.
When you become good friends with some, there’s a very unrealistic expectation that things will always be the same. Friendships aren’t like relationships were you analyze and over analyze, you just figure that what you have will be forever because, you just don’t think about it. In a way, this simplistic outlook is best, just riding the wave. Some of us have an idea that there’s a chance one day our friendship with this person will change but we don’t think about it too often, and for others it’s even a weird thought, that one day you and Person B just won’t be hanging out anymore. The sad truth is that people change and life changes and sometimes the people we were closest too just disappear.
Friendships often become brick walls, where there’s no getting through to them. No matter what you say, do, or don’t do, they refuse to see your side of it or just continue this new behavior…but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to them. Your job is to be a good friend, and being a good friend means being honest and understanding that we all have our moments. If they need to learn it the hard way, or their own way, you can’t change that. Maybe letting go now will save your friendship down the line and you’ll be able to reconnect because you didn’t force it. However, with many friendships, once it reaches that wall, you’ve got no choice but to let it play out. Friendships end, it’s just a reality of life, and it’s okay to accept that, even if it’s hurtful. It’s also okay to have a new kind of friendship. I’m proud to say that one of my closest friends is someone I rarely talk to and never get to see but we are supportive of each other and always think of each other and when we need one another, the other is always there. Sometimes people who were your best friends stop being your everyday hangout and become a secondary friend, someone you see once a month or a few times a year. That doesn’t make your friendship bad, wrong, or invalid. How come we can change, as individuals, but as we grow but our friendships can’t? It’s okay to keep riding the wave, even when it becomes just a little bump in the water.
The thing about friendships changing is that you have to decide how you’re going to handle it. You can let it run its course, you can fight for it, or you can let it go. Sometimes the best decisions are the toughest. Just remember that life is unexpected and even though your friendship may be changing, you never know how this person will affect your life again one day. You’ve always got your history to remember and the future to look forward to.
Intro To…The Dreaded Wedding Speech May 6, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Friendships, How To, Humor, Intro To, Relationships.
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Last summer my sister asked me to give a congratulatory speech at her wedding. It was a request that
I honestly forgot about until the day before was, at the same time, honored and feared. When I was going through the process I wanted to stay true to myself so I tried to keep the mood light. The majority of the development took place in my head; I had no interest in altering a speech from the internet. If you’re really busy, like I was, having trouble figuring out where to start, those databases are the easy way out a good way to see what other people have done, what their tone was, etcetera. Just don’t forget that the couple wants to hear from you, if they wanted to hear from someone else, they would have asked someone else. Remember, though, this doesn’t have to be the Gettysburg Address. I tried to think of how my sister had changed now that she was getting married. Her entire life she had just been my mean older sister. I thought of how all of a sudden she was happy all the time. Over time, I realized these were aspects I could draw from. This perspective would be a bit deprecating to my sister (that’s expected from her little brother, right?), but would show how her wife had made her a happier person. It would allow me to toss a couple jokes into the mix, as I am known to do, and would strike home with everyone that knew my sister when she was younger. Remembering how she used to be, everyone could then think about their own personal moment. That time when my sister made them chuckle. When she made them shake their head, or when she made them break down on the floor in fits of laughter. That time she got drunk and smacked the mailing list out of the girl’s hand at that concert. I wanted to tie in her life as it was – into her life as it is, and will be.
This was where I began to speak of my relationship with my sister-in-law. This was more-so spoken to her than to everyone else. A couple of days
the day before heading upstate to start wedding activities, I took out a pad and began to put my thoughts on paper. I tried to think as if I was just talking to a couple of friends about why I was excited to see my sister getting married. Hell, I had been gushing about it for months anyway, I was an old pro at it by now. I ended up tossing a couple of iterations before coming up with something I liked. It was light, excited, and short. I hate long-winded speeches when I’m waiting to get drunk congratulate the newlyweds. I made sure to remind people why we were there and ended it with an invitation to drink. A few laughs, the clinking of glass, and a walk back to my seat and it was over.
In all, it ended up being successful because I spoke from my heart and tried to stay true to who I was. And I kept it short. There’s nothing worse than having to pretend to like someone’s boring speech as they drone on for 10 minutes.
Your First…Everything April 23, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, GoodGuys File, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Relationships, Women.
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The GoodGuys File
So you’ve met this person and they’re the most incredible person on the face of the earth, or at least you think so, and the best part is, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks because they only want to date you! Cue confetti and marching band!!!! You did it!!! We’re so proud of you…or something like that. Congratulations. The end.
