marketing and mothers day

May 10th, 2008

Marketing and Mother’s Day

Last night I decided I wanted a cake for Mother’s Day. I actually spent a portion of the night dreaming about Mother’s Day cakes. Why? I’d never had a cake on Mother’s Day before, or even thought of having one. Growing up, we’d never given my mother cakes on Mother’s Day, just cards and gifts, usually once we were old enough, made by ourselves. In fact, last I checked my mother still has one of my handmade “Happy Mother’s Day” posters on the wall of her bedroom. Is Mother’s Day actually a cake-type holiday and I’ve been missing out all this time?  Somehow, at least for me, I don’t think so.  Yet still, I dreamed about a cake.

So why did I decide I wanted a cake? Because I watched a commercial last night for Dairy Queen, which featured a new mommy in labor clutching a Happy Mother’s Day ice cream cake. And the cake looked yummy, and I was hungry, and somehow it invaded my subconscious and later I started thinking about how nice a Mother’s Day cake would be. Especially an ice cream cake. Never mind that my spouse is on a meal-plan-driven diet and would only eat a tiny bit, and we don’t give our kids all that many sweets so maybe they’d eat half a piece between the two of them. So I’d have about 7/8th of a cake to eat myself. *That’d* be a good idea.

As maybe you can tell, I woke up this morning released from the spell of Mother’s Day cakes and realize that for me at least, it is a silly idea.

How many of our desires for things are actually internal to our own desires versus set up for us to want by marketing strategies? How many mothers this weekend will be receiving jewelry they don’t need and didn’t want until they were convinced they did by a commercial? How do we separate these messages in our head and figure out what it is we really want? When my now-spouse was going to propose to me, I thought I wanted a large diamond engagement ring. And indeed, I have one. That I never wear, because for my lifestyle it isn’t practical. I probably could have come up with something that would suit my life better than a big diamond, but I was sucked into the “2 months salary” and the “A Diamond is Forever” hype. Not that I don’t love my ring, but I now know it is an extravagance that we could have easily done without.

So when my spouse asked me what I’d like for Mother’s Day, I chose not to answer. I told him that he knows me, knows my interests, and knows what I like to spend my time doing. And I was sure he could make an appropriate decision on his own without any input from me. And besides, I didn’t mention this part, but in my current state of mind I might ask for something silly I don’t want or need like an ice cream cake.

In the back of my mind though, I’ve been trying to telepathically send signals to him that he’d like to further my scrapbook supplies collection… I even saw some pretty red paper in Walmart last week.  My readers might think posting it on my blog is less than telepathic, but he’s been busy at work this week and said he hasn’t read my blog in days.  I think my secret’s safe for now.  We’ll see what does arrive tomorrow “from” my daughter.  :)   (My son made a present for me at school already.)  Maybe he’ll take both kids out and give me some time to myself.  That would be a Mother’s day miracle, indeed.

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7 Responses to “Marketing and Mother’s Day”

  1. Finally! Someone who wouldn’t look at me in horror if I said a diamond engagement ring can be a waste of money. Now some women love jewelry and would love to have a diamond engagement ring, but for someone who never wears jewelry in the first place? I think it’s just been beaten into our heads that this is something that is expected. Not needed, sometimes not wanted, but definitely expected because it has become a social norm (at least in North America.) I want my partner and I to have wedding bands, because the symbolism of the two rings would mean more to me than the ring itself.

  2. Overcoming Overspending Says:

    May 10th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    In terms of gift giving from a spouse or significant other….this can be a painful area. On one hand, no one is a mind reader and I have read many, many relationship guides saying that if there is something you really want from your man you must let him know. For example, if you really want the heart shaped locket, you must tell him. But please, how UN-ROMANTIC is that?? On the other hand, it would be nice if the guy knew you and your tastes, interests, etc. well enough to choose something on his own. I was SO dissapointed on my first Mother’s Day when my (then) husband said to me; “I uh…..didn’t get you anything”- I WAS CRUSHED. Not my husband anymore! At any rate, Happy Mother’s Day to you and hey, if ya want one, go ahead and get yourself that ice cream cake (at least a small one!)- why not????? ENJOY.

  3. Every year for Mother’s Day, I ask for my flowers to be planted and my husband and sons get the yard looking nice. It’s what I really want (I hate gardening) and it’s money we’d spend anyway and they’d be doing the yardwork anyway, so this way I get to tell them exactly what I want and they have to do it because it’s Mother’s Day!

  4. When my husband and I were beginning to talk about getting married. I made a point to tell him I did not need and engagement ring (I am not a jewelry person). We decided together to use the money that may have been used on an engagement ring as a down payment on our first condo. This was 10 years ago – when the market was going up. We sold that one bedroom condo for a nice profit and bought a 2 bedroom condo. Two years later sold that condo for a really nice profit and used that money to buy our house. It was one of our first “good” financial decisions, a great investment that has given our family the home we wanted and we are living “like no one else”.

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