How Not to Ruin Mother’s Day

This post is probably a mess – but I’m working too hard and it’s too late to edit it.

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s day. My birthday is becoming less wild celebration and more “painful reminder” each year. But I don’t care how contrived it is, I BELIEVE in Mother’s day. This is the closest thing I get to a raise/promotion as a SaHM. I want my kids to make me a card. I want coffee and donuts. And I want a meaningful goddam gift that shows a little appreciation for the fact that I cleaned up after all that stomach flu last month, which meant I GOT that stomach flu last month, and that freaking sucked.

The first rule of gift giving is like the first rule of marketing – know your audience. Television would have you believe manicures and spa days are the epitome of thoughtful gift giving for people with lady parts, if you can’t afford diamonds.

I don’t get it. I hate manicures. First off, I don’t like being touched by strangers. I especially don’t like being touched by strangers who are mocking me in a foreign language. I don’t understand what’s relaxing about sitting in a sterile room full of chemical stank while a cranky grandmother jabs your cuticles and slaps on a coat of paint that’s just going to look like hell in two days. The misery of this experience is yet another reminder that I suck at being a girl.

Same with spa days. Spas are full of judgey people who care about things like pores and hairlessness and colon health. Investing that much time and money into reclaiming my youthful glow is kind of a shit reminder that I’m on a slow train to forty and any youthful glow is so much lost luggage. And then, again, there’s the whole being touched by strangers thing. Between my kids and my husband, on my special day, the LAST thing I want is more touching. Why is this so hard to understand? Cocktails, yes. Touching, no.


More terrible gift ideas? Socks. Getting a woman socks for mother’s day is actually worse than getting her nothing at all. Socks are not a gift. Socks are something you pick up at Costco as a “treat” because you saw them and you knew your wife had cold feet. New socks on a Saturday afternoon for no reason will earn you appreciation and a beer. Socks for Mother’s day will earn you divorce papers. Whiskey knows this. Whiskey sent Dr. Wife mother’s day socks when he was OUT OF TOWN for mother’s day. Not only was she home alone with her children, which is already a terrible way to spend mother’s day, but when a surprise package arrived from that absent husband and her hopes soared briefly, wondering what magical treat he’d found to make her feel loved, understood and appreciated, she got socks.

(I believe pieces of those socks still reside in Whiskey’s colon. Maybe I’ll get him a nice spa gift certificate for father’s day this year. I don’t believe he shares my aversion to stranger touch.)

Really, I just want to drink a cocktail while someone else entertains the kids and breaks up the fights and kisses the boo-boos and cooks dinner and gets the kids ready for bed and tidies up and maybe does a load of laundry.

For mother’s day, this year, I want to be the dad.

4 thoughts on “How Not to Ruin Mother’s Day

  1. Totally agree with the mani/pedi and spa thing. Soaking your feet in what could possibly be a total cesspool of bacteria is not my idea of relaxing. Plus my chiro says that massages just push all your bones into a forward position, then he has to try to move them back where they belong. And even though I love offering Reiki to others, having people hovering over me sets off a suffocation panic attack – chocolates, fruits, sparklies or flowers, please!

    • That very much depends on the gloves. Steer clear of latex and anything designed for manual labor. That’s just good advice in general, actually.

  2. I need to have beers with Iowa. I feel like we get each other. They were really nice socks, and I got her a present earlier in the month that and I quote “this can be my mother’s day present”.

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