Saturday, 1 March 2008

Mother's Day: Mother's Gay, more like (not my mum, your mum. well, unless she is, in which case that's cool, like)

Now I don’t really care that Mother's Day is all just a big con perpetrated by the greeting card industry. Frankly if I can demonstrate my love for my mum with the symbolic annual gesture of a £1.50 card and price of a stamp, then it could be a con perpetrated by a shady underground cell of Satan-worshipping vivisectionists and I’d go along with it.

But I think maybe some more creativity with the cards, eh? I was shopping for one the other day, and fuck me, they all basically say ‘to the world’s best mum’. All of them. It’s a bank of cardboard hypocrisy staring out at you. I mean, I don’t know how you judge these things, but I know my mum isn’t the best mum in the entire world, and I’m sure she’d ‘fess up to that as well. I mean christ, look at me and my sister. If we’re the product of the world’s best mum, then literally the entire apparatus by which our culture adjudges something to be ‘the best’ is irredeemably flawed. I know that that's arguably a kind of cold thing to point out, but it’s the cards that are a doing it – does everyone really go and buy one with the absolute conviction of their mother’s superiority to all the others? And if so, should they not torch all the other cards on their way out, so that none of those other deluded pretenders might bestow that title of their undeserving progenitors? Or at the very least write a stern letter to Hallmark?

Obviously I did end up buying one that said ‘world’s best mum’, only I tried to ameliorate it by writing a painfully ironic message on the inside that will probably be confusing at best, upsetting at worst. Bring back less enthusiastic cards, I say. Not like ‘Firm Handshakes: You Did A Solid Job Raising Me, And Childbirth Must Have Been A Chore, Too’, but y’know, just ‘A Great Mum’, ‘A Wonderful Mum’ – I’m sure they were all the rage a few years ago. Less of this hyperbole, people.

Of course, part of the problem might have been that I bought mine from Tesco. Though at least I steered clear of the 78p Tesco Value Mother's Day card. Unsurprisingly that does not suggest anybody is the best at anything.

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