By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
You might consider it a rare blessing during the covid-19 lockdown, but this year you won’t have to take your mom out on May 10 for a meal of rubber chicken breasts and dubious cream of something-or-other soup.
But that does not — repeat, does not — excuse you from doing something special for her on Mother’s Day.
Here in Mexico, Mother’s Day, which this year falls on a Sunday, is a big deal, a VERY big deal.
May 10 is HER day, and there are plenty of ways to indulge, pamper and coddle the mother of your children or the woman who brought you into this world on this special occasion that don’t involve giving her a power drill or tickets to a soccer tournament. (Yes, I´m talking to you guys out there).
So, just in case you are still contemplating a trip to Home Depot to find her the perfect gift, here are eight much more viable presents that will keep you out of the doghouse and actually make her smile.
1) Give her flowers or candy.
(This one is a no-brainer and far more attractive to her than that ratchet wrench you had been eying).
Most flower stands in Mexico will double or triple their prices on Mother’s Day, so expect to pay a hefty fee for a dozen roses or an arrangement of gladiolas, but, remember, it is partly your fault for waiting until the last minute to get her a gift.
Bear in mind, not all florists are open, but since this is a red letter day for most Mexican florists, you should find some that will deliver in your neighborhood.
(Be sure to include a generous tip for the delivery person, since she or he is risking exposure to the coronavirus by going outside.)
Candy prices won’t go up, so consider ordering some guilty pleasures from a nice chocolatier to be delivered to her,. (No, a bag of Hershey’s Kisses isn’t going to cut it.)
Then again, candy can sometimes by a double-edged sword of a gift if your mother is trying to lose weight.
If she recently joined Weight Watchers, skip this option.
2) Give her perfume.
This one is tricky unless you know what scent she likes.
Every woman’s chemistry is different, so how a fragrance smells on her is different from how it might smell on someone else.
Also, some women prefer light citrusy aromas and others opt for exotic floral or oriental perfumes.
If you don’t know what perfume your mother likes, or at least what family of aromas she prefers, you are probably better off choosing one of the other seven options.
3) Make her lunch or dinner.
With most restaurants closed or only offering takeout and delivery, you might want to try your hand at being an at-home Julia Child, (Tip: Unless you are an experienced Cordon Bleu chef, don’t get too creative or you may be setting yourself up for disaster. Stick to the recipe in the cookbook.)
Remember, it’s the thought behind the gift that counts, so if you end up burning that chicken Kiev or undercooking the croissants, Mom will forgive you.
If the thought of you facing off with the stove is too traumatic, some high-end restaurants are offering special delivery Mother’s Day meals, such as the Grupo Hunan, which is offering a four-course gourmet meal to be delivered from Trastevere for just 1,160 pesos.
A lot of other local restaurants will be coming up with Mother’s Day delivery meals, so choose one that you know your mother really likes and give her a day away from the stove.
4) Give her makeup.
Consider giving Mom a boost to her ego with a selection of nice makeup and beauty products.
Amway’s Artistry Studio has just launched its new Tokyo-inspired collection that will make her feel glamourous and global, even if she hasn’t crossed the house’s threshold in the last 40 days.
The new collection takes it cue from Japan’s bright cherry blossoms of the season and Tokyo’s colorful kawaii culture, with its time-honored traditions.
It includes wow-effect lashes, radiantly bright lipsticks and incredible originally color palletes with creamy kabuki shades that run the gamut from glamourous to eye-popping.
There is also a correcting cream and foundation base with hints of green. lilac and peach tones that diffuse imperfections, plus a rosy-pink blush.
The Amway Artistry Studio collection also has two refreshing body sprays, Sweet Sakura (inspired by the intoxicating scent of cherry blossoms) and Refreshing Yuzu (based on Japanese citrus and tous flowers).
All the Tokyo collection comes is beautifully colored packagings with designs by artist Rumi Kuraji, and can be ordered from the Amway’s webpage.
This is a no-worries solution because it’s a one-size-fits-all gift that she can use to choose an item (either on line or later, when she can go out) that she will really enjoy and want to wear (unlike that purple and yellow spotted sweater you gave her last year that was four sizes too big and which is still buried in the back of her closet with the orange, pink and blue striped muumuu dress you brought her back from your trip to Hawaii three years ago).
And go with her to shop, or help her with choosing her gift on line.
Spend some real quality time with her doing something she enjoys. (It’s true that shopping is usually a double-x chromosome thing and probably not something you really look forward to, but think about all the school plays and football games she sat through for you.)
7) Buy her tickets to the theater or a concert (not Rammstein or Metalica).
Most women enjoy the opera, but if sitting through three hours of weepy arias is more than you can stomach, a nice Johann Sebastian Bach concerto or Sergei Rachmaninoff recital will do.
Be sure to choose tickets for a time when the pandemic lockdown will be over.
And, the concert will be something you can both look forward to when the quarantine finally ends.
8) And the easiest (and least expensive) gift you can give her, tell her you love her.
Call her, send her a card, send her an email or, if she is still living in the dark ages of pre-internet, send her a telegram.
The important thing is to let her know she is loved and appreciated.
And remember, there is always payback.
Father’s Day is coming up next month, and if you play your cards right today, you might end up with that high-torque ratchet wrench you had your heart set on come June 21.
… May 4, 2020