The humble Farmer

By Robert Karl Skoglund | Dec 26, 2012

You might have already heard this from a man and a woman who were touted on television as “experts in the field.” Did you know that when going out on dates today, the man still pays? You can imagine how this must enrage women whose sisters have fought for equality for generations.

A 15-year-old child knows more about dating than I do, so I have neither experience nor opinions on the science.

When I first became aware of girls, all the kids in the neighborhood, 10 or 15 of us, would walk a well-beaten path through the fields and woods down to Lew’s shore and go swimming. We’d go at a different time every day because the icy cold salt water was warmest after it had just come in over mudflats heated by the sun. In the winter we went skating on Jerry’s pond in the middle of the woods out back of father’s house.

I didn’t date in college. Even if I’d had money I wouldn’t have known how to do it. Although I was 8 or 10 years older than almost everyone else except the other veterans and teachers, I would be more than 40 years old before I discovered how delightful a mature woman of 19 or 20 could be.

While an undergraduate, besides being shy, awkward, and socially inept, every bit of the $10 a week I got for playing in a dance band at the Blue Goose went for room rent and food.

When I got married at the age of 29, it was to a girl whose father had anchored his yacht in Tenants Harbor. When she and her siblings rowed ashore to absorb local culture, I quickly got my Model T out of Lowell Brother’s garage where David and I had been working on it, and provided local culture.

A ride in my funny old Model T truck can’t really be called a date.

A few years later, after my wife left me to marry a better man, I lived alone in my shabby old farmhouse for 20 years. Not that I didn’t provide any service to the Knox County community during what should have been my most productive adult years, but I wouldn’t consider that dating, unless a man can date without leaving the comfort and privacy of his own home.

Then I met my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman. She presided over a coterie of widows and divorcees who had taken it upon themselves to provide meals for hungry single men in the cellar of a church in Camden.

After she’d thoroughly cleaned my house, we spent many happy evenings in my home stuffing envelopes addressed to meeting planners.

You might have discovered that a woman can get very excited about helping you with your work or hobby before you’re married. So yes, I missed out on this dating experience thing, but I realize now that all turned out for the best. You know, it isn’t until a man sees his friend’s grandchildren in jail, that he gives thanks he was once a socially inept, poor boy with bad breath.

Which reminds me that a bell curve can prove statistically that people come in three sizes: large, average and small. Because most of the women used in television commercials are no more than skin stretched on very small bones, the American woman has been conditioned to place herself in the large category.

You can’t look at a television commercial without realizing that someone is trying to make women dissatisfied with the way they look, smell or feel. This is why even the most sensible woman might be tempted to lose weight — to diet. Have you ever lived with a person who eats nothing but salad? After a week you beg her to wolf brownies or at least put enough chocolate sauce on her lettuce to make her sociable. A St. George man says that his wife dieted faithfully for three weeks without losing a pound. She got so cranky that he started avoiding her — he even fell asleep drinking his nightly hot chocolate in front of the TV and stayed on the couch all night. And night after night, his wife lost weight. It was two or three weeks before a doctor figured out why.

The television ads for weight loss had made his wife so sensitive to calories that she’d been gaining half a pound every night just by smelling the hot chocolate on his breath.

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