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What Your Christmas Card Reveals

19 Dec

Christmas_Mailing_1921_0When I was a young girl growing up in Trenton (NJ), sending Christmas cards was a good citizen’s duty. Thanks to an overzealous mayor with good intentions but a serious drinking problem, mailing cards was actually required by law for most of my career as a child (which at least gave the ACLU something to do over the holidays). The tradition was less about Christmas itself and more about community building — reminding friends, family and neighbours that they were in our thoughts during the season of giving.

Sending holiday cards is a rather time consuming act, which explains why it has fallen out of favour these days. We live in a world where the only loved ones we’re willing to invest more than ten minutes at a time in are spouses and young children, and this is usually only done to preemptively build evidence for a subsequent divorce/custody court case. I confess that I myself have not sent cards this year; it’s not because I don’t care, because you know I do (especially about you, yes, you). Unfortunately, my address book includes more than two thousand entries and I’m conflicted about giving that much money to Royal Mail now that it’s been privatised (and last year Christopher sprained his tongue licking envelopes and I will not go through that trauma again).

However, there are still a few hold outs who maintain the tradition, and I say good on you. Nowadays, we have more options about the types of card that can be sent and the one you choose says quite a bit about you. You may think you’ve chosen the prettiest or the cheapest, but you are actually revealing some essential aspects of your self-identity. Let’s have a look.

EMAIL CARDS

These say you’re a modern person, you know how the Internet works and you’re not afraid to use it. However, this choice is also quite impersonal because it’s likely you’re copying and pasting the same message into every one you send. While I’m sure the recipients appreciate the thought, it’s bound to sting a little that to you they are clearly just a name on a distribution list. That’s especially hurtful to those out of whose body you came (according to my brother who received a rather spiteful voicemail message from my mother last week).

CARDS PURCHASED FROM CHARITIES

These say that you are a giving, compassionate person who, rather than volunteer your valuable time or make a substantial monetary donation, will only contribute to a charity’s work if you get something in return.

RELIGIOUS CARDS

These show that you are serious about the birth of Jesus Christ which implies one of two things: you are a Christian, which is fine, though you should be aware that these cards will probably not be on display on non-Christian fridges. I mean, think about it — would a good Christian like yourself hang up a Ramadan card with Mohammad’s face on it? (This is a trick question, by the way.) The other possibility is that you are a Fox News viewer/Daily Mail reader who is committed to fighting the war on Christmas. If this is the case, well done you. You’re a twat.

FUNNY CARDS

These show you don’t want to get all heavy during the holiday season. You hope to keep it light — give people a smile. You just want to share your sense of humour because you are a hilarious person. I mean, you’re really funny. Really. Why you’re still on your own, I don’t doubt you’ll never understand.

HOMEMADE CARDS

Fine, you’ve got artistic talent and the luxury of the funds to purchase supplies and the time to waste gluing crystals onto cardstock. Everyone is very envious of you and your charmed life.

FAMILY PHOTO CARDS

BradychristmasIf you’ve had an addition to your family this year (a baby, puppy, housekeeper, etc), it’s entirely appropriate to share a photo, especially with those people who live far away and have yet to meet the new family member. If you’re just showing off your newest plastic surgery results, it is significantly less appropriate.

ROUND ROBIN LETTERS

These, I’m afraid, never make you look good. They are impersonal and no matter how hard you try to make them seem otherwise, they are essentially just a Wikipedia entry for your experience this year. As such, they are likely to be awkwardly worded and full of inaccuracies. They are also usually typed out and no one should be sending typed letters to their loved ones: unless you’re sending a ransom note, you should take the time to hand write things. Cursive writing is preferable.

Of course, I’ve already received examples of all of these this year. I try to fireplacesee the positives in everything so I focus more on the fact that the senders have remembered me and less on the obvious flaws in their personalities. As the cards are delivered, I’ve hung each one along the windowsills, as my mother used to do. Unlike her, though, I do not plan to rip them all down in a drunken, bitter rage on Christmas Eve and throw them into the fire.

