Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Thursday Three

Well,'s February 14th. It's a perfect day to talk about

Holidays I Just Don't Get

I know I'm out of sync with a lot of things. I don't care for football, I've never seen Grey's Anatomy and I don't understand certain holidays. I mean, I understand them. I just don't get them.

#1. Valentine's Day. Surprise! It's a day that is manufactured to make you feel like crap, in my opinion. If you're in the first bloom of love, there's huge pressure to make it spectacular and special. If you've just broken up, it's guaranteed to make you miserable. If you're married, it's just one more day that society tells you to buy flowers and prove how much you love someone. Well, hell, if tulips could do that we'd all live in Holland.

I guess I have issues with holidays where we're all supposed to "prove" how much we love someone. If you really love a person that much don't you try to prove it everyday?

#2. New Year's Eve. Not my holiday at all. Maybe it started all those years ago when I was a cocktail waitress and this was the holiday from hell. There's a reason it's called Amateur Night.
Or maybe it was all those years we lived on the formation route for the Tournament of Roses Parade and couldn't get in or out of our street without going through a police checkpoint. Puts a damper on celebrating in the traditional way, let me tell you. (Although it was pretty funny when we totally spaced on that one year and had (or tried to) a New Year's party. No one could get through the checkpoints and we never tried that again).

I love the New Year idea of taking stock of your life and getting a fresh start. I just don't know why society expects me to be hungover when I'm doing it. If I make it home alive in the first place.

#3. Mother's Day. Okay, hear me out before you start throwing things. I'm a mother, for god's sake. And I'm a daughter. And a daughter-in-law. And I still have issues with this holiday.

This goes hand in hand with #1. I don't like feeling like I have to go out and buy something "meaningful" just to prove how much I love my mother. I adore my mother, which I think is a matter of public record. And I'm a crappy present buyer, which makes it even worse. As far as my own kids and what they get me for Mother's Day, feels a little forced sometimes. Sure, it's nice to get things they've made for me, but they do that anyway. Breakfast in bed is always a treat, but lately Surfer Dude has been bringing me coffee in bed every morning just because...and I want to kiss him to smithereens when he does. He's doing it because he wants to, not because Hallmark told him to.

Okay, people. Let's hear your two cents.


Carolyn said...

Amen Sister!! Love and agree with everything you said.

Although my husband did just walk in the door with a huge bouquet of flowers (only the fifth bouquet he's ever bought in our ten year marriage for any occasion) so... I'm feeling quite special right about now.

Back to agreeing with you...

Grey's Anatomy? Nope.
Football? Nope.
Valentine's Day? Don't get it (except for this year).
New Year's Eve? Historically boring in my world. As a teenager I always set up babysitting work for that night to save myself the heartache of never being invited anywhere.
Mother's Day? Hmmm. Breakfast in bed? What's that?

Speaking of Hallmark. It doesn't exist in Hungary where my husband is from and in Hungary they only celebrate holidays that have a good reason to exist. Coincidence? I think not.

Kaycie said...

Valentine's Day is a big pain in the ass. That said, each of my kids and the husband will be getting something from me tomorrow. Things I am excited to give them. And hubby will come home with . . . something. Some years he does well, other years I thank him for the effort. He loves me, that's all that matters.

I hate New Year's Eve. It's just an excuse to get drunk and make the streets dangerous for those of us who are sober.

I hate Mother's Day and Father's Day. Big pains in the ass. Big. Enough said.

my two cents said...

It all depends on how you go about celebrating these "holidays". I don't expect anything for Valentine's Day, but I do take orders, go to See's and get everyone some chocolate. It's about enjoying the chocolate, not the pressure of a gift about love.

New Year's Eve? Well, living in Pasadena I do understand how you feel. The city is crowded so you can't go anywhere, which is fine because I don't want to go anywhere. We eat something fun for for dinner, light a fire, and watch movie until mid-night. I usually fall asleep around 9:30 anyway, and now the kids are old enough to sleep out on the parade route with their friends, so again no pressure.

Mother's Day? Last year we had a bbq with some friends and had a blast. See, it's just about enjoying being together with family, or friends, and having a good time.

Sweet Irene said...

RC, I totally agree with you. A lot of these holidays are pushed on us by manufacturers of greeting cards and other holiday goodies. It's all been commercialized and very much artificially forced upon us.

I think it is time that we, the public, take charge again of these holidays and decide for ourselves if and how we celebrate them.

The world's gone mad in an Easter basket!

my two cents said...

p.s. I think Mother's Day was actually begun by women during the civil war to bring attention to the loss of their sons as a way to protest war. Something to think about.

ped crossing said...

There are people who need the reminder that Valentines and Mothers/Fathers days gives them.

