Scanner-induced hysteria and other registry hijinks

This a public health announcement about a condition of increasing prevalence known as scanner-induced hysteria. SIH can strike, without warning, grooms and brides. The etiology is thus far unclear, but the afflicted have been known to enter a state of untempered excitement brought on by holding onto and using a scanner device, and then to fall into a state of confusion and anxiety brought on by having to use the device for its intended purpose. Other symptoms of SIH include the scanning of stupid items -- such as a birch moose

-- as well as unscannable entities, such as fiances.

[Mr. HC acts scandalized by my realization that the scanner vibrates when you successfully scan an item.  Here I am trying to scan him.]

This weekend, Mr. HC and I, along with our engaged friends R and M, went to an indescribably large Crate & Barrel in West Hartford, CT, to begin our wedding gift registry.  It was a hilariously unproductive experience.  As soon as they were handed a scanner -- literally before the sales associate had even finished describing how to use said scanner -- the menfolk disappeared.  By the time R and I found these guys, Mr. HC had already scanned in dozens of useless items, including the aforementioned birch moose.  By the time R and I finished deleting all of these useless items from the scanner and found ourselves standing in front of a giant display of seemingly identical and not-ideal silverware, we were pretty much pooped and overwhelmed.  I spent the rest of the time lounging on a fleecy daybed in the furniture section upstairs, while the rest of the team valiantly conquered the wall o' similar-looking-stuff-you-eat-on.

Two hours later, Mr. HC and I we emerged from Crate and Barrel with a list of random stuff we don't need and no real registry. SIH claimed two more victims.

I think a lot of my anxiety at Crate and Barrel had to do with the fact that Mr. HC and I don't know where we'll be living after the wedding.  He doesn't match to a medicine residency program until two weeks before our wedding, which means that we'll certainly be moving to a new place post-wedding.  But not only do we not know what our new home will look like, we don't even know the city in which it will be located.

This makes it difficult to register for items . . . and it creates a logistical nightmare about where to have gifts shipped.  Both of us live in tiny apartments crammed full of stuff, and neither of us have room for fifty boxes from Crate and Barrel.  Nor do we want to deal with having to move or ship those fifty boxes from our current home to the next.  I asked Crate and Barrel and Williams and Sonoma whether they'd be able to hold off on shipping our registry items until we moved to a new place, but neither were able to do that.

In the end, I ended up deleting all of the items off our Crate and Barrel registry, save for gift cards.  We added a few All-Clad pots and pans to the Williams and Sonoma registry, and we added some fine china to a registry at Michael C. Fina, which has a consolidated delivery program. We plan to explain our logistical difficulties on the registry page on our website as a hint to our friends and family that if they were to be so generous as to give us presents, gift cards or cash would be most welcomed.

Fellow grooms and brides who are also dealing with the logistics of moving to a new place post-wedding, could you give us some advice on how to deal with this situation?  Are there places other than Michael C. Fina that offer a consolidated delivery program or a hold on shipping?

Krista  – (November 18, 2008 at 5:03 PM)  

Oh dear ... I used to work in the housewares department at Sears. And I watched countless couples suffer from this syndrome. At that time, the disease did not yet have a name, so my coworkers and I just watched in awe/pity/amusement.

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