“All women become their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
So wrote Oscar Wilde, years before Mother’s Day even existed, before anyone would have thought that you needed to rush out of the office during your lunch hour hunting for edible flowers or risk incurring the Wrath of the Universe.
This holiday began in 1908 with the tireless efforts of Anna Jarvis in Grafton, W. Va., and in Philadelphia, efforts that no doubt endeared Jarvis to her siblings. “Great, you create an entire holiday to honor mothers,” they must have murmured. “Way to show up the assorted chocolates we thought we’d agreed we were all getting her for her birthday.”
For me, Mother’s day has been the gradual dawning of the realization that the macaroni sculpture that was adorable 15 years ago is now raising serious concerns about my development.
Besides, in these straitened economic times, it’s hard to come up with the right words. Classics only go so far. “I love you a lot, Mom, but definitely less than Oedipus” might have cut it last year, but this is 2011.
Have no fear! Look no further than this week’s news! Here are the words you need to slip into the card that accompanies that increasingly creepy papier-mache kitten.
10. Just like Osama bin Laden . . . a mom like you is hard to find.
9. Consider this a long-form certificate of my love.
8. Mom, you’re like Sarah Palin: I wish I’d listened more to the things you told me in the past, because then we could have averted a lot of awkwardness.
7. The fact that I’m here and not at a matinee screening of “Thor” should tell you everything you need to know about where you stand in my life.
6. I am still unemployed, but I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with the way you raised me!
5. I’m grateful for everything you do for me, but most of all for the fact that you have never friended me on Facebook.
4. Ma, you make me feel like the debt ceiling: You raised me, and I guess it was a pretty good idea, all things considered.
3. Like Donald Trump, you only look like a middle-aged woman with a sour disposition.
2. Mom, you’re like Barack Obama: Sometimes I love you, sometimes I hate you, but it’s hard for me to be mad at you this weekend.
1. Remember how much we as a nation hated Osama? That’s how much I love you.