Fear and loathing in the Amazon Mother’s Day Gift Shop

Mom life is ruff.
Mom life is ruff.
Image: Amazon screenshot
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Good news for unimaginative offspring: Amazon’s Mother’s Day Gift Shop went live on the internet last week.

And it’s worth a peruse whether or not you have a mom or mom-like person to find a gift for before May 12 (in the US, China, India, and several other countries). Amid high-end splurges (Devialet wireless speakers, $2,390) and low-effort tokens (Lindt milk chocolate truffles, $9.48 for a 15.2 ounce bag) are a fascinating crop of strange gifts that amount to a kind of thesis on motherhood in 2019.

Gift guides by their nature tend to be generic, since if you actually had an idea for a personal, thoughtful present, you wouldn’t need a gift guide in the first place. Amazon’s list blends inoffensive if uninspired items from the canon of unwanted-mom-presents (scented bath soaps, heart necklaces, T-shirts that say “Mom Life” in brush lettering) with hundreds of random objects seemingly selected from a database of products purchased at some point by women aged 29 to 64.

A pack of electric toothbrush replacement heads pops up under the tag, “To Pamper Her.” In a subsection called “For the Philanthropist,” Amazon suggests a popcorn popper. (Cuisinart is making a donation to breast cancer research this year, and the popper is pink, so . . . sure.)

Even though this guide is on a site that sells 606 million alternatives, a confounding number of Amazon’s suggestions are things one would only purchase if they were the last thing left on the shelf in a hospital gift shop.

Here is Quartz’s curated list of the best worst items on Amazon’s 2019 Mother’s Day gift suggestions.

Don’t Worry Laundry, No One Is Doing Me Either sign, $19.99

A fun wink at laundry—it never ends, amirite, ladies?—and the sexual invisibility of women over 40.

Preserved Rose With Glitter, $36.99

This is a real rose, preserved in a process involving “high technique and environmental chemicals.” It has 152 reviews, 84% of which are five stars, so if a taxidermied blue rose rimmed with gold glitter syncs with your mom’s design aesthetic, this could be the taxidermied flower to buy. And just think, you won’t have to buy her flowers for the next three to five years (the rose’s estimated life span).

50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! $13.46

From the author of Honeylingus: 50 Healthy Honey Recipes that Will Leave You Begging for More comes a book of poultry recipes spiced up with dick jokes. And isn’t that what Mother’s Day is all about?

Keledz Microwave Cleaner Angry Mom, with Fridge Odor Absorber Cool Mom, $14.99

Fill one with baking soda and shove her in the back of the fridge. Fill the other with water and vinegar and let her steaming head loosen the microwave gunk. This gift tells that special woman that you see her as a shrieking harpy, who is also responsible for cleaning the kitchen.

Baby Shark Necklace, $24.93

If a woman knows what “Baby Shark” is, then she probably already spends a good 40% of her waking hours fending off a toddler’s request to watch “Baby Shark” on her phone. This necklace is a handy way to keep “Baby Shark” front and center in her child’s mind at all times, rendering efforts to distract or redirect their frantic attention futile. Put this around a mother’s neck and she will pay you $24.93 to take it away.

Mother of Pearl RFID Blocking Starry Night by Van Gogh Credit Card Case, $23.90

Did your mom misplace the box where she usually keeps her weed? If not, why the hell would you buy her this?

Philips Bikini Genie BRT383 Cordless Women’s Trimmer, $17.99

Are there any situations in which it is appropriate to gift another person a bikini line trimmer? Possibly. Mother’s Day is almost certainly not it.

Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $32.48

If your mom loves breakfast sandwiches, this is a great gift! If only you love breakfast sandwiches, it is not.

To the World You Are A Mother, To Your Family You Are the World sign, $28

This us a sign for the woman you love so much, you have consumed her entire identity. She is your world, your everything, and the rest of the world defines her exclusively by her relationship to you. This is especially good for a mom who is considering a return to the workforce after several years of full-time caregiving.

Mom Life Is Ruff T-shirt, $17.99

For the mom who is also a talking dog.

Five Pairs of Socks, $10.98

Look, we can’t tell you what to do. But she pushed for 90 minutes, and this is just five pairs of socks.

Drunk Wives Matter T-shirt, $23

It’s a common problem—you want to belittle your wife, and you want to belittle a social justice movement campaigning for basic human dignity, but you don’t have time. Finally, here’s a shirt that does both things at once.

Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle, Lilac Blossoms, $18.79

Just give the candle. Don’t overthink the candle. It’s the gift of having a gift to give away.