Current Essays

Smothers Mothers On:2001-03-21 09:34:22

You know for once you don't really need to listen to this week's piece because it only exists as part of a frantic attempt to remember to send my mother a card and, perhaps, some flowers or something for Mothering Sunday.
Now please note carefully this is not that Mother's Day thing you have in the middle of May, but the real thing on the fourth Sunday in Lent, and I think (or rather desperately hope) it is on 25th of March this year.

Unfortunately, because I'm a man and over here where you don't do things properly or at the right times so you can remind me about it, I keep forgetting. To my shame I manage to do this most years---my record being four years straight in the late 90s (um, plus another one in the early 2,000s, which, I suppose, sort of.. makes it.. a run of around five).

The fact that I then do remember as soon as they start promoting Mother's Day over here, and then send her a gift for that late and substitute celebration merely adds insult to injury because in England at least we know about the horrors of HovelBlemish Cards (or whatever they are called) and how they try to manipulate your relationships for their profits. And of course my Mum doesn't remind me---Oh! No! No hope of that! She really wants me to remember entirely on my own and since (in addition to my sex and location) I am the youngest of one, things can get a bit, um, tense. For the life of me I can't imagine any rational reason why you guys can't get the date of Mother's Day right. It can't be just to get at me, so I've decided the blame must lie with those damn card makers.

I bet it's because they have a slack period in their profits at that time of year (with no reason for you to buy horribly syrupy over-priced pink cards in the middle of May), so they added Mother's Day. Of course they wouldn't use the real date it's too close to Valentine's Rip-off.

And now, in their lust for loot, they have added Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, Secretaries' Day, Second Cousin's Day Once Removed and Lord knows what else. I have good reason to believe that they are even working on a 'Complete Stranger's Day' when you buy a card for everyone in the entire US that you don't know. The way they are going it won't be long before they cut out the middle man and have 'Obscene Corporate Profits Day' when they just get everyone to send loads of money to the Card Company. That might actually be a good idea, I'd give the buggers five bucks to go away any day.
And think of the trees that would save!

Oh dear where was I, pre-rant??
Oh! Yes!

So you see, with my record, if I'm late for the real Mother's Day by a couple of months yet again things could get, well, past tense and on to really interesting (as in the old curse "May you live in interesting times").

You see I've noticed a few worrying signs. I've long suspected that my mother has, how should I put this, "connections" with the Mother Nostra, or as it's sometimes called, Il Cosa Momma: and I've recently noticed all these little old ladies wearing dark glasses and carrying improbably heavy violin cases lurking near my house, so either our local symphony is putting on Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius with original heavy-metal instrumentation or else my Mum's got a contract out on me, and if I don't remember Mothering Sunday this year I fear it's going to be shortly followed by Smothering Monday

Cheerio for now,
Mum and Moms everywhere from
Richard Howland-Bolton

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