But I have to agree with two cents, any holiday is what you make of it.

I don't do a lot for many holidays. My biggies are Easter (I was born on Easter so it is a requirement.), 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The rest I don't worry too much about. I am making the boys Valentines tonight. Take that Hallmark!

-Ann said...

Completely with you, though I would put Mother's Day at the top of the list. I wrote about a difficult Mother's Day last year. When you don't have kids and you're conflicted about that, Mother's Day can be excruciating.

Oh, and I've never seen Grey's Anatomy either.

the mother of this lot said...

I am seriously beginning to wonder whether we aew twins seperated at birth!

I never even consider Valentine's Day. Most years it's gone past without me noticing. New Years Eve has got to be the biggest anti-climax of the year. I would love to go to bed, but the kids always want to listen to Big Ben. On Mother's Day I feel obliged to get something for my mother and I hate feeling obliged.

Grey's Anatomy used to be a book for doctors. It should have stayed that way.

We have a programme here called 'Grumpy Old Women' - celebrities 'of a certain age' saying what drives them crazy. I think we'd all have a good chance of getting on it.

belle said...

Mothers' Day? So with you there. When you've not got children but want them, it sucks. And in my situation it's a permanent reminder that my children have another 'mother' - bleaugh!

Barrie said...

I'm like my two cents: It all depends on your attitude. I like Valentine's Day. I'm going to treat myself to a mocha latta. And I'll give my kids a little chocolate. Some for the hubby too. I'm fine with staying home New Year's Eve. And I love the making of resolutions and thinking over the past year. And I personally think there should be more mother's days. :) I have fur kids. How about one for each of them???

Flowerpot said...

yes I agree RC. But you put it a lot better than me!

Celeste said...

I agree. Many of these holidays don't make sense. I think most of these holidays are pushed for the commercial aspect.

For someone like me who doesn't have a mate, doesn't have a family....yeah, these "celebrations" tend to be fodder for a sense of intense isolation. Thanks Hallmark.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Please pick up your new award from my post!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Oh yes...I am so with you on that one! We never do anything for Valentine's Day...Himself knocked the romance out of me years ago so I don't even bother thinking about it now, it's just another day.

New Year I do enjoy, we might meet with friends or jsut stay at home but I do like to mark the passing of the year.

Mother's Day, for whatever good reason it was started, is flogged to death over here in the UK and it is a licence for florists to print money. I don't know if it's happened in the US as well but some bright spark also started "Grandparents Day".

Absolutely ridiculous.

Jen said...

Okay, I have no problem with Valentine's Day, as it at least has some historic relevance. It was first linked to romance, allegedly, by Geoffrey Chaucer back in the 1300's.

But I do have a problem with Sweetest Day in October. What the hell is up with that? We've already got Valentine's Day, why do we need another holiday devoted to romance?

Maybe the problem isn't the holidays themselves, it's the crass commercial culture that's grown up around it.

laurie said...

i see a recurring thread here.....a dislike of being told, "now you must declare how you feel!"

kitten said...

Happy Valentines Day! & thank you for your kind words and thoughts.
If you wanna hear my voice, go to my blog. THe kids and I made some short videos.

Rose said...

I agree even as I continue to bow to the Hallmark gods. My husband feels pressure to perform due to his experiences with his first wife, who was quite, how shall I put it, traditional, and then I don't want to look unromantic, so....but I've mentioned before that he's so good with the everyday stuff, which is definitely more important.

LCM said...

I totally agree with what you said too! I had a friend who's husband bought her a Mother's Day present when she hadn't even had a kid yet! That's just weird. My mom always called Mother's day Black Sunday because it seemed her kids were always the worst on that day and her birthday. I hate Valentine's day too because I am not much of a sappy romantic and that's what this day seems to expect. Romance, not a about doing the dishes for me. Or getting up with the kids.

Graham Cracker said...

I've been reading for a long time and finally decided to post a comment. My name came from fifteen year old girl and fifteen year old boy when they were younger because it reminded them of grandma. I agree about the holidays you chose and wanted to add to my two cents comment. Many years ago the woman who started mother's day tried to get it undone, because she felt it had become too commercial, but she obviously had lost control of her good idea.

Sandy said...

I once got married on Valentine's Day and, since it ended in divorce, my current hubby never has to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Dumdad said...

I hear what you're saying especially about Valentines Day. There's this overwhelming pressure to buy something for your loved one otherwise it means you DON'T love her enough to buy her something. Bollocks to all that.

Actually, this morning I succumbed (slightly) and decided to send The Frog Queen an e-card. It's free so I'm cheap as well. I managed to bugger it up somehow and sent the card to myself. I gave up after that.....

aims said...

