When Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder was asked how she could be both a politician and a mother, she replied, “Because I have a brain and a uterus.” On the second Sunday in May we celebrate Mother’s Day- a day that historically has tended to salute only one of the organs Schroeder mentioned.
Mother’s Day evokes all sorts of emotions in people. Generally, attitudes fall somewhere between the cynical “Bah Mumbug” stance, which holds the position that Mother’s Day is perpetuated by retailers as a way to line their pockets, and the “Apple Pious” belief that motherhood is a sacred calling placing mothers right up there with doctors, popes, honest politicians, and switch-hitters batting over 300.
It is in this abyss between emotions that most of us decide just how to celebrate Mother’s Day. Do we ignore it? Do we give it a passing mention with a token gift? Do we create a spectacle of love worthy of a mini-series starring Melissa Gilbert?
If we decide to give a gift, the process of choosing the gift is not terribly difficult because mothers love anything you give them – even the mother who every year says “Don’t buy me anything; Save your money; I have everything I could ever want.” Flowers and candy are traditional choices, especially for people who need to send their gifts across the country. Clothing, perfume, photographs, dining out, knickknacks, are also common choices. But retailers will try to persuade you that their product is an excellent choice, so you will need to use common sense. Think twice before wrapping up that power drill, gerbil, Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” CD, steam iron or Monistat 7 gift set. And even if you do find choosing a gift to be fairly easy, you will soon discover that choosing a Mother’s Day card is hell.