Yes, I only realized today that I had completely missed Teacher’s Day, and was about to miss Woman’s Day. Ahh the wonderful sunny days of March when teachers finally show they know how to smile and women can tango with each-other without causing either biological or moral reactions.
March 7th is Teacher’s day in Albania. Originally, this was the day when the first Albanian Language school opened its doors. Theoretically, it is the day when all the teachers are recognised and thanked for their hard work and dedication to their students. Practically it is the day when teachers dare to show up without attendance books in hand (equivalent of running naked in the school hallways ) and collect some of the cheesiest, craziest and downright bizarre presents that childish and young minds can scrounge up. ( I should be the one to talk, my second teacher received a kilogram of prunes and hot pan handlers from me) But I remember my mom’s proud face with the sparkling green eyes (another unfair joke of the universe since I did not get them), and hands full of weeping porcelain children, angel plaques, oxidised chains and plastic pearls, and I kind of understand the deal. It is not enough to get me to become a teacher however.
March 8th is the International Woman’s Day. It used to be Mother’s Day in Albania, but we changed it when we came here, because there is another Mother’s Day already. And what kind of fool my mom would be to pass over another chance at receiving gifts? Traditionally women do not touch any house work during this day. daddy and the kiddies are supposed to have the floors swepts, beds made, furniture dusted, shopping done, and dinner cooked, and they buy a gift for mom. Mom smiles, and goes to a party that consist solely of other women like her, with short hair and polyester dresses, expensive shoes on their swollen feet and red lipstick that has gotten into all the lip crevices and sores. Nevertheless, the parties and hangouts are a lot of fun, and make mom miss her flat and her brood that much more. So she comes home and kisses everybody, not minding that the floor dirt has been swept under the rugs, the furniture has been dusted with a very, very light feather because she can still write her name on the shelf, the dinner has been burned, and her gift consists of new vacuum bags or a George Foreman grill.
Yes, today I forgot to wish my mother Happy Teacher’s and Happy Mother’s Day. But she still had my dinner warm at the stove and my kiss fresh from her heart.