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Zan Thompson

Moms Need Love--and Nice Presents

May 10, 1987|ZAN THOMPSON

If your mother lives in Minneapolis, I'm sure you called her Saturday. Otherwise, you are going to run into telephone circuits overloaded with calls from dutiful children who are checking in with the dear old soul to wish her a happy Mother's Day.

This is the first year I can remember that someone has not written a diatribe against Mother's Day. Usually, the burden of their dirge is that the day has its roots in commercialism, and it is really the National Assn. of Manufacturers that's hustling us into all this unnecessary buying of perfume and flowers.

Twaddle; anything that prompts the buying of foolish fripperies is perfectly fine.

Flowers, a plant, candy are all good presents. Actually, you know your mother well enough to know which is best. If she is a calorie counter and prides herself on being able to get into her prom dress, don't give her candy.

As for the flowers and plants, those go to different kinds of mothers. The first wants the fragrant armload of blossoms that tells her of spring and reminds her of the days when the florist came to the door with those wonderful white satiny boxes tied with gold ribbon. Inside were gardenias, wreathed in green waxed paper that rustled like a taffeta petticoat when she lifted the flowers out. In a few days, the blossoms wilted--but not before filling the room with a splash of Monet color and the fragrance of other springs.

The plant lady would rather have something she can put in the garden and enjoy again next year. That's fine for those mothers who have the magic it takes to make plants grow.

I favor baskets of potpourri, foamy sweaters, panty hose as sheer as a cobweb, a perfume she likes.

If she has been cooking for years, give her a new pan or two. There are some that come in cardinal red or brilliant blue that will bring a touch of brightness to the kitchen.

My friend Jean Erck in Houston bought herself one of those squat round blue casseroles that look just right for Miss Muffet and her curds and whey. I ran right home and bought a similar one. Mine has a glass lid, but the color is the same and so is the shape. That's why I think a pan would make a lovely gift for dear old mother.

As I have said before, do not take her out to dinner on this day unless it is a tradition crusted with age. At least not to a big noisy place. Somewhere in the last two or three years, noise seems to have become a desirable thing in restaurants. There is a misplaced feeling that noise indicates camaraderie and popularity. It doesn't.

Get her a book, the present that lasts forever. Give her a written promise to get all those shoe boxes of snapshots down from the closet shelves, paste the pictures in albums and then let her put the IDs under the pictures. You don't know who those girls in the poodle skirts are, standing under the flowering cherry tree with their arms around each other's waists. But she does.

Most important of all, just tell her you love her. And that you know she wasn't always somebody's mother. One time she and a bunch of kids drove up the coast for a weenie bake and were run off the beach by the Malibu patrol. And another time, after a Bel-Air cotillion, they went to Jerry's Joint in old Chinatown and were caught in a raid. Of course I remember. I was wearing a pink knit dress with a hoop skirt.

Get a card with a sentimental verse, if that's her style. Or write something silly you remember. I have a friend who was voted the Most Valuable Player on the eighth-grade boys basketball team. She was a regular starter because the school was so small. She was also five feet tall.

I'm sure she would like to be remembered for that as well as all her good works at school, church and in the community down the duty-bound years.

Phone, write, make a pitcher of Ramos Fizzes and toast the day for your mother. But mostly let her know she is your friend, because she's funny, uncomplaining, resourceful, tactful and good company. If she's not, I'm sorry, kid. You got the wrong mother and were changed in the cradle by gremlins.

I'm sure that isn't true. May this day be a fragrant recess full of laughter with your best friend. Happy Mother's Day.

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