Friday, May 10, 2013

Marriage 501, Lecture 732: Mothers day

Usually, SH's strategy with Mothers Day is to wait until the day before Mothers Day to buy a card and then to send it overnight mail.

You might not be able to imagine what I think about that approach, so I will tell you:

I am not in favor of it.

I am especially not in favor of spending money unnecessarily for certain people who are not going to be happy no matter what he does, but even if I thought SH's parents had hung the moon, I would not be in favor of overnight mail for a Mothers Day card.

(I am also as much of a fan of Mothers Day as I am of Valentine's Day, but what are you going to do? If you love your mother, which I do, you want her to be happy.)

So the other day, after we had gone on our neighborhood art walk, on one of the first days in six months when it was nice enough to be outside, we went to Jos Banks so SH could return a pair of pants, which was not the five-minute project it would be  for a normal person but a 20-minute ordeal involving a long discussion with the manager about why aren't the 32" pants 32" long and a search of all other items in the store to make sure SH, WHO WORKS FROM HOME, wasn't missing anything.

I hate shopping with SH. I don't make him shop with me.

Then we went to the grocery store, which is always an adventure with SH, as it takes him three minutes to put a box of Velveeta in the cart because he has to examine the nutritional contents -

Hint: The purpose of Velveeta is not nutrition. It is to melt to mix with Ro-Tel tomatoes to make Ro-Tel dip. If you have not had this concoction, I pity you.

I also had to leave him behind at the flour section, as I had already put both the bread flour and the regular flour in the cart but he wanted to look at the labels on every single brand. After I had decided that I wouldn't splurge for King Arthur and grabbed Pillsbury instead, I was happy with my decision and moved on to the frozen veg. But SH had to stay to evaluate all the brands. He finally caught up with me at the Texas toast in the freezer case, where we wondered how hard it really was to MAKE TOAST that someone would feel compelled to buy a frozen version of it.

After the grocery store, we went to Kohl's with our $10 coupon off anything in the store.

The way the Kohl's coupons work is if you buy $10 worth of stuff and hand the cashier the $10 coupon, you owe them nothing.

That is the way to do couponing.

Maybe most people can't resist the allure of the other items in the store, but I find Kohl's clothes to be rather cheap and tawdry, so I walk right past the racks. We went straight to the back to the greeting card section.

Mothers day cards were out.

Now. Remember this is a man who takes ten minutes to pick a package of bacon. (It has to have the perfect fat/lean ratio and it's necessary to evaluate every single package to make sure we have gotten the best one.)

Imagine how long it takes him to pick a greeting card.

His mom likes really flowery, sentimental, emotional cards. At least, if you go by what she sends to SH, that's what she likes.

SH likes fart jokes.

There is not much overlap between flowery sentimental emotional cards and fart jokes.

We both sighed and started thumbing through the cards.

We looked at every single card, trying to find something that didn't make SH gag but that his mother wouldn't hate and complain about to him.

It's not easy to find that. You never know what will make someone send a martyred email about how she must have flunked and she must just not be very important to her son.

I am very fortunate that my mother is not like that. I don't know what it's like to be held hostage by emotional manipulation, so it's easy for me to shrug and tell SH to ignore it. My mom is nice and rational. Not everyone has a mom like that.

SH finally got a card with a kitten on it. Kittens are always safe. I think.


George Looney said...

Really enjoy your blog. Keep it up.

webb said...

Talk about total emotional blackmail - Mother's Day is it. Altho my mother is no longer around to celebrate (if you get my drift), my stepmother is alive and kicking and expects a card. Walking the tightrope between sentimental cards and "thanks for being my step-mom, but you aren't really my mom" cards is tough. I totally get your dilemma. And, like you, I hate Hallmark Holidays - this one especially.

Hope the cats don't feel compelled to send you a card, too.

ps: I mailed the card today. It won't make it in time, but it's pretty Freudian that I didn't get around to buying it until today. .. don't you think?

Gaylin said...

I told my mom I would come and visit her and wash her kitchen floor (she can't). She said the hell with a card, getting the floor washed will be awesome.

She also is underweight from being in pain so I will be bringing her homemade cheddar crackers.

And because she is sedentary (needs a hip replacement, can't get one - allergic to metals), I will be bringing her a roll of stamps to write & mail letters - which she loves doing.

A couple years ago, my sibs and I chipped in and got her a new toilet - nothing says sentimental love like a new toilet!!!

I think a kitten card should be safe . . .

Class factotum said...

Thank you, George!

Webb, perhaps we could design a line of cards for stepmothers who aren't really the mom (with all due to the good stepmothers out there) and cards for women who have cats but no children. There could be a lot of money in it. And yes, I think it's Freudian!

Gaylin, I would rather have my kitchen floor washed than get a card any day! And it sounds like you guys try really hard to get your mom something she would want and use, as opposed to something NOBODY wants, like a donation in his name to some nature group and an 11x17" photo of the adopted animal, in this case, a

1. sea turtle
2. panther and
3. wolf

Yes. Three adopted animals. Will they send SH a fathers day card?

Koala Blue said...

Totally agree about the emotional blackmail around Mother's Day. I not only have to get a card but a gift as well. I always get a blank card with (usually) a picture of flowers on it and write my own message.

But I don't buy birthday cards either - I always choose a blank-inside card with a picture that seems to suit the recipient. Guess I just don't like any of those canned messages.

I felt compelled to look up Texas Toast as that sounds so totally strange. I am relieved to report that, according to Wikipedia, Texas Toast is bread sliced at double the normal thickness that is not sold toasted despite the name. So that made me feel better.

John0 Juanderlust said...

Certain days make being a motherless and fatherless child worthwhile.