I have always had an aversion to holidays that “celebrate” feelings for a particular person. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, the whole lot! I’ve never understood the drive to pick a day to show your love to someone. If you love someone why not show them that love everyday? It is for this reason that I find gift giving so difficult for occasions like Mother’s Day. I usually do if the money is there but it is often with some bregrudgement.
When I was in high school, my junior and senior years my school choir went on a week-end trip to a choral competition the week-end of mother’s day and so in order to make up for my absence (which was usually a relief) I sent flowers to my mother. After I graduated I felt like I had to continue the tradition, mostly because it had been established and I had to continue it, right?
Over the years, I have usually been the only of my mother’s children to acknowledge Mother’s Day. It’s only been the last year or two (or three) that I’ve been unable, financially speaking, to keep up my streak. It’s also been the last several years that my relationship with my mother has changed. You see, a few years ago my mother and I had a bit of a falling out. I love my mother, and that will never change, but the closeness we once had, no longer exists. The details are a story for another time, but suffice it to say that I do not feel the obligation, or the gratitude that I once did and it is for this reason that I became angry when I received the following two e-mails from my mother’s boss/close friend. The first arrived yesterday afternoon:
Hope you are doing well. I think of you so often and call you blessed! We will always be glad to have you back here in Tulsa if you get tired of San Francisco.
I am writing to you and your siblings to ask each of you to send flowers and a loving card to your Mom for Mothers Day next Sunday. I know this would really minister to her. She does not know I am writing to you.
I think you usually do anyway, but if all of you made an extra effort this year it would really uplift her. She stuck by all of you no matter how tough it got and raised you to know Jesus and the Word. That was a supreme effort and she loves you all so much.
Next Sunday is Mother’s Day
That annoyed me enough on its own, but then today I received this:
Hope you are doing well. Think of you so often and declare you blessed!
Next Sunday is Mothers Day, I am asking you to send flowers and a loving, appreciative card to your Mom. She could really use that reminder this year that she is loved and remembered.
She is the one that stuck with all of you no matter how tough things were and taught you the Word. Sometimes we all need to go
all out to express our love and thanks.
This woman doesn’t know half of the real truth about our lives growing up with this woman for our mother, and it is for this reason that I don’t appreciate the final sentences in both e-mails, which, I think, steps beyond a recommendation or encouragement and into the realm of pure and simple guilt tactics. This is having the opposite of the desired effect and is instead making me want to refuse to do anything at all.
The truth is I don’t think my mother would be particularly pleased to know that her friend had done this, and if I were just a little more evil, I would forward the e-mails to my mother so that she would find out and be angry at her friend. Fortunately, I am not actually that vindictive. So instead, I’m going to sit here like an impotent jerk and fume about the whole blasted thing on my own and have no idea what to do for a gift.
I guess the moral of this lame story is to say that if you have people in your life that you love, don’t wait for a special day to let them know it and don’t make a big deal out of the commercial days designed, in theory, to show your love and appreciation for the person, but mostly just to sell cards and gifts.
Oh! And also? Stay out of other people’s business! It doesn’t endear you to them in anyway. Just sayin’!