Across the country, right now, there will be fathers, daughters, sons and others rushing into supermarkets and petrol stations because they have forgotten about Mother’s Day. We’ve all been there, and don’t it make you feel like a right dick?
You can relax now – you’ve got that bunch of flowers and the £1 card. You’re ready to put pen to paper and write something soppy that will make her feel warm and fuzzy inside. Most of all, it will make her realise why the hell she agreed to spend nine months looking like Mr. Wobbly from Noddy and the next eighteen years washing your stinking pants.
This blog post, however, is avoiding soppy. Instead, this is a celebration of the things we all love to hate and hate to love about our dear old mums!
1. Her Honesty
In my first year of university, I came home after months of heavy drinking and Dominos eating, and I did not look my best. ‘Oh, you look…bigger’, was the reaction I received from my mum. The horror! My own mum telling me I was fat! Little did she know, her snide comments were the impetus I needed to make me lose over a stone in 5 weeks, through cycling every day and taking up running (properly this time, and not just running for the ice cream van).
Mums will also tell you if they don’t like your new partner (or if they never liked the old one). Whilst your friends shudder in fear at the thought of telling you your boyfriend is, well, a cock, your mum will meet him once and say ‘there’s something I don’t like about him. Be careful’. And even if she’s wrong, and he turns out to be a sweetheart, at least you know she’s always looking out for you.
Nobody loves hearing harsh home-truths, but more often than not mums get away with it. Even more surprising is – their insults actually have the desired effect a lot of the time, and they are frequently right about that scumbag you dated when you were fifteen. Thank you mums, for your honesty!
2. Her Nagging
When you first move away from home, you jump for joy. There is nobody telling you to do the washing up, hoover the stairs or tidy your room. Your mum is not there to nag you to do your homework, to remember to send Auntie Angie a birthday card or to pack for your holiday a week early. You are FREE!!! But then you realise that modern communications technology such as Facebook, Facetime, Skype, Twitter, Whatsapp and the good old fashioned telephone call allows your mum to contact you at all hours of the day to remind you to separate the blacks from the whites or to buy more vegetables.
But, as you are rustling that black bin bag between your fingers to prise the sides apart, the way your mum taught you when you were small, you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. When you are rolling around on your bed grappling with the duvet cover and you suddenly remember your mum nagging at you when you were fifteen (and moody) telling you to try the ‘inside-out’ method, you breathe a sigh of relief. When you go to Sainsburys and you remember your mum nagging at you to buy single onions instead of the pack of three because they work out cheaper, you silently praise her for saving you that extra few pence to spend on cider. Thank you mums, for your nagging!
3. Her Memory
Let’s say that you have rescued a picture from the back of a photo album, and you haven’t locked eyes on it in years. “Wow, that must have been when we were in Spain in 1999!”
No, of course it isn’t. And your mum will soon put you right. “I think you’ll find it was our Lanzarote holiday that we took in 2002, we flew British Airways from London Heathrow and stayed in the Dolphin Sands Hotel. That was the night when we’d just won champagne after beating that Northern family in that quiz show, and your father had too much to drink and was sleeping in the hotel room, and your sister is in the background there…”
Or what about if you need to find your paper counterpart of your driving license for some annoying reason? “Mum, I can’t find it, I’m going to order a new license and get a new paper counterpart sent to me.”
Cue the voice of
reason ridicule: “Don’t be so stupid, I recall it sitting in the third drawer of the filing cabinet in between your Year 6 certificate for ‘excellent myth writing’ and the cutest, sweetest Mother’s Day card you gave me in 2005.”
And what if you can’t find the cranberry sauce?
“I think I remember putting it on the top shelf of the fridge in between the Branston pickle and piccalilli, it’s in a glass pot with a black lid and a turquoise sticker on the front. It’s from Marks and Spencer and cost £1.49”
By now, you must have experienced the painful realisation that you will never quite have the insane memory your mum does and you will continue to suffer a lifetime of being put right if any question about the past comes up.
Thank you mums, for your mental memory!
Have a very happy Mother’s Day!
[images are not my own]