Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm a bad mutha

“Last year,” said Honesty Girl, “I made the mistake of saying that just a card would be lovely.”
I guess we all do things out of character sometimes.
She continued, “You know how that Tiger Mother once rejected a card made by her four-year-old, yelling, ‘I deserve better than this?’ and throwing it at her?”
I indicated that I remembered, by making a ‘yes, isn’t she dreadful face.’
“I thought she was remarkably restrained.”
I adjusted my face appropriately. “Sounds like last Mother’s Day was one to remember.”
“Blood bath.” Honesty Girl shuddered.
“There are such a lot of expectations, aren’t there?” murmured Supermum, gently.
“Yes, I have,” said Honesty Girl, possibly mishearing, “and this year I am making my requirements crystal clear, with a list issued three weeks ahead of time.”
“What’s on it?” I asked.
She whipped out a notebook and consulted it. “Lie-in till eleven. Breakfast in bed. I have specified the breakfast menu, shall I read it?”
“No,” we chorused.
She flipped through a couple of pages. “Section 2: cards and presents. If homemade, I need to see evidence of effort. I do not need any more clay ornaments. I am all sorted for ineptly-folded pieces of card scrawled with faded yellow felt-tip, which, as I have mentioned before, does not show up well on white. I am no longer accepting gifts made from cereal packets or toilet roll inserts, nor will I give house room to any more macaroni pictures.”
Supermum and I took a sharp intake of breath at the macaroni diss.
“Acceptable homemade gifts are mosaic tiles, bookmarks which don’t feature yellow on white, and small papier-maché pots if they’re sturdy enough to put earrings in.”
I didn’t know whether to be appalled or impressed, a dichotomy I also experience when reading about the Tiger Mother.
“Next, my flower and chocolate specifications.”
“You’re asking for flowers as well as a homemade gift?” asked Supermum, agog.
“Yes, and a proper present too, like a DVD or bracelet or car.”
“Isn’t that a bit…”
“Excuse me, but WHOSE day is it?” boomed Honesty Girl. “The clue is in the name. It’s MY day. I is the mutha.”
Supermum and I looked at each other over the rims of our teacups. “So what have you ‘suggested’ to your family for the rest of the day?” I asked.
Honesty Girl inspected her list again. “They take me out to lunch – here are five restaurant suggestions – and in the afternoon they all clear out, leaving me to a binge-watch of the Real Housewives of Orange County, accompanied by a large packet of Doritos.”
“What about your own mother?” asked Supermum. “Don’t you give her a call or take her out to lunch?”
Honesty Girl frowned. “That woman’s had all the papier-maché pots out of me that she’s going to get.” She gave an evil smile. “But I might just scrawl her a card.”

Beth Miller. Picture by Michael Munday. Published in Viva Lewes magazine, March 2014, and in