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Entertaining for the Poor as F**K: Awesome Cheap Mother’s Day Gifts

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I am the Elvis Presley of gift-giving. Once a friend told me a story about how her parents chucked her Addam’s Family board game because they feared it was a bad influence on her younger brother. You better believe I found the very same board game on eBay and gave it to her for Hanukkah. There were hugs.

My last boss was a die-hard Grateful Dead fan, and for his 40th birthday he wanted to listen to the concert they played on the day he was born. Not only did I find an audio recording of the concert, I also got him a DJ spot on Sirius XM’s Headset where invited guests DJ their ultimate Dead playlist. Also it didn’t cost me a dime (#baller).

Mother’s Day, however, is a stumper, year after year. I love my mother. I’m the shithead who moved 3000 miles away from her so I’m already in the red. My mom is awesome. Her gift requests are less awesome: “Call me more”, or “FaceTime me more” or “Call me more” again. I cannot wrap phone calls (yes I can make phone calls but uuuuuuuuugh busy and the time difference and uuuuuuuuuugh). The worst part is calling and FaceTime are (technically) FREE. FREE things I could give her that she’d love, but this is not how I roll. I like tangible presents (for my birthday my boyfriend quit smoking, so he gave me an empty pack of Camel Lights. #getsit).

So what can my broke ass get for the woman whom I owe my very life to?

Cheapest bouquet of flowers + tax + delivery fee = NOPE

Oy vey. Let’s see what we got…

 1)   Write her a song

Are you at all musically inclined? Write your mom a sweet little ditty. Or, just recycle a current pop song you know she won’t recognize. You can either pull a Weird Al and rewrite a song’s lyrics, or you can be extra lazy and just replace the words “baby” or “shawtay” with “mom”. Proceed with caution on the latter because pop music is disgusting.


 But what if you’re tone deaf and can’t even play the mouth trumpet (that’s simulating trumpet noises with your mouth, not a euphemism for oral sex [but now it is])?

2)   Poetry

It’s like writing a song minus the dumb music part.

“But Marissa poetry is hard!”

That is a bold-faced lie.

Follow me here: poems don’t even have to rhyme.

I know, right?

But here’s the catch: you can’t phone this in. You have to feel real feelings to do this right. Those meaningful feeling feels you squish down 99.9% of the time because you’re too awesome.

2.5) How to access your gooey emotional core

Grab your alcohol of choice (or your mom’s choice to get into the spirit) and start drinking.

Think about everything your mom has done for your sorry ass. She watched the same Sesame Street clips with you on loop so you’d give her five minutes to sit down. She clothed and diapered you. Brass tacks, people: this is the woman who ruined her life for you (her body too if she’s your biological mother).

Now you might feel a little guilt creeping in, but you’re going to need to counter it. Consider all she’s done and think of it as generous, unconditional love.

Mamaaaaaaaaa, OOOOOOOoooooooo

Whoa. Let’s write some of this down.

3)   Arts and crafts

What if you’re terrible at music and words and are also a hermit, what can you do to acknowledge your wonderful mom?

Consider what you’re good at. If you’re a cool graphic design person make her a poster or a joke business card that says “World’s Best Mom” (because that mug thing is done to death). If you’re the crafting type, make her a banner. Use glitter (she’s your mother, damnit, use glitter).

As a last ditch effort, buy a pack of white t-shirts from the drug store, grab a Sharpie and make her a cool custom t-shirt that she’ll most likely use to dry dishes (but she’ll think of you when she uses it!).

4)   Tattoo (spring for matching)

*Author’s note: I thought I’d have a hard time finding a photo for this. This image was the first listed on my first Google image search.*

I know I said I’d keep costs down but man do I love tattoos. And think about: flower delivery will cost you at least $50 and those things will die within a week and remind your mother that you’re an ungrateful little shit.

Tattoos are forever and simple ones won’t cost more than those ugly flowers.

Go with a classic:


And if you’re mom’s with it, suggest getting matching tattoos. Now’s the time to get that tramp stamp, trust me.

5)   Tattoo removal

Yeah that last one was a terrible idea. I sure hope you didn’t listen to me.

If you did, or maybe you have one permanent eyesore too many, show your mom you care with a mature, long-term investment: tattoo removal.

Yes it’s expensive, but the fact that you’re suffering for a dumb decision you once promised your own mother you’d never ever do will warm her heart (You. Little. Shit.).

If none of those work just call her and cry hysterically about how you wish you could buy her a country because you love her so much, and she’ll make you feel better, because she’s your mom.


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Forever Renting Riss

Forever Renting Riss

Marissa moved to San Francisco for love. She has previously moved to Los Angeles for dreams and Boston for distancing herself from her New Jersey roots.