I took a big bundle of old towels over to the vet clinic the other day, and while I was waiting to drop them off, I noticed that a couple of them were wedding presents we received back in 19-censored-censored. (How many guys can remember that they got towels as a wedding present from somebody, let alone what color they were? I can. I'm quite something, really.) So I had to ask Ann just how many wedding presents we're still using after all this time. We can only think of a few: there's an afghan on the loveseat in the living room and a frying pan in the kitchen that we're pretty sure came from somebody. There's a TV reference book on the shelf in my office that was a quirky gift from some college friends. But that's it.
One of the more useful gifts we received was a slimline dial telephone. We were married at about the time people started buying their own telephones instead of getting them from the phone company, so it was a cutting-edge gift back then. We used it for years and years, if not as our main phone then as an extension, or as a backup when one of our fancier phones gave out. It's still in our bedroom closet, I think. The most useless gift we can remember was really lovely, but useless--a glass deviled-egg plate. Neither one of us ate deviled eggs or could stand to make them, but we moved that deviled-egg plate to several different addresses before we finally decided to get rid of it. (When we discovered a good friend of ours adored deviled eggs, we knew what to do.)
Over the years, whenever we've been invited to weddings, we've usually given cash. We know that people appreciate it; we certainly did when we were just starting a home together. It's more convenient to write a check than to shop for a gift. But nobody's going to look back today and remember that we gave 'em $20, or $50, or whatever it was. Not like I remember the guys who gave us that book back in the year 19-censored-censored.