Ah, mothers—you can’t live with ’em, you can’t be born without ’em. They clothe us, they feed us and they love us (albeit sometimes in over-bearing, stifling ways that screw us up and send us into therapy). For those who neglect to show our love during the rest of the year, the second Sunday in May is dedicated to smothering our moms with attention and gratitude, and telling them just how much they mean to us by sending sappy cards, chintzy flowers or, if they’re lucky, taking them out for a meal they’d ordinarily have to cook themselves.
Indeed, times certainly have changed since Joyce C. Hall, founder of Hallmark, sold his first Best Mom Ever card. From vindictive, child-killing Medea to supportive, perky Carol Brady, moms come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments. So tailoring a Mother’s Day celebration to one’s specific brand of mum can be daunting. But this is New York; luckily, there’s something for everyone.
For Your Mom (and her lover)
Dad’s away on business, so it’s just your mom and the guy she’s cheating on your father with. (It could happen.) Take them to Jezebel (630 9th Ave., 212-582-1045). It sends a strong subliminal message without you ever having to say a word. This is not just a long-standing Theater District restaurant; it’s an indictment against every philandering mom. Sip mint juleps and dine on fried catfish at this southern/soul spot that resembles a Savannah bordello, while mom is forced to confront her tawdry reputation.
For Your Mom (and her lesbian lover)
Where to take the Sapphic couple that shows the proper respect and acceptance of their life together while putting them both at ease? (A perplexing predicament, and an interesting kettle of fish.) Start out at iconic girl bar, Henrietta Hudson (438 Hudson St., 212-924-3347), for a little schmoozing, dancing and a quick drink. Then have them don their golf togs and head on up to the Chelsea Piers
Driving Range to hit a few balls.
For Tranny Mommy
To be honest, having a lesbian mom or gay dad is so passé. Transsexual ’rents are the new hot ticket item, and they’re everywhere—TV, books, movies. So, it’s conceivable that you may have a mother who used to be your father. If that’s the case, take your new mom to the drag-themed restaurant Lips (2 Bank St., 212-675-7710), where waitresses not only have male genitalia but have names like Gusty Wind and Miss Tique. It’s a gender bender theme ride with a party atmosphere.
For Single (but not for long) Mom
Your mom is on the prowl to find a new rich husband. She’s no Anna Nicole (octogenarians aren’t her style); she’d be happy with any average-Joe-rich-guy under 65. Still, take her to swanky and uber-expensive Japanese restaurant Masa (10 Columbus Circle, 212-823-9800), where at over $400 per person (for raw fish no less), it ranks as New York’s priciest restaurant. Forget Per Se—that’s for rich folks on a budget. When the bill arrives, quickly duck out, taking mom’s purse with you. Sure, she’ll be pissed, and maybe even suffer a mini heart attack when she realizes she can’t pay. But just wait until Mr. Chivalry comes to her aid. You’ll be dancing at her wedding in no time.
For Mother Knows Best
If you have to tell your mom that you’ve decided to leave your six-figure job as a corporate lawyer to follow your passion as a puppeteer in an all-puppet street theater production of Dreamgirls, Mother’s Day offers you the perfect opportunity. So where do you break the news? Take her to dinner at Duvet (45 West 21st St., 212-989-2121)—“Happy Mother’s Day! Oh, and by the way, I’m indulging my inner puppet master.” You eat in bed here, so if Mom faints, she won’t have far to fall. Plus, she’ll have a cozy spot on which to regain her composure as she comes to.
For Ultra-Conservative, Midwestern Mom
You love your sweet, naïve, small-town minded Mommy Dearest, as long as she stays in her part of the country and keeps her George-Bush-is-a-brilliant-man politics to herself. But Mother’s Day is kind of a requirement. This is New York, so just walking around the streets is probably enough to make her feel like her child lives in Gomorrah. But if you’re feeling really hostile, take her someplace like Hogs & Heifers (859 Washington St., 212-929-0655). Long past its celebrity-slumming heyday, this Meatpacking District dive bar still gets pretty raunchy and wild.
Ensconced with bras from female patrons who’ve danced on the bar while exposing themselves, it’s bound to leave her
running for the nearest Jet Blue terminal.
So remember, wherever you take your mom, she helped make you the person you are today (tics and all), and raising you certainly couldn’t have been easy. So don’t forget to thank her, and, please, spare her the carnations.