Nothing could be tenser than a day where everyone is supposed to please a mother.
It is not in our family nature to pull together as a team, agree on the same thing, and be completely unselfish for more than 3 ½ seconds. In other words, we’re a typical family.
Even with those hurdles, though, I thought the day had all the makings of something good. No one needed to get up early for any appointments or be driven to some away sports game. There were no major homework assignments hanging over anyone’s head. The morning greeted us with bright sunshine, pleasant temperatures. And my wife got up early and left the house.
She went to the gym, a morning ritual she follows 7 days a week. It’s mission critical, like her cup of coffee in the morning – without it we’re all toast.
I used that free time before her return to make sure the kids knew what their suggested behavior should be for the day. I say “suggested” because with kids any direct demands are usually met with a complete opposite result. So instead of talking to them, which they hate, I did the only thing I know they would listen to – I sent a text memo to the group:
“Hey, 2dayz Mother’s Day. U should say or do something nice. She brought u in2 this world. Don’t be a-holes. Thx. Dad.”
The bait was set and now they just had to wake up. I planted myself in the kitchen and waited for them to eventually appear; looking for the free food I have to provide them.
Eventually, they arrrived one by one. I asked each of them as they wandered into my lair if they got the text – again being quite careful not to preach to them in a direct face-to-face manner.
They nodded and I left it at that, not going any further with it. I thought it would give them a chance to show their maturity without having to ask for it. I would just play it cool and let them do their own thing when their mother walked in the door. A woman, who just sought a little adulation from her children. A person who craved the respect and admiration she thought every other family’s child offered. A mother whose female body was hardwired to watch over her brood and would fall apart if absolute perfection was not achieved.
I couldn’t take it any longer.
“You guys have a plan or what? What are you going to tell your mother when she comes home, huh? Don’t bug her, don’t ask her for anything. Just be nice. Can you do that?”
My oldest responded: “Dad, you’re starting a fight. Go away.”
Yeah, he was right. I needed to get out of there before she got home. "I'm going to the gym," I told them and left.
This would be perfect. She would get home, the kids would ignore her, there would be a little fight, she would shower, calm down, and then I would return. I’d miss the whole thing.
[And, in case you’re wondering, I would NOT be in the doghouse because I went to the gym. The gym is the one acceptable place I could go, even on Mother’s Day. The rationale behind this was, we pay a family fee for our membership. My wife is usually the only who goes to the gym on a regular basis and it pisses her off to know that if we signed up for a single membership we would save 50% a month. So anytime any of us show up there it actually makes her feel better. I would just be doing my part.]
At the gym, I see a lot of other women, probably mothers. In fact, I’m one of the few males there. I feel a little uncomfortable.
I start to imagine some dirty looks and thoughts like: “What a selfish guy. His wife is probably stuck at home with the kids while he gets his workout in. Yeah, he probably didn’t even get her anything except an IOU.”
“No, no, ladies. It’s not like that,” I imagine responding to them. “She’s an early riser, she was here this morning. You can check the sign-in sheet. Look for yourself. Please. No, don’t hit me.”
I’m imaging all this as I stand still on the elliptical machine, just staring ahead. “Hey, are you done?” A woman asks. I just shake my head and she walks away in a huff.
Well, the ladies were right on one thing. I didn’t really get my wife anything for Mother’s Day. I mean what can you really get? My wife hates flowers and she hates waiting in lines at restaurants. The two big things you do on Mother’s Day.
But as I was striding away during my cardiovascular workout, or whatever you call what you do on an elliptical, I had an epiphany. Actually, it was just a small idea which I got from watching the CBS Sunday Morning News Show that appeared on my personal TV monitor. The segment was on detoxification and the use of high colonic cleansings. It had become one of the hottest purification techniques today. A bevy of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Robin Quivers, Brad Pitt have been touting its beneficial health results – weight loss, skin rejuvenation, no more joint pains, higher energy levels. A doctor even wrote a book about it – The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox.
How bad could this be? I mean CBS news was reporting it. So I thought, my wife likes to take care of herself, this would be a thoughtful and unique present. Again, things would be perfect.
So after I left the gym, I stopped by the CVS and bought a twin-pack of Fleet enemas. I mean nothing says ‘I love you’ like a good bowel irrigation.