Another Hallmark Holiday

Purple Mountain Majesties

Sunday is another one of those – what I like to call – Hallmark holidays. I define these as holidays created to get you to go out and buy something – and if you don’t – you will have the guilt of ignoring your mother, father, sweetheart, goblins, etc.

I have no problem accepting gifts. It’s just that I’d rather have something genuinely given at a time when there is no social onus to do so. A surprise – a spontaneous gesture of affection instead of a socially forced day of recognition.

I have this attitude because of MY mother. You may have noticed a theme here whenever I write about my mother. She was not an easy person. Actually, she was super annoying, obnoxious and an impossible person with whom to reason. She was always right. And she was always angry.

One Mother’s Day I found the perfect card for her. On the front was a picture of a stork and a woman. Inside the verse read ” Dear Mom – I remember the first time I saw you. Out on the lawn throwing rocks at the stork.” That pretty well summed it up.

Over the 44 years that I kowtowed  spent time with her, my life was shaken up by her unreasonable demands, her need to be the center of attention and her need to put down any sort of kind feeling or positive attitude. Since I escaped moved from my hometown as quickly as possible, I spent much of my time communicating with her by phone. I was hung up on more times than I can remember. Once in particular the day after Christmas at 6:30 am – three months before she died. She didn’t get any nicer because she was dying. Instead she decided to tell everyone what she thought of them. Unbelievable.

When we visited with my parents – after a long drive down from Detroit – she would either make snide remarks about what I was wearing (heaven forbid it was new – she never got anything new) or what my kid was eating or how much or how often. Of course, she’d not ever raised a son. But it wasn’t his fault he ate – it was mine. At one point I was told that he was overcompensating for something. No credence was given to the idea that he might just be hungry since he was growing an inch an hour. Nah, he was overcompensating – it was my fault – probably because I was a lousy mother. Of course, that time, it was me that ate the donuts. She made me nervous and I ate.

In particular I remember one Christmas when they came to visit. I was seriously exhausted from the strain put on by a visit from her – during which I would need to walk on eggshells and by her promise to my 6-year-old that he could have a Star Wars toy that was sold out in every toy store in the greater Detroit area.  We learned early on with DS not to promise anything you couldn’t deliver. Hell the kid would get pissed at the age of 3 if his favorite TV show wasn’t on. I wasn’t at all thrilled to go from store to store looking for this stupid toy he would ignore in about 5 minutes. But I did, being pushed both by ridiculous mother and whiny son.

After the holiday and (thank God) they went home – I received a birthday card from her. Something about dear daughter, blah blah blah. Inside there was a lovely letter explaining to me how I was a MONSTER and I had better straighten out. What a nice birthday that was.

I also remember her response when I asked if they would like to come to my graduation from university – some 15 years after I dropped out in the first go round. Her response was no. She went on to say that she would rather that I graduated when I was “supposed” to. Of course she ignored the fact that I had to drop out because I was ill. I was “supposed” to go to school ill, I guess. Or I wasn’t REALLY ill, I was just play-acting. Whatever.

So it will come as no surprise to you all that Mother’s Day – for me – as a daughter – has no fond memories. Happy Mother’s Day Mom – wherever you are. Love ya. I bless you and forgive you. Hope you found some peace.

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