Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother's Day: Maker Her Happy, Make You Happy - A Husband's/Son's/Son-In-Law's Guide To Survival

I hate Hallmark and their holidays, but give them credit, they are goddamn geniuses. Now, unlike Valentines Day, you absolutely can not blow off Mother's Day. If you have any desire to maintain your well being, you will get your act together and get your mom, mother-in-law and the mother of your children a good gift this year. And yes, while I am sure most of your mothers, mom-in-laws and wives would be happy to receive some roses this year, they'll appreciate something a little more unique, and no I do not mean a Hello Kitty Chia Pet. You're going to have to put in some real effort this year. Get that hamster wheel, you call a brain, moving. Show them that you care more than to haphazardly grab the deal on a dozen nearly dead, red roses for $12.99 on May 12th while you were out grabbing yourself some coffee/donuts/Sunday paper like every other Larry, Moe and Dumbass.

While we all know that shiny, expensive jewelry would blow their minds, we don't all have the deep pockets to make that happen. But beyond that there are some great things that you can do to make those special women in your life, feel just a little more special.

Well...hope you come up with something.

Just kidding. That would have been a awful blog post, just to end it right there, wouldn't it?

Instead of racking the pea, why not just steal borrow my ideas here and become a family hero? I won't tell if you don't.

(Key: M - Mom, MIL - Mother-in-Law, W - Wife)

Over $100

*photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com/image/image-1177302

Brunch - (+$100)

Great for - M/MIL/W (maybe all on one fell swoop!?)

There is no better meal than brunch. I don't know what it is exactly; maybe it's the simple offering of breakfast-like foods as well as lunch-like foods, maybe it's the fact that it's usually just late enough in the morning that having a cocktail is acceptable if not encouraged, maybe it's just because it's just damn good. Whatever the reason is, this is a great opportunity to take your loved one(s) out and enjoy the day. Try out a new restaurant or go to an old favorite. Then maybe plan a walk around town or a local park to work off some of the food and enjoy the weather (assuming it's enjoyable). In my book, there is no better time spent than enjoying good food with your family. Food and drink have been bringing people together for years, and Mother's Day is a perfect occasion to sit down and cheers to those that raised us, approved of us and put up with us (I think you can figure out who is who there).

Merrell Mix Master Glide - ($100)

Great for: W (unless your mom and/or mom-in-law are trail hounds)

If your wife is a runner or fitness nut of any kind, then she could be due for a new pair of kicks. Though I can't speak for the feel of the shoes here, I do have the mens version and they are the best trail shoes I have ever owned. They are comfortably roomy in the toe box to allow for movement while bouncing around the single track, very light to keep the later miles feeling like the first few and nearly minimalist, but just enough cushion to keep rocks and roots from causing too much damage to her feet. Better yet, get yourself a pair too and have a Sunday runday.


Great for: M/MIL/W

Fresh. Maine. Lobster. Need I say more? The Nor'easter comes chock full with 2 1 1/4# live lobsters, fresh steamers (little neck clams), authentic New England clam chowder, mixed berry blossom tarts, classic lobster bibs (nothing says "love" like plastic lobster bibs, am I right or am I right?) and all the necessary accessories. Now if your gift recipient is not a sea food fan, then obviously this does not work, unless of course you are getting it for your wife only to have her say "you go ahead and eat it, honey, I don't really like lobster" while you go "gee, sweetie, I could have sworn you loved the stuff...ahh well, I'll take one for the team". But then again, we are trying to please the ladies in our lives, not get whacked in the head with live Maine lobster. That would be a waste.

