Time for the mother of all special days

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In this age of cynical commercialism, it is easy to dismiss almost any significant date on the calendar nowadays as a card shop event.

While I find the miserable sods who refuse to buy Valentine’s Day or Father’s Day cards, on the grounds that it is all a ruddy great big con, reactionary bores, they do have a point. February 14 is the day when everybody is supposed to go all Barry White and profess their undying love for that special person, but it is a load of nonsense.

And Father’s Day? I couldn’t even tell you when it is, although it is the only day of the year I don’t have to put the bins out or clean dog dirt off a pair of Spider Man wellies. But do I deserve a card and a giant Toblerone? I don’t think so.

But that is not to deride all ‘special days’, particularly Mother’s Day as it is one of the few useful Sundays of the year. It is an easy hit for hopeless males as you cannot really go wrong with Mother’s Day, can you?

There is nothing like a giant £1.99 card sporting a cartoon teddy wearing a tennis skirt to say ‘Thanks a lot mum, you’re a good egg’.

The largesse doesn’t end there: flowers are an integral part of this special day and, contrary to that tired old cliche, men don’t always rock up to ma’s front door with a bunch of petrol station carnations – there’s always the supermarket.

And if all that isn’t enough, there is the day’s centrepiece – lunch.

You try getting into your local Starving Nag this Sunday, you’ll have more chance of getting a Yorkshireman to buy you a pint.

But this most special of days – it is in the Bible you know – is far from foolproof, because once you have children of your own you are forced to choose who you spend Mother’s Day with: your mum or your wife.

This choice is rather like choosing between a kebab or a curry – it is near impossible as you face the prospect of either getting a dressing down from the only woman who has seen you naked and not laughed or sleeping on the couch for a week.

If you have got any backbone, you will do what I have done, and you will fudge it by taking them both out on separate days. It is far from perfect, but telling your wife ‘you’re not my mother’ and leaving her to fend for herself is a surefire way of ensuring she won’t be your wife this time next year.

So the next time a bar room loudmouth tells you Mother’s Day is one big money-making exercise, dreamt up by men in shiny suits, ask him what he is doing this Sunday.

I bet he’ll be on his own.