Every May, when I wander into the Hallmark store or CVS or some other location featuring overpriced, unrealistic, sugar-coated schmaltz for Mother’s Day, I feel a tightening somewhere in my gut. Usually I pick up random cards from the racks while I mutter to myself or laugh out loud. I realize that people probably step away from me, assuming I’m ever-so-slightly deranged. I’ve even been known to engage other card shoppers in conversation about the ridiculous nature of Mother’s and Father’s Day cards. You’ve been warned.
I attribute some of this anti-Mother’s Day attitude to the fact that I don’t have a mother anymore (haven’t for 27 years now) and, therefore, don’t feel I should ever have to buy another Mother’s Day card. That’s not to say that I don’t love the grandmother and stepmother and mother-in-law who do eventually receive the most minimalist cards I can find. Just that I think anyone who no longer has a mother should be exempt from this holiday for all time.
But it’s actually deeper and bigger than just not having a mom who needs a card, although that seems deep enough to me. I hate these Hallmark holidays. (You may recall I also hate Valentine’s Day.) We celebrate Mother’s Day here at our house mainly for the kids. I think they feel like they should celebrate Mother’s Day for me, and so we go through those motions and sometimes throw in a trip to the circus (I’m not making that up), but, really, I don’t need cards or presents or fancy dinners out. In fact, I kind of prefer a quiet morning, a cup of coffee, time on my deck, and take-out Chinese or pizza. A very low-cost mom am I. The last thing I want is a $6 card. A handmade heart is always better.
So to everyone who’s expecting a Mother’s Day card from me (us) this weekend, please forgive me if it doesn’t arrive by Sunday. I have to admit that only yesterday did I remember that this holiday was approaching, and it’s anybody’s guess if the U.S. Post Office can pull off two-day delivery with just a first-class stamp. Just know that you are loved and honored every day, not just one day a year, and nothing anyone else can write or rhyme in a card covered in glitter and filled with battery-powered song can convey what you mean to me.
Now why doesn’t someone write a card like that?