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SITUATION 31 PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT Let's Talk! 2 Some people unjustly regard with contempt unmarried couples who

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Some people unjustly regard with contempt unmarried couples who are living together. After dating for three years, Ryan and I moved in together to minimize living expenses. We planned to get married after I graduated from college. Well, my family practically disowned me when we told them we were living together! (His folks were more broad-minded about it.) After Ryan and I had lived together for a year I found out he had a terrible temper. The day he grabbed me by the blouse and threw me against the well so hard I thought my shoulder was broken I walked out on him. I thank God I didn’t marry Ryan. What a fix I'd have been in if, after we were married and had a child, I had learned that he was capable of physically abusing me! The next man I fall in love with I will make sure I live with before making a lifetime commitment. Living together before marriage may be a "sin," but it is the only way one can really get to know a person before it's too late.

What Does It Mean?

1. prenuptial agreement

2. my family practically disowned me

3. his folks were more broad-minded about it

4. I walked out on him

5. a fix

6. a lifetime commitment


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1. What do some people think about unmarried couples who live together?

2. What was the reason the woman and Ryan began to live together?

3. When did they plan to get married?

4. How did her family react when they learned Ryan and she were living together?

5. What did Ryan's family think about it?

6. After they lived together for a year, what did she find out about Ryan's personality?

7. Why does she thank God for not having married Ryan?

8. Would she live the next man she loved?

9. What does she think the way to get to know a person is?

Discussion points

1. Do you think living together before marriage is a good idea?

2. What would you say if one of your children were going to live with someone of

the opposite sex before marriage?

Opinion Samples

1. Strange to say see, I now believe that couple who are serious about

marriage should, at least, take a few weekend trips together to test their compatibility.

2. A prenuptial agreement is an excellent idea for both parties should be

marriage end in death or divorce. It does not necessarily mean that on doesn’t trust the other. In a prenuptial agreement, you should be more careful to protect your interest. This has nothing to do with trust or the lack of it. It's the common sense and beneficial for all parties concerned.

3. The best advice I ever received was a suggestion for a prenuptial

agreement. The biggest mistake of my life was getting married without it. My recommendation: Insist on it. If a man and a woman strike an equitable agreement, they probably won't need it. If they reach an agreement, they had better not get married.


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4. A prenuptial agreement is a vote of no confidence. I spend much time

trying to figure out what makes marriage works. Albert Einstein once said, "You

can't simultaneously prepare for and prevent war."

5. Some people insist on "love at first sight," but I suggest that they calm

down and take a second look. There is no such thing as love at first time. Some those attractive first-sight qualities may turn out to be genuine and durable, but don’t count on the story book formula. The other bromide, "love is blind," is far sensible. The young girl (or an older one) who believes herself to be in love can't see the undesirable qualities in her man because she wishes not to see them. To her, he is the handsomest, brightest, smoothest, sweetest, most adorable man in the world. Perhaps his professor or his boss or his roommate may consider him irresponsible, ugly tempered, lazy, or stupid, but she can't see any of this at all. Prenuptial agreement is one's best ally in evaluating an individual's true character and measuring mutual compatibility. No one can play a part forever. The mask must fall sooner or later. It is for this reason that I plead with people in love to live together for some time before they really get married.



SITUATION 32 LOVE OR SELFISHNESS? Let's Talk! 2 Years ago, when my husband and I were

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Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, we discussed what would happen

Years ago, when my husband and I were first married, we discussed what would happen if one of us died. We were both in 30s at the time, so I didn’t consider this a frivolous chat. Jimmy and I both promised never to remarry if one of us should pass away. I felt greatly relieved because I loved him so much I couldn’t bear the thought of another woman taking my place. We are pushing 50, and I am seriously ill. Last night as we were sitting by the fireplace Jimmy brought up the subject of our promise and assured me that it still stands. My question is this: Am I being unrealistic and selfish to find comfort in this promise? I don’t think it would be too hard on him because he's a workaholic anyhow and didn’t marry until he was in his mid-30s. We have no children and are devoted to each other. Are there other couples who have made this promise and been able to keep it? Are there couples who made this promise and later regretted it? I am torn between the guilt I feel that I may be depriving him of years of future happiness and yet wanting so much to know that I will have been his only true love. I can honestly say that if Jimmy died tomorrow I could easily live a purposeful life without ever having another man.

What does it mean?

