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Issue #33: Guest Column - Where Have All the YLs Gone?

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Jan 17, 2024.

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  1. DL2JML

    DL2JML Ham Member QRZ Page

    When discussing gender related issues, it is often helpful to reverse the genders and see how it goes. It also often makes for an amusing read, so here we go:

    Bob and Lisa have been married 50 years. Lisa is an avid quilter and even got some prizes for her work. Bob followed a few courses at the beginning of their marriage and is a member of the quilt club, but does not practice. The quilt club is mainly women anyway.

    One night Lisa dies and Bob is devastated. After a few weeks, Bob realizes that there is a room full of fabrics and threads, a 30 years old sewing machine and an overlock. Bob seeks a buyer but finds out that, although everyone says that they don't build sewing machines as solid as this one any more, few people are interested and offer very low amounts of money for the whole lot. Apparently, newer sewing machines can do new useful tricks when connected to a computer and the style of fabrics is out of fashion.

    Should Bob start quilting? On the one hand, the club lacks male members. On the other hand, Bob was never really interested and does not really expect to be good at it. And it is not the same without Lisa, of course.
    KA0HCP, W7DGJ, N3RYB and 3 others like this.
  2. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Patti. That ship has sailed. However, she is very supportive and understands things like DX, pileups, propagation, antennas. After 12 years in IT, she would rather be out riding her horses instead of sitting in front of a rig.
    W7DGJ, KT4PH and KE7IR like this.
  3. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow. Bien joué, Jerome.
  4. N3HFS

    N3HFS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is an economic evaluation, and it may have a great deal to do with the personal finances of what is left behind when one's partner no longer survives.
    Some folks do just fine with something along the lines of a "museum room" that contains artifacts that are no longer in use. Other survivors might wish to maximize their own savings by liquidating unused hard assets into money. There's lots of extremely personal thoughts and evaluations to consider.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  5. KE7IR

    KE7IR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for your thoughts, Jerome. And, you have good points. For the ladies who have no interest, certainly, becoming active in Amateur Radio would not be for them. I hope you would agree, it would not hurt to ask if they are interested and offer to help them. I thank you for taking the time to read the article and comment. 73, Patti
    DL2JML and KT4PH like this.
  6. KM1NDY

    KM1NDY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe not quilting, but perhaps Bob could reupholster and re-canvas his boat? Much like my Dad did when he requested an industrial sewing machine from me for his birthday one year.

    And no, I don't think getting rid of a good sewing machine is a great idea... They most certainly do not make them like they used to! I somewhat fail to see sewing as gendered. But then again, I don't think of radio as gendered either...

    (Back to winding toroids)
    N1VAU, W7DGJ, WD4ELG and 1 other person like this.
  7. W3TKB

    W3TKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm sure that many of us have spouses that have absolutely no interest in ham radio; they are not going to get licensed in order to continue operations of your shack. And in this situation, I'm positive the spouse has no idea of the value of any of the station equipment, and as such...will either sell/donate the equipment for a fraction of its worth, or worse....just ditch it altogether. If you don't want this to happen...if the thought of your beloved boat anchors ending up in the county dump churns your stomach...take steps now to make sure a disposal/removal plan is in place.

    I have a similar situation in my life to plan for, but it's not ham radio equipment. As an avid hunter and firearms collector (as well as being a licensed dealer), I have a safe full of guns that...should I depart this Earth before my wife...she will have to contend with. I have already given her the contact info for TWO local auction houses that deal with firearms. Having been to several of their "estate" auctions, I know that they are collecting top dollar for firearms. Even after taking their commission cut, I'm sure my wife will be well compensated...and won't have to lift a finger.

    Now, if the opposite happens...I have no idea what to do with all of my wife's quilting stuff: sewing machines, cutting tools and templates, yards and yards of fabric!! Might be easier just to take up quilting myself! :confused:
    W7DGJ and N3RYB like this.
  8. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think anyone will ever tell this fine gentleman that his hobby of needlepoint is gendered.

