I’m just going to come right out and say this: I don’t like Mother’s Day.
I used to like Mother’s Day, before I was a mother. I liked Mother’s Day when I was a kid and I would make my mom a card, pick her some flowers, and bring her breakfast in bed. Now that I think about it, my mother always looked slightly annoyed – being forced back into her already-made bed (my mom is like the Speedy Gonzales of bedmakers; she makes the bed on her way out of the bed) and having to balance a tray of orange juice, coffee, bacon, burnt toast and some shoddily-scrambled eggs upon her lap, while my brother and I bounced around at the foot.
Surely, she must have hated Mother’s Day too?
Honestly, is there anything worse than eating breakfast in bed?
Yes, there is. Standing in line with all of God’s creations and their mothers waiting for a table for an overpriced Sunday brunch.
The thing about Mother’s Day is it’s hard on everyone, especially mothers. If you’re a mother with a mother, it’s not really “your day” is it? And if you’re married, you have to factor in not only your mother, but your mother-in-law. Say you have a boyfriend; the onus of acknowledging his mother on Mother’s Day, or at least reminding him to, will inevitably fall to you. If you’re a mother without a mother, or anyone without a mother, Mother’s Day is a perennial heartbreak. Let’s face it: the only people who can kick up their feet on Mother’s Day are Hallmark executives – probably all ancient men.
Here’s what I told my kids I want for Mother’s Day, “I want you to prepare your bags for the overnight band field trip Friday so that I am not screaming my head off at you for the rest of the week.” Let’s see if they can deliver.
Anyway, it’s occurred to me that I may be scapegoating Mother’s Day. That being said, I’ve written this Mother Who Hates Mother’s Day Guide to Holidays, a synopsis of annual holidays, and why for the most part – they all suck.
January – New Year’s Eve: if you stay home, as I usually do, the evening basically entails slouching on the sofa watching an extended version of the daily scene outside the Today Show studio – randoes holding crappy signs and waving to their mothers. The only difference is that on New Year’s Eve, you’re waiting for a ball to drop. And it’s not as if the ball comes crashing down and creates a fabulous spectacle. It’s just slowly lowered into a melee of drunk people from New Jersey. Sure, you can go out on New Year’s Eve; you’ll either get a DUI or be killed by a drunk driver. And no matter if you stay home or go out, you’re going to wake up on the first day of the new year with a raging hangover and be filled with self-loathing.
February – Valentine’s Day. Do. Not. Get. Me. Started. On the overall suckage of Valentine’s Day. If you’re not in a relationship, that card and box of chocolates – from your mother – is more tragic than Romeo or Juliet. You might as well pass the night seeing how many caramels you can shove in your mouth, while sobbing, without choking and dying. If you are in a relationship, this day is all about mounting expectation followed by peeving disappointment. My rule of thumb is to take tranquilizers on Valentine’s Day like Vietnam Vets do on July 4th.
March – St. Patty’s Day. I do not look good in green, no matter how drunk everyone is.
April – April Fools’ Day. I like this day. This is an excellent holiday. Calling one’s father and pretending to be either pregnant or in prison, or both, never gets old.
May – Mother’s Day. See above. Memorial Day. Seriously, how often does any of us really need to buy a new mattress?
June – Father’s Day. This holiday is not so bad; dads generally don’t care. If you forget Father’s Day they will never notice, or if they do, they will not bring it up. Now I’m divorced; Father’s Day entails me reminding the kids it’s Father’s Day and letting them use my Amazon account to order “the cheapest thing you can possibly find for your father.”
July – Independence Day. I used to groove on America’s birthday. Then Trump came along. July 4th has become an embarrassing holiday. There is literally nothing to celebrate.
August – I had to look up “holidays in August.” Here’s what I found out: Women’s Equality Day is the 26th; nothing happens that day but it is shared by National Dog Day. August 13th is Left Handers Day. I am left handed; no one has ever recognized me for this, on this day or any other.
September – Labor Day. No issues with Labor Day. Grateful for those that labor. Also, the day off work.
October – Halloween. I actually love Halloween. I like candy and I like to dress in costumes. Here’s something I’ve learned through the years vis-à-vis Halloween – when choosing between the St. Pauli Girl ensemble and Tibetan monk getup, replete with bald head, go with the former.
November –Veterans’ Day. Totally down with it. Gratitude is indeed due to all of our veterans for their service. Thanksgiving, however, is always a shit show.
December – December is a big month for those who get into the holiday spirit, which would not be me. I grew up in a half-Jewish, half-Christian home so we did all of it. Hanukkah is eight days of Jewish kids realizing they are in fact not the chosen people. I don’t care how you spin it, Hanukkah is bargain-basement Christmas; at best. Have you ever heard anyone say, “happy as a kid at Hanukkah”?
Christmas, as an adult, is no better. Here’s what I associate with the twelve days of Christmas 1) displays of full-on road rage in the shopping mall parking lot 2) interminable lines to get a pic of your kid sitting on the lap of a pedophile 3) incessantly irritating music, piped throughout the universe 4) leaving the mall empty-handed and filled with shame for having succumbed to the scent of Cinnabon 5) sleepless nights of panicked online shopping 6) overspending 7) overeating 8) overdrinking 9) making a fool of oneself at the office holiday party 10) kowtowing to a menacing make-believe voyeuristic creep called Elf on a Shelf 11) fruitcake 12) out-and-out panic attack Christmas morning induced by sitting among the wasteful carnage of all the presents you shouldn’t have bought and couldn’t afford while your kids pore and obsess over some free app they just downloaded on their devices. And don’t forget the spike in suicides.
I know it’s only May but here where I exist – at the tip of the spear on the War on Christmas, Mother’s Day, and almost every other holiday – now is the time to ramp up for months of battles and skirmishes to come.
To all the moms out there – enjoy your breakfast in bed. (I love you Mom; this is your card.)