Ah, Mothers’ Day. And a tip of my imaginary hat to Ann Jarvis whose perseverance and tenacity resulted in this day being recognized by President Wilson 100 years ago as a nationally recognized holiday (though she later regretted this and protested to undo what she had done because it became what she never envisioned: Commercialized). So Dad unknowingly caused Ms Jarvis’ to roll over in her grave. He patronized flower shops, candy stores, massage parlors and other mass producers of ‘just the right personal gifts’ for Mom.
But to start this day, Dad took Mom to the local Peet’s Coffee place, because Mom got a free beverage with the purchase of one of equal or lesser value. He would drive untold miles and use a half tank of gas to take advantage of this incredible offer. And he dragged me along as if I had a fervent desire for a double shot soy latte with extra froth.
On this Mothers’ Day, the winds were blowing with a vicious intensity, and the pollens were so huge you could see them laughing as they attacked the the sinuses of anyone daring to step outside. Peet’s was crowded with other folks cashing in on the deal of a lifetime, and there was only one seat available inside after Mom and Dad scored their discounted coffees. So, Dad, being the martyr to chivalry that he is, sat Mom inside and proceeded to the outdoor seating area. Nobody but Dad and I ventured out to Peet’s patio. Perhaps this due not only to allergies, but because chairs, tables and umbrellas were blowing around in a manner that would make Peet’s lawyers cringe with liability nightmares.
Dad chose to grab a chair that was airborne and set it by the window so he could be mere inches from Mom who was sitting on the other side of the glass. Within minutes, Dad’s allergies kicked in full force. No amount of antihistamine, tissues, eyedrops or even the space helmet Dad wears when the breeze reaches 5 MPH could preclude the allergic reaction. As his breathing became a bit labored, he assumed his condition heralded impending doom. He dramatically placed his hand on the window as Mom put her hand on the inside of the glass. Like Spock in an old Star Trek movie, I could see Dad mouth the words, “You have been, and always will be my friend”. At this point he collapsed with characteristic melodrama.
So, did someone call for a paramedic? Not quite. A compassionate barista casually went outside and dragged Dad by his feet back into the store. Within a few minutes, Dad miraculously re-entered the land of the living, and resumed drinking his macho machiato with extra whipped cream. I hid under a nearby table, pretending as I so often do, not to be associated in any manner with First Officer Spock of the starship Lunatic, whose mission it is to seek out new worlds of embarrassment and to boldly humiliate a faithful canine companion as no one has done before.
When we returned home, I gave Mom my Mothers’ Day gift. I didn’t buy it. I made it. She happily bent over, bagged it and dumped it in the garbage. It’s the thought that counts, and I’m sure I assuaged the spirit of Ms Jarvis which Dad had managed to upset. It’s the least I could have done for the founder of this special day.