October 23, 2009

"This is not a good path for kids if the relationship isn’t going toward marriage."

"So I waited until a day when the farmer and I were holding hands, walking between rows of corn higher than our heads. And I told him that I can’t keep bringing the kids to the farm because we’re not getting married and I’m scared the kids will get hurt. The farmer didn’t say anything for five minutes. And then he said, 'Okay. Let’s get married.'"

60 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

Green Acres comes to mind. Typical Northshore suburban Chicago girl. Bleghhhh!

AllenS said...

It never ceased to amaze me, that when you bring a city girl out to the farm, they have no idea of how much work, and mostly sweaty, dirty, stinky work that is entailed. When it's hay time, it's hay time, and there'll be no time for going to the nearest shopping center to walk around holding hands.

Having said that, I'm reminded of a certain woman from the city, traveling to see a man from the country, who turned out not to be an axe murder, marrying him, and... and... making him go to the city with her. Farm life? Not so much.

traditionalguy said...

I hope this lonely Wisconsin farmer likes to listen to a lot of pushy and bold talk when he is not out standing in his field.

The Crack Emcee said...

"This is not a good path for kids if the relationship isn’t going toward marriage."

Shoulda thought of that before you got divorced, you ditz.

The Macho Response

rhhardin said...

Bringing in the wood..

Pogo said...

I was thinking along the same lines, Crack.

Didn't she already say "we’re not staying married, even though the kids will get hurt"?

Marriage seems to have become a Humpty Dumpty word, meaning whatever you choose it to mean, neither more nor less.

class-factotum said...

Is The Farmer the father of the baby she was going to abort?

RE: Growing up on a farm and how limiting that is. My mother and her six siblings grew up on a farm in N. WI. One is now a captain at Delta (OK, maybe not the best outcome), another is a doctor, another a teacher, another has her own business, etc, etc.

Farm kids do OK because anything is better and easier than getting up at 4:30 a.m. every day to milk cows or baling hay.

Laurie said...

Well, we could also tell her that this scenario seems to have worked out just fine for a certain "Pioneer Woman." It fascinates me to think of the millions of ways the internet has changed our lives/society/roles.

lucid said...

Very hard to believe she actually has Asperger's syndrome (too much nuanced understanding of nonverbals in interactions), and her assertion that she does seems like a warning flag.

John said...

I'm sure the Asperger's syndrome is self-diagnosed, as are most cases. This should be a deal-killer for Farmer Brown. Kind of like walking into a woman's apartment and smelling cat piss. Run.

AllenS said...

The more I find out about this woman, the more I'm convinced that the farmer shouldn't marry her. See if she'll move in and perform woman/wife duties.

AllenS said...

If this relationship doesn't work out for Penelope, would she be willing to drive up to Star Prairie on weekends?

TMink said...

Thanks Althouse, for the interesting link. The Asperger's Farmer's wife is fraught with possibilities. I think I will read a lot over there.

Trey

bearbee said...

Instead of just telling him it wouldn't work out and walking away, she was 'guilted' him, but then he allowed her to do so, so I guess it works out.

Salamandyr said...

I'm usually the first to jump all over someone for self-absorption, but really, I don't see any more than the normal amount here for someone willing to write about their life on-line.

She doesn't spell it out, but she was willing to sacrifice her happiness for her children, breaking it off with someone she cared about because she was unwilling to set them up for heartbreak later. The rest is just normal fear of change. She's comfortable with her current life, but willing to sacrifice it for the shot at something better. That's pretty brave, but she wouldn't be very smart if she wasn't cognizant of the tradeoffs, and wouldn't be human if she wasn't regretful of them.

jimbino said...

I'm sure glad there are men out there who sacrifice themselves in the public service of taking "commitment" women out of general circulation.

Dogwood said...

She doesn't spell it out, but she was willing to sacrifice her happiness for her children, breaking it off with someone she cared about because she was unwilling to set them up for heartbreak later.

See divorce above.

I hope the farmer has a pre-nup, I would hate to see him lose the farm if she decides to bail.

Bissage said...

