Mother’s Day is over so it’ll be another 365 days until anyone remembers they have a mother again. Hallmark employees today begin the plunge into their 12-month cocoon of creativity to come up with the the best “Mom you put up with me AND my overflowing closet full of junk that I refused to clean up in childhood and therefore you are the best mother deserving of this mass-produced card” puns.
So here’s what I was thinking: the day after Valentine’s Day is already International That’s What She Said Day. Why don’t we make the day after Mother’s Day into International Your Mom Day?
YM Day can be a day to offset the Hallmark-regulated maternal appreciation of Mother’s Day. It can be, in short, a day to appreciate other people’s moms by constantly referencing them. Not your mother. Your real mother is a very nice woman who did a fine job of raising you and once made me an egg salad sandwich from scratch after I helped her carry a large piece of furniture up two flights of stairs. Your mother is kind and has a bathroom that smells like vanilla candles and holds small soaps shaped like sea shells.
But your mom? Your mom is so fat when I cut her gravy came out. Your mom is so fat I had to roll her in flour and … well, you get the point.
Much like “that’s what she said” is a broadly applied rejoinder to any comment of even the slightest bit of sexual innuendo, with the most successful and attention-grabbing TWSS infixations often attached the most nonsensical or otherwise non sequitur phrasings (recent e.g. from the apartment: Nathan: Did I ever tell you about my mother’s special raspberry bush? Brittany: TWSS!)
Similarly, the phrase “your mom” is a near universal replication to any comment/conversation, but one that indicates a particular air of boredness and disinterest in the subject matter at hand. The issuer of the “your mom” retort is demonstrating, by lack of effort on their part to think of a wittier riposte or even to attempt to continue the back and forth exchange that had begun, a certain ennui in the subject matter and aversion to investing more personal time in its development or linguistic trafficking. They’re dismissing your pontificating in a glib way, but with finality.
1) Q: Hey Tim, I just downloaded the new Eminem album. It’s really got some hot beats and I think you should listen to it.
Me: Your mom’s got hot beats
2) Q: Did you hear what condiment President Obama put on his hamburger?
A: Your mom’s a condiment.
3) Q: Why are you a vegetarian? Don’t you think the food chain was created for a reason? I think you should eat more meat for health reasons. Otherwise an overpopulation of cows will tax the nation’s agriculture.
A: (Yawn) Your mom should eat more meat.
We love TWSS because it’s the anti-joke. It’s the Dadaism of humor. It undermines the very concept of the “joke” even if it does get laughs. It’s the easiest and most-boilerplate humor available to the broadest possible audience, one that as much lampoons the idea of the chauvinistic jock-joke attitude fed by the need for ubiquitous sexual references, as much as it embraces its ability to turn the ordinary into the absurd(inary). Michael Scott became the face of TWSS jokes for his character’s overuse of the pun as part of his efforts to be liked and be seen as a witty trend-setter.
YM jokes feed off the need to always disparage a coworker, friend or colleague into a lesser status of respect among other coworkers, friends or colleagues. It’s still the anti-joke. It’s the anti-diss. I’m dissing you to the extent that I don’t even care to diss you in a serious way. Your mom disses me in a serious way.
Some Urban Dictionary definitions of Your Mom (all spellings sic):
You would know this if you went to college. After all, your mom goes to college.
UPDATE: be careful as to who you issue a YM joke to, however. While Joke Mom should always be considered different from Actual Mom, there is a particularly heinous and unpleasant wave of feeling that swoops in in the split second after issuing a YM statement to someone when you realize that person may be senstive to mom-based statements due to personal tragedy or whathaveyou. When celebrating YM Day, just watch where you stick it. (TWSS)