Mother’s Day Is Stupid, but You Should Still Do It Right

Sensible answers to the questions of modern manhood.
May 8 2013 1:08 PM

The New Father’s Guide to Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is stupid, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it right.

(Continued from Page 1)

In 1907, in remembrance of her mother, (a rather excellent nurse,) Anna Jarvis ordered white carnations for every mom in the congregation at the West Virginia church where Mama Jarvis had taught Sunday school. Soon thereafter she began aggressively lobbying for the holiday’s national recognition.

In 1914, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling upon the people to put out their flags on the second Sunday in May to express love and reverence for the mothers of this country.

By 1923, Jarvis was aggrieved to see the holiday overrun with the weeds of commercial floriculture and littered with greeting cards: “I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit.” She should have seen it coming when Philadelphia’s John Wanamakerthe guy who invented the price tag—immediately rallied to her cause. And then she went totally off the rails—filing crank lawsuits, hassling Eleanor Roosevelt, living as a shut-in. She spent her dying years in poverty supported by the affluent ironists of the Florists’ Exchange.

Don’t mistake me: It is tedious to dwell on what a sham Mother’s Day is. There is more to be lost than gained by taking a strong stance against the holiday. After all, you can’t fight city Hallmark. So just get on with it and do something loving and reverential for your baby mama.

Flowers? Sure. As noted above, the most traditional choice would be carnations, which look cheap but, on the upside, are cheap. I don’t know. A potted orchid? A host of golden daffodils? Maybe try throwing together a bouquet that mingles modestly pretty Gerber daisies with whatever doesn’t clash?

Food? Hey, you gotta eat, but whatever you do, do it early: By some estimates, that Sunday is the busiest day of the restaurant year. Expect places to be overrun with boors and yahoos who do not close their mouths when they chew but do, admittedly, love their mothers. Brunch is gonna get ugly. But maybe take the mother out for a properly decadent breakfast? Why not? The kid’s gonna be awake anyway, and if you get to the restaurant early enough, there will be few other patrons around to notice him behaving like such a little shit. The dining room of good hotel might be just the ticket here, on account of its hours and anonymity. I’m thinking white tablecloths, 8 a.m. cocktails, unclean animals, French pastry, boom. Try to get mama home by 11 for a morning nap.

Advertisement

The daddy who prefers to cook breakfast should study the scrambled-egg technique of this Vongerichten fellow and adapt it to prepare the official easy breakfast of the Gentleman Scholar Culinary Arts Center. We at the Center customarily present these eggs in a warm bowl, accompanied by toasted English muffins and gentleman’s relish, but it might be a nice Mother’s Day touch to spoon an opulent dollop of crème fraîche or clabber over the finished dish and set a cluster fish eggs on its rich cushion.

Scrambled Eggs for Bedraggled Adults

Serves 2

5 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter (or more)
2 or 3 tablespoons half-and-half (or heavy cream)
handful of soft goat cheese or something
salt
pepper
Tabasco?
Worcestershire?
thyme?
tarragon?
parsley?

Set a frying pan over low heat. Quickly dice the cheese and mix it with the eggs and the cream; season at will. Back at the frying pan, add the butter and then reduce the heat to its minimum. If you happen to have some scallions around—or ramps? ramps are a thing, right?—then dice and sauté them, you lucky duck. Pour the mixture into the pan. If you stir the mixture with an egg whisk as it cooks, then the eggs will be nice and fluffy, so keep STIRRING WITH AN EGG WHISK at a medium pace as you gradually turn the heat up a bit above medium. Once the eggs start to set into curds, turn the heat back down.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

It’s Fine to Use Facebook to Serve People With Legal Papers, Court Rules

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?