• Do not attempt to make same-day brunch reservations on the busiest brunch-eating day of the year.
If you do not make reservations to take your mother somewhere nice for Mother’s Day brunch, you run the risk of pissing off everyone you are with because you have called three different places only to find out they are all booked until after 2:30 pm and it is only 10:30 am and you are all starving and in need of coffee, immediately, or someone will get their eyes poked out.
• Never assert your own will on Mother’s Day when your mother is present.
It is inherently against the rules of Mother’s Day etiquette to attempt to go against the wishes of the family matriarch. Even if you are a mother yourself, when your own mother is present she trumps your motherhood status by the number of decades she has been a mother vs. your piddly seven years. Do whatever she says; take her to whatever restaurant or leisure activity she suggests and express happiness about all of it. If your mother has to say, “I have seniority, remember?” to remind you of your rung on the motherhood ladder, you have failed miserably and things will not end well.
• No matter where you go or what you do, young children will resent you today.
I remember asking my mother this question when I was about seven years old when, on this particular day, my mom didn’t seem to be one hundred and ten percent concerned about my personal entertainment and enjoyment. I climbed on her lap and demanded: “When is Kids’ Day? Why do YOU get a special day, but kids never get their own day?” I remember my mother looking at me incredulously and replying, “Every day is Kids’ Day.” Then, with her eyebrows, she nonverbally communicated that I should sit down, shut up and let her relax with a glass of wine if I knew what was good for me. I’m pretty sure I left her alone and went to climb all over my father instead.
This year, as if there is some instinct that kicks in at the age of seven, my own daughter asked both my mother and I that very same question. My mother gave my daughter the same answer she gave me all those years ago, and then bought my daughter ice cream.
• Some people should never wear striped pants.
Just because the stripes are vertical, doesn’t mean they have a slimming effect.
• Order booze.
After you have waited over an hour for a table without a reservation so you could buy your mother a nice brunch, order alcohol. Once the coffee has taken the edge off your throbbing, lack-of-caffeine-induced headache, order Bloody Marys for the table. Except for the seven-year-old, of course. You could get arrested for that. And, trust me, you don’t want to ask your mother for bail money on the one day of the year she is supposed to feel appreciated and loved for the exceptional job she did raising you.