Today is Mother’s Day in Argentina. Not unlike in the US, it is a day marked by beautiful cards made by your children at school (and at gun point) and a family meal later in the day, usually at a restaurant. To a lesser extent here, it can mean flowers and breakfast in bed, always a standard in this North American household.
Not this But this
However, where the tradtions become disparate is on the lingerie front. In the States, lingerie can be a St Valentines, Birthday or Christmas gift given from a husband or boyfriend to his gal. Apparently, in Argentina there is no pretense that the kids are buying or selecting the gifts for their mom and the husband’s buy for themselves. There is no question that in Argentina much of a woman’s power in society and within the family unit is derived from her physical appearance and sexual attitude, and underwear is symbolically and economically(could be highest lingerie shop per capita in the world) important. Despite all this and the fact I do not consider myself burdened with the typical american purtanical sexual hang ups, I do find it a bit odd that there are woman all around this country receiving lingere from their kids, sometimes toddlers, sometimes teenagers (yeck!). And no, these items are not house coats..these are skimpy, wispy, suggestions of functional underwear.
In case you were wondering, I received breakast in bed (container of yogurt and a cup of coffee), some gorgeous lilies, an assortment of handmade cards and crafts from two of my 4 children. I was able to read the ridiculously bad English language newspaper cover to cover and am now just waiting to be told when I need to get out of bed and go to the kitchen and begin to make accompaniments for our family asado. I think the asador (G.M.) is cooking up lamb ribs. Its a beautiful spring day here in Buenos Aires.