When I married into an East Coast matriarchal clan teeming with strong-willed women, I knew there would be some cultural differences. For example, I quickly learned that when someone said she lived "out in the country," she really meant the suburbs of New York. My wife, Kris, found she constantly had to answer the question: "Why is Keith so quiet? Doesn't he like us?" Quite the opposite, actually, but when you are slow thinker and talker, it's hard to keep up with a roomful of fast, kinda-loud talkers.
But those are surface-level differences, and even though my upbringing was quite different than Kris's sisters and cousins who grew up in the Boston and New York regions, my experience with Wisconsin women prepared me well for her family.
That's because, although they speak with Midwestern accents and actually know what cheese curds are, Wisconsin women are also smart, accomplished and, like my in-laws, suffer fools with whip-like wit.
And that's why it came as no surprise to me, as I was reading through our USA Today Network-Wisconsin newspapers last week, that they were teeming with stories about bright, stubborn, daring and accomplished women.
There's the 21-year-old Northern Wisconsin biker who aims to ride a motorcycle around the world. A fearless baker relishing the challenge she found on the national stage of "Master Chef." And the newly-crowned Miss Wisconsin who is a nuclear engineer and will tout the potential of zero-carbon energy sources.
More Wisco food news
And hey, how about the weather?
Didja know? A Wisconsin fact drop.
Didja know that when you drive from Madison to Portage, you're most likely driving on a stretch of freeway that is unique in the nation. Why? Because Interstates 39, 90 and 94 and run together in this area, and it's the longest stretch of concurrent interstate highways in the United States.
Source: "Bathroom Book of Wisconsin Trivia" by Rachel Conard and Lisa Wojna
Contact Keith Uhlig at 715-845-0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at @UhligK on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Badass Wisconsin women; James Beard winner; weather stories