Dog’s don’t have Mother’s Day. Jack isn’t confounded about what to buy his dear old muvva come May the somethingth. He wouldn’t even know her if he saw her. That’s not a bad reflection on either of them; in fact it may be a sensible way to deal with the whole affair.
The beginnings of Mother’s Day are contentious. Anna Jarvis of the US is thought to have been the ‘mother’ of Mother’s Day. While not being a mother herself, she ferociously fought for that title like a mother lion protecting her cute little growly cubs and was involved in about thirty three law suits to prove it.
But, about forty two-ish years before Ms. Jarvis bright idea, a little lady called Julia Ward Howe promoted a day for mothers to come together in halls, churches and sing hymns or pray as a show of solidarity after the American Civil War. Daaang – party on Wayne.
Then in 1904 Frank Hering, an American football coach, called for a day to commemorate mothers. Still before Anna’s time. Noooo said Anna, not true. A football coach can’t pass Mom’s Day off as his! No touchdown.
In 1934 apparently she stamped her feet in disapproval at a stamp that the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a stamp of approval to; a stamp featuring the famous Whistler’s Mother or “hideous old bat” as Mr. Bean referred to her. Anna Jarvis deemed the painting of Whistler’s ‘old bat’ as being ugly. To be frank, the ‘old bat’ doesn’t appear that happy about being the epitome of motherhood.
Anna was against commercialisation, profiteering or even fundraising in the name of Mother’s Day, even for the poor or war veterans. So I’m sure she wouldn’t have picked up a snag and dead horse at the fundraising sausage sizzle outside Masters today.
But commercialisation, profiteering and fundraising won and Anna died penniless. So what do we make of that? Don’t eat snags on Mother’s Day? And give a thought to the poor sods who had to front up in the rain and fire up the barbie? Don’t they have mothers? Why weren’t they sharing their day with their Mammies.
I can understand Anna’s sentiments about the exploitation and profiting of Mother’s Day. But all sorts of days are exploited by all sorts of businesses. The machinery of exploitation cranks up to full throttle for Christmas and Easter. Even the promotion of the hundredth anniversary of ANZAC Day was cranked up to full ‘bottle’ in a shameless beer ad. Cheers.
But if you can manage to untangle yourself from the media melange of Mother’s Day dross and its confused birth, you can be sure of one thing; all your old ma wants is the company of her little chickadees around her. Oh and a great big fridge.