Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Mother's Day Weekend Plan

It was only last Friday that it completely dawned on me that this weekend is the much-awaited and highly commercialized Mother's Day Weekend. Coming from a recent trip and working hard to finish all lined reports and tasks at work, I didn't see this coming. Yesterday, in between day dreaming and having lunch with Mitch, I was exposing myself to possible ideas on what to do or what to"give" for my mother this weekend. Not to sound so pessimistic, but I'm having a rough time because I completely have no idea on what to give her. Take out the fact that I'm nearly financially broke, my relationship with my mother was never even sweet or ideal to being with. Cuddly mother-daughter scenes in TV commercials simply puzzle me. I squirm when mother and daughter tandems get so graphically shown on TV that I instantly flip the channel or leave the room. Perhaps simply because my mother's personality does not jive with mine. Also we do not share a love for a certain activity. My mother doesn't like cooking, she seldom travels, she doesn't read and she doesn't share my intense love for food. Our outlooks in life are often different and she can easily find my actions and desires easily despicable. I have easily accepted the fact that early on my mother and I are two very different individuals.

But that doesn't mean that I do not respect her. As long as she gives me the same respect and she doesn't get attacked by her menopausal moments, then we can live harmoniously in one roof. She is good with my friends. She finds time to understand me and she is somehow my human bridge to my very difficult but lovable father. I will always be her daughter (even if it's hard to believe) and it is my duty and pleasure to be "amicable" and "disgustingly considerate" on this very special weekend.

So yesterday I was browsing through online suggestions and I singled out to treating her for a day trip to Tagaytay. I figured it's been a while since we've visited the place and there are couple of restaurants lined up in my list that I'm itching to try. I initially wanted an overnight stay and treat her with massages at spa hotels, but I have to be realistic with my loser bank account. I had to scale down a notch and figured to just treat her (and my family) to a great lunch in Tagaytay. I tried budgeting already on my way to meet Mitch for yesterday only to listen to his reaction if it was a good idea. Knowing Mitch, he would not see the point and effort of going there just to have lunch. He cited out tons of reasons why it was not advisable to push through with my plan as I wanted to drop the issue. I might not want to acknowledge his suggestion directly, but I must admit he was successful in making me think twice.

Having lunch in Tagaytay on a Sunday, which happens to be a mother's day is quite suicidal. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought of the idea and half of those who did might have already secured reservations and own itineraries. My family is so hard to please especially if the plan is for them is to go beyond Makati or Alabang. Not to mention, the traffic might be terrible knowing that there are road obstacles in the south and the weather seems to be very unpredictable.

Assessing my parents' personalities also helped me reconsider. My father's luxury is to spend his time playing golf and succumbing to DVD marathons in his room. He doesn't like to travel. He travels just because it's needed and usually he just stays in the hotel. My mother however has a potential in traveling, but knowing that she just came from Cebu, she would not go looking for another expedition any time soon. Both parents hate heavy traffic and both parents are too practical to the point of sometimes fizzling out the fun in things. In the end, a day in Tagaytay just for lunch, on an expected jammed day, is not quite advisable.

After my lunch with Mitch, I went back to the office and began searching for possible restaurants to treat my Manila. I chose L'Opera, known as the best Italian Restaurant in the country, even to the point of browsing at their website and listing down dishes to choose from. I wanted to make reservations and order in advance. I'm sure each dish is excellent, only that my mom is not a big fan of Italian food. I tried searching for other options, but the options may be many but I cnanot fully decide on which one to pick. I was still dead locked on L'Opera and I figured because it was ME who want to eat there in the first place. After work, I met Mitch and told him my dilemma. He even offered to help me get a discount at L'Opera, but by that time my interest had waned down.

Now I'm left with zero plans. I'm already a day short. Contemplating on my status in the usual Salcedo Market, in the hopes of finding something there, I heard from an unknown whisper, a sound idea. This particular idea was so strong that I immediately acted on it like an automatic command. I got my car keys, fled from Salcedo Market and went to Powerplant. I overheard that Powerplant has their usual Dessert Bazaar for this month of May to commemorate the mother's day season. Then suddenly other plans started falling into place. Upon arriving there, I tried to calm myself down over a succulent heavy meal at Pepper Lunch. After organizing my thoughts, I immediately went to the Bazaar and in less than 15 minutes ended up purchasing two large 7x9 Costa Brava Caramel Cakes specially designed for Mother's day. I absolutely love the Caramel Cake of Costa Brava. It might not exactly like what they have in Estrel's, but this is the closest version I could think of. Knowing my mother who is a fan of fluffy and moderately sweetened cakes, I have a great feeling that she would love this. The other cake I bought, I would give to Mitch's mom. I also bought a box of cupcake goodies to give to other Sun Valley Mothers I personally know. This is what happens when I get struck by a great idea. I end up trigger happy. Having almost emptied my wallet, I went to Starbucks to calm down and kill my whole afternoon.

But it doesn't quite end there. While doing this post, I was browsing through Shakey's online and decided to order two family thin crust pizzas and a basket of mojos to take home together with the cake. Again, my mother absolutely loves Shakey's Thin Crust Pizzas. She likes this particular brand of pizza so much that she got herself a discount card. For some reason, I believe she would appreciate this with the light Caramel cake.

Now, I'd like to believe that I'm on the right track. I have lined up what needs to be done and order the pizzas for pickup on my way home. Frankly I couldn't think of anything better to give her. I may go with something over the top and expensive, but I have to be realistic and consider what would make her genuinely happy and not wow her just to prove anything. In fact, just for a bonus round, if they would permit, I will call for a home service massage tonight for her and my father. Additional purchase of wine and a small trinket as gifts are not necessary. Giving material gifts is not my expertise. I rely on what I know best, which is food, and most especially make sure to keep it real by doing things her way.

My mother and I may not be close, but for living with her all my life, it must be pretty stupid of me not to figure out simple things that would make her happy without the added stress and drama. A luscious cake and a pizza dinner at our own house are more than enough to remove the stress away. My instincts say that she would positively respond. Real and simple things tend to highlight sincerity. I think my mother and I would agree on it.

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