Mother's Day is a stealth holiday that trips up a lot of guys. Most single guys naturally assume it's a day for calling up Mom to tell her you love her during halftime or maybe to give her a hug when you drop off your laundry. What's tricky is that if you're married you'll be expected to be nice to your wife even though, technically, she isn't your mother (although she does pick up your socks).
The fact that this doesn't make any sense won't get you off the hook with your wife. That's because men are creatures of logic whereas women are creatures of emotion. This was recently explained in a book on relationships that no guy would ever read unless electrical shocks and/or leeches were involved: "Women Are From Paris, France -- Men Are From Paris, Texas".
For example, if a guy needed to work on the lawnmower engine he would logically set it down on the dining room table so that he didn't drip oil all through the house even though the beer is in the kitchen. His wife, when she came home from picking the kids up from soccer, would become emotional just because there was "a little" crankcase oil on her great-grandmother's handmade lace tablecloth.
So, seeing as how tricky this holiday can be, I thought I'd offer some advice on gifts that you can give to the mother of your children (which is often your wife unless you're a professional football player).
1. Unlike guys who like store-bought presents such as Harleys and hydraulic log splitters, mothers appreciate the thought that's behind a homemade present. Write "Happy Mother's Day" on a piece of paper and thoughtfully fold it into a paper airplane. For maximum effect, surprise her by flying it to her while she's putting on her makeup, preferably her mascara. Technically, a trip to the emergency room is a family outing, after all.
2. Nothing says "I love you" like letting your wife sleep in while you make breakfast. Since you're not the "Master of the Kitchen" she'll understand if you wake her seven or eight times to ask her questions like, "Where do we keep the orange juice?" Just remember, she'll expect some kind of a hot meal. Pouring her a nice, tall glass of 'Slimfast' will not be appreciated. (Don't ask me how I know.) Don't despair though: strictly speaking, reheated pizza is a hot meal.
3. If cooking isn't your strong suit, you can still treat her to a nice dinner at a restaurant. Of course, since it's Mother's Day, it may be difficult to get reservations at the last minute to your fine dining establishments such as Kentucky Fried Chicken. You're going to have to "think outside the box". For example, you might remember that the racetrack sells bags of chips and cocktail wieners in BBQ sauce. And to make the experience even more meaningful, you could bet on the horses that have names with a Mother's Day theme like "Love Slave" or "Fat Momma".
4. Everybody likes cash, but slipping a tenner into a Mother's Day card will not be appreciated by your wife even though it's a lot of money. She wants to know that you thought about her. So draw a picture of your wife's face over Alexander Hamilton's portrait and then put it envelop. It's warm, personal touches like these that make Mother's Day meaningful. (Hint: don't write anything in the card -- that way you can use it for next year.)
5. There couldn't be a Mother's Day without children right? Show your wife how sensitive you are by leaving her with the kids all day so they can bond -- without being disturbed by your usual snoring on the couch. And don't come home until all the kids are asleep, either. That way your wife can experience the delight in watching their little faces as they drift off to sleep one by one. When you come home, gently hint to your wife that tonight might be a great time to try for child number seven. What could be a better end to a perfect Mother's Day?
Dan writes a weekly humor column called Tomfoolery & Codswallop. You can visit Dan's website where he welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns.
Article © Dan H. Woods. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-05-11