Do You Return Gifts from Your Own Kids?

not actual earrings

I’m one of the lucky ones. Every year, for my birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day, my husband takes the kids out to pick out something special for mom. It’s actually one of my most favorite things, not because I get a gift out of it (although that does kind of rock), but I love how excited the little ones get and find it adorable (and a little hilarious) when I see what they choose as something Mommy must have.

My sweet 6-year-old always heads directly for the jewelry counter. Well, not the counter exactly but the area by the counter. Well not the area by the counter but the area behind that. You know, the place where the 17-year-old girls go to pick out those shiny jewelry-esque accessories, some of which are covered in feathers, colorful “stones,” beads or some combination of the three embellishments. With pride and as much gusto as my little man’s body can muster, he carefully, yet enthusiastically, makes his selection.

“These,” he chooses, with his dimpled grin and smiley eyes looking up at my husband as he hands the ear ornaments over, excited to wrap it up and present ’em to Mom.

Flash forward to Christmas morning when I unwrap the package and discover the youthful, bright blue, dangle earrings. “Put them on, Mom,” my proud son practically begs. Of course I do, because I’m not Joan Crawford here, people. I wear them all day and all night and watch my son’s face beam every time he looks at me.

But here’s the question. How often does one have to wear the jewelry in order to be considered a loving, supportive mom? Every week? Do you leave the house or wear them as your cleaning day best? Some moms admitted they somehow “misplace” the earrings after that Christmas day. That just doesn’t seem right to me.

Do you wear jewelry hand-picked by your little ones?


His Father’s Day Secret

Every May, when Mother’s Day rolls around, there’s no shortage in conversations about what moms really want. Whether it’s breakfast in bed, diamonds and pearls, a pedicure or just a moment’s peace… women seem to be pretty vocal about their preferences and expectations.

But this isn’t about them.

A month later, Fathers Day arrives and it’s the guys’ turn. This is when the rest of us tune in to our telepathy and try to truly understand what the heck dads really want. If we believed every newspaper circular, Kohls commercial or Internet pop up ad, the Father’s Day dream is to receive an ugly tie, polo shirt/khakis combo or something out of the complete-waste-of-money department in the Sharper Image catalog. That can’t be right.

This year, I think I stumbled upon man’s ultimate gift. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this one’s gonna sting, ladies.

He wants you to back the heck off.

How did I reach this life-changing epiphany? Facebook, of course. In a recent status update, I asked my dad-friends, “What do you REALLY want for Father’s Day?”

Almost immediately, an answer was posted… by a mom. Within minutes, the comments were flowing and gift ideas (cough: sex) were flying.

But what was most interesting was that out of all of the conversation participants, only one of the comments was actually from a DAD. (Poor Lee didn’t know what hit him.) The rest were moms and one child-free guy having a good time at poor Dad’s expense.

It was kind of a light bulb moment for me.

Could it be that guys are actually telling us what they want but we don’t shut up long enough to hear it? I mean, it makes sense – sort of. Between planning the social calendar and keeping track of endless activities and appointments, women generally assume the role of taking control of it all, often leaving the men lost in the shuffle. I can’t begin to count how many weekends I’ve planned and organized (color-coded spreadsheet, anyone?) where Jeff is just expected to go along for the ride with no time to ask questions or voice an opinion.

Funny, I’ve asked my husband several times what he wants for Father’s Day, yet have completely disregarded the answer. I guess because I’m a fan of the grand gestures, I assumed his request for a simple day couldn’t possibly be what he really wants. But that’s completely unfair to him.

So this year, my husband will receive from me, a very important body part  — my ears. I will hear what he’s saying and spend the day however he wants. I’ll slow down, trade in the multi-tasking for a Sunday drive, and won’t even think about mentioning the pool and garage that need to be cleaned (sorry, couldn’t help myself). I will ignore responsibility, free us all of social obligations and live carefree — in the moment.

For you, honey, I will spend this Father’s Day living like a man. xo

Guys, what do you really want this Father’s Day?

And the Answer Is…

When I asked yesterday if you were at the gym, sweaty after a workout, and forgot your change of clothes for a meeting, what would you do, the majority of you chose shopping as the perfect solution. (I would love to be one of those people who would wear the sweaty workout clothes and not care at all about doing it.)

Well, I am in the majority because I, upon discovering my clothes, accessories and hair products were still sitting at home, drove to my favorite store, Marshalls, and hit the clearance rack. (The benefit of living in SoCal is that even though summer items are on sale, we can wear them for a while still.) I grabbed a skirt, t-shirt, and a pair of sandals, tried them on and quickly raced for the register — grabbing a brush and can of hairspray on the way.

The grand total of my new work outfit, including shoes — a whopping $33!

After doing the math on how much gas it would cost me, time paid I would lose driving all the way home and back, going shopping was actually a bargain. How often does that happen?

I quickly got dressed in my car (if you were in the parking garage that day, I apologize for the impromptu show) and sprayed my hair back so you couldn’t tell I was just getting my butt kicked. I can’t say I pulled it off completely but not one person held their nose during the meeting, and I didn’t notice those sitting close scooching their chair away.

Overall, I would say my decision was a success.