A thread, in which I shockingly stumbled upon people who're never alone. But always with their mothers. (Please take into consideration that I'm going to talk about extreme cases, not about men who have a healthy relatioship with their mothers.) Shocking! A newspaper article left me with a jaw dropping sensation. Statistics say that of all European countries, Slovenia's boys gain independence no later than at 31.5 years of age. The number is just average (!!!): in a poor family with many descendants, children are accustomed to quickly getting on their own feet, however the »only child« likes to hibernate attached to his mother's hip until he's 40 years old, or in some cases, when he's even older; of course btw. people who made those statistics obviously didn't even notice, that the combination of the word "children" and the numbers may be slightly ridiculous ~ 31.5 years old. 31.5 (!?!) 31.5, I am left shockingly speechless. In the wise words of DemiGod: »I don't even...« Funny thing, from time to time I'm a guest lecturer at one of the universities, so this odd idea struck me ~ when I went to the graduate office (for the lack of a better term at present) I asked if they ever had an instance where a mother would accompany her son to enter the doctoral program. »Of course,« they said. »The mother has also chosen his subjects and helped him to fill out all the necessary forms.« Shocking? Mais oui. In my time, parents escorted their offspring to the 1st grade of primary/elementary school and only on the 1st day, then a child gained an extent of independence with the privilege of walking to the school alone, or with fellow classmates. After the 1st day, you were on your own. My friend also mentioned that she worked on a survey of freshmen, who came to study in the city from other parts of the country, and not a single of those 19-somethings lasted longer than a week, before giving up, calling their mothers ~ who made it a point to drive for a few hours in order to help their sons out. And by help I mean from fiiling out different forms to things of dietary issues. Now, universities are already in every village, probably because of the reason that mothers don't have to drive so far. Not long after that, I spoke with experts on human resources and discussion has been obruptly detoured into areas, where human resources are making room for innovations and require the most guidance. They said: "Yeah, how to deal with mothers, who accompany their sons to be interviewed for a job." My jaw dropped yet again. Hm, how to imagine such a conversation? Employer: "We are looking for independent, responsible person who will..." Son: "Eee ..." Mama (jumps in): "He's precisely that! My son is exactly such!" I've started asking around a bit and found out, that a mother actually escorted her son to an aviation company, which, well, employes pilots. Imagine the hypothetical soon to be clip from the black box: Pilot: "Mom, the controller said airstrip C, not B!" Mom: "You'd believe a stranger over me, who cared for you for the past 40 years! That does it you ungrateful child! Airstrip C!" Pilot: "Okay, mom, right." (shouts and end of recording) In principle the same trend is on the rise throughout the Western world ~ more and more children can't be detached from their mothers, they in fact remain children, however this can't be applied in contrast comparison to daughters. Why? I'll try with a biological response. A female body has the milestones clearly built ~ first menstruation means adolescence, menopause age. Men have never had this, so societies have invented artificiall milestones: at the age of 13, a Spartan walked into battle and returned (if), as an adult. In African savannas he had to kill a lion, etc. From life-threatening tests, later on only traditions remained, such as Bar Mitzvah, holy sacraments, etc. Western civilization has abolished rituals as something cruel, archaic and unnecessary. And suddenly a man doesn't know when he grew up. He doesn't bleed in menstrual cycles and, therefore, he's able to act baby-like at 40. Keep in mind, that rituals weren't abolished that long ago. Only a few hundred years ago there was no phenomena of teens, adolescents, and similar intermediate stages, yet only a child and adult, between the borders of the ritual. The last ritual of adulthood, as I remember in this country, was serving in the army. Twelve months in the Yugoslav People's Army was a boring year in a corporation that celebrated stupidity and egalitarianism, but it was a ritual, which ment crossing the stage of childhood into adulthood. Then ~ following the example of Western countries ~ they've transformed a ritual into a simple job. From work one can go back to his mother, from the ritual he can't.