Do you still have well-worn stuff you acquired when you were just a young baby boomer? Syndicated writer Amy McVay Abbott of Newburgh, Indiana, sure does. And when she recently bought gifts for three family weddings, it struck her that people our age need new stuff too.

After ponying up substantial gifts for three family weddings, I realized that old married people need new stuff too. Our old stuff is worn out or garage sale fodder. I find little trace of the gifts from two showers and our own wedding 34 years ago.

Why not wedding gifts from Ace Hardware?!

We had no Ikea or Bed Bath and Beyond. We registered at the Ace Hardware store where one could purchase a toaster or snow tires. Our china cabinet features never-used wedding gifts, a beautiful Foley teacup and saucer, and pink Mayfair depression glass. On a top shelf are six crystal wine glasses and matching decanter with the manufacturer’s sticker still intact. What can I say? It’s too good to use!

The sheets and towels we received as gifts are all gone, now rags for washing cars. We’re on our third or four set of flatware and of everyday dishes, now Fiestaware.

Our parents’ friends gave us practical gifts, like sheets and measuring cups. Our friends gave us Stanley, a papier-Mache troll. Stanley met his demise on our Florida lanai when Hurricane Elena came through.

Acknowledging wedding gifts long ago.

We received 19 sets of wine glasses. Today we can’t find two that match. But that’s okay. Finding enough glasses is not usually an issue any more. We drank our lifetime quota of alcohol in our twenties, and don’t entertain much.

Wedding showers are more sophisticated today, and may involve a weekend and a bachelorette party.

Amy Abbott

We played Toiler Paper Bride at showers with our mothers and elderly aunts. Who remembers Toilet Paper Bride? Divide the shower guests into teams of four and pick someone as bride. Take a roll of toilet paper and dress the designated bride from stem to stern in White Cloud. The winner gets a wrapped spatula, which she immediately gives to the real bride.

The go-go shower drink from my era was 7-Up and Hawaiian Punch with a 7-Up ice ring made in a Jell-O mold.

I have to admit we probably have all the stuff we need, and much more. Maybe my shower can focus on practical items, like white-chocolate-covered Sheri’s Berries or Zingerman’s coffee beans.

How about mailing your gifts to me? I’ll toast you with a punch cup of 7-Up and Hawaiian Punch.


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