So, the second most dreadful day of the year is coming up for me–Mother’s Day. If you have an unenthusiastic, gift-hating Asian mother like I do, Mother’s Day is kinda stressful. The first most dreadful day of the year–my mom’s birthday–was two months ago. For her birthday, I bought her a wonderful organic lavender eye pillow. She called me a week after her birthday to tell me she had received the pillow. I didn’t bother asking her if she liked it. ( After all, this was the woman who gave me an hour-long phone lecture about finding a “real career” after I had asked her what she thought of the movie Kung Fu Panda.) “Have you used it?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “but I will.” I said OK. She said, “Thanks for sending something.” I expect her to say something similar when she gets my random-ass Mother’s Day box of random-ass things.
What did I put in the box? Boxes of Matcha milk tea, coconut Chai, Lily of the Valley-scented lotion, a bag of Jake’s Granola and a bag of Asian banana chips.
I’m shrugging my shoulders just as much as you are. My Filipina mother is an old school Asian mom. And by that I mean she she’s visibly perturbed at receiving any of the following:
My mother’s response: Why’d you waste your money on those! They’re just gonna die tomorrow!
My mother’s response: Too much sugar and fat! Do you want me to die tomorrow? (She proceeds to hoard the chocolates in an unreachable cabinet already stuffed with sweets.)
3. Gift Certificate to Nail Salon
My mother’s response: I can do that myself at home!
4. Spa/Bath/Beauty Products
My mother’s response: Why do you always give me these? You give me too much of these. Do you think I need a lot of beauty products or something? Oh, your poor old mom.
5. Something Homemade
My mother’s response: Still doing arts and crafts like you did when you were a baby? Aren’t you too old/busy studying/busy working to be doing that?
I’m not saying you can’t give your Asian mother these things. You can and should totally go for it. But how many of ya’ll have ever gotten less than exuberant responses? Actually, come to think of it, my crazy gift-hating Asian mom may not really “hate” these gifts. She isn’t in love with them either. The following gifts, however, are sure to work (on my mom, at least):
1. Cash Money
My mother’s response: How much are you making now? So, you can help us with the bills, right?
2. Rich, Tall Doctor Husband
My mother’s response: It’s good to have a doctor in the family. And since you’re not it you’re gonna need to find one.
3. PhD in a Completely Unrelated Field to What You Majored in.
My mother’s response: It’s not too late for you to go to Pharmacy school the Philippines! I’m sure you could get in, even though you only majored in English.
4. Jobs for your brothers and sisters (and cousins).
My mother’s response: Your sister could intern for you. Just ask your bosses. She does want to do it. Just ask your boss. (Later) Your cousin knows about computers. What does he do with computers? I dunno. Just ask your boss.
5. Matcha Milk Tea
My mother’s response: I really like that Matcha milk tea stuff!
I’m really only equipped to give my mama one of those five things. So….that’s what she’s getting this year. What are ya’ll getting your mamas?
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