Mother’s Day is May 13 and I know most of ya’ll don’t have a gift yet. Please allow me to interrupt your mad dash to the nearest Walgreens for a bouquet of wilted flowers and chalky Russel Stover’s candies to let you know what your mother really wants for Mother’s Day.
- Getting the Hell Away From You
We’ve all seen those heartwarming Hallmark commercials: Mom is laying in bed, sound asleep when suddenly Dad, the 2.5 kids (the teenager is pregnant) and the golden-retriever bust into the bedroom with a cheery “SURPRISE!” and start jumping all over the bed, hugging her and serving her breakfast in bed.
WHY DID THEY WAKE HER UP? That mom was sleeping soundly, snoring and drooling on her pillow, dreaming about being rescued from a burning building by Black Panther. She was just about to peel off his spandex and express her gratitude when the entire house decides to bust in on her! That is not a gift; that is an assault.
BREAKFAST IN BED IS NOT A GIFT! Not when you are surrounded by people who don’t know how to shut up and allow you to read the New York Times in silence. Also, you know that the breakfast is trash because the toddler just had to “help” and dumped half the shaker of salt in the eggs anyway. So now in addition to being exhausted, Mom is going to have a stomachache. And she’s still going to have to clean the kitchen by herself and drive everyone to soccer practice after.
This mom does not need more of her loving family and their wacky shenanigans. She just wants to take a poop without a toddler barging through the bathroom door.
You want to give mom a real gift? Let her slowly wake up at noon. As she staggers downstairs bleary-eyed, she discovers that the house is dead quiet – like everyone got raptured except for her. She makes her way into the kitchen and there is a fresh pot of coffee, a bottle of wine, one thousand dollars and a post-it note that says: “We gone until next Tuesday.”
- Taking Her Advice For Once
Your mother loves you. She brought you into this world and she can take you out of it. But she’d rather you stay in it and flourish so that she can brag about you to her girlfriends at the salon in her golden years.
Mother’s Day rolls around and you buy her a lovely diamond tennis bracelet with matching diamond earrings. She looks up with tears in her eyes and throws the gift in your face! Why?
“WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO STOP SELLING THAT STUFF, PETEY? If you don’t stop running drugs you’re going to end up north like your cousin! I’m not trying to see my kids in the grave before I get there. And don’t you chime in, Tasha. You haven’t had a job since Destiny’s Child was together. But I know you’re fixin’ your mouth to ask me to watch my grandbaby while you go out tonight with your “friend.” Don’t know what kind of a friend won’t put a ring on your finger after five years. Don’t nobody buy the cow when the milk is free. Thank you for the lovely tennis bracelet, Petey.”
Give her the gift of saying, “You’re right, ma.” Those words are worth more than a thousand hot tennis bracelets.
- Realizing She Is A Flawed Human Person
Our society mythologizes mothers. Mothers are our first home, superheroes, nurturers, teachers, protectors, spiritual advisors, best friends, housecleaners, financial advisors, hairdressers, therapists and personal chefs. Mothers sacrifice for us, and because of that, we perch them upon the highest pedestal. We owe them everything, and we give them everything – except the ability to be human.
When a mom falls short, the world revolts. Yet isn’t it enough that Mom is a criminal defense lawyer that raised three children by herself? Does she have to make sugar cookies for the PTA bake sale too? Isn’t it enough that she scraped her way to success through the projects to finally graduate with her GED? Does she have to write an award-winning movie about it starring Sandra Bullock too? Isn’t it enough that Mom put dinner on the table every night? Do we have to criticize her for blowing our college savings at the casino?
This Mother’s Day, hold your mom to the same standard as your crappiest friend.
We all have friends who are terrible cooks; friends who smoke, drink and swear. Friends who are terrible at expressing their emotions, terrible at being emotional supports, friends who can’t manage money, keep a job or relationship. We have friends who are petty and messy and revel in drama. We sometimes have friends who are self-absorbed stuck up prissy brats, and friends who are super shady and will definitely serve 10-20 in a Supermax one day. And we even have friends who should definitely never, ever be parents, or even trusted with watering a houseplant. And yet, we still find a way to love them.
So for this Mother’s Day, let your mom step down off her pedestal of perfection for one day and just let her be a friend.
Sheri Flanders is a comedian and writer who teaches at The Second City and is a theater reviewer for Chicagolandmusicaltheater.com and Performink. You can find information on upcoming shows on her comedy duo Facebook page FLANDERS @Flanderprov
POC (PEOPLE OF COMEDY)
A listing of Black and Brown comedy shows in the Chicagoland area
Yo Mama is So Amazing: A Mother’s Day Show, Sunday, May 13 at 8:00 pm at the Annoyance Theater and Bar
SHADE: An Actually Diverse Comedy Show presents Yo’ Mama at Stage773 on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13th at 2:30 and 7:30.
Strip Joker: Mom Bod Saturday, May 12th @ 9:30 at the Uptown Underground
BAPS: A Comedy Variety Showcase – Fine Wine & Almost On Time, Sunday, May 20th at 7:30 pm at the Steppenwolf Theater
Becca Tham’s one-woman/one-wookie show CHEWBECCA Thursday May 3rd – May 31st at the Crowd Theatre
Alexes Elizabeth Stand-Up w/ The Kates at the Book Cellar, June 8th at 7 pm
Chi-Brown hosts Storytelling and Salad to benefit the Ronald Mc Donald Charities Saturday May 5th, 3pm -5pm. To RSVP email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dynasty Improv Mondays @ 8pm at iO’s Mission Theater
Matt Damon Improv every Sunday 9:30pm at the Annoyance Theater
Fractured Fairy Tales Sketch Show, Fridays May 4th – May 25th at 8:30 at the Blackout Cabaret theater at the Second City
Silly Point Sundays. The Playground Theater at 9:15 PM on Sundays. $5, BYOB
Ratas de dos Patas Tuesdays at 8PM in the Small Theater at The Annoyance Theater
Encircle Variety Show 5/28 8pm at the Playground Theater
Middle School Dance, through May 17th every Thursday at 10pm at Under the Gun Theater
Check out the brand new Chicago’s Diverse Comedy Shows Facebook page! for ongoing comedy listings