The anti Mother's Day gift guide
Um.... is it a lobotomy? Photo: Getty
As the great philosopher Madonna once opined, 'life is a mystery'. Luckily, in these topsy turvy times of great internal angst, there are certain known-knowns we can hold onto. They are the things that keep us warm and safe at night; comforts such as the knowledge that beards are best, and how everyone enjoys Game of Thrones just that little bit more when there's dirty sexing or Joffrey gets slapped.
But there is perhaps no beacon so bright in the long dark night of the soul as the enduring strength of Aussie Mums. Selfless, clean and resplendent in button down shirts, they are the glue that holds this fragile nation together. Without them, we'd be lost - a snarling, grubby mess of people, drinking unmixed cordial straight from the bottle, dragging ourselves through perilous fields of germs and amassing a collection of horrifying grass stains that will never know the take-no-prisoners bloodlust of a lioness armed with Napisan.
According to the Attenborough-esque documentary tidbits known as 'ads' screened in between television stories, a peculiar thing happens to women when they become mothers. Prior to having children, they were these sort of attractively superficial people with an overwhelming interest in frivolity. They craved the superior equestrian ability that tampons gave them, and enjoyed falling in love with handsome strangers over the mutual appreciation of instant coffee. They drank Diet Coke through straws and tittered with their friends about the Office Hunk who cleaned windows as a side project to international modeling. They knew the brazen confidence that could be harnessed through a bouncy hairdo or an effective deodorant or the technological miracle of a moisturising razor. When they weren't having yoghurt parties in the park, they worried about what to feed their small dogs. Sometimes, they just liked to stand in the garden and spin. They were Fun, Vibrant and Free.
But were they happy? I put it to you that they were not. Because as everyone knows, women need only one thing to be truly content and that is to push a 7 pound cantaloupe out of their special area that they can then spend the rest of their lives protecting from germs, picking up from soccer practice and feeding porridge to. Girls can run on the beach in minuscule white bikinis to their hearts content - but surely such gay abandon is meaningless if there are no platters of KFC and hapless husbands to come home to at the end of the day?
But motherhood isn’t ALL sharing a conspiratorial giggle with the air conditioner over Master 36’s inept attempts at babysitting, or comparing cleaning products with awestruck peers. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like feeding fresh jam on bread to all of the neighbourhood’s children. Sometimes, you need a more of a break than a Kit Kat can muster up.
That’s why we have Mother’s Day. So we can show our appreciation to mums by buying them gifts that either help them with the cleaning or help them to relax after they’ve DONE the cleaning.
It’s the thought that counts, but it can still be hard to know what says ‘Thanks Mum!’ best when there are only so many vacuums you can fit in a cupboard. So if you’re struggling with what to get your unpaid maid for Mother’s Day, why not consider the following top three options?
1. A lobotomy
Much as they might chuckle at the disastrous apocalypse that occurs when their husbands attempt to cook dinner and ‘give them the night off’, occasionally mothers will be niggled by the little things. Are they REALLY naturally better at ironing bedsheets? If not, why doesn’t anyone else share the load? Clearly, these questions can only lead to unhappiness. So why not invest in a partial lobotomy? By removing the frontal lobe, you’ll be sure to eradicate all trace of independent thought and retain the things that you love best about mum, meaning she need never question her happiness again! If you’re a bit strapped for cash, just have them watch the paid presentations on Australian morning television. The effect will be much the same.
2. A lifetime membership to K-Mart
Not only is K-Mart cheap (and mothers hate spending money on themselves) but it’s also FULL of one of the things mothers love best in the world. I am, of course, referring to pink polar fleece. Is there a better way for mum to relax after wiping down the kitchen benches than being wrapped in a decadent pink polar fleece dressing gown, nibbling on a naughty bar of chocolate and watching the latest season of Desperate Housewives? There are literally millions of better ways, but why let truth get in the way of a good marketing spin? Probably best to stick to the polar fleece. It’s on special this week, and mothers love a bargain.
3. A sterilisation chamber
Apart from pregnancy being exceptionally kind to women’s hair and fingernails, it also delivers a range of key superpowers. One of these is the ability to spot microscopic germs and bacteria. This is why mothers’ houses are always so white - it better enables them to fight the bacterial warfare raging daily in their abode (not to be confused with commode - women, of course, do not poo which is why they’re so frightened of toilets). As a result, mothers hate germs and will do literally anything to protect their family from them. A sterilisation chamber eradicates the need for constant vigilance - simply pop it into the doorway and watch all the rogue mud, food stains and Ebola unpeel themselves from that shattered entity that used to be your family’s immune systems.
4. The collected works of Proust
If you suspect that none of these gifts will appeal to your wife/mother - and here’s a hint: you’re right - then I suggest getting her something that reflects the enormous sacrifices she’s made for you over the years. A therapist, for example, or a new vagina.
For the mothers, I wish you all a happy day full of copious amounts of champagne, lots of afternoon delight and exactly nothing that suggests you’re being given a ‘day off’.
Because you should know that mothers are never allowed a day off from keeping an eye on the grime. Shame on you for even thinking that. Now go and inspect that toilet bowl. Your mother-in-law’s on her way.