(1) That farmer is one lucky guy. I used to date a chick with Asperger’s syndrome and she could do origami with her genitals. The “laughing monkeys” were always my favorite and I’d put them on display on the fireplace mantle so they’d dry out quicker.

(2) That said, I fear for the three blind mice. They really ought to stay clear of the farmer’s wife.

michaele said...

I followed the link to her post about their first meeting and will go back to read the rest of her saga. Frankly, her story has a poignancy and vulnerability that touched me. I wish them the best. I live out in a somewhat rural situation on 54 acres which my husband and I chose 15 years ago for early "retirement". I love the once or twice a week jaunts to town because they seem special even if just for grocery shopping at Walmart. I landscape garden like crazy and find great pleasure and satisfaction in spending a day getting dirty and not caring.

Henry said...

This is a beautiful essay. Thanks for linking to it.

Trunk is completely right that kids loves farms, but the passage that stands out for me is the way she puts her finger on the problems with overachievement as a lifestyle:

I belong on a farm, where life is slow, and rhythmic, and people are not breathing down my throat about getting the best of everything.

The farmer and I discuss this a lot. He went to graduate school for biology and hated it and went back to the farm. He thinks he could have done anything, so why won’t my kids be able to choose anything?

I am not sure. I am not sure if it’s my proximity to overachievers that gave me opportunities, or it’s my innate optimism and intelligence.


I live among the overachievers now and find them mystifying. Trunk thinks in terms of "opportunities." The farmer thinks in terms of personal direction. Trunk isn't wrong, but I'm with the farmer.

former law student said...

What lessons has she learned from her first marriage that will prevent failure of this one? This one will be harder because

1. Not the farmer's kids
2. The blogger and her kids will have to fit into the farmer's household, which includes his parents
3. Who will provide the household management and childcare that the blogger hires out now so that she can pursue her career? The farmer? his parents? Why?

former law student said...

Shoulda thought of that before you got divorced, you ditz.

The husband decided his situation was no longer tenable. Was he a passive victim of his wife up till then?

Fred4Pres said...

Congratulations. It is a better path for the kids. Not that marriage per say is magic dust, but making a formal commitment matters.

Farm life is good for children. But it is hardly just serene. It is mostly hard work. But hard work never killed anyone.

former law student said...

Farm life is good for children. But it is hardly just serene. It is mostly hard work. But hard work never killed anyone.

But farm life can kill children. From http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/youthdevelopment/DA6068.html


...Five or six times a year, a child like Ashley is killed in Minnesota while playing or working on the family farm. No one even knows how many farm children like Derek or Jason* are hurt or maimed each year. These farm "accidents" happen so often that it's difficult to keep track of them.

Allison said...

Have you read Trunk? She's a sociopath, it seems. ENTJ, no doubt. Her issues stem from her inability to have empathy. Framing that as Asperger's/autism-light is perhaps a way to make it seem like she couldn't do anything to fix it. Baloney.

I feel sorry for the farmer. I still weep for her children.

chuck b. said...

I'm inclined to think hard work has killed a lot of people. We have this phrase "worked to death", and everything.

Dogwood said...

But farm life can kill children.

Life kills....eventually.

Balfegor said...

The farmer and I discuss this a lot. He went to graduate school for biology and hated it and went back to the farm. He thinks he could have done anything, so why won’t my kids be able to choose anything?

This is like the plot of Vineyard Man. Except she's divorced. And has children. Okay, so it's not a perfect match, but that's what popped in my head when she related that he had gone to grad school in biology.

Salamandyr said...

See divorce above.

I hope the farmer has a pre-nup, I would hate to see him lose the farm if she decides to bail.


Dogwood, are you aware of something to do with the woman's first marriage that I'm not?

A divorce may arise from many reasons...abuse, adultery, one person or the other being a complete shit. It's unfortunate when it happens, especially when it happens to kids, but unless you know she left her husband for some flighty plea for "authenticity" or some such rot, there's no real reason to immediately jump to the conclusion that the divorce was anything but an unfortunate necessity.

Methadras said...