1. a frivolous chat

2. pass away

3. I couldn’t bear the thought of another woman taking my place.

4. Jimmy brought up the subject of our promise and assured me that it still


5. I don’t think it would be too hard on him,

6. purposeful life


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1. What did this couple discuss when they got married?

2. Why didn’t she think the discussion was frivolous?

3. What did they promise?

4. Was she relieved when her husband said the promise still stands? If so, why?

5. How old are they now?

6. IS she in good health?

7. Why does she think it would not be hard for him to keep to his promise?

8. Why does she feel guilty?

Discussion Points

1. Would you demand that your spouse not remarry if you died?

2. Could you promise your spouse not to remarry?

3. Even though some people promise not to marry after their spouse dies, many

can't keep the promise. Why not?

4. Is forcing the promise an act of love or selfishness?

Opinion Samples

1. It seems to me that couples who truly love one another would want their

mates to remarry. To extract a promise not to remarry is the ultimate act of selfishness. It is impossible to predict how one will feel several years down the road. People's ideas change. It would be extremely shortsighted to tie up a mate with

such a promise, and I would definitely advise against it.

2. This kind of promise is easier said than done. Even though people think

they can keep the promise, as time goes by their determination can erode because feelings towards other people become stronger. Nobody can control another person's feelings. So it is very foolish to force such a promise.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATON 33 PANHANDLING This is my experience with a "homeless" man carrying a

This is my experience with a "homeless" man carrying a large "Will Work for Food" sign:

He was living in the bushes behind my husband's place of employment. When police arrested him for trespassing and vagrancy, they found $1,000 in cash in his pockets. He told the police he had made the money by standing at a busy intersection in town with one of these signs. He also said he could never do as well working because he takes in $500 to $600 a day just holding up that sign.

If one person at each stop signal gave you a dollar, and

the signal changed 30 times an hour, and you stood there for eight hours a day, you could make $240 a day. Realistically, the figures are probably much higher. I recently saw a family (a mother, a father, and three young children) standing at a busy intersection holding these "homeless" signs. Not only is this activity dangerous, it's also emotional blackmail.

Think about this:

What does it mean?

1. trespassing and vagrancy

2. he also said he could never do as well working

3. realistically, the figures are probably much higher

4. emotional blackmail


1. Why was the man with the "Will Work for Food" sign arrested?

2. What did the police find in his pocket?

3. How did he make the money?

4. How much can he make a day by just holding up the sign?

5. What does the writer think about this kind of panhandling?


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Discussion Points

1. Do you usually give beggars money when you see them?

2. How much do usually give them?

3. Do you feel guilty if you give panhandlers nothing?

4. Do you agree that panhandling is emotional blackmail?

5. Many people say that when you give money to panhandlers, it only makes them beg more. What do think of the theory?

6. Do you think it is fair that panhandlers generally make much more money than

ordinary salaried workers do?

7. Do you think the government should permit panhandling?

8. Talk about ways of preventing panhandling on the street.

Opinion Samples

1. I think we have no moral obligation to give anything to give anything to

panhandlers if begging is very lucrative business and they generally make much more money than average people do. Do you think it fair that relatively poor people should give money to the rich?

2. The government shouldn’t allow panhandlers on the street. They cause

people anxiety over whether to give or not. Some people feel guilty when they don’t give them money. That's why I think panhandling is emotional blackmail.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 34 LOTTERY I need an unbiased viewpoint . A friend I've known

I need an unbiased viewpoint. A friend I've known for 22 years came down here to Florida to live. Since he was a close pal of long standing, I invited him to stay with me. We became roommates and got along fine. We agreed that we would play the state lottery with the following understanding: Each of us would purchase at least one lottery ticket every week, and if one of those tickets were a winner we'd split the prize. Although I was unemployed for a period of time and not eligible for unemployment benefits, I still managed to buy a ticket every week. Often when I asked I friend if he had bought his ticket he would say, "I forgot," or "The lines were too long." Well, I hit five numbers, won $5,000, and decided not to cut him in the money since I felt he did not keep his part of the agreement. Our lease was up and we parted. He has all but shut me out of his life and I'm sure this is the reason.

What does it mean?

1. unbiased viewpoint

2. a close pal of long standing

3. not eligible for unemployment benefits

4. decided not to cut him in on the money

5. our lease was up

6. He has all but shut me out of his life


1. When they played the state lottery, what was their understanding?

2. Did the writer have a good job?


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3. Was he eligible for unemployment benefits?

