Yesterday, it was 'guilt trip' Sunday here in the UK, also known as Mother's day.
I am sure there are millions of people, who on a daily basis pay tribute to their mother by complementing her latest gastronomic creation, making a thankful remark when finding that the dirty socks under the bed somehow magically have returned to the sock draw clean, or like myself keep in touch regularly on email and phone throughout the week.
An yet, if you don't participate in Mother's day by spending huge sums on a truck lead of flowers, mountains of chocolate, a tent sized card with a sickly sweat inscription and a meal out in a five star restaurant, well then you simply don't appreciate your mother.
You are in fact viewed as extremely ungrateful, clearly forgetting that she carried you around for nine months, and that you have never really given her anything else than ugly stretch marks and sleepless nights.
If you dare to answer 'Nothing?!' to the question: "So what did you buy your mother?", well then you are looked at suspiciously as if you are in the process of farming you old mother off to the first and best old folks home, so you can flock her house and last remaining possessions in a garage sale.
Mother's day must be the best business idea ever. Get one 1/3 of the population to feel guilty and get them to spend heaps of money buying stuff for the other 1/3.
There is simply no end to the variations, a goldmine indeed.
"Really, you didn't buy the guy who lives across the street from you, and who you have never spoken to before anything on stranger's appreciation day?"
"No wonder why your dog is upset with you. You haven't bought him anything at all to celebrate pooch's day!"
Clearly scared of being the only daughter in the UK, who didn't get her mother anything, I bought flowers and a box of chocolates. In fact, I was so guilty that I out of respect for my mother washed the car before driving the eight miles across town to visit her. I haven't washed the car for a while, turns out it is white!
My mother was of cause please to see me, though her joy dampened when she realised that the chocolate contained traces of nut. She has an allergy, and had to watch while me and dad eat the lot :)
How sad that we measure love in how much money one spends on a particular Sunday once a year. Commercialising love and appreciation for another human being just seems wrong, and yet we have come to accept that this is the best way to show someone that we care and deal with our own guilt.
Anyway, just can't wait for Daughter's day! :))