Presents past and future

In my absence:
Through July 18, think of Meredith J. Cooper as me (gender and age differences aside). You can reach Meredith, CN&R’s associate editor, at or 894-2300 ext. 2248.

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Hawaii for a 7/7/07 wedding and 10-day honeymoon. Intimate ceremony on the beach, intimate reception by the beach, island-hopping cruise—now that’s the way to get married!

Amy registered us at Macy’s and Target. When we get a house, I know I’ll appreciate the gifts even more. I’ll also appreciate whatever furniture we won’t have to buy (my bachelor pad leftovers are so ’90s). We don’t have a dinner table, for instance, so we don’t have much use for the china until we get a furnished dining room. But we love the china, and when we’re able to host Thanksgiving, we’ll use it (and the cookware).

Other registry goodies:

• 62-piece drill kit

• 18-piece barbecue utensil kit

• Aussie Koala gas grill (“Put another shrimp on the barbie, mate!” Hmm, wonder how long till my Paul Hogan routine wears thin …)

• Scotch tape runner refill (whatever that is)

• Titanium scissors

• hangars

• 5-quart stand mixer (free shipping!)

• his and her trail bikes (Schwinn-g!!)

• 40-inch LCD TV (ooooh …)

I’m not expecting to get most of the things Amy and/or I pre-selected. That’s OK. An experience at my previous apartment reformed my view of possessions.

The unit next to mine went up in flames when I was at work, and the Good Samaritan who called said my dog was safe but I’d lost everything. On the hasty drive home, I thought about what I’d really miss … and what I’d use the insurance money to replace. The list was surprisingly short.

Turns out the news of my apartment’s demise was greatly exaggerated. Ventilation holes in the ceiling, soot in the kitchen, smoke damage in the living room—that was about it, while my neighbors got unobstructed views of the sky and hill.

I got lucky. Yet, the sense of surplus stuck with me. Now, whenever I look at all the boxes in storage, I realize I’ll need to call for a dumpster and a Salvation Army truck whenever we get around to “spring cleaning” … or move.

Among the treasures I know are in there:

• two old waffle irons

• two queen beds

• two old vacuum cleaners

• two Nagel prints (oh, my little lithographs, why didn’t I sell you in the ’80s?)

• an old blender

• a new bagel slicer

• a preowned filing cabinet

• a black vinyl reading chair (see: ’90s bachelor pad)

• a black metal book case

• every James Bond book, plus paperback after paperback of sci-fi and fantasy

Then there’s Amy’s stuff … (I’ll save myself an argument and stop there.)

Possession is 99 percent of the law. Possessions seem to be 99 percent of my apartment. Once again, thanks to everyone who’s gone to our registry. In with the new, out with the old … eventually …