4. Did his friend buy tickets every week as they promised?

5. What were the excuses for not buying tickets?

6. How many numbers did the writer hit and how much money did he win?

7. Why didn’t he give some of the money to his friend when he won?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think he did the right thing?

2. What do you think about his friend's shutting the writer out of his life?

3. How can they make up?

4. Do you buy lottery tickets? Why or why not?

5. If you won 1 million dollars, what would you do with the money?

6. Would you continue your job if you win a fortune from the lottery?

7. What do you think about the government issuing lottery tickets for financial


Opinion Samples

1. The agreement was sloppy, to say the least. Too bad there wasn’t

anything in writing that invalidated the agreement under certain conditions. I would suggest that he give his friend $500, for friendship's sake, even though it could be argued that his friend wasn’t entitled to anything.

2. He did nothing wrong. His friend didn’t keep to the understanding, he

just made lame excuses. He had no obligation to give anything to his friend.

3. At night I used to pretend that I had won a big jackpot and then I would imagine all the things that would happen to me if I had a million dollars.


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My husband, who drinks too much, would quit his job and turn into a full- blown¹ ALCOHOLIC. My teen-age children, who are unmotivated and need constant prodding, would drop out of school and loaf on a full-time basis. All my freeloading² relatives (as well as my husband's) would be hittingon³me to "help them out." I would be inundated with letters from slick promoters with worthy causes and old friends with hard-luckstories. Suddenly I would be faced with big decisions, such as what kind of house to buy and if I wanted to live in La Jolla or Palm Beach. Then I'd have to decide if I wanted a Mercedes or a Rolls–Royce. After 15 minutes of envisioning my life as a millionaire I decided that I am better off with things the way we are.

¹ fully developed ² taking advantage of free food and lodging, etc., without giving anything in return ³ asking for a favor ⁴ unfortunate


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 35 PLATONIC FRIENDS [A]My husband and I are trying to put our

[A]My husband and I are trying to put our marriage back together after his affair with another woman. We've been in counseling and learned a great deal about ourselves and each other. I believe Rob when he says he wants to stay with me and work things out. I also believe that he has been faithful since we started counseling. There is one sticking point, however. Rob insists that I accept this other woman as his "friend" someone with whom he can share his work and intellectual interests. The friend has had more formal education than I, but I am not a dummy. Their friendship consists of phone calls, letters, and an occasional drink. I know he continues to share personal information about our marriage with this woman and she "advises" him. I can't believe that her input is unbiased, nor do I believe that her own needs and desires don’t affect her advice. I must add that I have never cared whether or not my husband's friends were male or female. He has other female friends, which is OK with me because I don’t feel they are a threat to our marriage. I'm unable to be impartial toward this woman because she tried to break up our home and hurt our children. [B]I am a 44-year-old woman who is having a platonic relationship with a 35- year-old man. There is nothing sexual involved – we just have lunch together and maybe see a movie every few weeks. My husband just began to grumble about our relationship and ordered me to knock off those lunches and movies. But I think I am an adult who is free to have lunch with any friend I choose, regardless of age, sex, race, creed, or marital status. [C]I'm a 27-year-old single woman living in a fairly small town. I've work with a married man for five years, and I would say we are good friends. He suggested that we meet in another town, have a few drinks and get a hotel room. I was offended, walked away, and refused to speak to him for three weeks. He's 42 and has three children.


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I started talking to him again, and he hasn’t harassed me in any way. He's well-respected in the community, and I've told no one about his suggestion. I really like him a lot. I would never forgive myself if I were to become sexually involved with a married man. If he has just suggested the drinks and not the hotel room, I might have accepted. I would like to know him better, and there aren’t many opportunities to talk at work. Is it OK for us to become platonic friends? I don’t want to hurt his marriage or his reputation, but I'd like to know him intellectually (not physically). I could learn a lot from him. We have not discussed his suggestion since I turned him down. Should I bring it out and make my feelings clear to him?

What Does It Mean?

1. put our marriage back together

2. sticking point,

3. I'm not a dummy.

4. she advises him

5. I can't believe that her input is unbiased, nor do I believe that her own needs

and desires don’t affect her advice.

