Is it just me?


Is It Just Me?
Is it just me, or does Mother’s Day get harder every bloody year? I mean what do I do differently for her? When I was eight, a Pritt-sticked glittery mush of tissue paper and a quid’s worth of daffs from Sainsbury’s did the job. Everyone likes daffs, doesn’t matter where they’re from. You’re not exactly going to taste the difference, are you? Me Mam loves to see them spring up in the middle of the dual carriageway where they’ve been planted by the council. I think that justifies us not splashing out on anything too fancy, like carnations, so I buy her a quid’s worth of them from Sainsbury’s every year. But don’t mock us – because with age, has come a sense of style. Since I was about fourteen, I got creative. I pluck the elastic bands off them now and tie a red ribbon round them in a bow. Obviously, she doesn’t get to keep that bit, that’s my ribbon, a good size for the daffs on Mother’s Day, but I’ve never seen a better one since I got it in that Baylis and Harding set a few Christmases ago. When I do the vase, I’ll just pop it back in me drawer of nice things, so I don’t forget where it is for next year.

That’s not bad, is it? It’s more than me brother does. All he does is hand her the card I’ve made him sign — best handwriting if you please — and it’s up to me to hunt and provide the rest. In fact, if we’re counting Christmas, as well as me Mam’s birthday, I’d say he owes us well over twenty-five quid in debt. Reckon I should start charging interest. It can’t be just me; big sisters to absent-minded teenage boys up and down the country, surely must be owed fortunes. I wonder whether it’ll always be up to the daughters to remember these things and organise them and chivvy everyone along? It can’t be just me who does that.

The only bother with the daffs, of course, is timing when to buy them. Don’t want to be handing over a half-dead bunch with petals like cheese and onion crisps, but at the same time, don’t fancy handing over a bunch, of what strongly resemble giant green beans — arguably the least appealing vegetable (it’s the way they squeak on your teeth) — and I’m not really sure gifts of catering supplies are quite going to cut it.
I wonder if this is unashamed, underappreciation on my part. Is it just me? Or is it just womanhood?

Me Mam says she knows summer’s on the way, when the daffs are up on the dual carriageway, which is why spring’s her favourite season — it’s the consistency, I think. The almost sure hope of brighter times. So, I’ll get her the daffs, the card, some smellies, some chocolate. I’ll make her a cup of cha, pick the dog’s toys off the floor, peg the washing on the line if it’s breezy or maybe just let it tumble dry. It sounds like any Sunday of the year. By the time that’s all done, Grandma will have the roast ready, and me Mam will bring her daffs.

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