Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Up Close and In-Depth Interview With An Amish Lady.....

.....that hasn't happened yet.  But I hope it will, sometime in my lifetime.  Because, you see, I have questions.  And I have a feeling the answers to my questions are not to be found in any of the Amish novels and booklets found in most bookstores and newsstands.

We recently returned home from our good old fashioned road trip loop through Ohio.  A good part of our journey took us through the heart of the Amish settlements of Ohio, specifically those along route 39.  The last day of our trip involved a seven hour drive to get home, leaving me with plenty of time for my mind to roam and think of stuff.  That can be dangerous.  I have a vivid imagination.

I thought of the wonderful accommodations we had throughout our trip - excellent hotels, a luxury cabin, and even a night in a castle.  I recalled some of the many good restaurants we ate at, and the scrumptious meals at some of them.  I felt grateful for the chance to visit numerous museums and sites of interest, and to see and learn new things.

But then I got thinking about the Amish folks we saw along the way, and I admitted to myself that there is still so much about the people themselves that I do not know, and without actually sitting and interviewing an Amish lady, I may never know.

Here then are some of the get-to-the-heart-of-the-matter questions that if given a chance, I would be dying to ask:

1.  I know it is because of your religion, but are you comfortable when wearing those dark, fully-covering outfits, even in very hot temperatures?  I sweat just imagining wearing stuff like that in the summer.

2.  Do you ever get stuck by the pins you use to keep your clothing fastened around you?

3.  Do you sew special dresses that allow you to easily nurse your babies?

4.  Why do so many of your kind have such terrible body odor?  Do you not believe in using deodorant?  Here's a formula I have considered:
                 polyester + no deodorant = much stink ----------> grosses people out

5.  Or, do you not believe in taking daily baths or showers?  How often do you take a bath or shower?

6.  Are those white net hat thingies itchy around your ears and neck?  And why do some of them have ties hanging down when you have no intention of tying them together?  Maybe they are decorative.  No, wait, decorating oneself is against your beliefs, right?

7.  I notice that many Amish women develop balding along their center hair part.  Why don't you part your hair on the side for a while and try to fix that?

8.  Some of the ladies' hands look pretty rough from all the hard work.  Do you ever wish you could get a manicure?

9.  If you had a bad back, would you be interested in or allowed to go to a spa and get a massage?

10.  Why do you keep all your hair hidden up in your cap?

11.  Does your husband become a wild animal at night when you let your hair down?

12.  And what's under all those skirts anyway?  Would an Amish woman wear lacy, racy undergarments?  Or maybe even a thong?  To please her husband, of course.

13.  If you were honest with yourself, do you ever just wish for a day when you could sleep as late as you wanted, then eat bon-bons and watch stupid television if you had it all day till it's time to go bed again?

14.  Are you turned on by that old man look of your husband's grown out scraggly beard?

15.  Do your children get worms from running around in the gardens and fields barefoot?

Let me just say for the record and for my faithful blog readers that I am not trying to be disrespectful or find fault with the Amish people, I just really wonder about many of these things, and I have wondered for most of my life about some of the questions I've raised.

Whether or not I ever get enlightenment on these issues, let me conclude here by saying it was a great trip!


  1. We see a few ladies here in Vienna wearing the niqab and I sometimes have those same questions. Especially on a hot day.
    I never get close enough to them to find out if they have B.O. however. Not prudent.
    The thing is though, it's only for when they go out in public. The Amish women wear that cr*p all the time.
    When they're at home they show off their fashions and such to each other. Women only of course.
    I'll never 'get' it.

  2. I grew up with the Amish in Indiana. My best friend was Amish and she was forced to quit school in our 8th grade year. They're not allowed to go to high school. I never knew her to smell. They are very hard workers, no electricity so TV is out of the question. We went to a home last year in Indiana for the most delicious meal you could ever have.

    The other questions I can't help with, I never thought to ask. If you go to the museum that's in Shipshewana, Indiana, (http://www.mennohof.org/ ) all your questions will be answered.

    I hope this helps. Now that you mention it. I'd like to know the answers too.

  3. So I've come to the conclusion that the amish we have around central PA are not really consistant with the amish in lancaster or elsewhere. I know they all have their own "sects" or whatever they call it. The reason I say this is because eric and I recently watched a 3 hour (seriously we did) documentary on the history channel about amish. It focused on amish from pa, ohio and indiana. It answered a TON of questions. I really honestly think the bad smelling ones, are really just from around here. And from my experiance in the ER...its just poor hygiene. If you compare them to the ones you run into in lancaster, our are smelly, horses and kids are filthy, and the men stare at "normal" women like they are peices of ripe meat. I know because I run into this at turkey hill every day lol. Not all of them are like this but...working in the ER here has yet to prove my theory wrong. PS- the women don't shave...anything. rachel

  4. BUT...I have met several very clean, respectable, and admirable amish from our area as well. One such family is the ones who let me bring the girls over to ride their horses a few years ago. The barn was IMMACULATE...cleaner then my house I think. They were so gracious and kind and treated my kids like they were their own. So I hate to generalize about the amish but unfortunately, it seems most are not like the family I had visited. rachel

  5. I dress modestly and don't use deodorant - you can avoid smelling over-ripe if you wear natural fibres and use anti-bacterial soaps (it's the bacteria that cause arm-pit smell, not the sweat).

  6. I dress modestly and don't use deodorant - you can avoid smelling over-ripe if you wear natural fibres and use anti-bacterial soaps (it's the bacteria that cause arm-pit smell, not the sweat).