AS YOU undoubtedly know, even if you haven’t received hundreds of e-mail blasts, this Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day. Restaurants are urging you to make reservations for brunch, boutiques and department stores think you should shop for sparkly gems and heavenly fragrances and florists want you to buy beautiful blooms! For that special woman in your life–Mom.
I do believe that mothers (well, most) all over the planet deserve at the very least this one day of recognition. But how about a sop to non-mothers who care for aging parents and/or friends, foot the bill for camp/college for their nieces and nephews, are always available to offer wise counsel? Should they be resigned to receiving no phone calls, no bouquets, cards or gifts? Just sit in the dark and wait until the day is over?
I think not. Which is why I’m resorting to retail therapy for the upcoming day. I’ve made up a short list of recommended small gifts to myself. I’m not technically a mother but I can do a good job impersonating one.
I’m eager to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibit. But in the meantime, I can preview it with the catalogue, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” which sells for $50. ICYMI, Managing Editor Nancy McKeon just wrote a post on how the star-spangled Met gala is the essence of camp.
You can’t feel left out in the rain when you’re holding up Yayoi Kusama Forever Dots Umbrella. Known as the Priestess of Polka Dots, Kusama is the world’s most famous female living artist. The large (39 inches in diameter when opened) vinyl umbrella with Kusama’s legendary dots motif and “Love Forever” illustration has a curvy handle and rust-proof bones made from resin for durability. $19.95 at the Museum of Modern Art’s store.
LEFT: What fun to invite friends/family for brunch and then ditch the dishes—in the recyclables, of course. Fun and a little frivolous, the set of eight Flower Garden Paper Plates with gold foil is $12 for small (7.5- inch diameter), $14 for large (10-inch diameter) at Terrain. RIGHT: I’m cranky without coffee first thing in the morning. Not only does is this 8-cup Chambord French Press the best way to brew (at least by many accounts) a great cup of coffee, the 1950 design warms my heart. $36.99.
LEFT: Several years ago, I found this smart alternative to paper napkins at Merci in Paris. It’s a roll of 20 tear-off, reusable (may be washed up to six times) cotton napkins. Perfect for parties and picnics (especially in the red check). 19 Euros. RIGHT: I feel about laundry the way Admiral William H. McRaven feels about making his bed. What adds to the sense of accomplishment is my discovery of Lavender Dryer Bags at Trader Joe’s. $3.99 for four at you local TJ’s. Each sachet is good for 5-10 dryer cycles. I also stash them in my lingerie drawer and my linen closet.
Note to self: Oster’s Electric Wine Opener, $19.99 at Target, is a great gift for someone (like you?), who at least 50 percent of the time, gets the corkscrew stuck in the bottle and ends up with pieces of floating cork in her wineglass. Pushing a button is a helluva lot easier. I should know. I was the proud owner of one for many years until it finally gave up and broke.
LEFT and RIGHT: When I saw these shirts (left, Bright Poppy Hawaii Floral and Deep Sea Tropical Flower) last week at a Lands’ End store, I was enchanted. A blend of cotton and rayon, the slightly boxy blouse is cool, flowy and relaxed for summer, and just what’s needed to brighten up white jeans. A lot of bang for the buck, too. $35.97.
LEFT: Armor Lux’s Striped Slippers, handmade in France, look so posh and cozy with their crepe soles and plush wool lining. I may have to wait until my trusty Uggs give up the ghost. $37.99 at Mark & Graham. ABOVE RIGHT: In addition to not having coffee first thing in the morning, I also get quite cranky from lack of sleep. Which is why I’ve had my, er, eyes on this all-silk Sleep Mask. Because it’s made from high-grade long fiber mulberry silk, it supposedly doesn’t tug on your skin and add to lines. $50. BELOW LEFT: There was a time when I thought I had enough makeup/travel bags to last a few lifetimes. But then they began to look ratty, and I had to toss most. The three pastel pouches in Baggu’s Go Pouch Set are made of heavyweight, machine-washable nylon. The medium size holds a Kindle or an iPad mini, the large pouch an iPad or a 12-inch MacBook.