Yes, I am the Grinch, Mother’s Day version. I wrote a whiny, bitchy, grouchy post on/near Mother’s Day every year. I thought about restraining myself this year because as we all know, bitterness is extremely unattractive. The problem with bitterness is that it easily borders on envy, and as we also know, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. (That being said, I still call bullshit on the killer’s motive in Seven…)
Unlike the optional Father’s Day that celebrates the underprivileged, undercelebrated fathers of the world, Mother’s Day is an internationally recognized holiday. My memory of Mother’s Day was forever ruined when I was a kid back in Taipei. In grade school, for Mother’s Day every year, a period would be scheduled for making carnations out of tissue papers and wires. Sounds fun, right? Now consider this: There is a suggested “rule” for the use of carnation: wear a red carnation if your mother is still alive; wear a white one if your mother has passed away. And imagine this: someone in your classroom had just lost his mother… Picture this: on every desk was laid out pieces of red tissue papers, except one.
I cannot recall whether the boy cried or not. But whenever I think of Mother’s Day from that day on, I see the white tissue papers on his desk.
And then I want to go back in time and punch those stupid teachers.
As I said, I was going to shut up about Mother’s Day and join in the festivities at least online. (IRL, I am working, and nothing has been planned to mark today any different from any other Sunday. In fact, I completely forgot about it for myself, and therefore I forgot to get anything for my MIL and my own mother. Yes, I can be a heartless bitch. I am very sorry, Mom. I really really am… One more thing, if I may ask, why is it MY job to remember Mother’s Day for MIL and Father’s Day for FIL? I love them dearly but still.) That is, until I saw this Forbes article about the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Marie Jarvis. I knew that Jarvis campaigned to have a day established to commemorate mothers all over the world per her own mother’s wish. She asked people to wear carnations on this day in memory of her mother because carnations were her favorite. What surprises me, and should everybody else, is that Jarvis was outraged by the gross commercialization of Mother’s Day soon afterwards. “Jarvis detested the commercialism of what the day had become. With her sister Ellsinore, they spent their family inheritance fighting the day’s designation.” She dedicated the rest of her life to campaign against Mother’s Day, or probably more accurately, the gross commercialization of Mother’s Day.
A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.
So there you have it.
Jarvis would have been an awesome blogger, imo.
Did I ever mention that I have a pathological need to be liked? Ok, it may not be obvious considering how paradoxically I cannot help being a sarcastic bitch. Anyway, that need extends to my children as well. I don’t doubt that they love me, but LIKE is something else. You need to earn it. (Except on Facebook, I guess.) My decidedly unsentimental sentiment towards Mother’s Day aside, every year on this day, instead of expecting some obligatory adoration from my family, I become even more paranoid about how I have been performing as a mother. The self doubt becomes overwhelming as the day progresses and I just want it to end so we can all get back to our regularly scheduled programs. I was rescued from myself when Mr. Monk handed me a hand-made card with a twenty dollar bill inside. I burst into tears as I read the words. Maybe Mother’s Day does not suck that much after all.
p.s. But wait. What does he mean by “inside every dark world”? Is he saying that his world is dark? That he is unhappy? He’s not even 10 years old yet. What have I done to my child??!! Oh lord… The saga of my guilt trip continues…