6. I'm unable to be impartial

7. platonic relationship

8. knock off

9. marital status

10. I was offended


1. What is the sticking point over Rob and his wife trying to put their marriage

back together?

2. Do Rob and his "girlfriend" enjoy their relationship?

3. Why did the wife feel OK about her husband's female friends in the past?

4. Why does the wife worry about this particular woman?


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1. How old is the woman's friend?

2. What do they do when they see each other?

3. Does her husband accept the relationship?

4. Why does she think she has a right to have a relationship with anyone she





How long has she worked with the married man?


What did he suggest recently?


Why did she refuse his suggestion?


Did he continue to rub her, the wrong way after his suggestion was turned


5. Why does she want to know him better?

Discussion Points

1. Is it possible for a man to see a woman as a friend after they have had a love


2. Is friendship or a platonic relationship possible between a man and a woman?

3. If your spouse insisted that he or she had a platonic relationship with another

person, would you accept it?

4. Would it be acceptable if the relationship is open?

5. Have you ever had any platonic relationships with someone from the opposite


6. Do you think that a common interest, a hobby, work, or the same intellectual

pursuits could be a good reason to have a platonic relationship?

7. Do you think either husband or wife has a right to "order" that a platonic

relationship should be stopped?


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Opinion Samples

1. It sounds as if he wants a wife and a girlfriend both. She should tell him

she refuses to settle for that kind of arrangement and the ball is now in his court.

2. They talk on the phone, write letters, and meet occasionally to have a

drink, and he wants to call it platonic? Nonsense, I don’t buy that.

3. Her husband needs to grow up. The relationship is not secret and she

says there says there is nothing sexual involved. I think her husband has nothing to worry about. What we really have to worry about is a secret relationship,

which inevitably entails sexual wrong-doing.

4. When one of the spouses has a so-called "platonic relationship," it's a

dynamite situation which will eventually explode. Married men and women don’t "date" other people if they value their marriage, so they should stop the relationship immediately. The relationship might start out innocently, but may end up in a motel room.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 36 A CLASSIC MID-LIFE CRISIS After working hard for 20 years, I

After working hard for 20 years, I have attained significant success in my field. Part of the reason was my husband's belief in my potential and his constant encouragement. Over the years, we celebrated my many promotions. But recently, Dave filed for divorced. My friends called it "a classic mid-life crisis." (He just turned 40.) I believe the real reason for the divorce is my success. Pop psychology "experts" have offered many glib explanations, but nothing can alleviate the pain I feel. I worked hard, became successful, and lost a man I love. Now I'm wondering if this is exclusively a male thing. I've never known a woman who divorced her husband because he became successful. What do you think about this? Should I have it coming and slowed down? I love my career, but I also love Dave. Success is cold comfort in an empty bed.

What does it mean?

1. we celebrated my many promotions

2. Pop psychology "experts" have offered many glib explanations

3. if this is exclusively a male thing

4. Should I have seen it coming and slowed down?

5. Success is cold comfort in an empty bed.


1. How long did it take before she succeeded in her field?

2. How did her husband help her gain success in her job?

3. What does she think is the real reason her husband filed for divorce?

4. Were psychology professionals helpful in lessening her pain?

5. What is she wondering now?

6. What does success mean to her?


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Discussion Points

1. Are you for or against your wife's having a career?

2. How would you feel if your wife were very successful and making more money

than you?

3. Would you help your wife with housework or child care if she had a job outside

the home?

4. Do you think it is true that a wife with a job tends to disregard her husband?

Opinion Samples

1. This world is filled with women who are more successful than their

husbands, and they are still married. There must have been other problems that

she was not aware of. The wise wife knows how to cut down the glare of the spotlight and move

her husband closer to center stage. I wonder if she made an effort to do this. If so, there should be no self-recrimination. He would have left anyway.

2. I don’t understand her husband if there were no other problem except

her successful career. Why should her success make him feel upset, jealous and hurt? If he feels that way, it proves that he doesn’t really love her. He needs to grow up.



SITUATION 37 TV CHANNEL Let's Talk! 2 Recently my husband and I were guests in my

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Recently my husband and I were guests in my in-laws' home, as were my husband's son and his wife became involved in a spirited game of spades, while I watched TV in the living room. When a program came on about sexual dysfunction, I, being of an inquisitive nature and possessing a thirst for knowledge, became interested. After a few minutes came this voice from afar – it was my husband's son demanding that I change the channel! I told him I didn’t want to change the channel and suggested that he concentrate on his card game. A minute or so later, he stood up and announced that he and his wife were going to bed because I refused to change the channel! My husband was furious with me for refusing to give in – and I was angry at being ordered to change the TV channel while the card players entertained themselves as they pleased.

