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Laura on Life: Mother's Day dilemma

I read an article the other day about what mothers wanted for Mother’s Day. Someone had taken a poll that showed about half the mothers wanted jewelry and the other half wanted flowers. Were those our only choices?
The article went on to suggest a multitude of other gifts that the modern mom would want if, for some strange reason, she didn’t want jewelry or flowers. I don’t remember who wrote the article, but it must’ve been difficult to choose the gifts to suggest. I know that I would have a problem with that.
How does expensive hand lotion properly convey the message you want your mother to hear on Mother’s Day?
Will a foot massager say “I love you” if she doesn’t have time to sit down and use it? The article didn’t say it was a portable foot massager. Maybe a pair of shoes with vibrating insoles would communicate the correct sentiment.
Many moms will be on some diet that excludes those little chocolates with the fancy decorations on top. They’re so pretty that they’re more likely to end up in her curio cabinet rather than on her chocolate-deprived tongue anyway. That’d be okay, though, as long as she likes them, right?
Perhaps a set of ergonomic gardening tools would impart your undying gratitude for taking care of you and making sure that you made it safely to adulthood. Would you really buy your mother more work for Mother’s Day? So what if the handles are pink? Gardening tools say, “I see you haven’t weeded the begonias lately; what’s up with that?”
One of the items listed in the article was a birdhouse. A birdhouse? That pretty much declares your mother has nothing better to do all day except watch her backyard in the hopes of spying a scarlet tanager nesting in her new birdhouse. It’s kind of like telling her, “I know you’re bored to tears sitting around the house and watching U-Tube all day, so here’s something exciting for you to do (you poor pathetic soul).”
How about a new purse? Personal. Good. If you know her style, it shows that you have put some thought into the gift. But if you don’t get her one big enough to hold her wallet, keys, coupon caddy, make-up case, emergency first aid kit, date book, hand sanitizer and a photo album, then forget it. It’ll just sit in her closet until her next garage sale.
Some women are into shoes. Maybe a strappy pair of sandals that make her overworked feet look like a million bucks. She could wear them while she’s doing her gardening or watching her birdhouse. Grocery shopping would no longer be a chore because her new sandals would be the envy of the produce clerk and the meat manager. New sandals would have absolutely no effect on the cashiers, however, because the conveyor/scanner gizmo would be in her line of vision.
Perhaps, if your mother was in really good shape, she could hike her foot up to the scanner and coyly tell the cashier “I know these look new, but I didn’t steal them. I got them for Mother’s Day.”
The cashier would then be so moved by their splendor she would reply “Nice sandals!” Thereby making your mother smile. That is the point after all, isn’t it?
Personally, I haven’t seen anything that would show my mother how much I appreciate her and thank her for being there for every triumph and tragedy in my life. Is there anything you could buy that would convey the incredible gratitude you don’t know how to express?
I once heard someone say that you should think of what she loves and get her something related to that love. Mothers love their children. You. That’s what she wants.
So, jewelry and flowers may be all you’ve got to work with, as a supplement. Other than that, I suggest you simply show up on Mother’s Day, give her a heartfelt hug and help with the dishes.
You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com.
Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more columns and info about her books.

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