30 Days of Dads continues with syndicated humor columnist Jerry Zezima, who will probably bring everything to a screeching halt. Jerry, whose column appears online in The Huffington Post as well as in newspapers worldwide, has written for several national magazines, done commentaries for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and recently had his first book published, “Leave It to Boomer: A Look at Life, Love and Parenthood by the Very Model of the Modern Middle-Age Man.” Unlike many of you, Jerry’s two children are now adults. While this balances Jerry’s stunted maturity, it should strike fear in your hearts because, as writes, he is now preparing to be a father of the bride – for the second time.
Zezima Now that I am starring in my own sequel to “Father of the Bride,” I have decided to take advantage of a perk I didn’t know about the first time by opening a father-of-the-bridal registry.I got the idea after talking with Bridget, who works at a bridal registry in a large department store. “Men often feel excluded because the emphasis is, of course, on the bride, as well as the mother of the bride,” Bridget said. “So I always say that if it weren’t for the father of the bride, there would be no bride.” “And then the whole wedding industry would collapse,” I noted. “So I guess we guys are pretty important.”
“Don’t tell your daughter or your wife,” Bridget said, “but we couldn’t do it without you.” That’s what she told one father whose two daughters were getting married within six months of each other. “He came in and I could tell he was stressed,” Bridget recalled. “So he just decided to buy all the china for both daughters. I said to him, ‘You are The Man!’ That seemed to please him. Then I said, ‘Let me make sure you get a free vegetable bowl.’ It made his day.”
Bridget, who said she loves working with her clients because they are there for a happy reason, especially likes fathers of the bride. “A guy will walk in with his daughter and his wife and his daughter’s fiancé,” Bridget said. “I can tell the father is a tagalong who was forced into coming. So I’ll extend my hand and say, ‘Congratulations. Now all I need is your checkbook.’ Then I’ll say, ‘What does it matter? It’s only money. Look at your beautiful daughter.’ That softens them. I like to make fathers feel involved. After all, they’re paying for everything.” Still, many fathers, as well as their future sons-in-law, are often clueless when it comes to items in a bridal registry. “Some guys have no idea,” Bridget said. “I have to tell them, ‘With flatware, you eat. With stemware, you drink.’ They don’t know.” Since the emphasis is always on the bride, I asked, “Where can a guy go to open a registry?” Bridget answered, “Home Depot.”
So I went to the nearest store and spoke with Larry, who has been father of the bride twice. “Yes,” Larry said, “you can open a registry here.” Instead of china, which the store doesn’t carry anyway, Larry suggested a cordless drill (“not for dentistry,” he said), a circular saw and a tool kit. “They’ll make any guy feel special,” said Larry, adding that the items are less expensive than most things in a bridal registry. “The drill and the saw together are only $99,” he said. “And the tool kit, which includes pliers, a hammer and a screwdriver, is only $22.” As a practical joke on one of his daughters when she was getting married and had a registry at a department store, Larry said, “I told her to go in and ask for Doozy pots. The woman at the registry was Italian, like I am, and she told my daughter that ‘doozy’ means ‘crazy.’ My daughter came home and wanted to kill me.” Both weddings were wonderful, Larry said, though he added that neither of his sons-in-law had a registry at Home Depot. “One is an electrician who already had plenty of tools,” Larry explained. “But it’s a good idea for a lot of guys.” “What’s the most valuable tool a guy can have in his registry?” I asked. “A screwdriver,” Larry said. “Of course, when the bills come in, you’ll need another kind of screwdriver. But we don’t sell those here.”