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Middle-class problems: Mother's Day

By Simmy Richman

We are naturally suspicious of the big-D days, or – as people in the United States have taken to calling them – Hallmark holidays.

Over there, the calendar is dotted with them: Boss's Day, Grandparents' Day, Secretary's Day and so on. Here, we content ourselves with the big three: Valentine's Day, Father's Day and Mother's Day (it's coming up at the end of this month, so consider yourself warned).

The first one of these is easy to dispense with – you make a pact with your significant other to have nothing to do with it and carry on as if nothing had happened.

The second one is also negotiable. "Just buy me a beer, and we'll say no more about it." Or perhaps, "I don't give you pocket money to waste on buying me a card," depending on the age of the child involved.

But mums. Mums. The women who carried us around for nine months before experiencing the pain/horror/thrill of our births only to then spend the rest of their lives worrying about our wellbeing and all that "No Charge" stuff.

Well, you can't just ignore that, can you? And a simple card is not going to cut it either. So we pamper them with ludicrously insufficient displays of gratitude in the shape of flowers, books, chocolates, whatevers.

Of course it's all nonsense. And of course your mum might truly not care either way. But perhaps, for one day a year, we should all agree to put our middle-class cynicism to one side. Forget the card. Forget the gift. But mark the occasion in one way or another, for the simple reason that one of these days you might not have to.