White Hall Progress logo

Some husbands flunk the gift test


I am not an expert, but I am a veteran husband. That means I am qualified to offer advice to younger husbands about Mother’s Day.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day, which was Sunday. This warning will come too late for some husbands.

You may forget your wife’s birthday. You may even forget Valentine’s Day and your anniversary, but I am telling you as a husband who has been down this road before: Do not, under any circumstances forget Mother’s Day.

By forgetting your wife on Mother’s Day, you are saying that you don’t value her dedication as a mother and that you take what she does for granted. Should that happen, your life could happen to change in mysterious and dark ways.

A husband I know called last week and asked for advice on buying a Mother’s Day present for his spouse, a woman I have known for years. This loving woman would turn on her husband like a rattlesnake with PMS should he forget Mother’s Day. Remembering your wife on Mother’s Day means more than just waking up on Sunday and mumbling “Happy Mother’s Day” as you wander into the kitchen two hours after your wife entered the kitchen. The first words out of your mouth should not be “Hon, have you seen the Sunday sports section?”

Remembering Mother’s Day means giving your wife a present, and not just any present. A set of Ping irons is not a suitable Mother’s Day present, especially if your wife doesn’t golf. A new vacuum cleaner does not shout “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I suggested Lowell take his wife to a special dinner on Sunday. A tennis bracelet might be a nice gift even if she doesn’t play tennis.

“Try taking your wife out for a Mother’s Day dinner without making reservations and you won’t be seated at a table until sometime Tuesday afternoon,” Lowell replied.

“What are you getting Martha Kaye?” he asked.

I didn’t have an answer because I didn’t have a present yet.

I bought her an expensive top-of-the-line manicure set one year, but I don’t think she ever used it. The next time I saw is was a decade later in a closet we were cleaning out for a yard sale prior to moving.

I have bought her several bottles of an expensive perfume I like, but I’m not sure she still likes that brand. Dozens of Boston ferns and hanging plants have died unnatural deaths.

However, at the last minute I came up with the perfect gift – repairing the leaking pipe beneath her vanity in our bathroom. The fact that I was going to hunt up my tools, make three trips to the hardware store, spend a whole day repairing that plumbing task should impress her.

I decided to splurge and purchase the metal replacement parts for $11.94, not the inexpensive plastic kit for $4 and change. Nothing is too good for Mother’s Day.

Martha Kaye asked Saturday morning how many days it would take to complete the simple chore her brother could finish in 15 minutes, including the trip to the hardware store. I said two hours. She scoffed.

Work commenced about 10 a.m. Saturday. I finished about 6 p.m. Sunday. Just 13 hours, minus time for four meals and the trip to the hardware store. It was a big leak.

I did remember to mumble “Happy Mother’s Day” when she awoke Sunday morning. She just shook her head as I headed to the bathroom with three wrenches and a hammer in my hands.

* * *

Larry Fugate is a veteran journalist and former editor of The Pine Bluff Commercial. He can be reached by e-mail at fugatel@sbcglobal.net or at (870) 329-7010.