My brother-in-law has many hobbies, and he finally decided to start a club for wood carving. I found it interesting enough, and he asked me if I would be one of the founding members. I was pleasantly surprised until he admitted he simply wanted a woman to join and attract other females. When I raised my eyebrows at that comment, he was quick to point out he didn’t want women to feel they couldn’t be there because it was an all male club. I agreed to help him.

A few women came to the first few meetings, but it turned into a man’s club fairly fast. They wanted to talk about politics, fixing things and women. None of the comments were rude or mean, but the topics were more about things men enjoyed than women did. After a month, I was the only woman who continued to show up for meetings.

At first it was a bit difficult to fit into the club, but they eventually realize I was there to stay. I enjoyed the carving, but my favorite part was when they would forget I was a woman. They’d occasionally ask me how some of their wives could think so strangely, and I’d explain that they simply didn’t see the world correctly. All of this was in good fun, and none of us took any of it seriously.

It’s been more than a year since the club started, and I’m still attending all the meetings. We decide every week what important topic we’ll discuss as we carve our pieces, and we even teach techniques to each other when we learn something new. I originally thought I’d only be a member for a few months, but this has turned into a fun activity that I want to stay with for many more years.