Life Update And Other Stories

So I got married. Oh, we made a wedding website also. Wanted to have a dating game at the wedding where people try chat up each other on the chat box in the website before they came for the wedding, but unfortunately the box wasn’t widely used and the wedding party (yeah, we did have a dance party after the “vara pooje”) went off “peacefully” without any one pairing up (as far as we could see).

The biggest pain point at the wedding was immediately after I had tied the thaaLi around Pinky’s neck. The stage of the hall (not very big, mind you – the stage that is, the hall was pretty big) was invaded by all and sundry. Random uncles tried to ensure some discipline and make people queue up, but to no avail. We were assaulted from several directions by people wanting to shake our hand and get introduced to the one of us that they didn’t know. I’m not sure if either Pinky or I actually got to know anyone during that process.

Then, despite a lot of thought and prior planning (a long time back), the inevitable happened. There was a long queue at the reception. Thankfully, there were large groups of people so the queue cleared out fairly quickly. But it was still painful looking at so many people wasting time there when they could have spent their time at the wedding more usefully, scouting, networking, flirting, eating and the works.

A large proportion of the guests have given us gifts. It seems like we’ll have a very festive 2011. Ganesha Chaturthi will be grand at our house, given the number of Ganesha idols (in various positions) that we’ve received. Dasara (navaratri) will also be grand, given the number of other sundry dolls we’ve got. And a large number of (mostly really pretty) candle stands means that Deepavali will also be grand next year.

One thing we fail to understand is why someone cares to give us something when they don’t put their name on it. I mean, what is the use of gifting if the gifted doesn’t know who the gifter is? Is the gratitude for the wonderful gift to be directed to the general public that attended the wedding? Why would someone want to let go of the good karma that they get by giving some nice gift?

During our honeymoon at Sri Lanka, we realized that both of us are package-tour kids. That when we were young, most of our vacations were “package tours” where you were made to wake up early in the morning and taken to a thousand different places with a really busy schedule. We realized this when we kinda got bored halfway into our day-and-half stay at a beach resort in Bentota. I think the most boring part of staying at a resort is that you get bored of the food! How many times can you eat out of the same buffet, irrespective of how large it is?

I take this opportunity to apologise to my readers for not writing in the last one month. I hope to be more prolific in the future. Given that my wife and I met because of this blog (technically, due to it’s predecessor on livejournal), she quite appreciates my blogging and is very encouraging and supportive. And as I’ve been writing this for the last ten minutes, she’s been busy in the kitchen making what I think will be delicious sambar.

Gift List

So over the last few days there have been several people who have met or called me and asked what gift Pinky and I want for our wedding. Hari the kid, one such caller, even suggested that we need to make a wedding wish list and put it up on our wedding website or something.

Now the thing is that gifting is a hard business. Economic research shows that the average value to the gifted is much less than the average cost to the gifter, and thus gifts create a dead weight economic loss. This, however, is compensated by the good will that the gifter earns from the gifted (if it is a good gift, that is).

When the potential gifter asks the gifted what he/she wants, the intangible value (value of a pleasant surprise minus value of unpleasant surprise, appropriately weighted by respective probabilities) is substituted by the tangible value of greater value for the gifted per rupee spent by the gifter. Also, the fact that the gifter cared to ask what the gifted wanted goes some way in compensating for the intangible value.

Anyway the question is if we should put up a gift wish list on our website. Now, one problem with that is that people might perceive us to be arrogant. After all, in this era of “no gifts/bouquets please ” (we haven’t put that on our invite cards) people might get offended at our audacity of not just asking for gifts, but also telling people what to give us. Thus there is reputational risk involved, but we can explain on the same page the collective economic benefits of the wish list, so this might be taken care of.

The bigger problem is that if we were to put up a gift list the onus is on us to come up with a list of things that we want. We need to come up with a range of things such that it fits people’s varying budgets. There should be something in the list for someone who is willing to spend a hundred rupees on our gift, and also something for someone who is willing to spend ten thousand. ┬áSo in the middle of all the other wedding work for us, we also need to decide on what we want, what we don’t want, what kind of stuff we want, and so on.

Then there is quality control. We could well put up on the wish list that we want a LCD TV, but it would sure sound too audacious to be much more specific than that. And if the gifters were to get us some LCD TV that we would ultimately end up not liking, the dead weight economic loss to all of us is huge. So we need to be specific without being arrogant, which is even more work for us.

But I think we will end up making all the effort and put up a wish list, and hopefully that will improve the collective economic condition of us and our gifters.