March 31, 2010

What Not To Wear

As I mentioned yesterday, I get a lot of offers to try stuff out then talk about it on my site. Some offers are good. Most are very, very bad. The other day - and coincidentally while trying to come up with some good ideas for Mother's Day presents - I got an interesting tidbit that somehow escaped my spam filter. Relevant bits below, taken verbatim.

Hi There,

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, men of all ages struggle to find the perfect gift. This year—have no fear.

Our newest garment, Slendersize is constructed with built in shape wear to reduce the hassle of having to wear two garments. Slendersize works to smooth and contour and is available in pants and skirts.

Thank you and happy shopping!

Okay, I'm a guy so you'll have to help me here but basically what I just read is that this company is offering a product that makes you appear thinner than you are and wants you to give this fabulous gift to the mother in your life. I'm in no way sexist nor do I believe in stereotypes but I do see an inherent flaw with this sales pitch. There is absolutely no way any man could purchase said garment, give it to said mother, and not be met with the immediate reply so you think I'm fat. You'd be better off giving a gym membership and a can of Slim Fast. Am I correct?

Now, since many of your are moms or have moms of your own, I have to selfishly ask a few questions. With Mother's Day approaching, what's the best Mother's Day present you've ever gotten? And what's the best present you've given?

Posted by Chris at March 31, 2010 6:58 AM

For Mother's Day, I enjoy gifts that are either splurges I don't usually get for myself - like spa treatments - or things that tie in with stuff I like to do. Last year, my hubby brought me to pick out a bunch of trees and plants since I enjoy gardening.

Posted by: Traci at March 31, 2010 7:59 AM

Mothers Day always falls on or right around my B-day. So to be honest, I'll take anyone just separating the two.

Posted by: jodifur at March 31, 2010 8:20 AM

My husband is notoriously bad about mother's day - that said, my favorite gift he's gotten me has been an iTunes gift card. Can't really go wrong with that for me.

I'm kind of lucky that mother's day falls during the school year though because I always get some super cute handmade thing from my kids. Fathers get kind of gypped on that one.

Posted by: Sarah at March 31, 2010 8:43 AM

1. You are correct (re: "So you think I'm fat." Or, more accurately, "Fuck you.")

2. Oh, Mother's Day gifts are so personal, just like birthday gifts. I don't think there's a standard great gift except for whatever she tends to like. But, in my house, we don't buy Mother's/Father's Day gifts at all. We each let the other sleep in on our respective days, and that's pretty much the extent of it. I do believe that the "real" gift is a gift of time and relaxation, so maybe a trip to the salon, etc.

Oh!! I know. The most awesome gift is forethought--SCHEDULE her a hair appointment with her most trusted stylist, not at some fancy salon she's never been to, and send her off. And don't make it an 8AM appointment. Still let her sleep in. Oh, and give her a gift card to her favorite clothing store and tell her to get herself a new MILF-y outfit! If she has a shopping partner(sister, friend, whatever), schedule a shopping date for the two of them following the hair appointment! You and another dad could co-conspire to create the most awesome Mother's Day ever. Oh, wow. Now I wish my husband read your blog, and the comments section.

Posted by: Sabrina at March 31, 2010 8:44 AM

Personally I would LOVE it if my husband got me a Slendersize. If I were you, I'd buy a stock of them so you can give Beth some more on her birthday and Christmas.

*mental note to read Beth's blog the day after Mother's Day*

Posted by: Julie at March 31, 2010 9:19 AM

Dude. If someone gave me that as a present for any holiday - even my best friend - I would hit them. And I'm not all that violent of a person.

I always give plants for Mother's Day. But then again, we're all plant-y kind of garden people. But my favorite was when I found a beautiful lobelia for my grandmother. It's her very favorite flower and she hadn't had one in her garden for years.

Posted by: k8 at March 31, 2010 9:53 AM

I don't know if I've ever got my mom anything particularly awesome for mother's day. Probably some macaroni craft when I was 4 ;)

Posted by: Heather at March 31, 2010 9:59 AM

Best I have received: No brainer, a self made card from my children. 2nd best, an Ipod.

Best I gave to my mother: a touched up framed b/w photo of my grandparents. The year after my grandma had died.

Stop by my site to see the photo.

Posted by: SoccerMom at March 31, 2010 10:30 AM

Best received--spa time and gift card to shop

Best given--no idea, but I'll check with my mom.

I did send a corsage to my birth mom the first year we met and she loved it--so not to bad.

Good Luck!

Posted by: debb at March 31, 2010 10:56 AM

Best received--spa time and gift card to shop

Best given--no idea, but I'll check with my mom.

I did send a corsage to my birth mom the first year we met and she loved it--so not to bad.

Good Luck!

Posted by: debb at March 31, 2010 10:56 AM

Best received--spa time and gift card to shop

Best given--no idea, but I'll check with my mom.

