Reluctant Townie: How to Mother's Day 'like a boss'
This week, in another installment of my continuing "Like a Boss" series, we will learn how to celebrate Mother's Day like a boss. Since embarking on the "Like a Boss" series, many people have written in to ask me, "Jackson, like a boss of what, exactly?"
I don't know. I didn't coin the phrase; I just co-opted it in an attempt to appeal to the youth demographic. Do you need to understand what it is to be "like a boss" in order to be like a boss? In my professional opinion, as the person who is writing this column, you do not. I certainly don't.
But ask yourself this: Would you rather be the boss of Mother's Day or be its overworked employee? Either way, it's not offering dental.
To get the inside track on celebrating Mother's Day, I enlisted the expertise of Barry Sampson, a 37-year-old bachelor still living in his childhood bedroom and self-proclaimed "mama's boy."
"That's actually incorrect," Sampson said during a recent interview. "I never proclaimed myself a mama's boy — that label was branded upon me by others. By the haters, the rubes caught up in the rat race, jealous of my free time and luxurious lifestyle. Yeah, I watched all 13 episodes of 'House of Cards' the day it came out. With my mom! Don't hate because you have a job."
So here are some tips to boss Mother's Day like you mean it:
Try to remember what day it is
News flash: Today is Mother's Day.
"The most important thing you can do on Mother's Day is not forget that it's Mother's Day," Sampson said. "Because if you do, your mom will make offhand remarks about it for pretty much the rest of your life. Trust me."
He suggests setting a reminder on your phone's calendar.
"I tend not to forget because my mom drops hints. Post-its on the bathroom mirror, notes folded into my socks. As it gets closer, the hints get bigger and more obvious. The last time I forgot about Mother's Day was last year, actually — but in my defense, 'The Avengers' had just come out and I was trying to set a world record for the number of times a 36-year-old sat through 'The Avengers' in a homemade Thor costume. I ended up taking home third place."
Identify the correct mother
When celebrating Mother's Day, the first thing you should ask yourself is: Is this person my mother? Does she look like my mother? Does she share the same name and Social Security number?
Nothing is worse than spending your time and energy on someone who turns out, in the end, to be a complete stranger you mistakenly abducted from the parking lot of Jo-Ann Fabrics.
"It happened to me once," Sampson said. "Until her dying day, my mother will never let me forget the year I took another woman on a hot-air balloon ride. Neither will the state of Illinois. I'm sorry, Ma! Chrissakes, you were wearing matching head scarves."
Wake her up early and make her cook you breakfast
The more elaborate the breakfast, the better, Sampson said.
"Your mom basically lives to do stuff for you," he said. "Mother's Day is the perfect time to acknowledge that. Even if she protests, force your mom to get up and cook you a big Mother's Day breakfast. Bacon, eggs, pecan waffles with mixed-berry fruit compote — all from scratch of course. Even if she doesn't say it out loud, your mother will be so grateful to know that she's needed.
"Without our moms, we would all starve and die," said the 37-year-old, who admitted to being able to microwave some pretty mean pizza rolls, if worse came to worst.
Do stuff your mom likes to do
Go to the laundromat. Attend some PTA meetings. Nag your father about when he's going to clean out the gutters. It's her day, after all.
"Watch whatever schlock she wants to watch on TV," Sampson said. "At least for a little while. This might mean you have to sit through game shows about letters or religious programming or a 'Golden Girls' auction on QVC — so be prepared. I usually keep a cellphone or tablet handy so I can watch something else during our quality time."
Invite Anderson Cooper to come hang out with you
Old people like your mom seem to love that guy. Invite him out to go shopping for cool novelty T-shirts at Kohl's — your mom's treat, of course.
"Anderson Cooper might not (Editor's note: WILL NOT) actually show up," Sampson said. "But it's the thought that counts. Speaking of thoughts, this is also a great time to let it be known that you thought about getting her flowers, too."
Present her with a compliment
Flattery is key to boss status on Mother's Day.
"They say talk is cheap, but did you know that you can pay for things in compliments?" a wide-eyed Sampson asked. "Compliments are a great thing to get your mom for Mother's Day — they are inexpensive to produce. Just focus on some specific quality about your mom, then exaggerate the heck outta it."
Give your 'Yo mama' jokes a heart
Humor has its place on Mother's Day, but know your audience.
"Keep the jokes as clean as possible," Sampson said. "Moms don't like it when you go blue. Also, keep it positive.
"Here's an example of one of my favorite Mother's Day jokes: Yo mama is so wonderful that they had to get a second overflow bucket to catch all that wonder! Man, that one kills at my mom's scrapbooking club."
Or you could just call her
Studies have shown that no matter how often you talk to your mother, she would like it to occur on a more frequent basis.
Ryan Jackson is calling his mother in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ..., and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.