humor column logo


January 2007
Greg Has New Humor and New Sites Online
Free Clip Art and Cool Design Tool
Insultfinder Insult Database (#1 search result for for Dirty Insults at Google)
Greg's new opinionated blog

May 10, 1996

Adult Children Of Mothers
Copyright 1996 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

"It's the 27th annual Mother's Day Guiltathon, starring Your Mom, with a special guest appearance by Grandma!!! Broadcast live from Greenfarb's Deli!!! And now, you know her, you love her, you fear her, she gave birth to you... Heeeeeeere's Mommy!!!"

For our foreign readers, a little explanation is necessary. Sunday, May 12th, is Mother's Day in the United States. A special holiday set aside for honoring our mothers. And as it is with Christmas, for a short period of time, Mom becomes as big a commercial icon as Santa Claus.

Every greeting card company executive wears a lobster bib for a month before, protecting his silk tie from all the excess drool. The telephone companies gear up for their heaviest call volume of the year. The jewelry companies, appliance companies, and flower companies all start blitzing the media with ads suggesting gifts you should buy. And how do they know this will be so effective? Because if you don't buy Mom a card, and call her, and give her a gift... YOU'RE A BAD KID!!!!!

Mother's day is sacred. Even if you've been in therapy for seventeen years, this is the one day you are not allowed to blame Mom for ruining your life. On this day she gets to say "you're not going out dressed like that, are you" and you have to go change. On this day she gets to spit on a hankie and clean your face, even if you're 62. On this day she gets to tell embarrassing stories from your childhood and you have to keep quiet. On this day she is Momzilla and you're Tokyo.

But there's a loophole in Mother's Day, one not enough adult children exploit. No matter what gift you get her, she has to pretend to like it. This gift matter is a very complex calculation, though. The first rule, "it's not the gift, but the thought that counts," is very important here. If you just run out and get her the cheapest piece of crap you can find, or if you deliberately buy her the most insulting/annoying gift possible, you're going to find socks and underwear waiting for you under the tree come Christmas.

The bad Mother's Day gift is an art unto itself. Oh, sure, you could just get her the most unflattering bathrobe they have in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart. But that's the easy way out. For the really good bad gifts, you have to develop layers of meaning.

Here's an example. Your mother has a job. She's no Holly Homemaker. She's liberated. A vacuum cleaner, one of the great icons of domesticity, would be way too insulting. But you really want to stick the knife in and twist it hard. The answer... a portable car-vac. It's practical, handy, and it is technically a luxury item. But, best of all, it's still a vacuum cleaner.

Another example. Perfume is a classic Mother's Day gift. And if you want to do it the good-kid way, all you have to do is go into her bathroom. You'll see the bottles of her favorite brands right there in prime places. Buy one of those and you're gold. The way to get your unspoken revenge... Don't buy Mom the brand that she wears. Buy her the brand that Grandma wears.

So maybe the Mother's Day Guiltathon is on in full swing. Maybe you've already gone out and bought a new washcloth to make sure your face is scrubbed clean, had that outfit she likes cleaned and pressed, and even had your hair cut in a style with which she can't find fault. But, if you're smart, and you really put some thought into Mom's gift, well maybe you'll be able to enjoy yourself just a little.

Return To 1996 Archive




Layout and Text - © 1995 - 1997 by Greg Bulmash (
Click Here for info on web site design services.