Last year on Mothers Day, my gift was a junior-sized T-shirt with the word Fame written across it. I loved that TV show growing up, but I have to admire the shirt from the corner of my drawer because I cannot get it over my head.
The year before, I was given a piece of do-it-yourself pottery with two orange paint-splattered frogs hugging.
So this year, I went through the stack of ads in my paper to circle something I might like, and there I discovered the problem.
Kohls is pushing perfume to the Taylor Swift mom fans out there. I dont know how many tween mothers are among us, but before you buy this, dear children, I would rather you give that money to help them find food and shelter.
There is only one right way to give me White Diamonds, and it is not in a spray.
Despite what Miss Dior, Marc Jacobs Dot and Coach Poppy are trying to sell you, your mother is not an oversized girl child. I have no idea what Viva La Juicy La Fleur translates to, but I doubt your mama is going to do it, and Ed Hardys Love Kills Slowly Life, Love, Luck perfume sounds like an ad promoting domestic violence.
If anyone in this family goes to Belks and buys me a sign with Laundry Rules or Bathroom Rules, you will take over the housework entirely.
Big Lots suggests reading glasses, but lets just take all medically related or age-inappropriate gifts off the table, shall we?
Kmart thinks a diamond-accented bracelet with the word Mom written on it 80 times is a good idea you know, in case I forgot about delivering two enormous babies who camped out in my womb three weeks past their due dates. Listen, I love being a mom, but wearing cheap jewelry is not a way to keep me loving it.
Let me be blunt about the purchasing of a blender, toaster, soda maker, iron, sewing machine, classic stand mixer and their ilk. You will absolutely need to find another place to live immediately after opening.
If you are thinking about going to Hallmark and buying me a card with a slim red-headed woman wearing a sleeveless floral-print dress throwing her child into the air while the sun bathes them in love, this is someone elses mother, dear. Perhaps you are the one in need of a bracelet of reminders.
Also, Home Depot has some lovely hanging plants, but unless you are going to water them, dont buy them. Gifts for mothers should not need maintenance.
Target suggests a $500 iPad. If this family has enough money for that, then please send me on an all-inclusive weekend trip somewhere with just my friends. I havent seen them since the baby showers.
Living Social is offering pole dancing lessons for mothers, and while being a stripper is an emotionally healthy, well-paying, respectable profession, your mother has too much on her plate already.
And Mama does not need any chocolate from Walgreens. I already have a stash in my glove compartment.
If you want to get me something for Mothers Day, and lets face it, you dont have a choice, then I would like you, your sister and your father to shower me with gratitude every single day for the next 365. I would like to feel appreciated for keeping your clothes cleaned, your bellies full and your lives in order.
Trust me when I tell you that, one day, I will not be here, and if I could call my mama on the rings of Saturn and say just one thing, it would be: Thank you.
Leigh Sanders, a former middle school teacher and current volunteer with the ESL program at Wake Tech, is the mother of two daughters, 4 and 7.
She lives in Raleigh.