Editor’s Note: We asked mom, humorist and Barry Manilow fanatic Wendi Aarons for her advice on celebrating Mother’s Day this year. Enjoy.
Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to show your wife, mother or the special woman in your life how important she is to you. It is also a wonderful opportunity to screw up big-time.
I say that as someone who once spent Mother’s Day at a dilapidated horse track in San Antonio, Texas, dressed in the purple sequined “jazz hat” she was given as a gift by her family. Thank goodness I hit that trifecta or the day would have been a total disaster.
To save you from a similar misstep, I offer the following Mother’s Day advice on activities and presents that will have the woman in your life weeping with joy, not crying in her closet.
Ask Her What She Wants to Do on Mother’s Day
Does she want to spend the day alone? With friends? Hanging out with the family at the park after a nice lunch? Start asking her at least a few days before the big day so you can make definite plans.
Of course, there’s a good chance she’ll respond to your questions with: “I don’t care, whatever is fine.”
This is not true. Whatever is not fine. Whatever is NEVER fine. Whatever is chugging $1 beer at the horse track when she would much rather spend Mother’s Day sipping champagne on a sun deck. But she didn’t say so. Ask. And keep asking.
DO NOT do the following on Mother’s Day (unless she specifically requests that you do):
- Let the kids wake her up before 8 a.m.
- Let the kids pee on her before 8 a.m.
- Allow any cooking in the kitchen that involves batter and/or dropping eggs unless it will be immediately cleaned up by Not Mom
- Say things like, “You know, moms have it pretty easy, overall.”
- Post home videos of your wife’s labor and delivery on Facebook
Ask What She’d Like for a Mother’s Day Gift
If you’re someone who is great at picking out a perfect gift and who enjoys giving surprises — congratulations, you are not married to me.
Most dads are too busy with work and kids to comb the mall for hours trying to find the most special item ever. That’s totally OK. It really is the thought that counts (unless the thought is the aforementioned purple sequined jazz cap.)
That’s why I suggest asking your wife/partner/mom/helpmate what she’d like you to get her. Most women have a few ideas or names of stores they like and would be more than happy to tell you. My suggestion is to go with a gift card or flowers, and have the kids (if they’re still young) make something for mom. Handmade is always the best, even if it involves glitter.
DO NOT buy the following as Mother’s Day presents (unless she specifically requests that you do):
- Home waxing kit (and I’m not talking about for her car, but that is also not cool)
- Membership to a weight-loss plan
- Booty shorts from Wet Seal in size 2
- Anything with “fight fat” in the name
- Sexy lingerie
- Unsexy lingerie
- Gift card to Hooters
- Stretch mark cream
- Anything with “preventive” in the name
- Groupon for a massage in a spa that’s actually a van
- Flavored vodka (actually, this one is OK)
- HOT MOM T-shirt
- MILF T-shirt
- A hamster
- A pregnant hamster
- Anything with “senior” in the name
- A card printed off of the computer with a message typed in comic sans
- Laundry room items
- Handmade coupons for things like “hugs” that she will put in a drawer, forget about, then try to redeem in 10 years when the giver will sneer and say it’s “totes expired”
But you probably already knew all of that, didn’t you, Mr. Modern Dad? Of course, you did. That’s why you’re still walking upright. Like my husband mostly did on the way home from the horse track.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendi Aarons is an award-winning humor writer who can usually be found at wendiaarons.com, McSweeney’s, US Weekly Fashion Police, the @PaulRyanGosling parody Twitter account, or starting fistfights by the 70 percent off rack at Target.