I don’t really, truly hate Mother’s Day, contrarian posts on the topic not withstanding. There are reasons for this. Two reasons, and they are my patented method for having a good Mother’s Day despite the fact that it is, as it happens, that day. These two steps should work pretty well for most non-mothers, though in some cases the best you’re going to get is not as bad as it could have been.
Step 1: Don’t Expect Things
Evil presumably well-intentioned people use this holiday to sell you all kinds of ideas. The idea that you should want to give or receive a particular gift, or that you should want to go to brunch, or that you should want to participate in their fundraiser, or heaven forbid, but it happens, that you should suddenly take an interest in purchasing greeting cards.*
Marketing plus cultural momentum can cause you to develop any number of unrealistic, unhealthy expectations. Resist clinging to these ideas and others like them:
- That your family life is and always has been just like the last five minutes of any episode of Little House on the Prairie.
- That you like the food other people cook for you.
- That today the weather is going to cooperate.
- That you are going to get that nap you’ve been really wanting.
- That the homily at church is going to be any good, and the Ave Maria is really going to hit that special place in your heart this time.
- That the lady who gave you that really weird statue of Mary had better aesthetic sense than you after all.
- That your kids are going to spontaneously give up fighting for twenty-four hours.
- That your life is pleasant.
- That you are going to enjoy this day.
Best Mother’s Day reading? The Silver Chair. Puddleglum has it going on.
Cultivate the right attitude, and when people ask you Monday morning, “Did you have a good Mother’s Day?” you’ll be able to respond quite honestly, “Well, it was almost exactly like the descriptions of the Second Coming, only heavier on stinging insects and with a conspicuous absence of an actual end to time and beginning of eternal life, which I’d been looking forward to — but hey, now I feel totally like the real Second Coming is going to be great. So yeah, it was good. How about yours?”
Step 2: Get Yourself a Present
Bacon is traditional, but you can totally branch out on this one. Waiting for other people to figure out what floats your boat is overrated. Take the initiative. The only rules are that it be something you actually want, and that it be something you can afford. Driving yourself deeper into debt is not Mothers’ Day compliant.
Wait a minute? You’re not a mother? Hah. Who said that had anything to do with it? You have a mother, and that’s what counts. Get yourself a prize.
Note to Skeptics: I am not kidding. Try the method for yourself and be amazed at the results.
* I know many people who purchase greeting cards and are otherwise upright citizens with precious gifts to share with the world. Don’t judge, guys. Don’t judge.
The Charnel House, located in a corner of the graveyard at St Helen’s Church in Cliffe, Kent, England. The Charnel House was built during the mid 19th century. It was used as a make-shift mortuary until the bodies were taken away to be buried. Its location close to the river Thames is key as bodies found were washed up or floating along the Thames were retrieved and taken to the charnel house to be stored awaiting identification and burial.
The building continued to be used until the start of the twentieth century, when a series of Public Health Acts forced buildings such as this to become redundant. After this, the Church used it for storage and at one time a hive of bees was also put in there to deter intruders. It is now classified as a Grade II listed building by English Heritage.
And why is it the Wikimedia Image of the Day on the vigil of Mother’s Day? Because Wikimedia knows. Yes, indeed. What you need is a cottage full of bloated corpses, or angry bees as you prefer, and then your holiday will be shiny and bright just like it ought to be.
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