Posted by: chartroose | May 5, 2008

Mother’s Day and Scary Mary

Mother’s Day is coming up.  I’ve never liked Mother’s Day (or any Hallmark holiday), and when I was a young teen I told my Mom that I thought it was just another bogus excuse for greedy retailers to suck money from brainwashed consumers and I didn’t want to be part of that hypocrisy anymore.  Well, Mom wasn’t buying this.  Declaring that “every day should be Mother’s Day,” she told me to go hit my Dad up for some cash so that I could buy her something nice for once.  That was the only time I ever brought up my true feelings about Mother’s Day to my Mom, and every year at around this time, I’d swallow my resentment and go shopping for a good Mother’s Day gift for her.  Now that she’s gone, I wish I could buy her a gift  — the cheesiest, most sloppily sentimental, “I Love You Mom” gushing mug or card or teddy bear that I could find.  I’d wrap it in a big red bow and present it to her with a huge grin and hug her and we’d sit there with tears in our eyes, enjoying the maudlin moment we were sharing.  I wouldn’t feel one iota of resentment, not for a single second. 

What a selfish little shit I was!   

I used to think about who I’d choose as a substitute for my Mom.  It would have to be someone really special — kind and generous and super fun to goof around with.  After a great deal of deliberation, I finally made my choice:  Julie Andrews.  She would be the ideal mother: pretty and vivacious and a terrific singer.  She would be the type of mother who would join the PTA and participate in every bake sale and comfort me when I was down.

The other day, while trolling through Amazon’s website, I noticed that Julie has published a new memoir: It talks about her childhood and teen years leading up to her starring role in “Mary Poppins.”  I’ll probably never read it, but seeing the book prompted me to explore some Julie Andrews clips on You Tube.  Here’s a remix of the “Mary Poppins” trailer which is quite inventive. 


Perhaps she wouldn’t be such a good mom after all!  I should’ve chosen Carol Brady instead.  No, she was even scarier!



  1. I’m terrible at actually reading biographies but Julie Andrews might have some intersting things to say. She’s one of those actresses I would like to think is intelligent and eloquent. In a pinch I suspect I would have picked her for a substitute mom as well 🙂

  2. Yes, Verbivore – if you look for Julie Andrews on You Tube, they show some old home movie clips of Ms. Andrews cuddling and singing to her daughter. She always seemed so kind to me, even when I was tiny.

  3. I DO want to read this memoir. LOVE the scary youtube video, tho… too funny!

    I’ve already told my mom that she is getting Atonement from me for Mom’s Day. I’ll have to be sure to write some mushiness in a card, too.

  4. Ahh, yeah Care. Get a giant rose covered card that plays mushy music when she opens it. Put many X’s and O’s inside it. Your Mom will love it.

    “Atonement” is a great gift! I need to reread that one.

  5. Love and hugs on mother’s day. I hope I get cheesy mushy cards from my kids.

    I’m lucky to still have my mom around, but I know the day has been hard for her since she lost her mom.

  6. Lisa~
    I hope you get the mushiest cards ever, and that you have an outstanding day with the girls! I’ll be thinking about you.

  7. My mom loves mushy cards, so I always get her one (even though I think funny cards are better, hehe). This is the first Mother’s Day when I’ll be able to actually see her since 2003, so I’m very, very happy!

  8. Yay, Eva! I’m glad you’re getting to see your Mom. I wonder why moms love mushy cards. Mushy cards must be like chocolate somehow, at least to our mothers.

  9. I would have had Grace Kelly, simply for her genes, forget the nurturing. Don’t feel bad – no mother/daughter relationship is ever perfect, but she was the only mother who could ever have produced you and your relationship was the only one she was capable of having. I’ll bet you managed to say loads and loads of good stuff through it, too. I actually think that the fact you tried to please her, despite your own feelings shows the deep, loving loyalty of a child for its mother.

  10. Lit–
    Thank you so much for those encouraging words. I’ve always felt guilty about the way I treated her, and I hope she knew that I actually did love her.

    Grace Kelly would have been a great Mom! She was so elegant and gracious. She died too young also.

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