Which One of These Cards Screams, "Thanks For Giving Me Life"?

Help me choose my mom's Mother's Day card because if she hates it I can just blame you all.

May 9, 2012 at 1:32pm | Leave a comment

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The price of showing your love has gone WAY up since the good ole misspelled macaroni art days, which for me weren't that long ago. See my mom pretty much hates store bought anything. Vomit some glitter and glue on construction paper and the woman is happy.

I can only imagine what she says to the ladies in her drum circle (yes, I said drum circle):

"Look what my daughter sent me from Washington!" my mom will exclaim in between beats and after producing a heart-shaped filial love letter with scalloped edges. 

"Oh, Frances, how beautiful. What grade is she in?"

"Hmm," my mom thinks for a minute. "The 25th?"

This year I decided to make my age and station known through the unspoken force of my Mother's Day card's sheer awesomeness. Also, store-bought cards are easier to send. And the last time I was at the Post Office, the list of banned materials was staggering. Maybe glitter is terrorist-ic? Plus, another downside to homemade anything is that it doesn't last too long. My mom has a shoebox filled with disintegrating colored papyrus that rivals any antiquities collector's. 

But let me tell you the pre-packaged personalized Mother's Day message industry is severely lacking. You wouldn't think it with the explosion of pink and red in the Hallmark aisle of your local buy anything store because all signs point to an embarrassment of riches. But do you really call the lady who raised you, "Mama," "Mom!", "Mother" or "Girl" (that was on a Mahogany card)? 

I wanted understated, elegant and memorable, not funny, tacky or cheesy. Is that too much to ask, cute guy from "500 Days of Summer"? 

After picking over the leavings at my local mom and pop doodad shop and the CVS in the fancy neighborhood, which DID have different stuff, I came up with these three options. I'll most likely still have to make a trip to Michaels, but my mom can always get more than one card.

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This one was just pretty. It reminds me of cherry blossoms and my mom loves cherry blossoms, which remind her of the two years she spent at college in the Pacific Northwest, which is also when she started dating girls. So this card says a lot despite being totally blank inside. 

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Is this weird? Because I was so drawn to it. Like a sailor to a siren. The guy next to me gave me a look when I picked it up and he probably thinks I had an unhappy childhood or my mom's in jail instead of retiring on a Caribbean island. Is the 1970s soul mermaid trying to drown this poor unfortunate kid, or is she letting her go to live her life "out on de shore" where "dey work all day"? 

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"Your life is an inspiration." No truer five words have ever been written by a stranger when it comes to my relationship with my mom. But then there's more.

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"The way you go about your life is an inspiration. You may not even realize how much joy you bring...but you truly deserve to know that you're appreciated and celebrated today. HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY." Why not just quit while you're ahead? I usually hate cards with words because it smacks of laziness. But since I'm giving my mom Toni Morrison's newest novel, "Home," as a gift, this card could double as a book mark. That's what it is, right?

It's hard out there for an only child, ya'll. We've got to make all the parental decisions from pulling the plug (that isn't even a joke. I bring up my mother's living will in almost every conversation we have) to which card to send for Mother's Day. If there were more of me we'd have a vote -- or just send them all. But thankfully I've got all of you. Pick a card, any card. Well not any card, but still.