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Mother’s Day Is More Than Mothers

May 13, 2012

Along with Valentine’s Day, this holiday and a few others (…most) kill me a little with their contrived “once a year be nice” sort of deal. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way and needed to at least try to vindicate it a bit by trying to redefine what Mother’s Day should be about so I could get in the celebration mood.

I’ve never been a big fan of pastels anyway. Rest assured, my mother’s card was done with a superb black pen. Score.

After reading this post over at the Ms. Magazine blog by Cris Beam I was inspired to not buy a card for my mother this year. Getting a little history on the day from Beam, a phrase that the creator of Mother’s Day (Anna Jarvis) used to describe the intent of the day struck me: “To obliterate family estrangement.”

That. I want that right there. I love my family (and all of the versions of it floating around that I create myself with friends and other people, I’m not a “by-blood” only type o’ gal) but I feel this estrangement all the time in different little ways. And I fight back, much to the dismay of some of these people (more often than not from my parents).

The way I fight back is I think through excessive awkwardness. You may think this an easy job as so many people achieve it without effort but you would be mistaken. I fill silences in conversation by bringing up the hub-bub around that erotic (ridiculous) book Fifty Shades of Grey which will invariably turn into a discussion about erotic novels and probably then just sex, then sex-positivism all at the Thanksgiving table. You’re welcome grandma.

But beyond doing this to fill silence, I do it because a part of me just wants people to talk again. I miss the dinners my family used to have that we all thought we were too busy for that even then were flawed because we didn’t turn off the TV and actually pay attention to each other. I miss the years I spent trying to make a family out of friends that didn’t want to do that and then when I finally found a group of people we all are moving away to begin our lives.

So I’m fighting back by being awkward and forcing conversation on audiences who I can tell like to talk also, they just need someone willing to bring the “first one” to bring up erotic fiction. I’m okay being that person. So Happy non-card buying and card making conversation inducing Mother’s Day. And try out obliterating estrangement, let me know your successes!


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