*photo credit: http://pingallery.deviantart.com/art/Beautiful-Flower-Shop-336231520

Fresh Flower Bouquet - ($50-$75)

Great for: M/MIL/W (as long as they are local)

I know, I know. I said no roses. But we aren't talking about roses here. We aren't even talking about grabbing the premade batch of flowers intended for putzes and people who don't care, and that's not you, is it? We're talking about stepping your game up and choosing the bouquet on your own. You don't have to be a wedding planner to choose a beautiful arrangement. Flowers are not like clothes, they don't need to match. Take a walk through your local florist and just start grabbing flowers that jump out at you for whatever reason: maybe they smell great, maybe they are interestingly shaped, maybe you've never seen it before. Who cares? Just do it. There is a huge difference between the pre made and the random bouquets and your special someone is sure to notice.

Tip: if you choose a flower with large stamen, such as lilly's, have the ends cut off to avoid getting pollen all over yourself, your car or whoever you are giving them to. While it washes out, it can take away from the moment. Keep it simple and keep it clean. 


Great for: M/MIL/W

It's true that you should never forget where you came from, it's in those roots that we build upon who we are to become. What better way to know from whence you came, than a handy-dandy road map of sorts? Step out there and do some research: ask family members or use great services like ancestry.com. Your hard work will not go unnoticed and this can be a beautiful piece of custom artwork to hang in your home or office.

This could be a great gift from the kids too.

Milk Bar Cookbook - ($35)

Great for: M/MIL/W

If you don't know about Momofoku Milk Bar, you should. Under the umbrella of David Chang's delicious restaurants in New York, Milk Bar is the haven for sweet treats. If you have a sweet tooth in your family, they must know about this. They must absorb the recipes. They must make you dessert. Or better yet why not make something for your special someone on Mother's Day from the book (the crack pie is a personal favorite of mine), then when they are settling into their sugar coma you can give them the book as an encore!


Great for: M/MIL/W

This little gem comes to you straight from my favorite go-to site for all custom paper goods, www.minted.com. Not only are they great for card goods (birth announcements, save the dates, business cards and holiday cards) but they also provide custom party decor, stationery and customized journals. A custom printed journal with a picture of the family, the kiddos, or even yourself (hopefully something a little more classy than boudoir photos, but to each their own). You can also get the pages ruled or unruled, so whether you have a sketcher or note taker, you are covered. 

*photo credit 

Mani-Pedi - ($8-$16)

Great for: W

While it may not be your idea of a good time, your wife will really appreciate your work. Let her pick out her favorite show or maybe sit out on the porch with a favorite drink while you doll up her nails with a new color. Hopefully you have steady hands, but if not then that's what remover is for. Maybe even throw in a relaxing foot rub as well. Not only will you have some quality time, but you'll have a better understanding of the trouble our ladies go to in order to look good for us and themselves.

Less Than $1

*photo credit - http://www.c2ak.com/site_v2/index.php?np=57&page=41

IOU Coupon Booklet - ($0....unless you want to get really artsy in which case whatever your supplies cost)

Great for: W

The IOU coupon booklet is always a winner. For one, this is a craft project and unless your special someone is the living heart of darkness, then this is always a face melter...tears are possible. And two, this isn't just a gift to be enjoyed for a few hours on May 12th. Fill your homemade booklet with as many coupons as you'd like and prepare to pony up when coupons are cashed in. My suggestion is don't go overboard on the coupons. I did this for the Mrs a few years back and she held on to coupons for almost a year, at which point I declared them expired. I know. I'm a no better than the wart on the ass cheek of the bridge troll. And in case you must know, I sleep horribly every night...so I'm living with my karma.

*photo credit

Breakfast in Bed - ($0)

Great for: W

Though it may be low on the creativity scale and perhaps not provide the "wow" factor of a delicious family brunch. There is little that tops you (and perhaps your little ones) surprising your wife with a delicious breakfast in bed. Whether you have kids or not, keep the meal simple. This is not the time to try making your own blood sausage, fresh hollandaise or that Texicasian fusion you've been thinking about. No, this calls for the classics: pancakes, waffles, fresh fruit, or in my wife's case, Bojangles. While you're at it, make some for yourself (and the kids), because no one likes to eat alone.

Now get out there and make your momma's proud!

Oh...and you're welcome.

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