Pornography, Crystal Meth, and/or Me

9 Jul

As you probably already know, my recent collection, Everyone Needs An Algonquin: The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss), has taken the publishing world by storm. Like pornography and methamphetamine, the public just cannot get enough.

Yet you have not purchased your copy.

I’m okay with this, I guess. I’m not going to bully you. It’s cool. Besides, I know times are tight for everyone financially; it’s hard to find the extra pennies.

So here’s the diddly-dealio: I’m giving away autographed copies via the website GoodReads. You have until the end of July to enter. To get into the running, you don’t even have to include a 100 word essay about why you want a copy[1], just enter and five winners will be randomly chosen[2]. Easy-peasy.

 

Giveaway

Click here to enter and for giveaway details


 

And best of all? You don’t have to enjoy my book alone in a darkened room, weeping ashamedly, as you do with porn, nor will it, like meth, leave you toothless.


 


 


 


[1] Though if you really feel like singing my praises, feel free to do so in comment section below.

[2] If you are a winner, though, let me know you read this website, and I’ll send you a little extra something-something.

Are You In A Cult?

16 Jun

As I’m sure most of you are well aware, the world changes.

When I was younger, life was different. We described things we enjoyed as “groovy” rather than “rad” or “bitchin'”; we had a devil-may-care attitude about beef and fried foods, which we ate with gay abandon. There were no paedophiles, only tv presenters. I’m not claiming it was a better time, just a different one.

We didn’t relate to each other in the same way either. We would get together for “rap sessions,” where we shared our true feelings and a decent amount of bodily fluids with people who gathered together to celebrate and challenge the world around us.

I was a part of a community named the Sunshine Happiness Alliance Group with whom I briefly lived in a large barn in the middle of a dense woods hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the comfort and familiarity of Trenton, New Jersey. There were about forty of us in the “family” — we each held responsibilities (work and emotional) to ensure the group’s success; we grew, made and smoked everything we needed to stay healthy, happy and really, really high.

There was nothing untoward about our little group; the fact that six weeks after I left, the rest of them committed mass suicide I’m sure was purely coincidental. However, these days — these different but not necessarily better or worse days — though, some humans have evolved into borderline beasts who willingly abuse others through mind manipulation and control, which are surprisingly easy to master. 34647345

These people create cults, and you may be a member of one.

Do not panic. Keep your face completely neutral: they’re probably watching you right now, and any look of concern on your face is going to raise suspicion among the cult’s leaders. Stay cool, Jack, and read on.

First, we need to be sure. Consider these questions about the group with whom you identify:

If you’ve answered yes, you may be in trouble. Again, DO NOT PANIC. Now we’re going to look at how you can break free and rid yourself of any residue of brainwashing.

  • Interact with people outside the group — even if they look, think, worship or do sexy-sex in ways you do not.
  • Drink at least a litre of water a day.
  • Stop watching Fox News and reading the Daily Mail.
  • Decide what you think is right and good, and be loyal to that.

It is nice to be a part of a group. In fact, not only is it nice,  it’s also good, because people who are only ever on their own can tend to be a bit on the creepy side. Whether your group is based on politics, lifestyle or mutual admiration of a sports team, actor, musician, writer or hobby, there’s a real sense of warmth when you are with those with whom you have things in common.

But remember that you are an individual with the ability to think critically, and you must never let no one take that away from you. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

 

 

______________________________________________________________

On a completely different note, have you joined the thousands who have already purchased my newest book? Don’t be like those other losers; what are you, a traitor or something?

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

24 Dec
Twas the night before Christmas, when into the house
Creeped little drunk Christopher, the Yuletide souse.
The Alka Seltzer was left right next to the Aga,
In hopes he would grab it instead of some lager.
 
Miss Agatha was nestled all snug in her bed,
Dreams of an incident-free Christmas danced in her head,
Though she quite certain it was too much to ask,
When she discovered that Christopher had taken her flask.
 
When in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
She sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
She put on her slippers and her silk dressing gown,
Nipped out of the bedroom and headed straight down.
 