    Maharam | Story | Dual Threat: The Needlepoint of Rosey Grier
    N1VAU and KM1NDY like this.
  9. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Jerome,

    I like the fact that you came into the forum and reverse-engineered the discussion a bit. It was a fun read to see how you view things from your end. Here's more about Bob and Lisa if you don't mind that I take it into a bit more detail:

    Bob never liked the quilting group that much because just sitting there and chatting about quilts never kept his interest. But every time that Lisa had an issue with one of her sewing machines, he was there to tear it apart and repair it for her. He loved anything mechanical, and these beautiful machines from a different era were something very special in his eyes. He'd been out with the Quilting group in the past, and with several husbands who would enjoy a beer together while the women spoke about their work. It was fun for both husband and wife . . . Quilting was Lisa's hobby, not his, but he could see how important it was to her and always supported her interests. Besides that, there were elements of her hobby that caught his interest. He didn't speak of them to Lisa, but from time-to-time he'd get a twitch of satisfaction himself in Lisa's quilting room.

    Over the years of Lisa's quilting interests, Bob had begun to appreciate what it took to make those beautiful hand-made items that Lisa produced. It took not only patience and creativity, and vision, but it took a certain aptitude that he possessed in spades. When Lisa passed, his world was rocked. He contacted Lisa's friends from over the decades and asked them if they wanted to look at her materials and take some things home to remind them of her. There were a few items that he had to charge for, but for the most part he was dealing with people who Lisa knew well from her club. And he knew that his "silent seamstress" would feel that he did the right thing!

    But when it came to the core of that quilting room, Bob could not let it go even though many tried to acquire it. He would go into Lisa's room from time to time and look at what she had produced and the absolutely beautiful machines he had helped keep in such pristine condition. One day it clicked . . . he didn't have to produce quilts for baby cribs and grandchildren. This same equipment could be used to produce other products he'd been thinking about. His first project was a handsome, quilted case for his dad's old shotgun that stood in the corner of a closet. His second project came when he and his friend Jon from next door needed to fashion a new seat cover for the old 1959 Audi that sat in Jon's garage.

    Months later, Bob sat down and admitted it . . . he had become a quilter.

    Dave W7DGJ

    As an aside, Patti stated that maybe it's only 1 out of 4 wives who may want to dig deeper into radio when the spouse passes . . . In the Bob and Lisa example that Jerome started, the same thing may be true. Maybe it's 1 in 8, or 1 in 3, but the author's point is "Leave it to her (or him) to decide."

    Dave, W7DGJ
    KM1NDY likes this.
  10. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Franz, thanks for adding the above. For some, it is indeed an economic consideration. For others, it's a "messy house" consideration (the first thing my wife would think of). Patti's point . . . let that person decide, don't swoop in like vultures to "help."
  11. KI5CAW

    KI5CAW Ham Member QRZ Page

    My wife loves sewing and embroidery, and her best friend is an industrial upholsterer who has three 50+ year old machines in her shop. One look and you can see, they don't make them like they used to! But she can still get parts and can fix any machine.
    I love their art and give the XYL absolute support. In return, she puts up with radios in the house rather that the garage.
    KE7IR, KM1NDY and W7DGJ like this.
  12. DL2JML

    DL2JML Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radio and sewing are only gendered in the sense that the respective clubs have a large majority of people from one gender, but can obviously been practiced by men and women. Maybe some people here are reading a bit much into what was essentially a writing exercise.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  13. VK5OHR

    VK5OHR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The YL's are now OL's...
    KE7IR likes this.
  14. KE7IR

    KE7IR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is actually True, VK5OHR, hopefully the OL's are bringing life experience that might be interesting to our QSO's.
    VK5OHR likes this.
  15. VK5OHR

    VK5OHR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Pat, it's all relative... labels are so 20th century don't you think?
    KE7IR likes this.

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