Monday, May 11, 2009

Slow Day at the Office

I generally like these kinds of days. A guy who who had my job before I did once told me, "Any day at CGS when you can do nothing related to CGS is a good day." Like today. In fact, I did nothing related to anything.

Well, I did manage to finish my Spiral-Notebook Man:

I want to start a new movement of Spiral Notebook Art and one day exhibit it. Hey, why not? Every other artistic movement is usually looked at as dumb in the beginning. And besides, it's recycling.

Anyway,I wanted to cover a variety of topics here, since there's really nothing going on, I think I'll rant about nothing. Makes sense, right?

Yesterday was Mother's Day, so, like a good son, I went to see my mom and grandmother and I brought cards. I also brought laundry. Sue me. Now, I'm going to upset a lot of mothers out there (if any of them read this thing), but I feel Mother's Day is generally pretty ridiculous. Now, to understand my argument and not just think I'm a lazy, cheap bastard, you need to divest yourself from the emotional aspect of it and hear me out:

First, some history. According to Wikipedia, Mother's Day, as we know it, was concocted by by a woman named Anna Jarvis to "honor mothers and motherhood, especially within the context of families." It is a relatively new tradition, being established in the 20th Century, probably right around the time Hallmark started raking it in. Incidentally, Jarvis trademarked the terms "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day." However, nine years later, even she got sick of the commercialization and apparently spent all her money fighting what she felt was "abuse of the celebration." But the best part?

(Jarvis) was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ..."
I'm with you, Anna. but not because I hate card-shopping or seeing my Nana. The idea is to honor your mother, sure, but here's my beef: I have a co-worker whose daughter is a college freshman, and this was the first Mother's day that the two would be separated. This affected my co-worker deeply, and I probably did not ease her pain by pointing out that there would be at least three more to come. Anyway, she said that she never appreciated everything that her mother did until she actually became one. Makes sense, except that she insisted that no one can ever appreciate what their mother does until they become a mother. This, I had to protest.

I will never be a mother, but I think I can still appreciate what my mother did growing up. Naturally, it wasn't always this way, but at 33, I think I figured that much out. I always thank my mother for what she did, and continues to do, for me, and I would hope that she knows it, and no silly card with a bird on it could say it any better. I guess I don't have a problem with Mother's Day as much as I have a problem with people who say things like that, and I don't think my co-worker is alone in her beliefs. I think some mother's get a sense of arrogance about the whole thing. And people buy into it. Dig this: I found a stat that said that Americans spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers for Mother's Day, and $68 million on cards. Do you think Father's Day brings in that much coin? No way! (Incidentally, Father's Day is almost in direct opposition to Mother's Day, because the entire concept was was about to disappear until the Associated Men's Wear Retailers brought it back as a marketing scheme in the 1930's. At least there were no pretenses. All about the Benjamins there.)

Honestly, I will probably never be a mother or a father, so, I'm not going to get all "where's my day?" or anything, but I really hate any holiday that is forced on me (and being kind of an atheist, that pretty much covers them all.) I obviously like the ones that get me a day off, and I don't mind ones that celebrate something that actually happened, like Independence Day or Thanksgiving, (although that one's kind of tainted too, seeing as how the settlers pushed the Native Americans right out of here not too long after that initial feast), but most of them are just reasons to spend money that nobody has right now.

Except the flower and card companies, of course.

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