What Does It Mean?

1. spirited game

2. inquisitive nature


1. Where did the writer go recently?

2. What did she do there?

3. What did the other family members do?

4. What was on TV that night?

5. Was she interested in the program?

6. What did the husband's son demand?

7. How did she retort?

8. Why did the son and his wife go to bed?

9. Why was the writer husband angry?

10. Why was the writer angry?


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Discussion Points

1. Can you imagine why the son demanded that she change the channel?

2. Was it right for the husband's son to demand that she do so?

3. Did her husband have good reason to get angry with her simply because she

refused to follow the son's demand?

4. Who is the most powerful person in your family in term of TV channel


5. What kind of program on TV do you favor? Why?

6. Do you think TV can be educational for children?

Opinion Samples

1. I understand the son demanded her to change the channel because the

program on TV was not proper for a family gathering. The program was about sexual dysfunction, which seems a very private matter. However, I say the son had no right to order her to change the channel, even though it was at his house. All the people there except the writer were enjoying themselves by playing cards, so she had a right to enjoy herself anyway she wanted.

2. In many families the channel selection power has come into the hands of

the kids because of the parents' lack of responsibility. Children seem to watch everything they want. Parents tend to believe that watching TV is always educational and don’t seem to consider the possible side effects when children are exposed to TV randomly for a long time. The right to decide what to watch should be in the hands of parents. And parents should be intelligent enough to screen the children programs and decide which is really educational.


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3. When kids are watching TV they're doing nothing since no one skill is being exercised. Television-watching inhibits initiative, curiosity, motivation, imagination, reasoning and attention span. Because the action shifts constantly in time, it also fails to promote logical, sequential thinking, thereby causing problems in following directions and anticipating consequences. There is ample evidence that television-generation children deprived of opportunities for discovery and developing natural gifts are less competent than previous generations. I think it makes sense to keep a child away from television as much as possible until at least the third grade, when he or she has learned to read well. After that, there is problem letting a child watch educational or sports programs, but I recommend that parents allow no more than five hours of television a week.



SITUATION 38 DO I OWE HIM $1,000? Let's Talk! 2 Twenty years ago I offered my

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Twenty years ago I offered my brother $1,000 if he would quit smoking. I told Sam that he would have to wait five years to collect because I need time to save that much money. I also wanted to make certain he wouldn't start smoking again.

Sam's family and mine traveled together a great deal and we had young children. His nonstop smoking was more than my wife and I could handle. We were hoping he would accept the offer and were very disappointed when he didn’t.

Several months ago, Sam had a heart attack followed by bypass surgery. The doctor ordered Sam to quit smoking. He quit cold turkey and now says I owe him $1,000. I haven’t seen very much of my brother these last few years because he has moved away, and it no longer matters to me if he smokes or not. Do I owe him the $1,000 or not.

What does it mean?

1. He quit cold turkey

2. It no longer matters to me if he smokes or not.


1. Why did the writer offer Sam $1,000?

2. Did Sam accept the offer?

3. Why did Sam quit smoking?

4. Did Sam quit smoking gradually?

Discussion Points

1. Does the writer owe Sam $1,000?

2. Talk about ways to quit smoking.


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3. Which do think is the best way to quit, by gradual withdrawal or cold-turkey.

Opinion Samples

1. He doesn’t owe Sam the $1,000. His offer expireda long time ago. Sam

quit because the doctor ordered him to, but it was many years later.

2. He owes Sam $1,000 because he offered him the money if Sam stopped

smoking. The offer didn’t specify how or why and had no expiration date.

came to an end


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION39 FORGETFULNESS I was accompanying my husband on a business trip. He was

I was accompanying my husband on a business trip. He was carrying his portable computer with him and the guard at the airport gate asked him to open the case. It was locked, and the guard had to wait patiently as my embarrassed spouse struggled to remember the combination. At last he succeeded. "Why were you so nervous?" I asked him. "The numbers are the date of our anniversary," my husband confessed.

What Does It Mean?

