The beloved Barbara Bush - wife of one president and parent of another - is to Mother's Day what The Grinch is to Christmas. She hates the commercial hoopla surrounding the annual mid-May celebration, telling Newsweek "It's a big rip-off, you know that."
The same thing could be said about Christmas, or any other national holiday for that matter. In a consumer society like ours merchants, vendors and salespeople are always looking to use such events to boost profits. There's nothing wrong with that; it's the American way.
People ought to be able to show reverence and respect for a national event even as they celebrate it. Mother's Day isn't just about enriching florists, greeting-card companies, restaurants and telephone firms, as the former first lady seems to believe. Commerce is simply the most visible, but certainly not the only, vehicle to show moms just how much we appreciate and love them.
We bet most mothers are themselves enriched by the flowers, gifts, cards and phone calls they receive on their special day. After all, they're more used to giving unconditional love to others than they are in receiving it.
Regardless of how they might downplay it, mothers do enjoy being appreciated for their efforts from time to time. Heaven knows, they've earned it - and whether she likes it or not, that would include Barbara Bush.