The comments that came flowing in after the original Mother's Day gift idea post were so good that a follow-up post is definitely in order. Once again, major props to the NMH readers and thank you for your insights. I am pretty sure that loyal readers of this blog rank as the third most intelligent web community on the planet, falling just behind MENSA members and subscribers to Rush Limbaugh's 24/7 online service. Based upon the feedback from most of the women, it sounds like the ideal Mother's Day would include the following three key aspects:
1) A spa treatment
2) Getting as far away from the kids as possible without raising the suspicions of Child Protective Services
3) The house gets cleaned by somebody other than mom
So, guys, there we have it. The game plan sounds simple enough. This Mother's Day just get your wife a gift certificate to a spa, take the kids for the day, and clean the house or do some fixer-upper project while she is gone. (For the best of both worlds, you can make your kids clean the house and count it as their present to mom. While they are dusting the baseboards you can "supervise" the project while watching the NBA Playoffs, playing Madden or Guitar Hero, or taking a nap.) Ladies, how does this sound?
Purchasing the spa treatment in advance will also relieve the last-minute gift buying stress that so many of us feel. Guys, raise your hand if you have ever had to hustle to the closest 24-hour grocery store at 11:38 p.m. the evening before Mother's Day to buy the nicest $25-or-less gift that is still available. The other stress the late-Saturday-night purchase brings is the "I've got to buy this before midnight or else I'm technically breaking the Sabbath" feeling that I get. Am I alone on this? Or do others of you rush through the self-checkout late on Saturday nights to avoid a Sunday purchase from showing up on your Visa statement?
Okay, now that the ideal Mother's Day gift has been identified, there are a few comments from the original post that have sparked some ideas:
Homer Simpson vs. Jim Halpert:
In an old Simpson's episode, Homer buys Marge a birthday present consisting of a bowling ball with "Homer" engraved on it. Marge is not a bowler, but fortunately Homer, "knows somebody who will use the bowling ball if Marge doesn't want it." Angie (fillet knife) and Sandy (football helmet), sounds like you can sympathize. But, hey, it could have always been worse. Just ask melissa (a rock) and amanda (got the shaft one year).
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Homer is Jim Halpert from NBC's The Office. Jim is the only TV character who makes me occasionally feel bad about myself for not being more romantic, spontaneous, or caring with the NMW. He is so thoughtful toward Pam, but it is a real-life sort of thoughtfulness that almost any man could duplicate if we really tried. I mean, just read this excerpt detailing what he bought Pam for Christmas:
"So this year, for the first time ever, I got Pam in Secret Santa, and I got here this: a teapot, which I know she really wants so she can bring tea to her desk, but I’m also going to stuff it with some inside jokes… like… this is my high school yearbook photo. She saw it at the party, and it really makes her laugh. Not sure why. Um… what else… ooh, this is a hot sauce packet. She put this on a hot dog a couple years ago because she thought it was ketchup, and, uh, it was really funny so I kept the other two."
Every guy could probably pull something like this off every once in a while, but it takes a lot of though and effort. (It also doesn't hurt to have an entire writing staff carefully scripting every word, gesture, and goofy shrug of the shoulders). Bracken96 commented that he carries a 3x5 card around to jot down gift ideas that his wife casually mentions when they are out and about. I actually do the same in my Blackberry under a section called, "Gift Ideas". (Andrea - no peeking!). It sounds like Heather O., Ang, lindsey, nat, and a few others of you are married to the Jim-types (or at least they pulled it off once). On behalf of the rest of the Normal Mormon Husbands, please tell your husbands to knock it off and stop making the rest of us look bad.
The Apu Syndrome:
On the Fourth of July Homer goes to the Quick-E-Mart and Apu sells him some fireworks. During the transaction, Apu tells Homer, "Celebrate the independence of your country by blowing up a small piece of it!" The contradiction has always made me chuckle, I mean, shouldn't we go out and show some pride in the USA by cleaning it and taking care of it on it's birthday? Naw, we'd rather launch bottle rockets and accidentally burn down thousands of acres of forest when a faulty Black Cat product malfunctions.
Just as we tend to "celebrate" America by lighting it on fire and blowing it up, it appears from the comments that most women want to "celebrate" Mother's Day by COMPLETELY IGNORING THEIR MOTHERLY DUTIES WHILE PRETENDING THAT THEIR CHILDREN DO NOT EXIST. (I put that in all caps just to show that I picked up on the fact that almost every other comment said something to the effect of, "..just get me away from the kids...", or, "...get me away from the house...", or something similar.) Ladies, we get it. You want a break. After all that you do the other 364 days of the year, most of us can understand why.
(The irony of tying this to Apu is that he and his wife had octuplets after some zany hilarity surrounding their fertilization medication. If you think you need a break with your two kids, try being Apu and Manjula.)
Chief Wiggum Firing His Police-Issued Six Shooter:
1) Megan and Amanda - Your lucky husbands have the easiest job in the world right now. You just listed six presents that you want! Man, talk about an easy gig.
2) Bioman75 - Lakers jersey is an awesome idea. The NMW actually wore her Lakers shirt yesterday after we swept the Nuggets. On a side note - I won an authentic Laker's jersey for finishing in the top-25 of 500,000+ contestants playing Sporting News fantasy NBA. It was such a major accomplishment that it is now the first bullet-point on my resume. I selected a Kobe #8 jersey, loved it for several years, and then ended up selling it for $75 on eBay after the rape trial blew up. Shortly thereafter he changed his number to 24 and I made out like a bandit.
3) The Wiz - Can I please have your husband's email address? I am going to recommend to him that he get you a very practical Mother's Day gift that you might really need right now. It's called Prozac. You seemed a little down, or angry, in your comments. That's not like you at all. Are you okay? (I'll stop right there. This could easily turn into an online episode of Dr. Phil. Assuming, of course, that I'm willing to shave my head, grow a 'stache, gain 140 pounds, and hack off 86 IQ points.)
4) Earl - Knock it off! Seriously, dude. Come on! A baby grand? A ring with all of the kids' birthstones? You're making the rest of us look bad. What's next? A surprise trip to Italy?
5) Ang - Are you telling me that I have to get Andrea an extra present on May 27th when she's due to have baby #3? That would make it four gifts in four weeks (5/11 Mother's Day, 5/27 Giving Birth Day, 6/4 Her Birthday, and 6/14 Anniversary). Both natalie and amanda said that a baby is the best gift that a husband can give. Sweet! Sounds like I've got that gift covered already. And to top it all off, the insurance is paying for it. Yippee!
6) Sorry, the sixth bullet got jammed in the chamber. Remember, this is Chief Wiggum's pistol. Instead of a sixth bullet, Ralphie put a gummy bear in the chamber. Mmmm....explosive gummy bears.....
Well, Sisters, Happy Mother's Day! While the gifts may be better some years than in others, just remember how grateful we are for what you do in our homes and in our lives. The Lord knew what he was doing when he put men and women together. You help us to refine the patient, compassionate, thoughtful sides of our manly nature. There is nothing more important in the world than a mother who loves, teaches, and nurtures her children. The world is a much better place because of each of you.
If I scrapbooked that into a nice layout and put velum on top of it, maybe it could make a good present this year...