Every ten days or so I ask Dave the same question I posed last evening:
“Have you spoken to your parents lately?”
His responses vary from “Yes, I talked to them yesterday and didn’t bother to tell you” to “I should probably call them, huh?”
When it’s the latter, I will give him a look that conveys, “Ya think???” But the truth is – he doesn’t think – about calling. And it’s not because he has a poor relationship with his parents. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The reason parental communication is not high on his priority list is because… he is the son.
Warning: Gross generalizations to follow.
I have observed that in reasonably functional families, grown men do not keep in touch with their parents at the same rate that grown women do. I speak to my mother several times each week, which I assume represents a greater frequency than she speaks to my brother. I see similar patterns with my adult friends. The daughters call; the sons do not. Is this because women are more communicative? Or is the fear of being a “mama’s boy” so great that men subconsciously pull away? One thing is clear – none of this bodes well for the future of mothers of brothers, a.k.a. – me.
My fear goes well beyond whether Noah and Chase will pick up the phone and ask about my well being after they leave the nest. I will track them down and chat them up wherever they are; I basically do that now. But sons also tend to be less prone to serious care giving. Case in point: My grandmother, like me, had two sons who were very good to her. My father and uncle were extremely accessible after my grandfather died. But it was my sister and I who took her shopping for underwear when she was 80.
Recently, a friend shared with me that her young daughter happily helps her pluck gray hairs from her head, a task I don’t think I could pay my boys enough to do. As I struggle with my own tweezers, gray hairs and deteriorating eyesight I can’t help but wonder who is going to buy me underwear when I’m 80?
I watch Moms with daughters and 99 percent of the time I remain at peace that I don’t have one. I don’t need drama but I do need underwear. I worry about the underwear. I will inevitably get old and decrepit – or at least old and unfit to drive a car. The way I see it my choices are to:
A) hope for a great daughter-in-law
B) adopt a grown daughter when I’m about 75
C) stock up on the granny panties now
The first option is risky; the second, perhaps illegal. And I do have some extra closet space….
Problem solved. Who needs mama’s boys? Macy’s, here I come.