Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Great Mother's Day Debate

Mother's Day has become like Passover to me. I'm not involved. I don't completely get it. And I only know it's coming when I see decorations hanging in Ralph's.

And this Mother's Day was no exception. Typically no one gets hurt. However, this year there was some carnage left in my wake. Because as anyone who has lost a parent knows, and especially those who lost one young, it doesn't matter how long ago you lost them, you still feel it. It hurts less over time, but there are still these twinges of angst and mourning that hit you when you least expect it and like a ton of bricks.

That's one thing they never tell you (sidenote: who is this "they" and how are "they" such experts on loss and how do "they" have so much collective knowledge of mourning?) is the longer someone's been gone, the more surprising the moment of mourn, so to speak, is. You expect (and are expected by "them") to feel great sadness the first year of these big events. First birthday, first Christmases, first Mother's Day, etc. In fact, if you don't feel a great weight of sorrow you almost have to fake it to make "them" feel like they knew and you feel like you're living up to everyone's expectations of sorrow.

This all leads back to my lack of Mother's Day awareness. Most times, I'm oblivious, see it, realize there's very little obligation on my end as I am neither a mother nor have a living one, and move on. This year one little bitch at Macy's tried to make me get into the spirit of Mother's Day and for that, she felt the wrath of Ash.

"Would you like some help finding a Mother's Day gift," all 5 foot nothing, 100 pound blondeness of her cooed a I was racewalking through the great cosmetics/ accessories divide on my way to the escalators and then through Macy's to get to Sephora. She had stepped directly into my path which on a day when I was more determined could probably have gotten her killed or at least severely bruised.

"No, thank you," I replied annoyed that I no only had to break stride to answer, but stop to politely decline.

"But we have some lovely new fragrances and some great cosmetic gift sets that would be perfect for your mom," she said.

I cracked a smile to myself because as much as I love my mother to this day, I thought of what little use cosmetics and perfume would be after a decade of decay. Not the typical warm, fuzzy, I know.

"No, thank you," I said. "I really don't need anything for Mother's Day." And I was just getting ready to start my jaunt again when she said the words that pushed me over the edge.

"Well, why not?" she said. "Everyone has a mother." If she had said it with a fresh-faced ignorance or naivete, I might've --MIGHT have--been a little nicer. But she was annoyed that I wouldn't stop. And I was annoyed that she stopped me. It was the combination of the two that turned the situation ugly.

"You're right," I said with a smile through gritted teeth. "Everyone does have a mother. However, mine has been dead for more than a decade now so I'm 100 percent certain that she doesn't have a use for a Mother's Day gift."

With her jaw now hitting the floor, I took the silence as my opportunity to continue on my way. If I hadn't said something twice before, I might've felt a little remorse, but this time I just hoped the exchange tempered her aggressive sales tactics. At least for another hour or so.

That being said, Happy Mother's Day to those out there and to my mom and all other lost moms. Your daughters (and sons, t00, I'm sure) miss you and think about on the first Mother's Day after you've been gone and every one after that.

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