Updated: Mar 4
MUMS EATS FREE ON MOTHER’S DAY! FREE BOTTLE OF WINE FOR EVERY MUM! SPEND YOUR MONEY IN OUR RESTAURANT ON THIS ARBITRARY DATE AND WE'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING THAT COSTS US ALMOST NOTHING!
Working in a restaurant may have contributed to my somewhat cynical view of Mother's Day. I'd see families taking their mums out for a meal (that they weren't paying for), presenting her with a token bunch of flowers (another thing for her to look after) and then proudly ticking off their filial responsibility for the year. I wondered how they treated their mums the rest of the time. Why did they need a special day to show their appreciation for the women that raised them, clothed them and (probably) loved them? Don’t get me wrong, I completely subscribed to the occasion like the dutiful little hypocrite I was. I made cards and presented floral tributes with the best of them (apart from the year where I forgot and all hell broke loose), but deep down I felt as though the occasion was just a ruse to drive the economy by encouraging the purchasing of tat.
You may be thinking by now that you know where this is going. I've laid the foundations for the pessimistic protagonist to be placed down upon the path to enlightenment and now I'm setting you up for the conflict resolution, the grand finale to the story: I've since changed my mind. Well, you'd be right. You may also be thinking, "Pfff. She started a greeting card company which profits directly from sales generated by the 'Hallmark Holidays' and now she's suddenly completely on board with Mother's Day. What a surprise." Weeelll, you'd be right again.
It's true that I now have a vested interest in Mother's Day and many of the other occasions that pop up throughout the year but it is exactly this interest that has helped me to understand their importance. When I decried the over-commercialisation of the event, I imagined a greedy, faceless corporation sat in a darkened room, stroking a cat and gloating over a pile of gold coins that it had lured away from honest, hard-working citizens. Citizens like you and I. Citizens who had a right to stand up and say, "No Dr. Evil. You shall not take our gold coins!" And then a cruel smile spreads across Dr. Evil's face which slowly breaks into a cackle which steadily grows into a menacing laugh that echoes around the room and then maybe a battle breaks out but I'm straying from my point. The point being that Dr. Evil probably benefits from Mother's Day but so too do millions and millions of people who run and work for small businesses. And you have to admit that even Evil Corp employs a ton of people and sometimes even supports the smaller manufacturers.
So Mother's Day helps to drive the economy. So what? We need to produce and consume and employ and invest. In short, the economy is the bus that allows us to survive and thrive and it simply must be driven.
But what about the other cause for my cynicism? How did I come to terms with the fact that we need a special day in order to express our appreciation for our mums? Well, the reality is that unless we’ve stepped straight out of a meditation app, we probably don’t go around proclaiming our gratitude to them on a daily, or even weekly, basis. Life, and our desire to not be creepy, get in the way of our eagerness to shower them constantly in the tokens of our affection. And really, how would we do it anyway? If you’ve got a good mum, you’d need a pretty impressive gesture to thank her appropriately for all the love and care and sacrifices. Dedicating an award to her, or erecting some sort of monument, or putting on a play might do it but given that these options aren’t available to most of us, we have to resort to a matching bath salt and scented candle set and hope she understands the symbolism.
So, yeah, we need Mother’s Day. We need to be told when it is and we need to be given offers and incentives to get us to eat in restaurants so that the restaurants can pay their employees so that their employees can buy their mums bath salts so that their mums can lie in their baths and know that all of their hard work, their kindness and their sacrifices were all worth it because they’re loved.
And before you go, you can get free shipping on all Mother’s Day cards at www.lantherblack.com/mothersday by using code DRIVETHEECONOMY at checkout. Offer valid on all purchases made before Mother’s Day, Sunday 31st March.