I did send a corsage to my birth mom the first year we met and she loved it--so not to bad.

Good Luck!

Posted by: debb at March 31, 2010 10:56 AM

My mom probably wants a Coach bag.. if only I could indulge her. I got her one for her birthday so I think I'm off the hook.

I hate mothers day shopping.

Posted by: Katie at March 31, 2010 11:41 AM

I think the insult implicit in giving that gift transcends gender. If someone gave me some kind of man-girdle as a gift, I'd kick him in the nuts. (Really I would probably spend several hours locked in the bathroom, sobbing quietly).

The best mom day gift I gave was way back when I was 38 or so. There's a wonderful poem by Billy Collins called "Lanyard." You can read it here:

It's written from the POV of a son who gave his mom a camp-made lanyard in exchange for all of her love and sacrifice. Everyone should read it.

Anyway, my mom and I both love Billy Collins and dislike most other contemporary poets. So I made a big book out of construction paper bound with yarn and printed the poem out all fancy-like on it. Then I made a lanyard with a special lanyard-making kit from the craft store (who knew such a thing existed?). You should have seen me, shirtless (sans girdle even), sweating, and cussing like a sailor as I wove this thing on a blazing hot day in our non-airconditioned house.

I managed to get it all together and send it to her along with the caveat that she shouldn't expect such elaborate gifts in the future. I considered the gift a success because she reported crying upon receiving it.

Posted by: beta dad at March 31, 2010 12:18 PM

The best present I've ever gotten wasn't for mother's day, but for Valentine's day. My husband gave me a guitar and a gift certificate for lessons. I had always wanted to learn, he knew that, and he made it happen. I was in the middle of working full time and earning a degree at night, so I never would have done this for myself, thinking I was too busy, but it actually relaxed me and made having to work so hard a little bit better.

He's also had dinners catered at home, for just the two of us -- loved that. He's a good guy, my hubby.

Posted by: Laura Gato at March 31, 2010 1:23 PM

Moms love stuff like, being taken out to dinner, having dinner made for them. Flowers are good. Not candy. A nice bottle of wine! Definitely not an appliance or slenderizing dresses. An angry mother is a terrible thing to witness.

Posted by: Maribeth at March 31, 2010 1:57 PM

I don't really have anything nice to say about Mother's Day gifts I've received, so I won't say anything at all. Although, the kids' daycare has been making some reasonably small and non-ugly fridge magnets using copies of their school pictures.

Posted by: Brooke at March 31, 2010 2:12 PM

okay, see, that's the kind of thing you don't purchase as a gift for anyone, no matter who you are...not unless you are clueless. Which, apparently the sales pitch expects you to be...clueless enough to buy said product.

As for Mother's husband works out of the house 2 weeks of the year. Mother's day is the day he comes home from his 2 week out of the house work trip! I get flowers delivered and hopefully, this year I might actually get a card (I've complained about not getting a card for 5 years, you think it might have sunk in by now) signed by my daughter. So, I'd like a card for Mother's day. signed by my daughter. And maybe a gourmet meal and the ability to sleep in late. But will completely settle on a card. signed by my daughter! ;-)

Posted by: cyndy at March 31, 2010 3:36 PM

If anyone ever gave me a Slenderize, I think I'd burst into tears. My boyfriend? Celibacy.

Best Mother's Day gift I ever received was from my mom, as I'm a divorced mom. She sent my boys fishing with my dad and her and I went to lunch and to the movies, and when I got home, I discovered she had also hired a maid for the day. My house was cleaned, laundry done and put away. My dad returned the boys already fed, supervised their showers, and put them to bed. HEAVEN.

The best Mother's Day Gift I ever gave my mom and grandma was plane tickets for my mom to go visit her mom, unexpectedly, and without any children/grandchildren/siblings/etc. Just the two of them. My grandmother had a massive stroke shortly after that - and my mom is so grateful for that time.

Posted by: Mindy at March 31, 2010 4:12 PM

Time to myself is the best gift I could be given!

Posted by: Sarah at March 31, 2010 5:35 PM

I don't expect a Mothers Day gift from hubby....I am not his mom....mother of his son...but not his Mom...I do however expect a gift from my "brat"...he's 18....and a nice card will do just fine...he knows my love of candles, so I usually get something along those lines....the BEST gift ever-son and hubby built me a huge brick planter in the front yard, and didn't cost anything as they used left-over bricks that we had after some renos...and for god sake don't you dare buy any woman in your family a girdle....I love your blog and really don't want to lose my daily read!!!

Posted by: Roberta at March 31, 2010 5:52 PM

How would a slenderizer thingee work in a skirt... exactly?

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at April 1, 2010 2:05 AM

I think the gift I gave that my Mother loved the most was me making her dinner because she's not a very good cook!

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Posted by: DominiqueArnold21 at July 25, 2010 6:21 AM