The amber of the streetlamp flooded the room
As she entered the kitchen, filling with gloom.
When, what to her wondering eyes did she spy,
But a little-too-merry boy, starting to cry.
 
Though he had promised this year to abstain,
She instantly thought, “Here we go again.”
He claimed to be sorry right down to his core,
Though he was interrupted when he fell to the floor.
 
Oh Stella! Oh, WKD! Oh, Malibu and Coke!
You’ve turned Christopher’s promises into a joke.
The night before Christmas is a time to deck halls,
But he’s pissed away, pissed away, pissed away all!

 

I hope your Christmas Eve did not include what has now become a tradition round here, a young man coming in intoxicated and spewing what are clearly the issues he has with his mother onto me. For once I’d like to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, dreaming of sugarplums, rather than questioning my level of tolerance that allows this pisshead to live in my home.

If you prefer the traditional version, enjoy and Happy Christmas to all.

Où Est Christopher?

29 Jul

(I apologise for consecutive French titles—I’m just in that sort of mood, I guess.)

I find it quite charming that I’ve received a few emails asking about Christopher’s whereabouts. It’s sweet that you care about someone who is, ultimately, globally inconsequential.

It’s true Christopher has been somewhat absent from Everyone Needs An Algonquin in recent weeks. This is partly because business has been relatively serious as of late and let’s face it, Christopher’s critical analysis skills aren’t really his strong points.  But I’m afraid there has also been some trouble between us.

It’s potentially problematic mixing the professional and the personal in relationships.  I learned that many years ago when I worked as a seamstress for Henry Kissinger. My remit was purely stitchery, but the Secretary of State and I eventually grew quite close. We were both taking a lot of heat in the press (for him, it was his role at Columbia, and for me, it was the breath-taking but room-dividing ensemble I debuted on the red carpet at that year’s Oscars ceremony). I felt comfortable sharing my opinions when it came to his choice of haberdashery, but when I saw my own views on the Balkans coming out of his mouth during a television interview, I realised that a boundary had been crossed.

Christopher and I have maintained a very solid balance for most of our time together. I thought we were both quite content with the set-up: he was available to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and in return I was willing to expose him to glamour, prestige and excitement that otherwise he could have never even dreamt of accessing. Win-win, no?

Sadly not, according to Christopher’s friend, Apollo, whom he met earlier this spring at an event sponsored by one of their boys-only clubs (which I have never had a problem with Christopher joining, even though their very nature excludes me and half of the world’s population). From the very first day I met him, I knew Apollo was what the kids call “bad news.” However, Christopher is his own person and therefore permitted to make whatever mistakes he chooses to.

I noticed little changes in Christopher early on in their friendship. He started combing his hair into a very peculiar style, his shoes grew pointier and I know for a fact he booked in to at least two spa treatments in one month. But I said nothing. I am his employer and also his friend, but I am not his mother (DNA has confirmed this). Eventually, though, Apollo’s influence began to affect Christopher’s work and therefore my own life, which came to a head during what should have been an enjoyable trip to Castle Howard. This is where I had to put my foot down.

I encouraged Christopher to take some time away—to think about his priorities, clear his head and (I was hoping) come to his senses. In the end, the righteous won out (as we so often do) and Christopher has returned home to my side. It turns out Apollo was not all that he seemed to be. I don’t doubt you’ve seen reports in the local paper, so I shall save all of us the embarrassment of rehashing it here.

So there is the explanation for Christopher’s brief absence.  The equilibrium of our household has been re-established and all is well in the world again. Except, of course, for all the recent tragedy around the globe, most of which, I don’t doubt, Apollo has probably had a hand in.

The Things You’ll Pass As You Drive Towards Death

24 Jun

Whenever we’re traveling, it’s a good idea to have a few landmarks on our maps to know that we are heading in the right direction. People point out the cemetery on the right to let us know that in two miles we need to turn left to reach our destination.

