Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there! You have a thankless job most of the time and you work hard at it. Or maybe it should be “Happy Mommy’s Day” since, just like guys, any fool can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a Mommy.
See, I know EXACTLY how hard it is, I was the HouseHusband for our family and primary caretaker for my daughter from the time she was born till she was 6. I identified STRONGLY with people like Roseanne and other mothers out there.
I’ve seen several people posting in various places about their Mother’s Day, and I have to say I’m pretty sad about it. I heard from one lady that she got an indifferent “Happy Mom’s day” from her domestic partner, and a cake from her daughter. At least the daughter tried. When we talked to her on the phone, she was in the middle of making dinner for everyone.
While I’m not one to give into crass commercialism for any reason, Mother’s Day should be a time of celebration and honoring those who pretty much give up their life for their children. I mean, think this through a bit. Here’s Mom, and what does she do? Makes Dinner. Cleans house. Shuttles children around. Kisses boo-boos. Hugs and takes care of the kids and pets. Washes clothes.
When does Mom go clubbing? How about going out and hanging out at a bar? Just driving around at night to some secluded spot and watching the stars? How about seeing a movie by herself?
Most kids would be horrified to find mom putting on a sexy halter top made of cloth-of-gold and shaking her breasts at a bar in hot leather pants. Bet every single one of them did it at some point in the past.
I know I did.
Know what our Mother’s Day was like? First off, it started yesterday really. Mary wanted to go to a local Craft Faire, so we went to it down at Centennial Park instead of going to the Civil War Festival that she ALSO wanted to go to. We spent two hours there walking around and looking at all these exquisite crafts and this work. We heard music (by Nashville Weather, a local band who plays a lot of Celtic and Irish music. They are really good and have a decent sense of humor. We saw people making things, and watched a few demos.
Then we came home and went to do it again today. Except this time, instead of two hours, we spent about 5 hours there. And we spent MONEY.
Last night, I got two unexpected sales, in excess of $180. So, normally I would do the prudent thing, and save that money for bills and other such necessities. But walking around, and listening, I had to get Mary a Mother’s Day present. She struck first, however, and got me a hat.
Yeah, a hat. I had a Direct baseball cap on to keep the sun out of my eyes and off my pate, but she decided it wasn’t enough, and she spent $35 to get me a leather cowboy hat. Why? “Because it looked good on you.” Wow, some explanation.
So we were still looking. I wasn’t too happy, but I started thinking, it’s important. Then we came across it.
It was just sitting there. Beautiful. Exquisite wood, turned down to the right thickness. Brightwork gleaming. It sang just lying there. Then she picked it up, and a cry of “oh…” escaped her lips. Not one that shakes the trees, but the “oh” one might utter in Church when you hear an angel sing and you don’t want to disturb Her for everyone else. The quiet, reverent tone of deep satisfaction and illumination.
Mary looked at the lady who was running the shop while I was busy looking at other things. “May I try it” she asked in tones that approached the orgasmic.
So Mary held it. I was paying attention while making sure I wasn’t paying attention. She moved it. The lady said “I don’t put ink in it for traveling.” Mary nodded.
It was a pen. Not just any pen, THE pen. Right up there with the best pens in the world, like Waterman. About 4 ounces, fountain nib type, gold accents and thick enough for a lady who has arthritis to hold comfortably. She took a piece of paper and wrote on it, without ink. The action was smooth and not mushy.
Then she looked at the price. $80. She put it back with a sigh.
Now, you must understand something, I believe in paying the artesian what their work is worth. No one appreciates quality anymore and no one is willing to pay for it. These items I was seeing I would have been more than happy to fork over hundreds of dollars, up to a few thousand dollars for one turned bowl from a burl that was (I kid you not) six feet across and about two feet deep. The problem is where do I put it and the finances. (I’ll win that lottery someday damnit…)
But even I was shocked by this price. It was very high. We looked at their other wares, and moved on. But Rhiannon wasn’t with us. She had stayed several booths back to watch a man doing draw-knife carving on a bench he was making. (She’s getting into wood carving. I gave her my grandfather’s pocket knife, a little two blade “Old Timer” and she’s got all kinds of little sticks and BIG sticks laying around here now.)
So I let the crowd lose me from her, while telling her I was going back to get Rhiannon. I took a circuitous route back to that booth. I picked up The Pen (yes, with capitals. If you held it you would say the same thing.) I held it in my hand. I weighed it and thought. I had an extra $100 for one of my goods that I could use. I mentally told myself “Screw it, it’s Mother’s Day.”
I signaled the Lady over and I started the process to buy it. I had the wrong pen in my hand. I asked her which one it was. She pointed to another. I asked her if she was sure. She was. I said “Do it” then explained what I wanted it for. She was thrilled to do this, and called her partner away from schmoozing the customers to help her finish the sale so I could get back to Mary without too much time being lost or without her returning. I got a box for The Pen too. Another $12 charge. Tax…. came to a total of $100.51 I started mentally berating myself for being extravagant, but this is special. I paid without a second thought. I didn’t have a penny. They didn’t push it.
