Family lore has it that my father-in-law once gave my mother-in-law a microwave for Mother’s Day.
The first time I heard about this I said, “A microwave. Handy.”
“A microwave,” my wife said again.
“Did you have one already?”
“A microwave,” my wife repeated.
“I’m sensing you’re trying to tell me something here,” I said.
Something that I obviously didn’t get, because what did I get my wife last year for Mother’s Day? No, not a microwave, but one of those machines that make seltzer water. I thought it was pretty cool, ’cause it has this canister of compressed air that you slot into it, and when you “seltzer-ize” water — I guess carbonate might be a better word — the machine makes this fantastic noise, like a sick goose is honking up phlegm in your kitchen. Honk, HONK! Neat, right? My wife was less than excited.
“But you love seltzer,” I said. “And now you’ll never have to buy it, or wish we had it around. You can make your own!”
“Brian, it’s an appliance.”
And that, my friends, is how I learned: There are some presents that, no matter how much they make sense to you, are not appropriate for Mother’s Day! So that you don’t make the same mistake I did, I hereby present to you my guide for what NOT to buy that special mom in your life. Disregard this advice at your own peril!