Presents for Mom

She was a tactful woman, but it was quite evident that she did not particularly enjoy my selection.

When my sisters and I were growing up, buying presents for my mother was not exactly easy. But for either her birthday or Christmas and occasionally both, she would receive some product from Jean Naté. It was “her” product line. I didn’t even know it was still being made until I looked it up; it’s now owned by Revlon.

When she, my father, and baby sister moved down to Charlotte, she started collecting decorative bells. There are LOTS of bells out there, so this made purchasing easy.

Still, I wanted to go off-script, and in 1981, I decided to buy her an LP, Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive, based on my understanding that she liked some of the original Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway songs. She was a tactful woman, but it was quite evident that she did not particularly enjoy my selection. I went back to the bells.

Then around 2000, she decided the bells were just dust collectors and got rid of all but a handful of them, indicating that she didn’t want any more. Suddenly, I didn’t have a gift for which to be on the lookout. I would ask my mother outright, and she’d always say something useless, such as “You don’t need to get me anything.” Yeah, Mom, but I WANT to. Ultimately, I’d just ask my baby sister, who lived with her.

For either her birthday or Christmas 2010, I found this just perfect sweater – warm, the right color purple. Plus I got her those word puzzles that she liked to do to keep her mind sharp.

Today would have been Mom’s 85th birthday. I wish I still had to struggle with what to buy her.