This past Sunday was the greeting card companies' mid-year event: Mother's Day.
Of course you love your mom every day, but on this special Sunday in May you show it! With expensive jewelery, fancy appliances, bouquets of roses, or something not so rough on your wallet like breakfast in bed and even home made gift cards.
Indian moms are different, and my mommy definitely fits the mold. She doesn't expect ANYTHING on Mother's Day, and we've got a long history of living up to that expectation. I'd be surprised if she actually remembered that such a day existed. And the only way that would happen is if Hallmark had infiltrated the Indian channels on the dish (which would be a tragedy).
Mom hasn't worn the D&B purse we got her for last mother's day, and she had no idea what to do with the jewelery set Dad got her one year. She insisted that she would rather have a set of dishes, or a brand spanking new kitchen appliance. This strikes at the heart of two Indian traits, practicality and frugality. Or maybe you could roll all that into one trait, namely being cheap.
Indians can find a use for any object that comes their way. Second-hand, ragged sofa? That's OK, sew some new seat covers and it's perfect for the make-shift living room in the garage. Desis are masters of re-purposing and conservation. It makes sense to not waste all that hard-earned money on something you could get for next to nothing or make for yourself. On the other hand, old jam jars and Tupperware last for years, piling up in shelves and in the back of dusty cabinets in the all-purpose abyss known as the garage. Said jars will sit there for years on end, unused until some tragic accident occurs. Likely lost in a hasty escape upon the arrival of INS/IRS officers.
It's OK to laugh at that last part. My parents are tax-paying Americans.
So, what did I get such a wonderful woman for Mother's day? A flower ornament I made out of sticky notes. When all else fails, origami is the way to go. Damn Asians have the answer to everything.
I leave you with a clip of one of my favorite Indians. No introduction necessary.
1) Tell Mom you love her.
2) Clear junk out in the middle of the night. Then throw it away in the neighbor's trash can. The neighbor TWO houses down.
3) Learn how to wipe your own ass. Best gift anyone can ever give.