The thing is, I don’t need anything. Which is good because no on ever gets me anything.I ain’t getting nothing for Mother’s Day. “What could I possibly get you?!” asked my partner incredulously when I broached the subject.
I don’t buy a huge amount of junk, but generally if I want something, I just get it for myself instead of hinting or waiting. Most of the time I think it over a bit, but I’m not immune from the odd impulse buy pitch. (Although, living in The Hammer, there are a lot fewer stores to choose from, which has helped my pocketbook considerably. As long as I avoid hitting Pure Home Couture on Locke Street too often, there’s really nothing for me to be tempted by.) In any case, I’ve never understood the ‘ole, hiding the credit card statement/hiding the receipts tactic apparently still employed by many women, including career women I have worked with.
One, why would I feel the need to act like a guilty child and hide the evidence of the reward I gave myself for spending several days killing off my brain cells by writing a lame advertorial article on, say, decking or iced tea products? And two, why would my partner care how I spent said money anyway?
It would never occur to me to hassle him over strange “unapproved” purchases he’s made in the past, like a vintage barn door, and so likewise, I have crate balance to do my thing. Maybe it helps that we both earn professional incomes and only have one kid’s RRSP and upkeep to worry about. (And bought a beautiful but bargain-basement priced house.) Plus, of course, we trust each other implicitly not to go nuts on porn, online gambling or, say, a Bluefly.com sale.
But on the topic of Mother’s Day, what can I say. I live the way I decided I would one day when I was growing up poor in crappy apartments, eating a lot of instant noodles because my mother was working night shifts. I buy fresh flowers every week because they make the house feel welcoming, we eat well because we can and because we believe we should (I won’t support factory farming or rampant pesticide overuse just so I can enjoy cheap groceries), we decorate our home because it makes us happy to come home, and I buy treats for myself and my family when I want to because, well, I figure, if I can comfortably buy it with debit instead of credit, it’s justifiable.
The only downside of living this way is, my partner’s right: What could he possibly get me? Flowers? Got ’em. Chocolate? Don’t like it. New wallet to replace my old taped-together one? Got myself a Marc Jacobs wallet last week when I went to New York with a girlfriend. Further, he’s busy digging up our yard after work this week, so why even make him do the work online? I’ll just get my own gift.
My kid’ll come home with a Mother’s Day card no doubt, and other than that, I’m going online to make a donation to the Massey Center, a home for teen moms in Toronto. (Massey.ca). I suspect that for many middle class families, donations in lieu of more clutter or empty calories, could prove to be the best “buy” this Mother’s Day.