In our lifespan, those landmarks are milestone birthdays. They’re not quite as reliable as that cemetery (we all know what happens when people move cemeteries), because each of us arrives at them in different ways. However, when it comes to special birthday celebrations, our own experience is irrelevant. I’m not here to tell you where you should be by the time you’re 16 or 40 or 75; ultimately, if you want to follow or break from a tradition, it’s nowt to do with me. What I can do, though, is let you know what others’ expectations will be to help buffer the shock just a tad.

YOUR FIRST BIRTHDAY

The first milestone is obviously one’s first birthday. It’s clearly all about other people, since one-year-olds are legitimately too stupid to know anything about life whatsoever. Luckily, other people’s expectations for this one are pretty low: as long as they get to take a picture of you with cake on your face, they’ll be happy.

YOUR TENTH BIRTHDAY

Moving into double digits means that others will start expecting a little more. You might be expected to do chores; you may start dealing with money. You will also be asked to “perform” for people at family gatherings, and unlike when you were 6, it’ll no longer be cute when you sing off tune or forget the words of the Gettysburg Address (I’m afraid I had to learn this the hard way). How you deal with this pressure will be up to you, but the main thing you should be prepared for is that, while it will feel like the worst thing in the world to you, no one will really give a shit.

YOUR ADOLESCENCE

Adolescence is a complicated time because of the physical and emotional changes you will be going through. To add further complications, there are a number of different milestones during these years. For example, in the Jewish tradition, one’s thirteenth birthday is important—this is when you become responsible for your actions. That’s pretty heavy stuff for someone who is technically still developmentally an idiot.

For girls of any religious persuasion, the first menstrual period will be a momentous time for now you are technically eligible for the position of motherhood. What the hell’s that all about, nature? Depending on your family’s background, this will be greeted with either with pride or shame. Try not to let it affect you too much—luckily the hassle, pain and need for notes excusing you from PE classes should keep you pretty much distracted.

A driver’s license also signals a major turning point. This will heap more responsibility onto your shoulders. Undoubtedly you will think this unfair, because that’s just the kind of thing teenagers do. But remember, you can now get behind the wheel of a potentially lethal weapon, so there’s got to be some kind of balance between your needs and others’.

YOUR EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY

In many countries, your eighteenth birthday means you can officially do grown-up things like run for election, drink, marry, join the military and be a consenting adult. Keep in mind that you just because you can doesn’t mean you have to.

YOUR TWENTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY

This is often the first time that you will start looking back on your life, realizing that some of it has already gone. Others will note this as well; essentially what people are really doing is reminding you that you’re on the path towards death.  This is a drag, especially if they do it as you’re blowing out your candles, but it is, of course, true.

This can also be a difficult time for men especially as it marks the end of what’s commonly referred to as your “sexual peak.” Don’t let this talk worry you; you have plenty years of masturbatory pleasure left.

YOUR THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY

This is often an important one because you are likely to remember your parents in their thirties. This is a recipe for comparison: how come your mother was married with kids on her thirtieth and you’re still single and letting your ex’s new girlfriend raise your twins? How come your father had worked his way up to a managerial position by his thirtieth and you’re still waiting for your band to hit the big time? You may be doing these comparisons in your head, but, trust me, others definitely will be and may start treating you like you’re a failure. (They’ve probably been feeling this for years, but it may be the first time they act on it.)

For women, your thirties will also mark a milestone in terms of your bodies: they will start changing but more importantly, you’ll start hearing (or at least hearing others talking about) your “biological clock.” The truth is, if you are planning to throw your life away on motherhood, now is a good time to it. But don’t let your parents, your friends or your spinster aunt’s regrets pressure you into doing something you’re not ready to do.

YOUR FORTIETH BIRTHDAY

This is seen by many as the Big One. Because unless you’ve already passed it, forty is seen as past it (particularly for the female of the species). You don’t have to embrace this interpretation, but be aware that many others do. This includes the twenty-year-olds you work with (their flirting is actually mockery) and your doctor (who will now expect you to regularly schedule tests so he can tell you which parts of your body are starting to fail).

