This week, I think, has been a good week in all. The biggest snafu was involving a Mother’s day advert.

Mother’s day in the UK is the 10th of March. So the ads are out in force, flooding homes with suggestions and ideas for what to get for the day. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry… there was even one for a Snuggy (as it is known in the states) – all pretty typical, until I got to the back of the ad from Lidl.

There, at the bottom, it gave you two special sales to choose from. Chocolate or, I kid you not, Anti-wrinkle Cream.

Let me repeat that just so that it sinks in: ANTI-WRINKLE CREAM

Got it? Now, in the States, if I gave that to any woman I knew on Mother’s day… well, let’s just say I would be ducking and running with the hopes that I could run faster scared than they could angry. In terms of lousy gifts in the States, that ranks right up there with getting the woman of the house a vacuum or an clothing iron.

Even if by some fluke she needed it, she wouldn’t want it as a present. As far as the electrical appliances go – it is like making a sexist joke in mixed company. For the anti-wrinkle cream… forget it, you just told them that they look old.

The thought of any poor child giving their mother such a thing is still horrifying to me. Everyone else here that I’ve asked (save for the future father-in-law, but he’s warped like I am anyway, so that really doesn’t amount to much when you get down to it) thought it was perfectly acceptable.

What I learned from the conversation was, in terms of acceptable gifts to give and receive on Mother’s day, in the UK the ranking system is thus:

1. Something she likes (books, shoes, her favorite perfume…)

2. Something useful (anti-wrinkle cream)

3. Chocolates (only if you don’t know what else to get her)

4. Flowers (only if you don’t care)

5. Jewelry (just don’t. They won’t appreciate it; if it’s cheap, they won’t want it, and if it isn’t it’s too expensive to give as a gift. Just don’t)

Huhwhat? Really? Because this is what my American brain tells me:

1. Something she likes

2. Jewelry

3. Chocolate

4. Flowers

5. Perfume (specifically reserved for the woman you hate – you get the worst smelling one there is; no one knows what the other person’s perfume is. No one. Even the most well intentioned person will guess wrong. Don’t go there.)

6. Something useful

Now aside from the brain-hurt that the flipping the UK list is compared to my US one, there is nothing wrong with it. You just won’t catch me buying Anti-wrinkle cream for my future mother-in-law.

I’d sooner buy a chick-flick; rumor has it she likes those. My mom is still getting Yarn. 😛


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