1. the combination


1. For this business trip, what did the husband carry?

2. What did the airport guard ask him to do?

3. Was it easy for him to open the computer case?

4. Why was he nervous when he tried to open it?

Discussion Points

1. Does your husband always remember special days such as your birthday and wedding anniversary?

2. How do you celebrate your birthday?

3. How do you celebrate your wedding anniversary?

4. How would you feel if your husband forgot your special days?

5. What is the best way to make your spouse remember your special days?


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Opinion Samples

1. My husband is so forgetful that he never remembers my special days. It

took me a lot of time and painful effort before I accepted the fact that he cannot – nor will he ever – provide the love and interest that he should. It's not easy to insulate myself this way, but it hurts less to expect nothing than to hope in vain.

His handicap makes it impossible for him to perceive my feelings. He is unaware of the pain caused by his thoughtfulness. I accept him as a man with a permanent handicap and shield myself from the ice-pick of rejection.

2. Just saying "expect nothing, then you will not be disappointed" sounds

like a self-fulfilled prophecy. Nor would I shield myself from rejection by regarding a thoughtless man as one with a "permanent handicap."

Thoughtlessness need not be permanent.

3. I'm sentimental! Birthdays are very important to me, so I star two weeks

ahead of time talking about mine. No nagging, whiningor "poor me" stuff. I just tell the truth: "My birthday is a big deal to me. I can't wait for my birthday to

come. It is only six days away; where shall we go to celebrate?"

foretelling of what is to come complaining


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 40 DEADBEAT DAD Our son, who is in his early 20s, has

Our son, who is in his early 20s, has fathered a child with a young lady who lives who lives in another state. Prior to the knowledge of Dee's pregnancy, Boyd had to break up with her, so apparently true love was not part of their relationship. At this point, Dee hasn’t demanded any financial assistance, probably because she realizes that Boyd doesn’t have much to offer. She would, however, like for Boyd to be a part of their child's life, if only to show up a couple of times a year, like on Christmas and child's birthday. The baby will soon be a year old, and Boyd has expressed no interest in seeing him. We offered to buy him a plane ticket, which he refused to accept. Even though Dee chased our son shamelessly, we believe he is being unfair by ignoring her and their child. Apparently Boyd is trying to forget his mistake, but we are afraid he won't be able to live with himself years from now if he continues to behave as if Dee and his child don’t exist. We don’t know if we should send a birthday gift to the youngster or not. Under the circumstances we're uncomfortable about establishing any kind of bond or relationship.

What Does It Mean?

1. deadbeat

2. Prior to the knowledge of Dee's pregnancy,

3. Boyd doesn’t have much to offer.

4. Even though Dee chased our son shamelessly


1. What has the son done?

2. When did he try to break up with young lady?

3. Why didn’t she demand any financial assistance?


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4. What did she ask the baby's father to do?

5. Was he interested in seeing the baby?

6. Do the parents think it is fair for their son not to see the baby?

7. Do they want to have any relationship with the baby?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think the parents should have an intimate relationship with the girl and

the baby?

2. Is a man responsible if his girlfriend gives birth to a baby against his wish?

Opinion Samples

1. The parents had better send a gift and be part of the grandson's life. The

fact that Boyd is having in an immature and irresponsible manner doesn’t mean that his parents must cut themselves off from their grandson. In addition, Boyd should realize that he is obligatedto support his own child. He also needs to understand how important it is to accept his son – both for the child's sake and his own. Boyd has a bit growing up to do.

2. When a man makes it clear that he doesn’t want a baby while dating, he

must be exempt from any financial responsibility or legal obligation, even if his

partner becomes pregnant. Since many kinds of contraceptivesare available, if a woman becomes pregnant under these conditions she must have done so deliberately to trap the man into the marriage.

obliged morally or legally birth control devices or drugs


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 41 SEARCH FOR NATURAL PARENTS [A] My parents divorced when I was

[A] My parents divorced when I was four years old. The divorce was very nasty,

and saw my father only a few times before he decided to move out of the state to avoid paying child support. It wasn’t until I became a father myself that I had a desire to see my dad again. I then read a letter in the newspaper stating that the Salvation Army locates long-lost relatives. I saved that column, but waited for about five years before I wrote to the Salvation Army about locating my father. To my great surprise, two months later the Salvation Army contacted me at my home in Sacramento, saying that they had found my dad and that he wanted to communicate with m! I was told that he was ill, so I hurriedly flew to Salt Lake City to visit him in the hospital. I spent the weekend there and we had a very nice time catching up on the 30-year gap in our relationship. Four days later, I received a call from the hospital, informing me that my father has just passed away! In retrospect, I suppose I should feel grateful for having had the chance to see my dad before he died. Actually, I agonized over the fact that I hadn’t tried to find him sooner. I want to urge anyone who has a desire to locate lost elative to do it today. Tomorrow may be too late.

