Mother’s Day Scams: Top Tricks to Dupe You (and Mom)

To that most special woman in our lives we eagerly pay tribute on Mother’s Day. And for next Sunday’s tributes, we’ll pay a record-breaking $23.6 billion — a $2 billion uptick over last year and some $9 billion more than is spent on Father’s Day. The coming days are prime time for crooks to cash in on the mother of all spring celebrations. Beware of these common Mother’s Day cons (and expect a slight tweaking in similar scams for Dad’s …

4 Pointers for Dads on How to Embrace Their Adult Kids

Too often dads take a back seat to moms, especially when it comes to holidays. A recent survey found that if Father’s Day and Mother’s Day fell on the same Sunday and adult children could celebrate only one, more than three-quarters would opt for mom! Apparently, mom is more deserving of the attention, and children claim to have more in common with her, the survey found. Even when it comes to spending, Father’s Day (this Sunday if you need a …

When Mom Can Hear and You Can’t

As my mother got older, our roles reversed, as they will when a parent reaches the ninth and even 10th decade. But there was one way in which she grew stronger, while I grew weaker. She could hear, and I couldn’t. In her 80s, my mother’s mind and body succumbed to aging. She developed dementia, she had frequent falls and was often wheelchair bound. She and my father had moved south to a retirement community, so as not to be …

Mother’s Day: What Women Really Want From Their Adult Kids

Mother’s Day brings a spending spree as Americans dole out a record $21 billion this year for cards, flowers, jewelry, gift certificates, electronics and gardening tools, as well as creating a crush at restaurants for brunch and dinner on Sunday. While the typical expenditure is $175, our 25- to 34-year-old children will spend the most of any age group, averaging almost $250. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are splurging only on moms; many will buy gifts for their wives …

The Mother Lode

My daughters, Alexandra and Jennifer (right), sure hit the gene jackpot: As heirs to my beauty and fashion sense, my steely self-confidence, my quick wit and collection of Chanel bags, these are two lucky babes, let me tell you. Along with those desirable traits, though, I worry that I’ve passed along some questionable ones: We share an addiction to eye makeup, over-the-top bling and I-could-smell-you-coming-a-mile-away perfumes. Look up “subtle” in the dictionary and there’s not a Johnson family photo in …

Blessings Near and Far: A Lesson in Honoring Elders

We arrived with jasmine garlands and two rosettes folded out of Thai baht. We slipped off our sandals and felt the cool, smooth tiles beneath us as we walked toward a woman sitting on her front porch. The woman was my friend Fon’s 90-year-old great grandmother, Chid. Fon had invited us – my friend Jess, my boyfriend Joe and me – to go to the beach, a few hours south of Bangkok. But first, she asked, could we stop to …