Com’on…did you really think all you DLIHers were going to get off that easy? Whether we want to recognize it or not, meeting the right person at the right time does feel very much like a parade in your entire body, complete with fireworks and a chocolate fountain. There’s no denying those first few weeks are glorious and they may even have you thinking “Is this?…is there a possibility…this is The One?” While learning about your new date is one of the best parts about being with them, it can also be one of the scariest. Sometimes the people we date make us really question what’s important to us in life and how certain things may change the course or, all together, end your compatible relationship.
“You’re my first girlfriend”…more chances than not, we’ve all heard that before and more chances than not, we found those four little words a lot more pressure ridden than sweet. Seventy years ago, having only dated one or possibly two was the norm and how people went about it, but in our progressive society getting married after only being with a single person is becoming rarer everyday. Without encouraging our readers to become call girls, it’s definitely important to understand that a GoodGuy might not always be the best guy for you. It’s all about personal preference.
I recently met someone who married an individual who had never slept with someone prior to her, she was his first and his last. When I asked her how she felt about it, she said it didn’t matter to her, when I asked others the same question, some were indifferent while others fired off shock like canon balls. It can be a lot of pressure to be someone’s first- whether they’re your first time, first love, first serious relationship or first partner of a certain gender.
For most, pressure wasn’t the main concern, it was the idea of falling in love for the wrong reasons. We all remember our first real relationship, the rush we got, how certain we were this love was our last…and then we grew up and we learned what love really is and looking back we found our experiences endearing rather than passionate, and naive as opposed to mature. It’s not bad to wonder if being someone’s first means being their fairytale instead of their future. For many of us, having our heart broken is what teaches us what we want in a partner, how we want our relationship to be, and most of all, makes us understand what love is. There is nothing wrong if you don’t want to be with a guy (or a girl), who has never really dated anyone seriously…it can be difficult to share something deep and passionate with someone who’s never felt the hurt of heartache.
The point of the GoodGuys File isn’t to tell you who to date, how to date, or to change your mind about relationships, it’s only goal is to help you grow in your dating, like a good friend. So like a good friend, we’re telling you to be careful. Be fun, be light-hearted, take risks and find love, but be smart about who you date and don’t deny the things that are important to you. Perhaps being someone’s first doesn’t scare you at all, but being someone’s tenth does. You may be one of those people that wants to marry their first, and be with someone who shares those beliefs, and that’s fine too. We are all raised with certain ideals and morals and no relationship should ever challenge you to change what is most important to you. Be open-minded to the new outlooks relationships may give you but also remember that your gut instinct is your most useful tool when dating, and once the sirens go off, start listening to them. Allow your significant other to broaden your mind and help you create new experiences but don’t let them change who you are and what’s valuable to you in relationships.
Food and Drink at Any Corner April 18, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Dating, Food/Dining, Review, Traveling, Weekend with DLIH.
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Maybe you’re looking for a way out of the norm, maybe your weekends have become consumed with sitting on the couch and ordering pizza, or maybe you’re on your way to a New York adventure and trying to hit the hot spots, without getting lost on the subway. DLIH had its only little weekend adventure a few weeks ago and discovered some amazing locations, all over the city.
Upon waking, do as the New Yorkers do – Brunch! It’s a great idea, until you try to figure out where to go; talk about death by options! No fear my little poached eggs, I’ve got the go to spot for you, Cafe Cluny in the West Village. Conveniently located near West 4th and 14th Street, this tasty treasure, while at first appearing quite small, is a spacious two room setup with plenty of tables and a menu to match. Be prepared for a wait, since this spot is popular, but don’t fret, there’s enough room for everyone. The wait staff was exceptionally friendly and the decor is calming and beautiful but most of all, BAM! The menu was delicious. It was the perfect brunch taste, a perfect blend of breakfast and lunch and a cozy place to escape the world for a few hours.
Get ready for a trip to in SoHo, The Dutch, located on Prince Street is a labyrinth of rooms and tastes. The menu might lead you to save this place for a special occasion but I guarantee the YUM is worth every penny. This classy, american style bistro-esque restaurant is all about fresh foods, organic produce and great flavors. When you first walk in, you understand why you needed a reservation, until the journey to the dining room begins, the restaurant spans a third of the block and seats comfortably at large booths or tables. The appetizers are heavenly and the entrees are small enough to excuse the appetizer but large enough to be filing. It’s a “let your waiter pour your wine” kinda place, so be prepared to be taken care of, sit back, and enjoy.
