Just in case you forgot: Mother's Day is today! Alert, alert! You have just hours to scramble and get her something nice and thoughtful. But be careful what you get. Different gifts say different things about you.

Just A Card

You're considerate, and you love your mom, but you're also busy and live halfway across the country, plus you don't have that much money these days, so a card will have to do. You'll call today, obviously, but that's it. Mom understands, she knows. Your sister is taking her out to brunch today, so isn't she little Miss Perfect once again, but look, you chose to move out here to the city because you wanted to, because you couldn't just shuffle around that dreary old town for the rest of your life. You and your sister are two totally different people and mom understands that. She knows you'd take her to brunch too if you could, but you can't. So it's a card. And when Little Miss Perfect passively aggressively calls you on Sunday morning to gently "remind" you that Mother's Day is today, you can say "I know, Margot, I already sent a card. I'm not a child." And then she'll brush that off and proceed to talk about her stupid perfect husband and stupid perfect house and stupid perfect baby for the next hour. God.


Taking your mother to brunch on Mother's Day says that you are considerate and appreciative of everything your mother has done for you. Taking your mother to brunch does not say that you are some shiftless "free spirit" who just up and moves halfway across the country to be an artist or an actor or whatever it is this week. It certainly doesn't say that! And it does not say that you just dumped the burden of taking care of your parents in your sister's lap without asking if maybe she wanted to do something. Maybe she wanted to move to a city too. Did anyone ever think about that? Of course not. That's not how "artists" think, apparently. Well, when you take your mother to brunch everyone will see. Everyone will know that — though you maybe would have gone somewhere too if you hadn't meant Darren and gotten pregnant by accident after your cousin Debbie's wedding — you are a good, loyal daughter and that you really care about family. Unlike some people, flitting around faraway cities like they're Sex and the City or something. You know what? You should probably give her a call, make sure she even knows what day it is. The things you do. God.


What are you, dating your mom? Why are you buying her jewelry? Oh, probably because you bought the house next door to hers and you have dinner together three times a week and sometimes you just stay in and watch movies with her on a Friday night. Which is all well and good, family time is important. But, (and she wouldn't say this to you but she told your siblings when they were home for Christmas) what she'd really like is for you to go out and socialize with people your own age, maybe meet someone special. You're thirty years old, for god's sake! You should be married by now, or at least dating someone. You shouldn't be picking out expensive earrings for your mom. It's a little strange is all. That's all.


Flowers mean that you are considerate and remembered Mother's Day at least a few days before it happened, so good for you. But flowers are also a little suck-up-y, or like you're apologizing for something. It's like you're trying to woo your mom back. Did you forget Mother's Day last year? Did you get in a big fight a couple months ago because you still haven't figured out your health insurance thing and she said she just doesn't have faith that you know how to be an adult about anything? Is she still upset that you haven't been to visit your grandmother once since last Easter? Whatever the reason, flowers look like you're guilty of something, like you did something wrong. Flowers are nice, but they're also freighted with meaning. If you simply must get mom flowers, never do roses. Do tulips instead. Tulips are more casual, less suspicious.

Something For Around the House

Oh, nice, terrific, thanks. What, do you think your mom just sits around the house all day, cooking and cleaning up all of your messes like some sort of slave? And this is how you thank her, with some sort of appliance? You know, your mom has an inner life. Your mom used to do things. Your mom used to have dreams. Before your mom met your father, she used to smoke grass and lived in a house over on the east side with two men. Two men! Yeah, your old mom wasn't born wearing an apron, as you seem to think she was. And you know, your mom wouldn't mind going out to dinner or seeing a play or something, something different for a change, but your mom guesses that's just asking too much. Because then you'd actually have to spend time with your mom, and heaven forbid you miss one precious second of jerking around with your little friends. And your father! Don't get your mom started about your father. Do you know what your father is doing today? Can your father hear your mom yelling about him from the other room? Your father is playing golf this afternoon. Oh sure sure, it's with a "client," it's always with a "client." Client your mom's behind. Just one day. Just one rotten day. That's all your mother asks for. Just one day. And you give her... What is this anyway? It's for chopping things? It looks like a coffee grinder. You know, your mom used to be a pretty hip chick before you were born. Your mom was going places. And your mom will decide for herself when she's had enough wine today, thank you very much.

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