Today is Mother's Day, so all you ungrateful children better get your asses in gear and buy something for your momma that says, "I love you this many dollars worth."
Flowers are, of course, a classic. But don't get your mom roses (too Oedipal) or carnations (too cheap). I think most moms like hydrangeas, and these White Hydrangeas in a teal canister are $44.99 from 1-800-Flowers. Martha Stewart is doing a collection for them, and, naturally, it's totally fantastic. All her Mother's Day arrangements are sold out, but I love the spring wildflowers in this Vibrant Purple Bouquet, $49.95.
I think the best present I ever got my mom for Mother's Day was a flower bouquet in the shape of a cake. I'm not sure why, but she thought it was the cutest thing she'd ever seen, even cuter than me as a toddler. This Petite Flowers Cake is $49.95. Unfortunately, there is not a real cake underneath that you can eat (you should probably tell your mom that up front so she doesn't get disappointed when she tries to cut it later), but you can blow out the candle!
As an alternative to the flower cake, if your mom is a little more free-spirited, the kind of mom who let you watch cartoons all afternoon while she nursed her third martini and complained about how your father never appreciated her, there's this Strawberry Floral Margarita bouquet, $69.99. So cute, right? But probably not a good choice if your mother ever went to AA.
But you know what? Flowers die and then it gets a little depressing when you have to throw them out. Books are better, especially if you give a book you've already read, because then your mom can call and discuss it. I got my mom Ann Patchett's Truth and Beauty for Christmas, which was risky because my mom usually doesn't like non-fiction. But this memoir of Patchett's friendship with Lucy Greeley, another writer with a a horribly disfiguring cancer... of the jaw? I don't know, it was some cancer that messed up her face and it's all very sad. Your mom will cry, and yet be touched by the power of female friendship. Other good Ann Patchett books for you or your mom are Bel Canto and Run.
In appreciation of my mom, I'd like to share a little anecdote that she claims never happened but I remember really clearly: we were wandering the aisles of an airport bookstore, and I picked up a Nicholas Sparks book (this was a many years ago, before the movie version of the Notebook came out), and she said, "Ugh, Nicholas Sparks. If he ever had an original thought his head would explode."
But what, you are asking, am I actually planning on getting my mom for Mother's Day? Juno on DVD, because she sent me an email saying, "I want Juno for Mother's Day." Sometimes my life is really easy.