Out on the town but not trying find famous people in Meatpacking? Gotcha, our celebrity days are long gone too, luckily the Upper West Side offers a good selection of bars that aren’t too hip but not dive either. A random find was 5 Lamps Tavern, near 103 and Broadway. Named for its street lamp with five beautiful lights, this wooden adorned bar is spacious and offers both food and drink. It has TV’s for sports lovers but doesn’t command the sports bar feel. At night, the dim lighting can offer a good casual date spot and, despite it’s proximity to Columbia, doesn’t give off a college-y feel. A good “pop-in spontaneously” or a place to plan a get together.
Chitter-Chatter April 12, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Relationships, Women.
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Most recently, I began a novel about four women who find their similarities in life through their diversity. While I haven’t gotten to the meat of the plot yet, there is a distaste in this particular book that, while isn’t pleasant as a read, seems to be very realistic. The four women in this book constantly discuss how disappointing, annoying or wrong their husbands are. While it’s normal for girl talk to turn into gossip, there’s a culture of women out there who think this kind of “bashing” is okay. The saddest part is, for those of us who don’t understand it, it makes us feel left out of the circle and outside of the group.
Last summer, I was sitting in a room full of girls I was having some trouble bonding with. We began talking about our boyfriends, and then one told a story of how horrid her boyfriend had been the night before. This was a catalyst to some kind of around-the-room forum about the worst thing our boyfriends had done. It went from lying to cheating to not wanting to be intimate, to the fights they recently had and stupidity on their part by not wanting to clean or not wanting to go out. When a silence fell over the room, I knew it was my turn. Here was the problem, I really like my boyfriend, actually, I love my boyfriend. He’s my absolute best friend and when we have a problem or disagreement, we talk about it and we don’t really mention it to anyone else in detail. So, here I was, trying to be accepted into this group of girls who liked expensive handbags and modeling and the color pink, all things I did not have in common with them. So I opened my mouth, in the same tone as they had all used and I said, “Ugh, my boyfriend, he’s ridiculous…he really wanted the free giveaway at a baseball game, so he came two hours early to wait in line. Oh my God. He’s so dumb”. Yes, even coming out it sounded so boring compared to everyone else’s stories, and as you can image, got little response.
What is the phenomenon that makes people, women especially, degrade themselves to fit in? And why does it need to involve lowering other people? This isn’t just boy-toys that it’s a real problem with. People who talk to you about other people are probably talking to other people about you.
A close friend of mine lost her best friend about a year ago. Her best friend met a guy, fell in love, and suddenly didn’t have time to be a best friend anymore. While it sounds sad, the worst part was, she blamed my friend for ruining the friendship. At that moment, my friend realized that all those times they had gossiped about other people were hurtful to those people, even if they didn’t know…becuase now, she was sure that she was being talked about by someone she once considered family.
Another experience from the pages of my own book; rather recently, I was stuck between a rock a hard place. The rock being a comment made by one co-worker, and the hard place being the loyalty I had to the co-worker being discussed. While people may not like your clothes, your voice, your eating habits, it’s quite a different story when they’re discussing your professional reputation. When information was revealed to me, I stuck up for my friend and her reputation in the office, I also confronted her about it, in private, later, knowing that this could end my friendship with the colleague who had insulted her. What I didn’t realize until later, was that my action was not the one that could end a friendship, but the action of the person talking about others in a negative light. Whether you’re trying to fit in, be cool, or just blow off steam, don’t put people in a position where they feel uncomfortable. Friends should not corner friends into being on their side in gossip. It’s wrong.
….so why does society say it’s not? We all have our moments; we all need to vent; and when someone hurts us, or our friends, we want to do nothing more than talk about them till the sun comes up. Still, these reasons aren’t the kind that make us look better in someone’s eyes. They aren’t a validation of people, a person other’s want to hang out with. Not all of us are gossipers and believe that it’s okay to talk dirt about other people. I’m proud that neither myself, nor those I associate with, are those kinds of people. However, for those that are…it’s okay. The best part about life is finding ways to improve it, make yourself better and grow. We’re human and we make mistakes but because we are human we have this incredible ability to change who we are and how other’s perceive us. We have an innate talent to form our own futures! It’s an incredible gift so whenever you’re at fault admit it!…and be proud to say that you took something broken about yourself, and mended it. If anything, that is what makes you cool, confident and charismatic! The best qualities come from positive energy…so use that to attract those around you and know that the people you call your friends, are attracting you for the very same reason.