YOUR FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY

People will note that you are a half a century old; given that only freaks live a hundred years, I think we all know what they’re really pointing out: most of your life is gone. Not even crumblies think of a 50-year-old when they think of a young person, so be prepared that even if you feel young, using the word to describe yourself will cause others will see you as delusional and/or embarrassing. Even the phrase “young at heart” is a bit troublesome at this point as you think about your echocardiogram results and your dodgy arteries. I’m definitely not saying you are old, but you are older than a whole generation of other adults. They are well aware of this.

YOUR SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY

You might get a bus pass or discounts on your early bird dinner special, but the truth is this milestone isn’t as important as it once was. Starting off your sixth decade used to signal your eventual retirement from employment, but nowadays you’ll end up working until the day you drop dead, so thank god for that, eh?

YOUR SEVENTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY

You are old now. Everyone thinks that and will expect you to act old. They will assume you don’t remember yesterday, comprehend technology, or experience sexual desire. Even if their assumptions are wrong, you may want to consider working their mistakes to your benefit. Being in your seventies allows you to lie like a rug and people’s reactions will usually just be, “Ahhhh, bless.”

YOUR ONE-HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY

What others expect from you on this milestone is absolutely irrelevant.

Obviously, your body as it ages will present you with opportunities and limitations, but ultimately age is just a number and like most things related to numbers, obsessing about it is boring. Others will respond to you in different ways as you evolve, but it’s important to be true to yourself. It’s your journey, regardless of the route you take. But if you are headed through my neighbourhood on your way, can you stop and pick up a pint of milk for me?

The Royal Wedding of Him and Her (Live Updates)

29 Apr

8.05            Welcome to my up-to-the-minute coverage of the wedding between The Duke of Cambridge, the Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, and the Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, and Baroness Carrickfergus. I love group weddings; it’s almost like the Moonies.

8.30            Did you hear the guy from Syria’s been uninvited? I’m not sure that’s any less rude than violently cracking down against weeks of pro-democracy demonstrations.

8.40            I have always felt that those who shove in queues should be beaten to death and admire the police’s decision to do so this morning.

8.44            A lot of hats, bordering on an indecent amount of hats. Some ridiculous, some I confess to finding rather fetching. I particularly like the little pink beanies some of the men are wearing. Too cute!

9.09            The chant that greeted Chelsy Davy was just not on.

9.22            David Beckham. He’s lovely.

9.30            Rowan Atkinson’s arrived, pulling a funny face. Oh wait, that’s Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.

9.43            Apparently Boris Johnson’s hair took hours doing.

9.44            Guy Richie?

9.47            Sir Elton John and David Furnish have arrived. Elton’s coiffure is attempting something but failing miserably.

9.48            I’m not sure I’ve ever seen John Major look quite so dashing. Yum-yum!

9.56             I strongly agree with the decision to sit all gingers in a separate area.

10.01            A cheer for Nick Clegg! Or perhaps for Miriam’s saucy attire—her lips match her feathers.

10.02            Ed and Vince. Vince and Ed. Little George Osborne not far behind.

10.03            Samantha Cameron looks quite pretty in a flattering jade dress, carrying an orange wrap. A shame she had to spoil it with her date.

10.14            I don’t think screams at a wedding are ever really appropriate, regardless of who is attending or how fancy pants their tour bus is.

10.16            Now, that’s one hell of a car the Princes are in.

10.18            Here come the bells.

10.19            Prince William is in the house: whoop whoop, as the kids say.

10.20           Those who think the Royals’ lives are unfairly easy should remember that tragedies like thinning hair can strike anyone. Nature is blind to pageantry.

10.22           The red coat, blue sash and gold doohickeys are alright, I guess. But I’m not keen on the red stripe down the trousers. At least he ignored Harry’s suggestion to also wear red shoes.

10.24           I wonder who was the first to say “Someone’s getting laid tonight” to Wills this morning.

10.27           I don’t care what cool cucumbers some of these posh-os think they are. You know they must be peeing themselves over all this.

