Every year when mom’s birthday rolls around, I wrack my brain for new gift ideas. You can imagine that over the years, my sister and I have given her every possible option suitable for loving mothers. We have done the personal cosmetic stuff including perfume, bath oil, hand lotion, and scented candles. Then there were the cashmere sweaters knitted scarves, silk blouses, novelty socks, and satin slippers. From time to time, we bought concert tickets and coupons for dinner out on the town. This year we vowed to be really different and together, we expect to scour the Internet to find the ideal gift. No expense will be spared.

Being a practical person, my sister thinks a vacuum cleaner from this web site would be ideal. I wonder if it would be an insult, implying that she is just a stay-at-home wife. “Not at all,” my sister scoffs at my reticence. The new cordless models are light weight, she explained, and they have a fabulous design. You can lug them around, even up and down the stairs, without even breathing deeply. When you are done with your chores, you can pop it in an empty closet for quick storage. The attachments just hang neatly on the wall. Plus, there is no bag to empty and toss in the trash, leaking dust into the air.

I decided to go with the flow and help my sister select a top-rated model that is highly praised for reliability and longevity. You get what you pay for, and we are willing to fork over the big bucks. We did everything possible to make this the right birthday present, one that she will keep for a very long time. We had it delivered and placed a giant pink bow on the front, before stowing it in the trunk of my car for transport to mom’s house. She knew immediately what was in store as I carried it up the front steps to the door, and smiled politely. “Of course, I will use it,” she offered. “But do you think that I am just a housewife?” She seemed miffed. I had warned my sister and was appropriately annoyed. I had to assure my mom that the gift was practical, but time and labor saving so she could have more time for her hobbies and friends. I don’t think I would recommend such a device for a mother’s day or birthday gift.

“When you put it that way,” she suddenly had a beam of recognition, “I get it. Yes, it is just what I needed.” She hugged us both while bestowing multiple thank yous to each one of us. Well, maybe it is the right present after all.