Always a Bridesmaid…Never a Millionaire? April 7, 2013Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Shopping.
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One of the most exciting things about being in our twenties and thirties is seeing how people form relationships and then, eventually, get married. For most of our adolescent lives, we imagine or perhaps pretend about what it will be like to meet the right person and get married, and it’s so surreal when your friends start doing it. It’s a jolt of “I’m grown up?!” and it’s exciting and fun and gives us an excuse to dress pretty and party, in a very adult way. What’s not so awesome about these beautiful moments…is that while we’re congratulating our best friends with their nuptials, we’re also just trying to get our career on track, make good choices, and pay the rent. So, perhaps getting the e-mail with the registry link isn’t as exciting when you realize everything on it is upwards of $50, and half of the stuff you’ve never even heard of before.
Why does some need 7 different sizes of teflon pans? I couldn’t tell you, but when you get married you can choose 15 different types of towels and no one will look at you sideways. In all seriousness, it is incredibly difficult to find the right gift when all the cheap stuff is accounted for and you’ve already busted all your money on the airline ticket to actually be at the wedding. As someone who’s been in your shoes and will probably continue to be far past even my own wedding, I’ve got the resolution to your predicament.
Step 1, there are two types of wedding invites. There are the kind that are your best friends, close counterparts and people who simply want you there to share their day. The second kind of invite is the, “I’m inviting you and everyone I met to my big party!”. If yours is of the first variety, take a deep breath. People who want you at their wedding to share their day aren’t looking for you to buy them the world and beyond. However, you still have to get them something, it’s only appropriate and part of being a wedding guest. When you look at their registry, get them the cheapest thing that’s still available, even if it’s a single glass. Then include a gift card for the same store with a cute message like “Now you can get this lonely wine glass a friend” or “For whatever else your heart’s desire!”. If the store’s merchandise is just way past your price point, get the gift certificate alone or branch off and give your own gift, something you’re comfortable with. Newlyweds generally ask for things they need, not want, so think of things that everyone needs – mugs, towels, beautiful frames or extremely practical things like gift cards to Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other similar stores. If you’re very close, get them something personal that might make them laugh or cry (happy tears of course!). The gift will be a kind gesture, but the real present will be your presence next to the altar.
For those wedding invites that are simply a courtesy, gifts are definitely a requirement. There’s no way around it. You can charge it, and pay it off, or you can politely decline the invite if you haven’t made travel arrangements yet. Many couples, nowadays, do a Honey-Fund which is a paypal type account where you can donate money towards their Honey Moon. Cash donations are easy because you can set your own amount, but keep in mind, these people probably paid around $100 for the dinner and drinks you’re going to consume, so, try to stay above the $40-$50 mark. If you have friends going to the same celebration, team up, since you’re not especially close to this couple, it’ll be easier to buy an expensive gift with a friend or two than all of you trying to manage it on your own. Chances are, the happy couple will appreciate one high-end blender, more than three different silver services.
For some people, the challenge isn’t buying the gift, it’s being in the wedding party. One of the largest honors of your life is happening and you’re just struggling to keep up. Between the dress or tux, bachelor or bachelorette party, wedding shower and then the gift, you’re swimming in something other than cash. When being asked to be in someone’s wedding, it’s okay to say “I’m honored, and I would love to! But I’m a little short on finances right now and I don’t want that to get in the way of the fun.” If this person is a close friend, they’ll only assure you that whatever financial constraint you’re dealing with won’t affect how special it will be for them to be in your wedding. Reiterate this to the maid of honor or best man, the person who will be planning most the events. If you’re up front from the beginning, they can’t get mad at you later down the road when you say you’re not quite prepared to drop $300 on one night of partying. Now, if you’re dealing with a bridezilla or a best man who just won’t give, this experience may not be what you “bargained” for and you’re going to have to suck it up and deal or confront the bride/groom directly. Hopefully, whoever you talk to will understand and simply be thankful that you’re there.
So marry-on you couples in love! And invite your friends to your glorious parties, but don’t forget to be gentle on them! One day, you’re going to be the guest who’s a little short at the cash bar, and you’re going to need that benefit of the doubt in return.