10.28           I like the four matching silver mini-buses. They’re titchy, like little toy cars, carrying little toy people.

10.36           Who taught these people how to walk?

10.37            Three arrests at the street party on my road. Apparently, letting off fireworks outside an old couple’s home should have waited until after the nuptials.

10.40           I bet Tony Blair’s having a little cry. I know Barack Obama isn’t.

10.42           Beatrice and Eugenie—no, no, and no.

10.44           This must surely remind Prince Charles of his own weddings. The incredibly exciting one, plus that time the other one got canceled because the Pope up and died.

10. 48          I don’t care what people say. The Queen is still a right royal knockout and you know it. She looks like a stunning little canary. Wearing a hat. And a brooch. And carrying a handbag.

10.50           Awkward kiss between the Duke of Edinburgh and Camilla. But I suppose it would have been more upsetting if it had been natural, like something they did all the time.

10.54          Here comes the bride! I can confirm she is wearing her hair and a white dress. I really don’t know what all the fuss was about. What else would she be wearing?

10.55         Any commentator who says something about Kate’s ability to wave is first against the wall, come the revolution.

10.59          You gotta say one thing about the royals: they know how to keep to a timetable.

11.00          I’m not too proud to admit she looks pretty. But I know, in his heart of heart, Wills prefers a bustier woman.

11.04          Searches for Sarah Burton have now crashed the internet.

11.08          If this is William’s first view of his bride’s dress, I’m sure he think it’s beautiful.  Harry is thinking, “What’s up with her eyebrows?”

11.11           Oh, England, you and your hymns. I do love you so.

11.13          Marriage was ordained for the increase of mankind. Ooh, sexy.

11.14          I won’t say a word. I will forever hereafter hold my peace. Damn, Will’s not said anything either.

11.16          For richer, for poorer. Good one.

11.17          I don’t mean to seem a downer, but let’s remember that Charles and Diana said all these words as well.

11.18         Wow, he’s going to give her his troth, honour her with his body and share all his worldly goods? Jackpot!

11.20         William’s just made the biggest mistake of his life. Congratulations to the happy couple!

11.24          Grab a pew, now for the boring stuff.

11.29          To kill some time, let’s look at some new wedding-related tweets:

Halcruttenden All these beautiful people have just made me realise that the idea of monarchy is right. They’re just better than us.

mfhorne There is literally NOWHERE for Harry to have a sneaky Fatty Boombatty.

mrchrisaddison Queen has a tartan blanket over her knees in that car.

Therealdavelamb No wonder the father of the bride’s sweating, this must be costing him a fortune.

StephenAtHome At the Royal Wedding. Crap, I’m wearing the same thing as Camilla.

RufusHound They need to hurry it along, the photographer has another wedding to do at 12

RobinCooperEsq Don’t forget tomorrow is the royal wedding everybody

11.39         Oh boy, they composed their own prayer. Nicely written—concise yet ultimately meaningless, as all good prayers should be.

11.37         Those little boys have no idea that this will be the last greatest moment of their lives.

11.46         I like the idea of marriage as “such an exquisite mystery.” Sounds so much better than “the beginning of the end.”

11.47         Oh, “Jerusalem,” you bring me such joy. There is nothing better than you. Except maybe marrying Prince William. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. So I rejoice at the song of England’s green and pleasant land.

11.52        What goes through Charles’s head when he hears “God Save Our Gracious Queen”? And I don’t know about you, but it seems weird that Prince Philip sings it as well. Man, she must really hold that over him at times.

11.56         I thought it was supposed to rain today. Wow, they really do have God looking after them.

12.10        Yes, put the gloves on. One mustn’t wave to paupers without wearing gloves.

12.13        The wedding ceremony ends as all wedding ceremonies do: a bunch of old people in fancy dress struggling to get into horse-drawn carriages. We’ve all been there, done that.

12.15         The deed is done. There’s nothing more to see here. Move along and back to your regular lives.

The Castle Howard Incident

18 Apr

Let me encourage you to visit Castle Howard in York. The House and the gardens are simply breathtaking. A day there is bound to remind everyone of the glory of humanity and of nature. I have no doubt that it was not the where, but the who and why which caused the incident.

