Monday, April 25, 2016

A Mother's Day reality ignored

There's just one so-called killer app. It's email. It's pervasive, cheap, and often relentless.

And, in late April and early May, it becomes utterly tone deaf. 

I began receiving email* promotions from marketers for Mother's Day deals a few weeks ago. They've steadily increased in frequency. And in stupidity, as in: "Mom really wants a digital SLR outfit." (Words never uttered in any household in my family. Ever.)

(Note: this isn't about the new Garry Marshall ensemble comedy, Mother's Day. I'm talking the real Mother's Day, May 8. Which is right around the corner. So get cracking.)

By Frank Mayne from London, UK
(Clara's Card) [CC BY-SA 2.0
via Wikimedia Commons
While there are women for whom I'd buy Mother's Day cards, gifts or flowers, my mother is not among them. She died in 2013. (The woman in the stock photo is not her.)

And every email pitch with "Mother's Day" in the subject line is a jagged-knife reminder of her absence. I'm likely overly sensitive to this, but I've severed ties with online retailers whose relentless, thrice-daily emails reminded me "It's not too late to buy a gift for Mom."

Yes, it is, FTD.

I refuse FTD's emails. Their thoughtless, attack-style approach to email marketing lost them a customer. Perhaps many customers. And nothing will lure me back. 

You may have another point of view. And, that's fine. You may even find promo emails from online marketers for Mother's Day beneficial. I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate the occasion with warm hugs, construction-paper greeting cards, and laughter.

Many of us cannot. And, a ceaseless barrage of Mother's Day promo emails from online marketers is an admission that they have no sensitivity in building relationships with customers.

*The Associated Press' rule is that "email" requires no hyphen.


  1. There is another representative portion of the population that has permanently *blocked* these hauranging retailers, David. People who were raised by mentally ill, violent, abusive, addicted parents. Each Holiday forces us to reexperience the sadness, Trauma, and adjustment we have had to process over the years to reconcile the parents we had, versus the parents society needs to believe we had. It forces us to remember what outliers we have been our whole lives, as we see the idealized version of parent-child relationships, and the homes of childhood friends that seemed so foreign, so strange, so very uncomfortable. It forces us to continue struggling to hide the filthy secrets that our parents made us keep. That societal pressure has forced us to keep,as they ram, "No matter what, she's your mother, and you must be grateful, and you must love her, and you must HONOR her." All holidays are difficult, but my birthday and Mothers Day are particularly painful, and the onslaught of demanding and bullying advertising just increases the length of time I must push past my grief and function as a healthy adult.

    1. Thank you for your insights, Sheckyearl. I could understand why this holiday and others are painful for you. We dealt with a family member with manic-depressive behaviors, and chose to deal with them in our own way, despite the angst we all experienced. Good luck to you.