What do you buy for the mayor who has everything? That was the first question that popped into my mind after receiving an invitation to Mayor Robert Garcia’s wedding with his fiancé Matthew Mendez on Saturday evening.
Not, “What am I going to wear?” which would have been a better first question to have popped into my mind because my wardrobe (and by “wardrobe” I mean “clothes hanging from hooks on the back of the bathroom door”) is severely underrepresented by suits.
The suit issue was problematic and torturous and I’m never going to buy another one. Bury me in this one—assuming it comes with pants; that’s still an issue to be resolved with my haberdasher: a guy named Mike who, sartorially, favors NFL jerseys.
But, back to the original question. For years, my go-to wedding gift has been a cast-iron frying pan, which I bought initially for an old colleague, Tracy Manzer, so she could whack her new husband with it when the occasion called for it. But the frying pan option seemed a little lackluster, not to say violent, for the mayor’s wedding.
Happily, the invitation included the URL for the couple’s gift registry. Bringing more joy was a note from Garcia saying that he and Matthew are following the Fair Political Practices Commission’s wedding gift guidelines, and guests who are journalists, have a business contract with the city or are registered lobbyists should not get a gift, and if they do it will be returned.
Well, that changes everything. If the couple is going to send my gift back, I better pick something from the couple’s registry that I want.
Sadly, I waited too long and now there’s not much left to pick from.
Garcia and Mendez invited about 850 people to their wedding, some of whom are allowed to buy gifts, and they pretty much ravaged the online registry site.
Pizza cutter? Already purchased. Colander, whisk set, measuring spoons, woks and pots and pans. All taken care of. Ditto with potholders and oven mitts. Blenders, a toaster, a rice cooker, a pair of 16-piece dinner sets, silverware, cutlery, chairs and stools have all been bought by non-journalists and unregistered lobbyists. Plus: tumblers, martini glasses, old fashioned glasses, champagne flutes, pilsner glasses and coffee mugs. And the frying pan.
All of this makes me wonder if Garcia and Mendez, who have lived together for seven or eight years, have been eating cold pork and beans out of a can every night for dinner, or if they’ve grown weary of all their old stuff and just want to start their new life with equally new kitchenware.
Gift-givers can also help out with the couple’s Turks and Caicos honeymoon, but that, too, has been pretty well covered, with wedding guests already having covered a pocketful of Hotel.com and Southwest Airlines gift cards, as well as a mess of honeymoon dinners, beer, wine and rum tastings, bike and Jet Ski rentals, snorkeling excursions, couples massages, sightseeing trips and horseback riding on the beach.
At this late date, there’s little left, even if I were of a mind to stomp all over the FPPC’s silly little rules and spring for a wedding gift (in exchange for certain favors, of course), there’s little left that’s still on their wish list.
A couple of things are still available, though, including a set of four Ralph Lauren beverage coasters that go for $95 and are way too nice to put a dew-jeweled glass on; you’d want to use a coaster coaster to protect these coasters.
Or you can make a donation to charity on the couple’s behalf, though not many guests are availing themselves of this option. As of Monday, the registry shows that giving is $650 short of the $1,000 target of donations to a women and girls charity, and $600 shy of the $1,000 requested for a charity to fight world hunger.
The charity option is nice and thoughtful, though not overly popular. Maybe because it lacks the function of a perfect wedding gift: You can’t whack your spouse over the head with it, should the occasion arise.
Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.
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