Happy Mother’s Day!
Was it Joyce that wrote, “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not?” I know exactly what he means. For the past thirty years, I have never once doubted your slavish devotion to me, your best and only child. You are the bedrock, the lynchpin, the gluey Mom-particle slathered across the construction paper of my reality.
When my shoelaces needed tying, who bent down and tied them? You did. When my boo-boos needed bandaging last week, who was there to wipe away the tears and apply immediate, life saving first-aid? You were, that’s who. When that vindictive, alcoholic judge set my bail at fifty thousand dollars, who took out a second mortgage on her home to pay for it? And who forfeited that bail money and lost that home when I crossed the state line to go to the “good” gentleman’s club? I bet you know what I’m going to write next without me even having to write it. That’s just how strong our mother/son bond is.
Sometimes it makes me wonder: is there really ever any way to repay the woman who has given so much? The woman who gave the precious gift of life itself?
I would say, affirmatively, yes. Yes, there is. You’re the most important woman in my life, Mom, and that’s why we’re going to celebrate YOU this Mother’s Day — at Hooters. The one closest to my house.
Ah! I can already imagine your lips parting in protest! Has motherly selflessness lodged in your breast for so long that you really have no vacancies for the thoughtful gesture of a grateful son? Look, Mom, I know you’re worried about the cost, but you don’t have to. As I told you last Christmas when I bought you Marvel’s The Avengers on Blu-ray Disc — and you, bless your thrifty soul, said I really shouldn’t have — the central bank of my heart will always print out more money for you. Whatever your heart desires, from a pitcher of our nation’s best mass-produced domestic beer to a t-shirt that reads “I Got Double Ds in High School,” it’s yours.
(That said, given my current fiscal crisis, I’d ask you to limit your entree purchase to $10.)
Tonight it’s about you and me, Mom. I want to hear more about your craft projects, and how things are going since Dad left us. The farthest thing from my mind will be the parade of busty, apple-bottomed, scantily clad women cooing about what a “darling” and “sweetheart” I am for taking you out. When the breasts of Brandi, our waitress, crash into my shoulder blades with all the passion and drama of shifting tectonic plates, it will barely register on my Richter scale. Because I’ll be paying rapt attention to your story about what’s his face who did that thing in your Sunday School class or whatever.
I can’t conceive of a more perfect place to rejoice in the enduring love of mother and son, can you? Everywhere I turn there will be a monument to filial love. The basket of Buffalo Wings upon which we shall snack will be tender and slightly sweet, much like your ever-patient care for me. Everywhere I look I will see your face beaming at mine: from your actual face, which will be right in front of me, to your food face, which I will make out of my curly fries (your Pre-Raphaelite tresses!) and my “I-Just-Don’t-Give-A-HOOT” Triple Cheeseburger. The maternal presence of the Hooters Owl, watching over me with those massive, melon-like eyes, will make me think about the big things. Like, “‘Hoo-hoo’ am I? I’d be nothing without my Mom.”
And just when your heart feels like it is going to burst at a son’s solemn show of love (with you feigning heartburn, but I know you!) I will unveil my last surprise. A literal cherry on top. I will have whispered into Brandi’s ear that it is not only Mother’s Day, but also your birthday. As a chorus line of blondes and redheads jiggles and bounces and titters through a rendition of the happy birthday song just for YOU, I will look over and see the tears in your eyes. You won’t have to say anything, because I know what you’ll be thinking: “I have the best son in the world.”