(Strip Number 6175, Original Publication Date, 14 May 1989)
Panel 1: It's Mother's Day morning at the Pattermanse. As he and Elly sleep in, John is alarmed when he overhears Mike stage-whispering to Liz about the need to not wake Elly up because it's Mother's Day.
Panel 2: We set the tone when John thought-bubbles "It IS?"
Panel 3: In the background, Elly receives the kids' gifts with a warm smile and a hug. In the foreground, Bleary-Eyed John reminds himself that he plain forgot that the second Sunday in May has always been Mother's Day.
Panel 4: Unlike him, I CAN believe that he plain forgot because I remember that he depends on wimmen-folk to remind him when birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries and Christmas are coming up.
Panel 5: Liz asks John what he got Elly for Mother's Day.
Panel 6: Since he can think on his feet, TBJ says that he's gonna clear out the stairwell and put up the shelves Elly wanted him to. As expected, Elly is thrilled that he's checking boxes off of her honey-do list.
Panel 7: Her good mood is made better when he freaks out the kids by drafting them into helping him wash and vacuum out Elly's ride.
Panel 8: He caps that off by making reservations to take the family out for dinner.
Panel 9: This delights Elly because all he got her last year was some flowers (which, since John is a dolt, were probably more appropriate for a funeral).
Panel 10: He thought-bubbles about how last year, he remembered.
Summary: This is an example of why John has issues with giving gifts. His distaste towards spending "his" money on other people marches in stupid lockstep with his indignation as regards how they accuse him of buying them things he wants for himself and his disinclination for the baffling comment people make about how he doesn't actually know who the people around him are and what they want.