I was in some greeting card stores recently, shopping for a Mother’s Day card, as one does.
This of course was not a new practice for me; I do so every year.
But, for whatever reason, something leapt out at me, over and over, that struck me as new, something I hadn’t previously noticed.
Among the plethora of cards invoking simple sentiments along the lines of “Thanks, Mom, for everything; I love you; Happy Mother’s Day!”, and the like – many much more maudlin and sentimental versions of the same, which I dislike, since that’s not me – there were of course other kinds. Humourous ones, mostly, for those who don’t do sentimental, or who want to keep it light.
What I noticed, looking at some of the more humour-oriented Mother’s Day cards, was something that I may have noticed occasionally before, but this time, it was so prevalent, across the different kinds of Mother’s Day cards (some for kids to give; others for husbands to give wives, etc.), that I couldn’t help but notice.
And that was, a jokey-tone but no doubt serious promotion of the idea that the wife and mother is the head of the household; not the husband and father.
Seriously: I didn’t try to count them, but over and over, in two different stores, different card companies, this concept.
For instance, I saw a card, meant to be from a son, that had on the front cover, a mock-up of the seal of the U.S. president, but this one declared mom as ‘Head of the Household’.
I saw another, meant for a husband to give his wife, that ‘boasted’ that the best perk of their common enterprise was that ‘I get to sleep with the boss’ (as if that would happen often for any guy who put his wife up on such a pedestal). I remember a woman at a church I used to attend in another city I lived in who worked in her husband’s business as a secretary and book-keeper making that joke, and I found it amusing; I have heard other wives who work for their husbands’ businesses make the same joke. But I fail to find the prospect of a husband saying it in a greeting card (talking not about an actual business but rather the business of a family) funny. Perhaps I’ve lost my sense of humour. Or perhaps I’ve heard one two many husbands say, at the end of a ‘boys night out’ or the like, “Well, gotta go; the Boss is waiting”, which also rubs me the wrong way…
Anyway, those were just two examples, but I saw several. Over and over. It was enough to notice this time, if it hadn’t been that bad before, and I don’t think it had been, in previous years.
But it is now. To anyone who has eyes to see, and a mind to accept and not rationalize it away as ‘just a joke’.
Anyway, to all patriarchal mothers out there who look up to and respect their husbands, the fathers of their children, and do not look down on them in any way, and who recognize paterfamilias as God’s Biblically-ordained order for the human race, I do sincerely wish you a Happy and blessed Mother’s Day tomorrow.
May you get to enjoy all of the perks of your highest calling as a woman, that of a wife and mother, including of course sleeping with your boss regularly and as often as he desires. 😉