While perusing Robert Griffin’s wedding registry on the Bed Bath & Beyond website, I could not help but notice that Griffin and his fiancée are asking for the exact set of kitchen knives that I currently own.
Yes, the Calphalon ™ Precision Series 16-Piece Cutlery Knife Block Set, which I won for finishing in second place during a real estate sales competition (a Father’s Day gift, actually). The Griffins will prepare many a happy meal dinner that chef’s knife. The Santoku is going to dice enough scallions for a lifetime’s tomato salad. The kitchen shears … well, I wouldn’t know, because people in this house mistake them for regular scissors, so when I need them I find them covered in crayons and paste. But the shears will probably make them happy, too.
Griffin and I, brothers in cutlery! Not as weird as Jay Cutler and I being brothers in griffinery, but still delightfully odd in its way. It only goes to show you that young or middle aged, rich or middle class, famous or career-threateningly obscure, we all have to hack through a dry, tough chicken breast now and then, and most of us are only slightly fussy about what we use to do it.
Examining a superstar’s wedding registry feels a little creepy, but it is also enlightening and humanizing. A player of Griffin’s fame and influence becomes a larger-than-life figure, even for those of us who come face to face with him now and then. Search through his registry, and a deeper truth is revealed: Griffin is a man like any other, only more in need of a B. Smith 7-Piece Lazy Susan Swirl Server than most.
The registry is a window into how the other half really lives. They do not live too differently from us. Griffin and his fiancée need spatulas and muffin pans, tub mats and Tupperware (Rubbermaid, actually) just like we do. They have asked for all the goofy stuff like melon ballers that no one has needed since Don Draper’s heyday, no doubt because they allowed the retailer to throw in lots of default choices. Extravagances are few. How extravagant can you be with replacement water filters? Those haven’t come in solid gold since the reign of Nero.
Up until a few decades ago, the different between rich and poor could be clearly delineated by their everyday items. The wealthy ate from china and crystal with silver utensils and linen clothes, the poor scraped by with whatever was durable. Now, everyone from the working class on up gets their housewares from a place like Bed Bath & Beyond. Car quality and home size remain class signifiers, but even those are a matter of degree. The Griffins need exactly eight wastebaskets. My modest home has six. Maybe Griffin and his fiancée are bringing one or two each with them from their current digs, because there is no way his home is only 33 percent larger, from a waste-disposal standpoint, than mine.
The Griffins want a Panini Press. That’s what the spatula is for, kids. But plenty of my non-millionaire friends have invested in a space-wasting gizmo that makes a sandwich twice as flat in half the time. The Griffins will have Turkish Ribbed bath towels. My family uses Turkish Ribbed bath towels. They feel great after a hot shower. They are not recommended for soaking up after a 3-year old bazooka barfs SpaghettiOs, but the soon-to-be newlyweds have at least three years to worry about that, unless Dr. Janet Andrews (James’ sister, the OB/GYN) is keeping a secret.
The registry is set up for the means and resources of the wedding guests, not the bride and groom, of course. Guests who can afford grander items will probably choose from outside the registry, though DeAngelo Hall will probably just stuff some cash in an envelope at the last minute. Still, Griffin presumably does not want his home loaded with junk, so choices like the Lamont Home Cambria Apartment Hamper, which the Griffins need six of (three for just socks), must represent the needs and tastes of the betrothed. Plus, some of the registry gifts scale up to roughly Kendall Wright’s spot on the wedding income/relationship-to-couple price axis. The Palm Harbor 2-Piece Outdoor Wicker Seating Set checks in at a healthy $439.99, a lot for a wedding gift but not enough, I think, for quality outdoor furniture. Griffin is going to have to replace that set before Mike Shanahan replaces Alfred Morris.
The registry also paints an endearing, encouraging picture of domesticity. If thoughts of Titus Young arraignments and Shady McCoy party-bus misbehavior worry you, imagine instead Griffin donning a Calphalon ™ oven mitt to pull a Calphalon ™ Nonstick 5 X 10 inch loaf pan full of banana nut bread from the oven. The Griffin house will be full of scented candles, and the registry tells us those scents will be vanilla cupcake, lavender vanilla and pineapple cilantro. The house will smell vaguely like a vegan bakery, but it will be wholesome and inviting, an oasis of Nilla-Wafer-and-Upside-Down-Cake aromas where the Griffins can escape their worries and argue about who will repaint the wicker furniture. The Griffins also asked for eight Mikasa Black Sparkle Egg Tealight Holders but no tealights. Kids.
Yes, the Griffins are settling down to a life not unlike mine: lots of football, non-stop jokes about Dan Snyder (I’m speculating), quality cutlery, warm towels, weird smells and hopefully the deep and abiding joys of a simple, loving domestic life. Their registry reveals as much about the idiosyncrasies of 21st-century merchandising as it does about the lifestyle of one of the sports world’s most endearing young superstars and his fiancée. But it also shows that young folks, no matter how successful or capable, make silly mistakes that their elders are powerless to steer them clear of. The tealights, for example, or the panini press. And the bed sheets. They only asked for two sets of bed sheets. C’mon, Bob: You two will be newlyweds. How much laundry do you want to do?
C’est la vie. You never can tell.