‘Woman School’ really does exist


If there were a way I could grant a Christmas gift to each and every Farm and Dairy reader this holiday season, it would be a copy of Roger Welsch’s book on relationships. Welsch has been called the “Erma Bombeck of Nebraska,” and rightfully so.
He can spin a tale of woe in such a way that not only does a reader laugh out loud, but you can practically feel him laughing right along with you! My favorite story in his book titled Everything I Know About Women I Learned From My Tractor, is the story of the doilies.
“I am not the sort of researcher who unloads a wagonload of guesswork and moves on. Nope, I have plenty of evidence. For example, not long ago I was looking for something in our clothes closet when I discovered a shoebox with three lace doilies and $3,008 in cash in it. Curious, I took the box downstairs, showed it to Linda, and asked if she knew anything about it.”
Welsch’s wife admitted that yes, it was hers. She told her husband that on their wedding day, her mother had taken her aside, advising her that there might be days she would get fed up with her husband, “sick and tired of my maleness,” he writes, and her motherly advice was, when things reached “the brink of murder or abandonment,” Linda should do as her mother had done in her own marriage: “tat a doily.”
This focus of the doily work would remove the frustration and anger.
“Linda confessed that she had, therefore, followed the same course, making a doily when she was completely sick and tired of me. Three doilies in 20 years. Not bad, but what about the $3,008? Where did it come from?” the author asked his wife.
“From selling doilies,” she said.
Welsch is convinced that women attend some sort of secretive “Woman School” from a very young age.
“I was sure that Woman School existed, that place all women go to learn how to be a woman. Women are not born alike, yet ten years or so later, they all are alike. So, where do they learn all of these techniques, tricks, guises, ploys, gambits, and guile we men learn to know and fear? Woman School, that’s where!” he writes.
Without tipping my hand too much, I am willing to acknowledge having learned a thing or two about how to play my cards just right. I was blessed with three older sisters who had excelled in all of the introductory courses, and I have often believed that without them, I might not have made it all the way to the master’s program of Woman School.
Among the things I learned by the time I was about 10:

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.