It’s the Friday before Mother’s Day, which means many of you are learning that better people than you booked all the weekend restaurant reservations, and you have to take the wonderful woman who birthed you to Applebee’s. Mothers and mother figures put up with the worst from us, and even though we are supposed to give them one day a year where we aren’t spritely little trolls who scream at them, we still mess it up. It’s the Friday before Mother’s Day… and what have you bought for your mother? A $6.00 Hallmark card with a grandma bear hugging a baby bear because it was the last one available? An Edible Arrangement? A bouquet of half-dead bodega flowers?
The truth is, the best things you can get for your mother are free-- which is good, because your mom always does that thing where she goes “save your money” when you talk about taking her out, and you know she thinks you’re poor. Here are my tips for the best free gifts to give Mom below:
1. . A Little Gossip Nugget About Your Friend Lisa
Giving your mom a little window into your life is important, especially because your boring life isn’t nearly half as interesting as you seem to think it is. In fact, the person who cares the most about your stupid comings and goings is probably your mother. Nobody else wants to hear about how your bag got lost at the airport, or how your hot water doesn’t work in your kitchen sink. So when she asks you how your friend Lisa is, let her feel like she’s part of the gang, and at least a part of your immense passive-aggressive hatred towards Lisa. Say, “oh, she’s good. She’s dating a guy who has a tattoo of The Giving Tree." Then let her go into ramble mode about how Lisa can’t seem to grow up and guys with children’s book tattoos are probably, in some way, all perverts. You’ll feel great, your mom will feel valued, and all will be fine.
2. . A Phone Call Where You Let Her Go In About Aunt Jean
In addition to talking about your friends, your mom also wants to talk to you about her life. When you call your mom, do you listen to her stories about her neighbor Diane, or her job, or her day? Or do you just brush past them to talk about the things you want to talk about? Stop being the worst! Let your mom go OFF on her coworkers, or how she figured out how to work Facebook, or whatever else she wants to talk about. Especially if it’s about Aunt Jean, that crafty little wench. Mom wants to talk about Aunt Jean because you also know how awful Aunt Jean is, and she wants to find common ground; Especially if it’s relating to family.
3. . An Acknowledgement That You Are On The Family Plan
Your mom does a lot of nice things for you. Maybe it’s dropping you a $20 bill before you leave her house, maybe it’s her constant encouragement, maybe it’s even her criticism when you slack off and don’t live up to your potential. But if you are on her cell phone plan, you better stop what you’re doing and thank her for that ish. Being a part of a family cell phone plan is the last bit of childlike innocence you will experience as an adult. It is the closest you will ever be to living in the womb again. In a world where some people have to pay all their bills, there is you, a 30-year-old guy who is still on mom’s cell phone plan. I hope you know how lucky you are.
4. . A Whole Conversation Where You Don't Correct Her Pop Culture Knowledge
That’s it. That’s the gift. When your mom gets on the phone to talk to you about that kids movie your father loves with the guy from the show about naked women, don’t interrupt her to say "Star Wars." When your mom tries to tell you about The Matrix starring Canoe Reeves, don’t roll your eyes and berate her. Just keep listening. And then ask her to describe Game of Thrones. That one would probably be pretty funny.
5. . A Homemade Card
Do you know how much a homemade card would be for your mother? Just something where you take a damn moment to write down the feelings you have for the woman who raised you, and bought you stupid sweatshirts that said "99% Angel" on them in high school and stuff? Be a good human and write those feelings down. Simply thank her for what she’s done for you, you ungrateful cretin. Now go clean your room!