Ten minutes later, The Pen in box, box wrapped in tissue paper, in bag, care and information card filled out and with The Pen and Box, all of it in my pocket, I RUN to get Rhiannon and then we hightail it back to Mary.
Cool, she doesn’t suspect. And now I have a couple hours of torture waiting. I keep mentally going back and forth with “do I give it to her now? No. But she will be so happy. Yes. Do I give it to her now? Maybe. But it will spoil the surprise. Yes.” back and forth and back and forth. I resolved a hundred times to give it to her no earlier than when we were safely at home (she can’t return it then, the deed is done), and I changed my mind to give it to her at the next opportunity (I can see the joy and happiness immediately).
I had some scares. Sitting next to Mary, on her left hand side, she puts her hand on my thigh. Oh, shit… Mental check:
Pen location: right hand pants pocket
Location of Mary’s Hand: Right thigh
Proximity to Pen: lower half of palm on Pen, fingers on thigh.
ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT
How do I be unobtrusive and sneaky and get her hand off my leg, without EVER letting her know I’m unobtrusive and sneaky and getting her hand off my leg? Ummmm….. Yeah, I can stand up! But there is no reason to stand, and every reason to sit. Uhhhhh…. I could smack a fly that doesnâ€™t exist on her hand! Yeah! No, she’d hit me. Ummmm, OH!! she moved her hand to wave at Rhiannon! Excellent! Now to unobtrusively block her from putting it back there! Uhhhh, DRINK! Put your drink on your leg where her hand would go! That worked!
alert alert alert WOULD SOMEONE SHUT THAT DAMNED KALXON OFF???
Same scenario, car this time, and it’s moving. Car in front of us is backing up into my path, I don’t see it, she grabs my leg with her hand ON THE DAMNED PEN THIS TIME! And she’s showing no signs of moving it. She shrieked (at the car) I’m looking wildly around trying to figure out what just sent my wife through the ceiling of the car. I see NOTHING. Crap, her hand is on the PEN!!! She knows it’s there!
Okay, calm… She’s got to move her hand sometime. We’re half way home and her hand is still there. Is she trying to feel what that huge cucumber-shaped lump in my pocket is? No? Why the hell not? “Excuse me mister, is that a pen in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”
Let’s see, she’s a nervous passenger. So I do a swerve thing, and she grabs at the dashboard to steady herself. Coolness! Block, how do I block her? AH! I grab her hand and start holding it! Brilliant! Now she can’t hold my leg. I only have one hand to drive with, but hey, I used to deliver pizzas with non-powered steering in a four speed stick, while holding those pizzas in place going around a corner (which you have to CRANK to turn the wheels) while downshifting… this should be no problem.
Get home. < whew > Unload. Get upstairs and inside. She sits down, threatening to go directly to bed all the while. Nononono you can’t do that missy. Go into the closet. Take cucumber shaped lump out of my pocket, removed two layers of bags, two layers of tissue paper, grab old sock I use for polishing leather. Slide the Box and The Pen into it. Take sock out to Mary.
Hand it to her. Say “Happy Mother’s Day” as if it’s the most indifferent thing in the world to me. She grimaces and starts pulling Box out. She knows it’s going to be cheesy.
The look on her face when she saw the box was worth it. She had NO clue. Then she opened it. And her face fell. My heart stopped. She said “OH honey, this is so WONDERFUL! But it’s the wrong pen….”
And I wanted to kill myself. All that work, all that effort, all that terror for THE WRONG FREAKING PEN?????
Now I know why the Samurai committed Seppuku, it was easier than living with something like this on your conscience.
If I could have willed my death I would have. Really.
Then she says “Wait a minute,” and she opens it, and I go from Hell to Heaven in another heartbeat. It is the right pen.
By now, I want to hurt something. I’m ready to drop with this emotional roller coaster I’ve been on, and she does the typical Mother’s Day thing and starts crying. THIS is the reaction I waited for and wanted.
You have to understand this, since I have known Mary, she has wanted a Fountain Pen. So much so, I seriously considered getting her one of those old inkwell fountain pens one year, but I couldn’t find one that didn’t leak or that still had the ink reservoir intact. So this has been one of those “lifetime” goals. One she never thought she would get. And here it is in her hand.
I watch her go through this mental gymkhana in her head “do I keep it or do I make him take it back…” for about 10 minutes. And she finally decides to keep it. I can collapse now.
This gift totally blows away the smoker (stovetop meat) and the Roaster I got her. This is the BEST PRESENT EVER! I’m so happy.
And the only way I can justify the expense (because she thought it was $65, but that’s still too much) was to point out that this is her Birthday present too. Plus, it’s a “happy new job” present too. I don’t think I could have waited for that one though. It was hard enough getting it home.
Now, I could have done the flowers. I could have done candy. I could have given her a day off. She didn’t even really want anything since neither Rhiannon nor I EVER take her for granted and we tell her everyday how much we appreciate her. So this was completely out of left-field. And I am SO happy.
To bad other “men” can’t do this for the person in their life that (theoretically) they are supposed to love more than themselves.
EDIT: Pictures are here