The phone rings off the hook in our home today as it is Mother's Day. Mother's day wishes come pouring in for my wife and mom (happily for us my parents are staying with us at this time.) But neither my mom nor we have two dozen children. It is just that Mother's Day (and Father's Day) has gone beyond a time for kids to express appreciation for their parents to a time when everyone is expected to wish people close to them for being parents.
The campaign has probably exceeded all expectations of Hallmark, which is rumored to have started this day to boost their business and now has all sorts of cards for "third party" senders. Am I one of the few who thinks this has mutated to an over-generalized practice (isn't that what Christmas and New Year greetings are for?)
But at least I find this preferable to those automated birthday greetings via email. Here a general request goes from a sender to all people on the address list to enter their birthdays and contact particulars into a data card so that those people can get this "birthday" spam on their birthday and then be expected to individually thank the sender for her/his automated greetings. I consider filling up such requests as an invitation to dig your own grave so you can be shot and buried in such birthday spam. So if anyone who has sent such a request to me has been bothered that I haven't responded, please understand that I (and others like me) are equal opportunity decliners. Much as I may love and care for you I've never filled such a request.
Talking of this increase in the number of special days I was joking with someone who thinks as I do. We're wondering if it will be a good idea to have a Kid's Day so that we can all congratulate each other for having a mother and a father (till cloning makes this a less universal process.)
But back to Mother's and Father's Day. Can we take back the day and have it restricted to a special child-to-own-parent communication? Probably not as these ritualizations tend to have a momentum of their own. I just returned a call today to a business associate. After the initial hello's the first words out of my mouth were good wishes to his wife (whom I've met once) for Mother's Day...