At least she was honest about her pathological dysfunctions. The problem I have with that, however, is that now she going to take a perfectly good man and suck him into her vortex. Her children don't know any better, I assume, but that's one of the reasons why if you are divorced with children, imho, you should withhold dating until they are grown or extremely young and a marriage is planned. I've seen the terrible toll that being a single, dating mom or dad takes on children. Attachments are formed, attachments get broken. The adult can mostly deal with it, a ot times the children don't.

Dogwood said...

Salamandyr,

From what I read on her blog, it appears her marriage was sacrificed to her career, aided and abetted by her "pathological dysfunctions" to use Methadras' words.

The more I read her blog, the more convinced I am that both of them should be signing a pre-nup. She has lots of issues that are going to make a long-term relationship more challenging than usual.

I do wish them well, but they should both have a pre-nup given her psychological baggage.

Darcy said...

This place is depressing for topics like this. So many (apparently) perfect people making harsh judgments. I hated her abortion thoughts, of course, but the general, sweeping criticism of divorced women here (am I reading this right?) is...well, very unkind to say the least.

But thank you, Salamandyr. I appreciated your thoughtful comment.

Dogwood said...

...but the general, sweeping criticism of divorced women here...

Don't be too depressed, a man who sacrifices his marriage and kids for the sake of a career is just as much of an ass.

Darcy said...

You know all of the circumstances of this couple's divorce, Dogwood?

peter hoh said...

What's wrong with wishing well for everyone involved?

The story of the first meeting was sweet. Here's wishing them a long and happy marriage.

Dogwood said...

You know all of the circumstances of this couple's divorce, Dogwood?

Just basing my comments upon her fairly extensive blog posts regarding her marriage and divorce.

Surely we can comment on information posted to a blog, can't we? Or are there new blog rules I'm not aware of?

Based upon what I've read, pre-nups are in order.

Darcy said...

Of course you can comment and judge, Dogwood. It's what you did, and no one stopped you.

Dogwood said...

Of course you can comment and judge, Dogwood. It's what you did, and no one stopped you.

Okay, just checking, because you seemed rather put out that someone would read several blog posts on someone's marriage and divorce and come to the conclusion that the person's marriage ended due to the person's pursuit of a career plus various psychological issues requiring 10+ years of therapy.

Bissage said...

True story. Many years ago I was in my early twenties and a friend at work (the same age) had just gotten engaged to a woman who had a boy about 5 or 6 years old. I told him that I thought he was a much better person than me – and that I really admired him -- because, for me, a kid was an absolute deal breaker. No way would I even date, no less marry, a woman with a kid.

He said, “You don’t understand. This isn’t charity on my part. I love the kid. We get along great.”

As I said before, he was a much better person than me.

Just thought I’d pass that along.

Darcy said...

Actually, it wasn't really your comment that I reacted to, Dogwood. And it's not just comments today, it seems to be an ongoing general attitude in the comments. Perhaps I'm being oversensitive. Wouldn't be the first time for that.

Of course The Farmer should understand what he's getting into and decide for himself the risk he'll take financially. I agree with you there.

Darcy said...

Heartwarming, Bissage.

My dad married my mom who had three kids already at the time. Had another four. Forty plus years.

Dogwood said...

Understand.

Freeman Hunt said...

My Dad married a woman who had a young child. The woman had adopted the child while single. He thought it was a plus and that it reflected well on the woman. Subsequently, he adopted the child too. All of this just after his children had reached adulthood.

Bruce Hayden said...

My worry is that she is an Aspie. The slower pace may be good, but she may also be more sensitive to the environmental factors. My experience with a woman with AS is that quiet, dependable, and solid can be good in a partner, but it can also lead to boredom.

Why would you get involved with a woman with AS (if you are a guy)? Because whatever she does, she does with passion and concentration. That ranges from cooking the ultimate meal to, well, whatever adults do in the privacy of their homes.

I am not sure if calling Asperger's Autisim lite is quite accurate. I don't know if anyone knows whether that is true.

Bissage said...

I’m glad for you and your family, Darcy.

Regarding your other point, I thought it was well-taken, so no, I don’t think you were being oversensitive, at all.

