Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'll Take the Love

Mother’s Day, Capitalism,
and Love

Journaling is something I do that helps me work through my feelings. It often moves me from one emotion to another, just the act of writing changes things, as it did for me this morning. I wrote the following in my journal this morning:

“[Future-son-in-law] is coming this weekend to get some papers and if [one of my daughters] doesn’t have to work, she’ll come, too. That will be nice for Mother’s Day. I know it’s a Hallmark holiday—a created one—but I still want to be honored that day and it hurts when I am not and it’s just like any other day. How can I celebrate my own self and my years of mothering and honor what I’ve done? If I want that so much, am I willing to give it to myself? To provide some high-fives, some extra appreciation?
“Can I look at the things they [the kids] do every other day to honor me? Can I say okay, why do I want special recognition one day when really—I get it throughout the year? I imagine many moms would trade my day-to-day interactions with my kids for their rare moments of being honored.
“I have fallen prey to capitalist sentiment for this holiday—and that’s the plan of merchandisers—if you don’t spend and do X, then your Mom is ‘less than’ those moms who are lavished with gifts and dining. And Moms—you see what is available for those kids to buy—you see where you could be taken for dinner—you see the jewelry from that foul smooch jeweler, the flowers, the chocolates—if your kids don’t get all of those for you, then you’ve failed. So be sure to feel bad on Sunday if your day doesn’t begin with coffee and a long-stemmed rose brought to your room, on a tray, followed by breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your favorite restaurant after which you’ll return home to be feted with mounds of gifts. And—why not? A red carpet should be rolled out for you pretty much wherever you go that day, and violins should play unobtrusively to sweeten the atmosphere as well.
“Maybe you should be carried aloft on a sedan chair, like the royalty you’re supposed to be, if not, then certainly rose petals should grace your path.
“I know this has moved to the absurd, but in our culture, the absurd sells—it either makes you feel magnanimous as the giver, or deficient if you aren’t the receiver.
“After exploring these elements of a greeting-card, jewelry-store, fine-dining Mother’s Day, I’ve changed my mind. A handmade card, a day in the garden, and a walk on the beach will be just fine.”

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