I agree totally.

The Man makes every week around here a holiday. He brings me presents at least once a week if not more...

I on the other hand never know what to buy him. Hopefully my treating him to a romantic supper tonight will be a huge surprise. He does all the cooking in the house - so maybe it will.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Couldn't agree more about the Valentine's day. It's just a money making scam if you ask me!

Crystal xx

Lil Mouse said...

hmm i've gotten 3 things of roses. one each on going back to college jr and sr years, and one for an anniversary, 4th, maybe. red, white, and multicolor roses. i think it is a bit of a waste. i got my hubby a card, but i work so hard every frickin day to make my hubby feel loved. i have told him at least 5 times now not to do anything for me. the card was in his white tshirt in his drawer, apparently he grabbed the one in the back, not the front, so he missed it. i called to tell him that he missed it. silly boy. silly me for thinking he'd take the only shirt that was in the front of the drawer. ack. we may have a 'heart shaped pizza' for dinner. and that's about it.

merry weather said...

Rc - I just knew it was a good idea to come over here on a day like today. I'm right behind you on all counts. Leaving now, grinning!

Marti said...


When I was in college and none of my friends had boyfriends, we used to have a "St. Richards Party". As in, guys are St. Richard...of course we were referring to the nickname of Richard. We would have a list of names that would be proudly displayed on our poster we created. Such names as Buttface, Loser 1, Loser 2, Jason, Ron, and anybody else that deserved the title of St. Richard. We used to laugh the entire day - espcecially as the names got more creative. In fact, if you put a gun to my head, i dont think i could actually remember Buttface's real name...Just that he was an ex of a friend.

Anyway, have a great day because it is Thursday!

Eileen said...

Hello! I agree with you, with the tv shows, I don't watch tv much at all.
As for the holidays, we keep them very low key, and I like that. Valentines Day, is a sweet day, just for us to show our love. The whole family. In the am, we all get one gift and the cards, mostly hand made. Love those! David surprised me, with roses this year. That was sweet. But that is about it, all over by am. The kids have stuff at school. My school does too, it is cute getting cards from the little ones. They are so excited, one little girl came up to me and said, "it even has a tatoo." I was thinking, "great, I'll stick it right on my ass!"

New Years Eve, we just all stay home. We play games, watch movies, make predictions, have a nice dinner, just family. Mellow. I like it.

Mother's Day is so much better being a mom. The girls love to make/buy me gifts and take or make me brunch. That is it. When my mom was alive, it was a different story. Much harder.

Easter...well, somehow it's lost it's meaning, as far as the religious part. They are too old for the Easter Bunny, thank God. But again, a nice family day.

The theme, as you see, the mellower ,the better! I enjoy that part. Putting the focus on my kids is always the trick for me.

Amy said...

We're not heavy on the holidays here, but last year, when we didn't give each other Valentines, Kelsey was very hurt. She had made one for everybody, and nobody had done anything in return. Yes, worst parent of the year award. All holidays are now great festivals around here. Just for her. Cuz she's like that. And we're suckers who love her.

PixelPi said...

Agree with completely. Ditto with Bosses Day (WTF?), Secretary's Day (how condescending), Grandparents' Day (mine are all dead).

Mr. Pi, bless his heart, brought home a pint of my favorite Ben & Jerry's and a card. Later we saw an ad on TV on giving chocolate as necessary or the female would be crushed. He looked at me sheepishly as we were enjoying ice cream and asked, "Is that true?" I said no, a pint of my favorite ice cream was ever so much better.

He buys me flowers every so often in the winter because he knows I love flowers, but not for an occasion.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

With you on them all......special days to celebrate your love for another or your mother - why? Are we just supposed to love them on those days? and New Years Eve......hate it, always have done, the most depressing "fun" night of the year ever!

Great blog x

kathy said...

I couldn't agree more!

Swearing Mother said...

Totally agree with you re New Year's Eve, it sucks. A load of hype and what for? A hangover and a bunch of regrets that you didn't do last year better. Valentine's day is not as bad, although I think it's a bit cheesy. Last year my husband was away on business and he ordered some flowers for me as I'd be at home on my own. The florist forgot them and delivered them the following day, after I'd been sniffy and off with husband over the phone for not bothering. Bugger.

Mother's Day, well, I used to think I could handle it if my children didn't bother as it is a bit of an invention of the card-making industry. However, when my son didn't send me a card or phone, I can tell you I was so upset. When his sister told him to ring I was, of course, bright and breezy with him, told him it didn't really matter and said it was OK. But I was so hurt. Typical.

Laura McIntyre said...

Here here , i think most of the holidays are silly and just asking for money.

Love Greys though