Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Mother's Day ahead

If you ever needed a good indicator of up-and-coming holidays or events, just take a good look at retail and what the shops are doing. For the months leading up to Christmas, stores will advertise the fact that it is coming and flood their shops with decorations of red, green, and silver. Then, come the day after Boxing Day, and all these colours are quickly stripped away as if Christmas never happened, only to be replaced by 'Sale! x-percent off!' signs for the next major milestone on the retail calendar: New Year's. The cycle repeats and continues: after New Year's, Valentine's Day. After Valentine's Day, Easter. After Easter...

You get slight variations depending upon the local holidays, but this is generally how it goes. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, because it keeps me informed of what's coming next. And today, it reminded me that Mother's Day is just around the corner.

For some reason, Mother's Day is one of those holidays in which I really try to come up with something for my mum. Maybe it's because my mum's birthday is only a handful of days in proximity to the event, thus guilting me into doubling my efforts (although when I think about it, my dad's birthday is only 2 weeks from Christmas, yet I never seem to try any harder for his birthday... must be a bias or favouritism).

My earliest vivid memory of having done something for my mum was when I was somewhere between 10 and 12 years old. It was a Saturday morning because we were having eggs for breakfast - a long running family tradition, I still cook eggs every Saturday morning since moving out - and we were trying to figure out what to do for the weekend. Mother's Day was the next day (always the second Sunday in May in NZ) and we had been complaining that our current cutlery holder wasn't doing a very good job. So, I offered that my mum could go out and buy a new cutlery holder, and that I would pay for it, up to the value of $30 NZD. Back then I was on an allowance of $7 NZD per week, so I was effectively offering a month of my money. That was a lot to me at that age.

The next memory is a bit more recent, I was maybe 20, when my brother and I started to notice that there's one thing missing from our house when compared to houses of others: family pictures. You could go through our family home and not find a single portrait of us on any wall, desk, or bedside table. We decided to rectify that come Mother's Day / mum's birthday by taking a photo of ourselves, her 2 boys, framing it, and giving it to her as a present. Now it's only 1 of 2 framed pictures in the entire house (the other one being a picture of my brother on his own bedside table... vanity be thy name).

And so it goes.

At the moment, I'm idealess for Mother's Day '09. If I do anything, it'll probably be small or low-key. But thanks to the bookstore I have to walk through every day to get to/from work, at least I've been given fair warning.