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Friday, May 6, 2011

Eddie Bauer Presents: Mother's Day!

Well it won't be long, now, before the roses, the slightly over-cooked/underdone/mostly spilled breakfasts in bed, the perfumes perfectly packaged (along with the free-gift-with-purchase tote bag), and the over-crowded brunches staffed by energetic young waiters and waitresses just praying for the day to end. That's right, it's Mother's Day 2011, but you didn't need me to tell you. The explosion of pastels in the greeting card section of the supermarket heralded the arrival of this most curious of holidays. Mother's Day conjures up images of Dear Old Mom in her rocker on the front porch of a Thomas Kinkade Victorian farmhouse, just waiting for her adoring kiddos and grandkiddos to come calling with flowers and boxes of chocolates.

If the world of marketing is to be believed, motherhood means white cotton eyelet sundresses, rivers of pink and green and marigold, brightly colored hats that would make a royal wedding attendee blush with embarrassment, and the ripples of laughter from golden-haired children locking hands with their cover-girl mom and dancing around barefoot in a circle in a thick carpet of green grass. If this is motherhood then sign me up!!

At my house, the sales catalogs started stacking up a few weeks ago and their images of motherhood are interesting, to say the least. In the upscale Garnet Hill, mom and daughter appear on a white, seamless backdrop attired in casual opulence - a knit dress just under $200 for mom, and on the daughter a pair of shoes that will cost you a bit more than something you'd find at Payless.

Eddie Bauer, though, prefers to tuck the kids out of camera shot, opting to locate mom on the Serengeti, as if she'd been whisked away on safari! At other times, she's on her sailboat or carrying her surfboard. Catalog mom is quite the adventurer! Now I know, and I'm sure Eddie Bauer knows, that if you're going to sell a pair of khakis to a mother of two, it's probably best to amp up the coolness factor. I also know that this cool mom does exist - I'm sure, for instance, that when serial mom Angelina Jolie takes a jog on the beach with her little ones that she does so appropriately attired, and in slow motion.

But, seriously, sometimes I wish there was a little more truth in advertising. So show me those cute capri pants, but show them with the paint stains from a freewheeling finger painting session with my 3-year-old. You want me to buy my sister a button-down tunic? Well could you show it to me in a color that camouflages the crusty red tomato sauce that ends up there after she pulls her toddler out of the pizza parlour high chair?? And while I know those adorable high heeled wedges would look ever so smart, will I be able to run in them while clutching a vomiting 5-year-old to the department store bathroom??

Look, I don't expect miracles, and after Sunday, the pastel parade of motherhood will end, and then it's on to charcoal grills, lawnmowers, and tool belts because, you guessed it, it'll be time for Father's Day! I'm just saying:)

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