Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the kitchen aid conspiracy

A few weeks ago, the blog feministing highlighted an advice column from the New York Times, in which a woman who had spent lots of money over the years buying things from the wedding and baby registries of friends wondered it if would be seen as greedy or tacky to open a registry because she - a single woman - was buying her first house. The columnist told this woman that it would indeed be greedy and tacky to do such a thing, and she should basically suck it up, make do with second hand kitchen ware, and be as humble a friend as possible. The blogger writing about this exchange made the following observation: "Why is it that marriage and reproduction are the only things worthy of gifts to help loved ones settle into their adult lives?"

Why, indeed? I know that y'all are probably tired of my confused rants on marriage and my largely underdeveloped reasons for holding off on that particular institution, so I won't rehash here. I will say, however, that this whole hierarchy of status can be symbolized by one thing: The Kitchen Aid Mixer.


Looks innocent, doesn't it? Shiny and colorful. Hip yet useful. And ridiculously expensive. The Kitchen Aid Mixer is decadent, and something that no single guy or gal could easily purchase. Think about it. How many of you have bought one of these beauties for yourself, with your own hard earned money? A few, maybe, but I would wager to say that most people - myself included - resign themselves to wooden spoons and mismatched bowls for now, writing off the Kitchen Aid Mixer as "something to put on my registry... one day."

As far as symbols go, it's pretty powerful. I've been in the homes of many a married couple and eyed the Kitchen Aid Mixer displayed on their counters with jealousy and lust. Sometimes I bemoan the fact that most my friends have nicer things than me simply because they got married, and were able to replace just about everything in their homes at once. Not to imply that people get married simply for the stuff - I realize the stuff is just a perk. But it's a perk that I don't get, not now and maybe not ever. And so it comes full circle, this vicious little cycle, this conspiracy that won't stop parading it's shiny mixers and attachments in front of my face. Because if I'm already in a stable and loving relationship, why not just suck it up and get married? We would have stuff! We would have nice things! WE WOULD HAVE A KITCHEN AID MIXER!

Marriage begets perks. Perks beget marriage. And on and on we go, until I can't remember what came first - love, or the Kitchen Aid Mixer. Does it matter? Yes. Maybe. I don't know. I'm too distracted by the shiny appliances to think straight.

Also, I like the green mixer best. Just in case, you know?

14 comments:

  1. I like the red one, I like things that match my hair, even kitchen appliances!

    I think wedding registries are a bit out-dated to be honest. I think couples should have one gift registry when they move in together. For some, this would of course be after the wedding, but these days there are so many couples who haven't got a clue what to put on the list, since they've been living together for years and have already saved up and bought all the applicances they need!

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  2. I know what you mean! Nathan and I have been living together for four years now, and we are pretty much set. If we do decide to get married, we'd probably have to think of some kind of alternative. (As long as the Kitchen Aid Mixer was involved, of course!)

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  3. we joke about getting married for the gifts, too. though we'd love to get some money to buy land out of the deal instead of appliances. but somehow "help us buy property" seems even greedier than "give us thousands of dollars worth of stuff we'll hardly use". damn.

    -finn

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  4. How would, "Help us pay off massive student loan debt" sound on a wedding invite? Hm...

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  5. We registered for a KitchenAid mixer and did not get one. So just because you get married does not mean you get all the perks. LOL

    I am soooo lusting over the mixer, although I highly doubt I will be getting it for Xmas. Maybe I will be good and save up and get it for myself for my birthday.

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  6. When we got married, I inherited my aunt's 1954 model mixmaster. It had beautiful teal bowls and a teal frame. It now grinds and groans, and sometimes refuses to mix even the most simple box cake..I too am smitten with the kitchen aid, but my money would be on a Bosch mixer.. wowza..

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  7. i like the blue one...but alas, i'm using an old hand-mixer that was my mimi's. but i don't really bake much, so what do i care? (although if i had that sparkly purty thing sitting in my kitchen, maybe i would....)

    also: i was pretty clueless about registering when i got married. what the hell do i need this china and crystal for? i wish someone would have intervened...directed me to more practical things....like powder-blue mixers...

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  8. Oh, CUTE! I love the eggshell blue one.. :D

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  9. totally with you on this one. It really gets to me nowadays how many babyshower and baby birth gifts I'm gifting. And sad as it is to admit, I get tired of how someone's decided there are occasions that require gifting and others that don't. Who gets to choose what's worth our loved ones celebrating in our own lives?

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  10. thanks for understanding, nomadsoul! it seems to me that if you really care about someone, any monumental occasion for them should warrant a little attention and good will. and not necessarily good will that you purchase off a registry!

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  11. I both agree and disagree with the advice columnist. First and foremost, I have always thought that all registries, for any reason, are tacky. That said, some people are terrible gift givers and they WILL give you a gift. Thank God for the registry so they'll at least give something you want. I am sure I have pissed many a married couple off though, as I usually buy something off-registry. My confession is that I either hate everything on their registry so much I can't bring myself to pay for it or I love the people so much, I can't simply buy them a matching soap dish/toothbrush holder. Second, I think anyone who wants to have a registry should have one! If you are gutsy enough to tell people you have a registry for Arbor Day, I say that gutsiness should be rewarded. Registries are only so common for weddings and baby showers because it's no longer considered gutsy to do. But it once was, oh pioneers! Third, I did not get a kitchen aid mixer for a wedding present, but I was extremely lucky because my mom biught the industrial size one and never used it, so I inherited. It is white and I wish it were red, but I am already lucky. And now that I have turned this comment into it's own post, let me say: saving up and buying an appliance you are very proud of just because is totally worthwhile. I bought myself a Dyson vacuum at age 23 and never looked back. XOXO.

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  12. Oh, I am not at all against registries. I don't mind being tacky and would much rather do my best to ensure the folks who want to give me things give me things that I want, and will use. Waste not and all that.

    Also, I doubt I would ever save up for a Kitchen Aid Mixer, or put one on a registry. It's so expensive and I've survived this long without one. Basically, I am really into symbolism, and believe that the KAM is a good symbol for a lot of the conflicting emotions that plague me. Sigh.

    Lastly - saving up for a vacuum is so MaryT of you, and one of the many reasons why I like you so!

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  13. I adore you, Chrissy. You're blogs are fantabulous.

    You know which other products I products I think fall within the convert-or-die marketing scheme? iPods and milk.

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  14. :) I've often considered opening a registry for a number of random events including graduation, XMas, and moving.

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