Happy Mother’s Day
“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.”
Trisha’s mom opened the package (a new set of embroidered tea towels).
“Well, these are lovely…and I needed some new towels. The only problem is, these are so pretty I might be afraid to use them! Thank you, dear. Very thoughtful of you.” She folded the towels, gently placed them back in the box, took the box off her lap, and set it next to her on the sofa. She picked up her tea cup off the end table and took a sip.
Trisha picked up her tea as well. Now the awkward silence would begin. Awkward because Trisha’s gift to her mom was lame and she and her mom both knew it. Awkward because, when it came to Mother’s Day gifts, Trisha had stopped trying, and she and her mom both knew it.
But what was she supposed to do? For years, she’d gone out of her way to give Mom elaborate, expensive gifts: vacations, furniture, lavish meals. But none of them measured up; in a weird way, the harder she tried, the worse the gift seemed to flop.
So she’d given up and resigned herself to the fact that she’d never top her brother. For the rest of their lives, he’d be the one who had painted the portrait of Mom, making her world-famous and an indelible part of art history and popular culture. And she’d be Trisha Whistler, the woman who bought her mom embroidered tea towels.