That's my two cents.

wv = radargut, whcih is not at all the same thing as radar love.

Bissage said...

whcih.

Oh nooooooes!!1!!!!1!!!!

I’ve given myself away as a two-fingered typist!!

GAAAH!!!

Darcy said...

Thank you, Bissage. Very kind of you.

PatCA said...

Another WI marriage! Romance must be in the fresh air out there.

chickenlittle said...

It's all the exquisite dairy air!

MamaM said...

The farmer has "huge commitment issues", breaking up FIVE times in five months.

Then, while walking through the corn he takes FIVE minutes to think over her relational concerns, before coming up with the marriage idea???

It makes for an interesting story, but something seems off. I'm not seeing Farmer as "perfectly good man" being haplessly sucked into a vortex.

blake said...

My reaction was sort of like Darcy's, except I didn't put this together with the miscarriage tweet of earlier. Or any other posts.

It just seemed weird that a woman's expression of concern for her children immediately spawned comments that "she shouldn't have gotten divorced in the first place".

But, as I said, I haven't been following along.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am not sure if calling Asperger's Autisim lite is quite accurate. I don't know if anyone knows whether that is true

I don't know if it is Autism lite or just another milder version on the spectrum of what is considered normal and what is autistic.

My brother has a minor Asperger's (he is a gifted musician,software engineer) and I am a even milder version of it. We were both diaganosed some time ago in conjunction with some IQ tests during school. No big deal.

Asperger people are not real socially adept, have difficulty picking up cues and tend to get "high centered" on activities to the exclusion of other sensory input.

We just have to try to pay more attention to other people in group social settings. I'm very good one on one especially when I'm talking with clients...but then that is business conversation and purposeful. I try not to interupt and monopolize when the conversation in soclial setting is interesting to me and to play nice with other people.

Her point of having someone to guide you is very right on. My husband will often give me a nudge when I'm tilting off in the wrong direction. My brother's wife does the same for him......"come back to earth".

I admire the author for putting her children before her own desires in not creating a confusing relationship that may not last with a man that the children obviously like very much. Blended families are a challenge.

Joe said...

As for the "broke up FIVE times" issue; it's quite obvious to me that The Farmer is a very introverted guy. I doubt he broke up with her five times or even once; as a total introvert, he had nothing to say, so he didn't say anything and she took this is a breakup. (Or she asked, "Do you want to break up?", he paused and said, "As you wish.")

MamaM said...

Assuming Farmer to be an adult, introverted or not, he apparently continued to engage and re-engage in relationship with Penelope and her children following the five perceived break-ups.

Even if she were the one instigating the break-ups, the relating and kissing she describes involves two dynamic participants.

I don't see Farmer as a clueless male lump saying "as you wish" five times unless he was somehow pole-axed by the origami folding possibilities or the dairy-air mentioned.

The introverts I know are at the very least thoughtful, and five minutes of consideration regarding marriage does not sound like a lot of ponder time.

Will said...

Thank you for showing me this blog. I am somewhere between the author (engineering job, 2 kids, post divorce), and the farmer (700 acres of cattle ranch in the Texas hill country, recently inherited). I sent it to my girlfriend.

I love the internet.

Freeman Hunt said...

They met through her writing online.

JAL said...

The Professor highlightd the quote about the realtionship affecting the kids.

I thought the way they met (he wrote her) was interesting.

Something like someone we know writing about vowing to bring in firewood or shovel snow or whatever it was ....

Cut It said...

Off topic but--- What I love more than anything else about this blog are commenters like Bissage and Chip Ahoy. You guys are hilarious. Bissage, would you please come live in the house next door to me? I will clean your house and watch your dog (if you have a dog), if you will only lay that sweet sense of humor on me.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

Thank you, Cut It, very much for that and especially for grouping me in with the delightful Chip Ahoy, a man whose talents are far greater and broader than my own.

Actually, we do have a dog here in USDA Zone 6b. Here’s a picture.

She’s very cute. Whenever it’s time for a walk, we only have to hold her harness down low and she sticks her nose in and tries to put it on by stepping through it.

P.S. Cleaning our house is no fun. See what I mean?