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Friday, March 14, 2008

On 'Mothering'...and other failures

Okay, so no one around here is pregnant. Though yesterday, my sister accused me of the condition when I made her wash off the moisturizer that she was wearing because it made me want to puke. In the nicest possible way.

I'm still nobody's mother and if you asked my husband (and he consulted our current bank balance), you would know that I am likely (though not certain, never certain) to stay that way for a while.

In fact, I realized this week that I am the only woman in his family that isn't a mother. I figured this out when I found out that we had missed "Mothering Sunday" or Mother's Day in the UK. Oh, we had the gifts and cards. They'd been stashed away for an age in the "present closet" or rather the "black hole at the back of the house." But where they addressed? Postage affixed? Mailed?

Absolutely not.

The reason for this was simple. I don't know when Mothering Sunday is. And if I had had to guess, I would have said that it was always the third weekend of March--not the fourth week of Lent. Why would you celebrate mother's day during lent? Why would you celebrate anything during lent? Or so my own mother--the preacher--wondered when I told her that I discovered we had missed it. No presents for Rich's mom. No phone call. Nothing.

Sure, Richard should have remembered, but in our family the division of labor goes like this:
Rich--dishes, laundry, vacuuming. Rach--holiday celebrating, bringing home the big bucks, looking pretty. Not sure that this is a formula that I am willing to mess with too much at the moment.

I might have remembered Mothering Sunday if I were British. Unfortunately, as much as I feel British on the inside (and I've drunk enough tea to make it so), I understand that this just doesn't count. Other evidence that betrays my alien nature: I hate marmite, ribena and branston 'pickle,' I always always look left-right-left when crossing the street, and I still laugh nervously when people say, "toilet" instead of "restroom."

Maybe I would have known about the day if I were someone's mother. I might have gotten a card and a well-wish or two from across the pond myself. But childless is tantamount to holiday-less. And being the only woman in the family who isn't a mother makes me, like the fourth wife in the Joy Luck Club, beholden.

Luckily, I have been forgiven. Someday, I'll know how important this holiday is. Or maybe I won't. After all, I am only an American.

So I am off to the post office to airmail my well wishes to the mothers in the family and there will only be the gentlest of weeping on the way.


P.S. Here's the gift I picked out. A sweet posy ring from Anthropologie (or Anthro as those in the know--aka Richard the employee--say.) What I lack in grandchild-production I make up for in funky-ring gifting, no?

1 comment:

ElegantSnobbery said...

Hey, no worries! My Brit didn't remember the day either. And anyway, we moms only use the day as a reason to demand 10 minutes more sleep, breakfast in bed, and presents from each child who we bore. I've already picked out the Mother's Day present that Gracie and Annelie don't even know they are giving me. It is going to be fabulous!

As for Marmite... sick. And Branston Pickle... hideous. I do hate Ribena, but I have my MIL bring Robinson's Black Currant and Apple Squash and Milky Ways (not the American kind, of course) each time she visits. And tea is, of course, poured every hour in this household!