Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day, Nerdery-style

It's Mother's Day today, a day to honor that special lady who gave birth to you, nurtured you as a youngster, and then nagged you until the day you escaped moved out on your own. Mother's Day in the United States dates back to 1908 and the specific efforts of Anna Jarvis to get the day recognized as a national holiday a few years after her own mother's death. Her work bore fruit in 1914 as the USA recognized the day nationally, but by the 1920's she began campaigning against the commercialization of the holiday--which is a real peach of a thing of her to assert since she had trademarked the term "Mother's Day" and "second Sunday in May" two years before it was even a US holiday. Chief amongst her complaints about Mother's Day observers: printed cards and chocolates. Yeah.

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment. -Anna Jarvis [from Wikipedia]

Ouch. Feel that burn. So grab a card and try to write something heartfelt in it to try to convince her you didn't phone it in this year, or you can share something meaningful to you both by sitting down and watching a couple of good, long movies together. Maybe you can share a box of chocolates, too, since you were probably lame and got her something like that anyway, right? Plus, the movie marathon has the double bonus of keeping her occupied quietly while giving her plenty of time to reminisce over when you were cute and precious. Granted, there are a lot of chick-flicks you can probably select that fit your mother's particular tastes, but here are three classic movies that are sure to make your maternal unit feel appreciated and give you both some mutual quality time before you flee back to your own place before the baby stories get their annual rehearsal. Spoilers ahead, but if you don't already know these movies you deserve it.

The first film is about a young waitress stuck working in a crummy diner and living a shallow, day-to-day existence. Living with a free-spirited roomate and her overly expressive hunk boyfriend, the main protagonist is stuck in a world where she lives on the meager thrills of her friend who has it all. Until she meets a brooding, intense man with urgent passions and a destiny to fulfill her. The two fall in love and awaken new emotions in both their lives, only to have another man from their past take away everything they have in a night of violence and loss. The waitress survives, but her love is lost, leaving her with a new sense of life's preciousness as she moves to a new life with a baby to remember him by.

The second film is about a single mom and her estranged son. The mother is the victim of a miscarriage of justice and has had to watch her son grow up from afar. Despite having been separated by social services for years, the mother's love is stronger than ever when the son's long-lost uncle comes into the picture and helps re-unite mother and son. Chased by the police and one overzealous officer with a steely determination, the battered family is forced to live on the road and deal with their past demons. The mother realizes that it's never too late to hug her son and tell him just how much he means to her, and the son learns that it's okay to cry. A real heart-warmer.

The third movie on the Nerdery's Mother's Day list is about the legacy of one mother on her son's life as he moves into adulthood and full maturity. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, this mom fights the prognosis for years to ensure that her son is provided for and equipped for the future. Even years later, the son marvels at his mother's fortitude and foresight, giving him a template for living his life. One of the film's most emotional scenes comes at the site of the mother's coffin, where he has to confront the contrary forces of being his own man and honoring his mother's plans for him. It's a moving drama of revelation and emotional breakthroughs as the son learns that some women are just two-faced hussies out there to hurt you. Eventually, he comes to appreciate that mother always knows best, and her preparations help him to meet the woman of his dreams--who just so happens to be just like his mother.

Sounds like a wretched afternoon of Lifetime original movies, doesn't it? Don't worry, these movies also happen to be 100% Nerdery-approved sci-fi classics. They're Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Terminator 3, respectively. Huge, mega-emotional chick-flicks in which women have the corner on all the plot's power with just enough sci-fi budget injected into them to pose as action movies. So cuddle up with moms and watch the first three Terminator movies today. She might complain about the violence and liberal gun-toting, but you'll know that when she gets quiet during Kyle and Sarah's deep connection or Sarah's love for John that she appreciates the truth--Terminator is Mother's Day gold. Plus, I bet she won't be complaining during the time-jump scenes in the beginning of the first two movies.

Just sayin'.

Terminator 1, 2, and 3: total chick-flicks

*Oh, and yeah, Terminator 3 closes the circle on John Connor being the most Oedipal hero since Oedipus himself. In the future, he selects his own father for a mission he knows for a fact to be a suicide mission, and he fosters the love between his parents with a picture he's had his entire life. Later, he doesn't really connect with his own bride-to-be until he identifies her strength as reminding him of his mother. Yeah, Oedipal analysis on Mother's Day... classy.

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