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Friday, May 4, 2007 | Mother’s Day is the one day of the year where mom is guaranteed to be the center of attention.

But buying something for the woman who brought you into the world can be difficult. That’s probably why a lot of families settle for taking her out to a restaurant, which is why mom’s day is one of the busiest days for restaurants.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. Take mom to a crowded restaurant and have her receive rushed service by a haggard wait staff.

Not me. When I want to say “I love you” to mom, I do it by purchasing something she can use. Like a new toilet seat.

Seriously, there’s one by Bemis that is nice for a neatnik mom because the hinges lift up so that she can clean up the crud that collects underneath. Now, mom knows I really care and have been listening to her rather than just prattle on and on about the woes of writing a weekly column.

But — and I found this out the hard way — not every mom appreciates a toilet seat, even one with hinges. Luckily, there are lots of companies who are making gifts to appeal to all kinds of ladies.

For instance, Oster makes an electric wine bottle opener that is perfect if your mother’s fingers shake too much when she uses a corkscrew. There’s a special foil cutter and then you stick the apparatus on top of the wine bottle and it does the dirty work.

Although it’s ergonomically designed, I found the device a bit of a hassle because, for most people, it doesn’t shorten the removal of that pesky cork that much. Also, since many reputable winemakers have discovered that screw tops are actually better at wine preservation, this device will probably be obsolete for most casual wine drinkers within a few years.

One present my kids are giving my wife for Mother’s Day is the Body Buddy. It’s a pretty cool gadget invented by a 65-year-old mom to spread suntan oil in hard-to-reach areas.

It works like this: You spread the goo on this long canvas strip that has two handles. Then you pull the handles across the back and it spreads the oil for you. I like this because I don’t have to worry about my wife asking strangers to put sunscreen on her back.

There are some moms who are big do-it-yourselfers. If that DIY approach includes making soda then the Soda Club Home Soda Maker might be a treat for her.

It makes it so the average person can take tap water and carbonate it, and then add a variety of flavors including Orange, Grape and Cola.

Although the soda maker has money-saving and space-saving possibilities, I found the sodas I made tasted too much like the dreaded Cragmont sodas that my Grandma used to buy.

Of course, you shouldn’t drink much soda anyway so this device will help in that regard.

Family pictures are also a good gift, but being an artsy type, I just don’t feel comfortable handing over a standard portrait when I can do something more Warholian.

Thank goodness for a website called Photowow, which can take your ordinary humdrum photo and turn it into a digitized version of an Andy Warhol painting. I was impressed at how my daughter looks when a simple portrait is divided into four separate pictures with different color combinations. I think it will be a gift that will be remembered for at least 17 minutes.

I’m also high on a more pragmatic gift: Brastraps.

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed the growing trend of mothers forced to expose their unsightly bra straps to an unfeeling world.

The Brastraps are a product that allows mom to expose straps that covered with crystals, rather than an unsightly bra that has been stained with tanning lotion. More importantly, the Brastraps allow women another way of accessorizing — as if they didn’t need enough.

Some of the bra straps made by Brastraps cost under $10 and can be used as replacement straps for a normal bra. Other straps that have lots of “bling” cost up to $50. Most important: They allow mom to think she’s being fashionable by exposing her over-the-shoulder boulder holders in public. She probably isn’t, but it’s not what we think, it’s how she feels.

Flowers are another gift that is popular on Mother’s Day and I was impressed with FTD’s new Todd Oldham Green Salad bouquet. It’s set up to look like a green salad, with green and white kale, along with Fuji mums, pistachio carnations, and red hypericum berries and other flowers. But while flowers are ephemeral, the display comes with a reusable colander.

I was impressed with how long the flowers lasted, especially since the bouquet costs around $65.99.

Although some moms might consider chocolate a sweet gift, I’m not sure who would like the high-end chocolates made in Los Angeles by Choclatique.

Some of the flavors include American Apple Pie, County Fair Limeade and Hotcakes and my wife — a chocolate connoisseur — wasn’t so hot on them. Neither was I. They’re still in our fridge. Would you take them off our hands? Please?

Not everybody has the money for high-end gifts, but even the most cash-poor mother lover can give mom a garbage disposal freshener.

There’s one made by Plink, and it’s a pack of little orange and yellow balls costing $3.99 that you throw down the garbage chute. It actually makes the disposal smell like a citrus tree, which I’m sure is mom’s secret desire on Mother’s Day.

There are some gifts that are cute for kids to give mom or grandmother. Usually because they’re self-serving.

For instance, my daughter wants to give my wife a Lego Mosaic Set that has a bunch of little bricks that can be turned into a variety of pictures, including a house and a dinosaur. Sure, my wife will have about five minutes of fun with Alex making the pictures, but the real joy comes from the hours of joy she’ll have trying to pick up the small bricks around the house or taking them out of our vacuum cleaner or our 13-month-old son’s mouth.

I think the Mother’s Day gift that will be most appreciated by my wife and mother-in-law will be the bottle of silver Tequila Herradura I am getting them.

At our house, it’s a Mother’s Day tradition to get carne asada and pollo asado from El Asedero, a Mexican butcher shop on El Cajon Blvd., along with tortillas, guacamole, and all the other goodies.

But we top it all off by making margaritas and I’ve found the best tequila for that is the silver made by Herradura. It’s smooth and young and doesn’t have the annoying aftertaste of Cuervo.

It’s $45 a bottle for the good stuff but it’s worth it just to see the perma-grin that forms on my wife’s face after the first sip.

David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer whose wife will be getting maid service for Mother’s Day. He can be reached at moyemail@cox.net. Or, send a letter to the editor.

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