When Nancy Friday's "My Mother, Myself" came out in the '70s, I was more than halfway through it when I realized I had been reading it strictly as a daughter, not as a mother.
I have yet to reread it from the other perspective, but I'm positive that my mother never read it from any perspective.
I think of that every year when I realize how ambivalent I am about Mother's Day. Not ambivalent about my mother, or about my role as a mother, but about "legislated" honors.
I'm sure I'm as guilty as the next person about getting so caught up in my own life that I neglect to tell the people who love me that they do truly matter, and Mother's Day, or Father's Day, gives us a nudge in the right direction. But I wondered, as a child, whether my mother could possibly believe the annual springtime declaration, and why it was so important to her, when it wasn't spontaneous.
I have no more answers now -- having been a mother for 30 years -- than I did then. But I know I'm lucky that my daughter is much better than I was at thinking to say those special words in August and February, as well as on Mother's Day. And spontaneous or not, we do like to be told.
It's probably not happenstance that Mother's Day comes in the spring, when there are so many options for flowering presents.
There are two great opportunities to find Mom a lasting posy this week. The 1993 Plant Sale of the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County is going on at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre through Saturday. The Ladies of St. Mary's Church hold their annual May Flower Bazaar on Thursday in the gardens of the Charles Carroll House, 109 Duke of Gloucester St.
A feature of this year's May Flower Bazaar will be the sale of boxwood cuttings from the Carroll Gardens. Bedding plants, vegetable seedlings, and hanging baskets will also be on sale. Proceeds from the rain-or-shine bazaar will go toward the restoration of the Charles Carroll House.
The YWCA sale features herbs, annuals, vegetables, and ornamentals. Baskets, pots, and other garden items will be available, as will advice from experienced gardeners. The sale is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Proceeds help support YWCA programs.
There's absolutely nothing better for the soul than smiling, and Amanda "Mandy the Clown" Fernandez, a 1989 graduate of St. John's College, will do wonders for your soul Friday night.
Fernandez is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown School. With friends, she created "Circus Beyond," a community circus, where area performers work to develop and share their skills.
A band of acrobats, jugglers and gymnasts will entertain at Key Auditorium at St. John's College at a free 8:15 p.m. performance.
The show is on a human scale, without the glitter and glamour of big commercial enterprises.
Fernandez wants the audience to participate, as well as watch and be delighted. She invites everyone to bring three beanbags to the performance and learn to juggle.
It's tryout time for the Annapolis Opera and the Colonial Players, two of Annapolis' brightest community stars.
The opera has rescheduled its production of "The Student Prince" for Oct. 23 and 24. Auditions will be May 21 and 23 at Anne Arundel Community College. All singing roles are open to professional singers in the area.
Appointments for auditions must be made with music director Ava Shields before May 17. Call 554-1151 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. Singers should be prepared to sing two selections and provide a resume and photos.
An accompanist will be available at the auditions.
Colonial Players auditions are for Dylan Thomas' "Under Milkwood," which will open in late July. The cast consists of six men and four women, ranging in age from 20 to 60. Each actor will play several parts.
Auditions are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on May 23 and 7:30 p.m. on May 25, at the Colonial Players Annex, 2132 Fenard Court.
For more information, call director Frank Moorman at 280-5132.
Colonial Players' current production is "Prelude to a Kiss," running Friday through June 5. For ticket and schedule information, call 268-7373.
It sounds like an oxymoron, but you can play smoke-free Bingo.
Beginning tonight, Kneseth Israel will offer the pastime in a healthy environment every Monday night, with 7:15 action for early birds, and regular games beginning at 7:45.
Tonight, opening night festivities will feature free coffee, door prizes and gifts for the first 100 players.
For information, call David Earle at 269-5050. Kneseth Israel is at Spa Road and Hilltop Lane.
People who were not able to get tickets to the Annapolis Brass Quintet's last full concert at St. Anne's last weekend might make time to hear the group on Tuesday, at Anne Arundel Community College. The free performance is scheduled for 12:15 in the Humanities Lecture Hall.
This will be the ensemble's last appearance, and it will include a lecture and demonstration of new music for brass quintet.
Music by Allen Molineux, Robert Hall Lewis and David Snow will be performed. Audience questions are welcome.
The Annapolis SPCA will hold its second "Walk for the Animals" at Quiet Waters Park on May 16. Registration is encouraged today, tomorrow and May 10 and 11.