If You Really Love Your Mother,* Take Her Out to Dinner This Sunday

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Just skip the damn brunch.

First, I should say I am not a mother. To the best of my knowledge, I have not sired any children. No one asks me to sign permission slips or make them lunch or take them to T-ball practice.

Some may claim then that I have no way of knowing when and what moms want to eat on Mother's Day. Fair enough. But that doesn't mean I can't point out the utter lunacy in the misguided cultural practice of designating brunch as the celebratory meal for moms.

I am sure there are many mothers who love brunch. If their deepest desire on Mother's Day is to be treated to a multi-course 11:30 a.m. repast of omelets and crepes, that's terrific. There's no shortage of venues offering said opportunity.

However, I'm inherently wary of the assumption that all or even most mothers want nothing more than a late-morning all-you-can-eat buffet. I'm even willing to wager that this assumption is actually an insidious cultural construction designed in service to a patriarchal, kid-centric agenda that permits celebrating mom only if said festivities don't disrupt the regular run of the household.

What you talkin' bout, Willis? Let me explain.

*Or, if the case may be, "if you really love your mothers, take them out to dinner this Sunday." Because in case you haven't noticed, not everyone lives in a heteronormative nuclear family, thank God. But that's a whole other blog post.

Consider what defines a conventional restaurant brunch. It's a leisurely meal combining elements of breakfast and lunch, traditionally served from late morning to early or mid afternoon, usually on the weekend when most people are off of work and/or able to sleep late.

But "most people" does not necessarily mean "most moms." How many mothers with children living at home do you know that regularly lounge in bed past 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning? And, no, any of the Real Housewives do not count because watching them on television does not mean you actually know them. Sorry.

In fact, the household residents most likely to sleep in are the kids, so while they're catching extra REM cycles the morning of Mother's Day, Mom is up and about, maybe working, maybe not, but in either case growing hungrier and hungrier as she waits until it's time for brunch. She's been up for hours, but because it's "her day," she has to postpone her first major meal such that by the time she makes it to the restaurant, she is ready to eat her napkin.

Hmm. This brunch thing, she thinks, doesn't seem totally designed around my schedule.

Conveniently, however, brunch fits right in with the rest of the family's expectations for Sunday.

A few hours later, when the buzz from the bellinis has worn off and the frittata no longer sits so solidly in her stomach, the rumblings begin. "What's for supper, Mom?" She's been treated to brunch, which means she's available to make dinner, right? Sorry, mom, your "day" actually just comprises the ninety minutes you spent earlier at the restaurant.

I think you get my point. This Mother's Day, do your mama a real favor. Make her breakfast at home and take her out to dinner. Being a woman and a mother does not mean she doesn't want to get drunk (off something other than mimosas) during non-daylight hours and binge on something other than Belgian waffles.

Or even better yet, ask her where, when and with whom she wants to eat on Mother's Day. Don't be too hurt if she replies, "Chuy's. Happy hour. Not with you." Because just for once this meal is not about you.


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14 comments
MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

For years Mutha' McClellan delighted in a steak dinner at Saltgrass on Mother's Day. I would suggest Brenner's. No, thank you, she'd say. I like Saltgrass. Me: Ruth's Chris? MM: Saltgrass. How 'bout Pappas Bros? You worked for the family since Homer wrote his little travelogue.  Nope, she wanted Saltgrass. So we did Saltgrass and I simmered, felling like a cheapskate. Two days after her 78th birthday, Mutha' Mac had a stroke. It was "mild," but she has not been able to swallow/eat solid food since. Take your Mother to dinner, wherever SHE wants to go and delight in the time with the person who probably taught you how to eat. 

Loona_c
Loona_c

My family has already figured this out:  Breakfast in bed with a Starbucks latte, pastries from a local bakery and the Sunday newspaper.  Therefore no mess in the kitchen (for Mom) to clean up.  Only downside is waiting/staying in bed until they all get their act together ;-)  Then Dad grills in the afternoon.  Restaurants are a zoo on Mother's Day.

gustafsonD
gustafsonD

@MadMac  No kidding. My grandma preferred 'Ron's Roost' to many 'better' alternatives. It's what makes THEM feel good, not you face-booking some exalted location where you're the star.

SirRon
SirRon

Top commenter? Too much pressrre. Joanna, I take back what I said.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

That was kinda the point.

SirRon
SirRon

I already miss Shilcutt.

SirRon
SirRon

I meant to say pressure. Hopefully that last message doesn't jeopardize my status. It says 5 people are listening, but one of those is probably me, so it's only 4 people. Most likely.

kipsook
kipsook

@SirRon  me, me, me. look at me. i am so clever, my name should be cleverly

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