Monday, May 5, 2008

when is daughter day? that I can do.

There's nothing worse than shopping for a Mother's Day card when you're a member of the Dead Mother's Club.


Poverty...Famine...Widespread Disease.

That's all bad stuff, too.

But seriously. Every year it's the same damn battle. I can't not get my step mom, Sally, a card, but I refuse to get one that begins "Dear Mother" or "To a Special Mom" or "From Mother to Daughter".

When I was younger, it was a much bigger deal to call Sally "Mom". I even went through a phase of referring to her as "My Father's Wife" instead of my "Step Mom", because I refused to associate any variation of the word "mom" with someone who not only wasn't my mom, but was the complete opposite of my mom. I'm sure Steve and Sally saw this as me being difficult and obnoxious. I think it was more of a combination of confusion and hormones.

But now, I just kind of throw her parental title in when appropriate. Steve and Sally are "my parents", and Sally is usually referred to as "my Stepmom". Still, a part of me just feels like it's a betrayal to call her "Mom", or give her something that says "Mom". It's inappropriate. It's weird.

I don't care if my mom died seventeen years ago this Christmas. I still miss her every single day.

The card companies don't help. There's the invariable "Step-Mother" card. But the word "Step-Mother" is so commonly preceded by the word "Evil" that to call someone that by name in a greeting card just seems mean.

Then you get the "You're Like a Mom to Me" cards. I like to buy these to the people who are like a mom to me, such as Mama Trish. She was my mom's best friend and has been actively interested in me and my life since she met me. She guilts me like a mom for not seeing her enough or not letting her know when I come to town, but a big chunk of my heart is carved out for Mama Trish. But I feel like telling Sally she's "Like a Mom" is insulting. I feel like it's saying she's not good enough for the "real" mom card, even though she's been married to my dad since I was thirteen.

It's not that I don't love Sally. Really, I do. She's a wonderful person - kind, caring, and a yummy good cook. She's done a lot for me and for my dad.

But she's just not my Mom.

And sometimes shopping for a stupid card on a stupid made-up holiday is just another stupid reminder that mine will never come back.

Hallmark agitates my angst.

And after about thirty minutes of huffing and puffing in the card section, I always just buy the generic 99 cent one with a flower on the front and "Happy Mother's Day" with no particular dedication on the inside.

And you thought Valentines was a crock.

*Re-reading this post makes me sound super-negative! Oh well. We all have our moments, right?

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