by Maralee McKee
The Etiquette Answer
(I read this and asked Maralee if I could post it. She presents an interesting perspective and I like to share good people who are on-purpose. She is both! Kevin)
I once suffered a miscarriage shortly before Mother’s Day. When I
entered the sanctuary that Sunday, an usher carrying a basket of
carnations greeted me. “Happy Mother’s Day, pretty lady!” He innocently
beamed. “I know you must be a mom! Here’s a flower.” In a sudden daze I
accepted the flower from his hand and rushed to the bathroom crying. I
wish I had known then what I know now about what that flower
represented. It would have made the incident more bearable.
• Every woman 18 and older should accept a carnation if one is offered. The flower you take is in honor of your mother, not you. It doesn’t symbolize whether or not you’re a mom.
• If you have a strained, or even non-existent, relationship with your mom, you can still accept a flower out of respect for the role of mothers in society.
• Carnations are traditionally given because they were the favorite flower of Anna Reeves Jarvis, the mother of the women who campaigned for Mother’s Day to become a national holiday.
• You take a white carnation if your mother is deceased and a pink carnation if she is living.
• Many churches, for the sake of simplicity, offer just one color of carnation.
•If you find yourself the lucky recipient of a corsage (It’s sad that they’re pretty much a thing of the past!), it’s correctly worn on your left side—the side of your heart! Wear a corsage high on your shoulder with the flower pointing up and the stem pointing down.
• Mother’s Day corsages (unlike prom flowers) don’t need to match or coordinate with your outfit. Regardless of the look (just like all those macaroni necklaces!), wear them with abandon, pride, and love!
To subscribe to Maralee’s Monday Morning Manners emails, go to her web site: www.EtiquetteAnswer.com.
© 2008, Maralee McKee, used with permission.