My mom has been gone for almost 14 years, but I can still hear her voice clear as day whenever I pull my hair up into a bun.

“Oh, wear your hair down! You have such beautiful hair!”

Back then, I would have heaved a sigh and squealed, “Mom!” with the same mixture of annoyance and impatience used by every teenage girl on the planet. And then I would have put my hair up.

If I had it to do over, I would thank her for the compliment, tolerate the flyaways and leave my hair tumbling over my shoulders.

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, I was planning to put together a gift guide filled with inexpensive gift ideas for moms.

But then I realized there is no better gift to give your mom (and yourself) than to humor her. And it’s free!

My inbox has been flooded with public relations pitches from companies anticipating gift guide stories, hoping to get their products mentioned in print. (That’s not how product mentions end up in my column, by the way. Trust me, I need no help coming up with things I love and that I think are worth spending money on).

Companies pushing products for moms almost always have a common theme: indulgence.

Indulge your mom with our gourmet chocolates. Indulge your mom with our luxurious massages. Indulge your mom with our glamorous jewelry.

It makes sense. “Mom” is the world’s most stressful occupation.

But do you know what kind of indulgence your mother really wants? The kind where you agree with everything she says and do whatever she wants.

Come on, it’s only for one day. And really, are her requests that outrageous?

She wants you to stand up straight? Good posture makes you more attractive anyway!

She wants you to try that new restaurant with the rubbery steak and six pages of early bird specials? Big whoop! Order the salad – it’s impossible to screw up.

She wants you to tuck in your shirt? What’s the big deal?

She wants you to show the ladies at work that dance move you used to do when you were little? So what! You’ve done worse for less.

She wants you to settle down and give her some grandchildren already? OK, that one may be a little much. But you get the idea.

So wear that ugly shirt she gave you for your birthday – the one she says brings out the color in your eyes. Go to church with her. Let her show you off to her friends. Do whatever she has been nagging you to do and that you’ve been avoiding.

I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

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