On the Sunday before Mother’s Day, I noticed the “Mother’s Day Wine” display in my local grocery store’s wine department. It was filled with a selection of shitty rose wines and a curious lemon moscato. I may have been a little edgy due to personal stress, but I marched up to the wine clerk and, pointing the shelf, asked, “What the hell is wrong with that display?” He looked a little shocked, and may have tried to find a panic button, as I kept pointing and nudged, “See, the Mother’s Day selection? … What’s wrong with it? I mean, I am sure you didn’t assemble those wines so tell me what you see?”
He bumbled a bit, “Um, wine, um rose. A lot of rose?”
“Yes!,” I declared. “Just what every mom wants – a shitty rose for her “special day”. Why do you think those were chosen?”
With almost no hesitation, he said, “Honestly, they look like wines we are trying to get rid of.”
“And that, my friend, is the problem. Now that you see the problem, I am sure you will find a way to fix it,” and I moved on.
A few minutes later, I saw him staring at the display with two female co-workers and a box of assorted wines of a higher caliber.
This exchange really got to me. You see, I really dislike Mother’s Day because it is a manufactured moment of honor that’s takes advantage of “doing the right thing.” Yes, this sounds cynical. But that’s how this mama feels about the day.
Restaurants jack up brunch prices. Industrial roses are pushed on the corner to fulfill last minute guilt. Grocery stores pawn off their crap wines as special. Finally, glittery cards with saccharine sentiment are thrust upon moms that would like to just sleep in for one damn day.
Let’s all, just for one year, ignore our manufactured Mother’s Day. Instead, listen to your mom / wife / girlfriend / women in your life who is a mother. If she wants all the glory-sentiment of Mother’s Day, by all means give it to her. However, if the mama in your life is terrible about self-care, try asking, “What would you like? Maybe a morning to yourself? Maybe I could pick up the kids for a week? Maybe you’d like to just go to a movie?” These prompts will help her know you are serious and that you’ve put some thought in wanting her to have some time to do with as she pleases. Just take a few minutes to hear her. And about taking that time to hear her, keep doing it throughout the year. “Mother’s Day” shouldn’t be a singular day, but a sweet string of thanks throughout the year.