I am a mother.
I have one biological son who is almost 22.
I have two step-sons who are almost 19 and 21.
I have four German Shepherd dogs who range from ages four to one.
I hate Mother’s Day.
This hatred was instilled in me at an early age–thanks to my own mother–who had specific requirements for this annual Hallmark holiday.
The day was spent having an elaborate brunch at the country club. This meant dressing up, wearing heels and not swearing. This also meant being introduced to several of her upper crust friends who faked kissed one another and wore way too much makeup–thinking that makeup would hide all of their wrinkles.
It did not.
The next ritual was buying my mother a corsage. This had to be specific in nature because she only liked one flower: a gardenia. It also had to be a wrist corsage, and not one to be pinned on her jacket, or blouse because it would “sag and ruin the blouse,” she would say.
My sister and me would take turns purchasing the gardenia wrist corsage each year and give it to her along with the gifts she had instructed us to give her.
Yes. She instructed us on what to buy her for Mother’s Day, otherwise she would have pulled an Anna Wintour on us with eye-rolling and lip-pursing upon opening up the gift stating, “Do you have the receipt for this?”
She would tell me exactly what she wanted, where to buy it, the size, color and even which rack it was sitting on in the store so I would be sure to get the correct one. I’m surprised she didn’t tell me which parking lot to park in, or how many steps it took to get to that fucking rack.
I recall my sister buying my mother something that she didn’t specifically request one year and my mother was incensed. My sister–who thought it would be nice for my mom to open up a gift rather than the gift card she really wanted–derailed my mother’s requirements and went for her own stipulations.
These are the Mother Days I remember most, so you can imagine this is why I hate Mother’s day.
I don’t want any of our kids to shower me with gifts, spend “quality time” with me, eat elaborate brunches with thousands of other people, play dress up when they really want to wear shorts and gym shoes, or buy me a damn wrist corsage. With my luck, the wrist corsage would attract bees and I would be stung, which would cut off my oxygen supply and I would eventually die.
Maybe not a bad idea.
My Mother’s Day will be spent reading the paper, playing with the dogs, vacuuming (per the usual ritual), and hopefully planting some flowers if the weather holds up. It’s the simple things that make me happy. My son and me will have a meaningful conversation:
Me: “How was your night?”
Him: “It was good. What did you do?”
Me: “Sat in the corner. In the dark.”
Him: “You did not.”
Me: “No. I was finishing up a painting of a skull and cross-bones.”
Me: “What ya gonna do today?”
End of conversation. However, if he needs money, that conversation will go like this:
Him: “Mom, can you help a poor college child by giving him some…..”
Me: “Did you find a job yet?”
Him: “I’m working on it.” (usual response).
Me: “Hmm. Okay, “March of Dimes,” what are we talking here? $20? $50? Remember, I’m a poor old woman on a fixed income.”
Call me mundane.
Call me simplistic.
Call me a mom who doesn’t expect her kids to shower attention on her for one day out of the year.
Did my own mother ruin my Mother’s day? No. In fact, she made it better by understanding what NOT to do on Mother’s day.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there who don’t demand much from their families.