Commentary 10 May 2012 08:46 pm
Moms must have a better public-relations firm than dads.
How else can you explain the gallons of additional ink spilled each May to exult the maternal, compared to the rather tepid encomiums for dear old Dad one month later?
Moms get all the jewelry, mushy prose, burnt-toast breakfasts in bed, beautiful bouquets that almost single-handedly keep the floral business afloat for another 12 months, and finger-painted hearts from budding Picassos that look like they were completed during his surrealist phase.
Dads get, what? Ties and barbecue aprons.
It’s not that I begrudge moms their moment in the spotlight, but you must admit, it’s one loooong moment, accompanied by a few extra encores and curtain calls. Coupled with their stranglehold on the mass media — when’s the last time a mom was the killer on “Dateline NBC” or “48 Hours Mystery”? Never, that’s when. It’s always Dad, Dad, Dad — moms have the market cornered on the whole familial love thing.
Which is why I’m suggesting some gift options to help level the parental playing field. Giving Mom something from the Schillig collection this Sunday will make a definite statement. The exact nature of this statement is best left to the individual, but let’s just say that it won’t be the sort of tapioca sentimentality engendered by your run-of-the-mill rose corsage or cliched $4.99 breakfast special from Denny’s. To wit:
Pic Nic Pants. Leave it to the Italians, the folks who brought us Gelato and homicidal mobsters, to design a pair of pants that doubles as a picnic table. These jeans come with an extra flap of fabric between the legs so that when Mom sits cross-legged, a stretchable table is created, perfect for a paper plate of chicken, macaroni salad and corn on the cob. A drink holder clips to either leg, as well, perfect for left- or right-handed mothers.
Plush-toy uterus. Web-based retail reporters at Racked (la.racked.com) say that this stuffed version of the womb is a hit with moms who double as OB/GYNs, but I bet any woman would like a smiley-faced uterus to cuddle up with on a cold winter’s night or to dangle from their rearview mirror like a talisman to ward off bad luck. If you think a uterus is tacky, the company that makes these, I Heart Guts, also offers a stuffed heart (”I Got the Beat”) and a stuffed kidney (”When Urine Love”).
Hot Mamma Make-Up Kit. This little wonder comes with gold eyelashes and a stick-on facial tattoo in the shape of a dollar sign. After a long day of changing diapers and slaving over a hot, homemade meal, Mom can indulge her inner wild child and let her freak flag fly. Kits are available at stupid.com, which also suggests the Hillary Clinton nutcracker for the mom who has (almost) everything.
Pizza and “Psycho.” Forget the long lines at restaurants. Grab a $5 Little Caesar’s pizza (splurge for the Crazy Bread, too, if you’re feeling generous) and cue up Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie about a boy and his (stuffed) matriarch. Families can bond over such sentiments as “A boy’s best friend is his mother,” “A son is a poor substitute for a lover,” and “She might have fooled me, but she didn’t fool my mother.” Oh, and of course, “Mother! Oh God, Mother! Blood! Blood!”
WineRack Bra. A company called the Beerbelly sells this miracle of modern lingerie, a brassiere that “doubles” as a secret hiding place for all of mother’s liquid little helpers. Unfortunately, the item is already sold out (which makes me wonder how many women are already sipping from their secret cups, so to speak), so chances are slim that Mom can use it this year to medicate herself before the recital of yet another schmaltzy poem from some budding, baby Wordsworth.
When I read this list to my wife, she said she’d much rather have a charm for her Pandora bracelet this Sunday, an option much more expensive than anything here.
Good thing she’s not my mother, or I’d be out a bundle.
@cschillig on Twitter
Originally published May 10, 2012, in The Alliance Review.