Just Call Me ‘Wendy’ for One Day…

I love the TV sitcom, “The Middle.”  I barely need two hands to count the number of shows I watch regularly on TV, but since it debuted last fall, that one has consistently reflected my life as it is now.  It’s about a working-class family, the Hecks, in the Midwest – mom, dad, and three kids (two teens and a 7-year-old).  It’s not a typical Hollywood sitcom – nobody wears designer clothing, financial stability is somewhat shaky at times, and the parents aren’t “perfect.”  At the end of every show, I check around my house to see where they have hidden the video camera that’s capturing the essence of our daily existence.

The Heck Family...

Last night’s episode was centered around Mother’s Day.  The mom, Frankie, is awakened at 6:30 a.m. by the kids fighting about her special breakfast…she rolls her eyes, but pretends to be asleep when they arrive with the tray, which ends up getting spilled down her front by her teenage son, Axl, flopping down on the bed to catch some more precious Z’s.  She chokes down the dry toast, burnt waffles, and runny eggs (daughter, Sue, asks anxiously if she likes her breakfast, and is assured that, of course, she does!).  The youngest, Brick, has made her a macaroni picture frame – the glue is still wet.  Frankie waxes poetic about how “spoiled” she is.  The dad, Mike, pokes his head in from the bathroom, and reminds Frankie that it’s “her day.”  She asks him to bring the stain remover…he can’t find it…”Are you moving things around?” she asks.  Mike is unsuccessful – Frankie announces that she’ll open “the rest of her presents” after her shower.  Predictably, there are no more presents – Dad rounds up the kids and they make a whirlwind run to the drugstore.

This was not Frankie's breakfast...

The family comes back, and tosses the bag to Frankie (a roll of wrapping paper sticks out the top).  “An inflatable foot bath.  Wow, that will come in handy!” says Frankie, as she pulls it out of the bag.  Her mom calls, and explains that her sciatica is acting up, and that she won’t be able to go out for lunch with them.  Not wanting her mom to be alone on Mother’s Day, Frankie decides to surprise her…Sue comes along for the ride.  Arriving at Frankie’s mom’s house, they can see her through the screen door – she’s got a highlighting cap on, and she’s drinking wine while dancing around the living room to music from the 70’s.  Frankie hands her a wrapped gift, which turns out to be a food dehydrator.   Her mom opens it, and takes it to the kitchen “to find a place for it.”

Don't buy this for your mom unless she asks for it...

When confronted about why she lied about her back, Frankie’s mom declares that “Sometimes I just want to do my damn hair, drink a glass of wine, and listen to my Barry!”  Frankie takes that badly: “You mean you don’t want to be with your daughter on Mother’s Day?”  “That’s not it at all!” replies her mom.  Frankie’s mom admits to not liking her present: “Why would I spend $4 on grapes to get 99 cent raisins?  Frankie responds with, “What about me makes them think I’d want to blow something up and stick my feet in it?”  All three of them end up crying…

Every Mother's Dream...NOT!

The kids have made me lots of Mother’s Day breakfasts, which were probably better than what Frankie got…I appreciate the effort they go to when they do make them!  I’m not keen on somebody spending a lot of money on me – I really don’t have much use for macaroni picture frames, though.  It would be nice if they would clear a path through their bedrooms, or empty the dishwasher once in a while.  It would be amazing if I could go to the cupboard or the fridge and find the snack that I had my eye on was not devoured before I got there!  There are a lot of days that I want to do just what Frankie’s mom did…pour a glass of wine, crank up the tunes, and dance without the kids making fun of me!  I’d like just one day where everyone calls me “Wendy” instead of whining, “Mooom…”

An album I listen to on those rare occasions that I have the house to myself...

Maybe the day after Mother’s Day…


Filed under family, self-discovery

5 responses to “Just Call Me ‘Wendy’ for One Day…

  1. Mother’s Day hasn’t been a great day for me either for the same reasons. In my former life (former husband and little kids) I HAD to show appreciation for the obligatory Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, etc., when I just wanted to sleep. One day, when that husband went back to work after the “festivities,” and the kids went to play with friends, all I wanted to do was go outside with a book and sunbathe. There, in the sink, were all the dirty breakfast dishes, pots, and pans. That day I resigned as mother. (And especially as wife!).

    Now, unhindered by obligations, I just love sitting back and thinking about my children and grandchildren. If they call, wonderful! If not, I call them. I WON’T lay the “obligatory” trip on them. I hope they won’t on me!


    • I encountered the same breakfast scenario as you did…we didn’t have a dishwasher in those days…

      “unhindered by obligations”…what a wonderful concept! Let’s see…Hope is almost 12…it will be at least 6 years before that happens for me…I can dream, can’t I?

      Glad you enjoyed it!


  2. BTW, fun post, Wendy!

  3. planejaner

    great post, Wendy–I have heard great things about that show, but haven’t seen it…
    We have never done anything for Mother’s day…my husband has had to work on this day for the last 6 years. I have such mixed feelings about it…do I want a big deal made of it? do i just want to be left alone? My poor family…they’re screwed no matter what, since I am wishy-washy and not too clear, myself, with my needs.
    (I sigh.)

    • Jane – as the mother of a teenager, you owe it to yourself to watch The Middle at least once…here’s a link to the synopses for this season…my personal favourite was #14, where Frankie vows to give up yelling.

      I can relate to your husband having to work on significant holidays…I was a radio wife for fifteen years…I can count on one hand the number of New Year’s Eves I’ve actually spent out…

      Personally, I think every day should be Mother’s Day!


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