Kill a Flower for Mother’s Day Niceness

Mother Earth will deal with you later

Listen up, you many kids of all ages. It’s almost Mother’s Day.

You know what that means, don’t you? Florists are happy as flowers are sacrificed.

What about mothers? Believe it or not, this one-day be-nice behavior does not fool mothers. They worry about your conduct on the other 364 days.

(What if you don’t have a mother? You had one. Once. And you still have Mother Earth. She needs you now more than ever. So please leave her flowers alone.)

How To Deal With Mother-Stress

Mothers can but dream. (free public domain:

Dear Mother, just when you think you can’t handle any more stress, the schools, even the virtual ones, close for the summer vacation. (It’s time to reach for that bottle of painkillers, the one that instructs “take two and keep away from children.”)

You can also calm down by trying the following tricks guaranteed to reduce stress or to delegate it elsewhere.

First, aim lower. I have learned over time and at great personal cost that the world will not end if you lower your standards. Not too much, though. “They” might notice.

Once you’ve mastered that trick, the next one will be a piece of cake. Here it is in one word: procrastinate. You have no idea how much stress I’ve saved myself this way. Invariably someone will run out of patience and do it on your behalf.

After you’ve lowered your standards and taken your time, try this one for fun. Never put off until tomorrow what your kids can do today. Now have a nice day.

(As if mothers will ever follow this advice. Mine never did.)

Earn Your Daily Brat Once a Year

Tell me, what will you kill for Father’s Day? (free public domain:

My mother warned me that women judge a man by how he treats his mother. She wanted me to be a gentleman. (I think she wanted me to be nicer to her. By doing my chores unprodded.)

I once read somewhere, at least I think I did, that the true test of a gentleman is how he behaves when nobody is watching. Whenever I remember this, I have to wonder. How do you treat your mother when florists and other retailers are not watching?

To me, Mother’s Day has become like over-commercialized religions. The day reminds me of the church-going adults I avoided as a kid, the ones who believed that one day of religion bought them six days of behaving badly.

One insincere Mother’s Day card attached to wilted flowers does not earn you three hundred and sixty-four days of being a brat.

Even Anna Jarvis came to dislike Mother’s Day. Who? Find her on the Internet and be informed.

Next up on the be-nice calendar is Father’s Day. Trust me, I’m watching you. Every day.

When Motherly Nonsense Wilts Flowers

That was not me, for I, lucky me, had hit the Mother Lode. (free public domain:

Here’s a warning to all mothers. Nonsense created in jest can cost you flowers for years.

When I was eleven years old, I won a little radio in an art competition. About the same time, my mother teased me that I must have been adopted, because I am so different from the rest of her brood.

With hindsight, I know that my mother was secretly proud of me. But back then I was going through the typical pre-teen “nobody loves me, everybody hates me” phase.

Late one night, naughtily listening to my radio under the bedsheets, I heard that every third child born was Chinese. I was stunned. I was the third child in the family, apparently adopted, and thus obviously Chinese.

I carried my secret for years until I found the silver lining. Whenever I forgot Mother’s Day, I had a ready excuse. I did not know who or where my mother was.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

Originally published at on May 4, 2021.



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James McIntosh

Born in RSA winelands. Earned 3 degrees drinking red wine. Chased by lioness, ran with elephants, got bored, moved to USA seeking adventure. Ex-CEO now coach.