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.

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