Christopher and I spent a few hours there to top off our travels through Yorkshire. It’s easy to get lost in reverie within the rooms of the house.  They really knew how to use wallpaper in those days. I am envious of those who lived during a time when “the look” required using as many different patterns in decor as possible.

We wandered the natural sensuality of the Woodland Garden and the precision of the Walled Garden, and I’m sure in most circumstances, the people who pass through them cannot help but absorb the serenity and peace of the environment.

Please do not let the unfortunate incident involving a certain young man and his lackadaisical attitude to the gravity of keeping a promise stop you from enjoying what is otherwise a truly magical place.

You Can’t Get Into The Hall of Fame Unless You Limp—Casey Stengel

22 Jan

Thank you much for the condolences regarding my being excluded, yet again, from the inductees to the New Jersey Hall of Fame.  Much like the dedicated fan who left roses and cognac at Poe’s grave, a dear man nominates me every year (I do not know his name as he signs the form only with his prison number), but I have yet to get in. Please do not concern yourselves too much on my account. I am well aware of how these things work and as lovely as the honour would be, I simply refuse to play their games. I have done nothing but praise the Garden State, but it looks like my refusal to sleep with a certain prominent New Jersey politician continues to haunt me.

To those being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year—Martha Stewart and John Travolta among them—I offer my hearty congratulations. It looks like they “did what it takes” to get the coveted prize, but I’m afraid I just couldn’t stomach those stumpy hands anywhere near my person.

You win some and you lose some, I suppose.

Should A Boy’s Best Friend Really Be His Mother?

14 Mar

I have never been a huge proponent of days set aside to celebrate reproduction (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc).  To me, the simple fact that one participated in the merging of egg and sperm hardly makes one deserving of a whole day of recognition. However, I am clearly alone in this view. Germany has its Muttertag, America its Mother’s Day, and today we have Mothering Sunday.

As you know, I have a mother and I have resigned myself to sending her a card (and possibly ringing her, if I’ve enough vodka in the house) on the second Sunday of May. I will do that, because that is what one does. However, I do feel that some people take the whole “honour thy mother” thing a tad too far.

I am not unaware that mothers make sacrifices for their children. And I acknowledge that most go to some trouble to care for their offspring. Fair dues. However, my mechanic regularly services my car (and even buffs the interior leather), and I certainly don’t feel compelled to “honour” him with perfume and flowers on an annual basis. Why mothers should be celebrated simply for doing their job is beyond my comprehension.

Have you noticed it’s often men who feel obliged to go out of their way on Mother’s Day (without any regard for the fact that the woman who actually pays their salary needs to be driven into town for brunch with her new editor)? Maybe my confusion lies in the fact that I am a daughter. Clearly mothers have different expectations of daughters, which could cause the relationship to be somewhat strained. I asked Christopher why sons are the worse offenders in terms of showering adoration on their mums; silence was his only riposte. I guess, bringing him into a world of beauty and sophistication means nothing, whereas the simple act of buying and laundering his pants for sixteen years apparently deserves lifelong gratitude.

Of course, having never known the apparent “joy” one experiences after giving birth to a younger and generally smaller human, I cannot speak from personal experience of the so-called maternal bond. Clearly, there must be something to this veneration of “a mother’s love” for nothing without some basis in reality could be tolerated by the public for so long. It isn’t that I begrudge a mother and son wanting to acknowledge their mutual affection—-more power to them. However, I simply think it needs to be kept in check (particularly if it interferes with my work schedule). The umbilical cord must be cut at some time or heaven knows what could happen.

As I said, though, I know I am the lone voice of sanity with regards to this issue. So, “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of you mothers out there. A good day to you all. Enjoy this afternoon with your son. Please don’t let me and the future of my career affect you in any way. I’ll make my own way to my meeting, don’t you worry. Savour your time together, because tomorrow he’ll come back to me. Never you fear.

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