[B] You hear so much these days about adopted adults who want to find their

“real” mothers. I may be unusual because I’ve never had a desire to find mine. My mother gave me up at birth for my own good – and hers. I’m grateful to her because the parents who raised me have given me a wonderful home. I believe that most adopted adults who search for their birth mothers must be unhappy with their parents or their parents or their own lives. I feel sorry for parents who have adopted children and given them a good home, only to have them go looking for their “real” mothers. I would never do that. So all you adopted people, appreciate your good fortune and don’t go poking

around trying to find your “real” mother. The one you have couldn’t be any more real.


Let's Talk! 2

What Does It Mean?

1. the divorce was very nasty,

2. Salvation Army locates long-lost relatives.

3. In retrospect

4. My mother gave me up at birth for my own good and hers…

5. Don’t go poking around trying to find your “real” mother.



1. When did the man’s parent divorce?

2. Why did his father move out of the state?

3. When did he get the desire to see his father?

4. Can you imagine why he waited five years before he actually wrote a letter to

the Salvation Army about locating his father?

5. How long did it take to the Salvation Army to locate his father?

6. Did he and his father have an argument?

7. When did his father die?

8. Why should he feel grateful?

9. Then why did he feel agony?

10. Is he for or against searching for one’s natural parents?


1. Why does the writer think he is unusual?

2. Why is he grateful for his natural mother?

3. Does he believe that adopted adults should search for their natural parents?

4. Why is he against for searching for natural parents?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think it is natural for adopted adults to have the desire to search for their natural parents?

2. If you were an adopted adult, would you search for your natural parents?

3. What would you say to your adopted children if they desired to their natural


4. Do you think adoptive parents are disappointed if their adopted children search

for their natural parents?

5. Do you think adoption records should remain sealed unless the both the birth

parents and the adopted children agree to opening them?


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Opinion Samples

1. Many adopted adults desperately want to know about their roots,

regardless of how wonderful their adoptive parents are. That is human instinct. If you were not interested in searching for natural mother, that might be OK for you, but your real mother misses you a lot.

2. Many adopted adults have no desire to their birth parents, so they are not really unusual – but they are lucky. And some birth mothers prefer not to be found, as is their right.

3. Confidential adoption should be guaranteed. Adoptees should be

permitted to learn the medical history of their parents but nothing more, unless

both the birth parents and the adopted child agree to it.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 42 DIFFERENT TASTE My husband and I received a wedding gift from

My husband and I received a wedding gift from a co-worker named Andy. Andy loves to paint, so he gave us one of his paintings. This painting is definitely not to our taste. He must have exhibited it in an art show because the price tag was still on the back of it. I suppose this painting has some special meaning to Andy, and he probably spent many precious hours on it. Should we keep the painting and hide it in the closet? Or is there a tactful way to give it back to Andy so he can enjoy it himself or give it so someone else who would appreciate it?

What does it mean?

1. This painting is definitely not to our taste.

2. tactful way


1. Do they like the wedding gift from Andy?

2. How do they know the painting has been in an art show?

3. What are three options in dealing with this situation?

Discussion Points

1. How would you handle this situation?

2. Was it OK for Andy to give the painting with a price tag on it?

3. Is it ok for a giver to ask the receiver what present to buy beforehand?


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Opinion Samples

1. It depends on the couple’s relationship with Andy. If they return it, would he be hurt? Insulted? Grateful? If Andy values the painting, I’m sure he’d rather have it stuck away in some dark closet. This is a difficult decision to make.

2. I think giving any present with a price tag on it is against common courtesy. If I received one I would be upset because the giver has tacitly told me the value he puts on our relationship.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 43 I WANT A VIRGIN I’m a single male in my mid-20s.

I’m a single male in my mid-20s. I’ve had many girlfriends and a great deal of sexual experience, but now I am ready to settle down and get married. I want to marry a virgin. Although I’ve been around a lot, I insist on having an untouched woman for my wife. I will not get married unless I can find one. I realize that as I get older, most virgins will be a lot younger than I am. In fact, a friend I discussed this with recently said most virgins today are 12 years of age or younger. I’m not the kind of man who could date anyone under 18. How can I find what I’m looking for?

What Does it Mean?

1. Although I’ve been around a lot

2. untouched woman for my life.


1. Is he virgin?

2. Is he looking for a virgin?

3. What does he realize?

4. What did his friend say about virgins?

5. Will he date anyone under 18?

Discussion Points

1. Should your future spouse be a virgin regardless of your own sexual experience?

2. Do you think you have a right to criticize some men simply because they want

to marry virgins in spite of their own sexual experience?

3. What if you meet the perfect woman and it turns out that…

(A) She is a widow? (B) She was once raped?


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(C) She was a victim of childhood sexual abuse? 4. Would you voluntarily let your future spouse know about your sexual

experience if you are not a virgin? Or would you hide your sexual history?

5. Would you ask your future spouse about his or her sexual experience?

6. Would you tell the truth if asked about your sexual experience?

Opinion Samples

1. What kind of man is it who believes it’s perfectly OK to hit the mattress

with every available female and then expect his future wife to be 100 percent pure? Do these guys think virgins are just waiting around for some experienced male to teach them about life? I would rather have a man who knew absolutely nothing about sex than

marry an alley cat¹. After all, most people don’t need lessons. They do what comes naturally. A man who has fooled around¹¹ as much as he has doesn’t deserve and shouldn’t expect a pristine-pure bride.

2. How can we condemn him just for wanting a virgin as his future bride?

Even though he has enjoyed many one-night stands¹², he has a right to have a pure bride. If he does not talk about his sexual experience, who would know he is not a virgin?

¹⁰ sexually promiscuous person ¹¹ had sexual adventures, esp. adulterously ¹² casual sex acts; brief sexual encounters


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3. Most of the men I’ve dated want sex within the first three dates. When I say I’m still a virgin and plan to stay that way until marriage, my date tells me he “respects” me. That means I will never hear from him again. I learned from bitter experience that a woman can’t win. If she sleeps with a guy on the first, second, or third date, he figures she’s a tramp¹³. If she doesn’t, he writes her off¹as a cold fish or maybe a lesbian¹.

4. It didn’t matter to me if my wife was a virgin, since I could trust her not to fool around after we were married. When we started to go out, I invoked the policy the pentagon applies to gays in the military – “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” That way, everybody gets a fair shake¹and a fresh start.

¹³ promiscuous women ¹discounts ¹homosexual woman ¹just or reasonable arrangement


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 44 LOVE AFFAIR My husband spent a lot of time with his
My husband spent a lot of time with his attractive assistant. After several years of

My husband spent a lot of time with his attractive assistant. After several years of absolute misery, my husband and I ended up in a counselor’s office. It turned out that in spite of his persistent denials, an affair had indeed taken place with his assistant. She made the mistake however, of assuming that because he was involved with her he didn’t love me. She began to pressure him to get a divorce. After a while, my husband resented the pressure and ended the affair. The woman became extremely angry and accused him of ruining her life. He was filled with guilt over what he had done to her and grief-stricken because of what he had done to me. His successful business plummeted into bankruptcy and he became deeply depressed. That’s when we ended up in the counselor’s office, He asked me to forgive him and said he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life making up for what he had done. We renewed our marriage vows and continued counseling for 18 months. He apologized to our three adult children for what he had put them through and asked for forgiveness. A healing has taken place in our entire family.

What Does it Mean?

1. ended up

2. assuming

3. grief-stricken

4. His successful business plummeted into bankruptcy.

5. Making up for what he had done

6. marriage vows

7. what he had put them through


1. What mistake did the mistress make?

2. What did the mistress demand?

3. What did the mistress do when the man ended the affair?


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4. What happened to the man’s business after the affair?

5. What did he finally do for his family members?

Discussion Points

1. What would you do if your husband had an affair?

2. What would you do if your wife had an affair?

3. Do you think having an affair should be punished by law?

4. If one spouse is having an affair, do you think it’s justified for the other partner

to have one too?

5. Can you believe your spouse is faithful to you even if you haven’t noticed any

sign of fooling around?

Opinion Samples

1. There is no legitimate excuse for a spouse to have an affair. Marriage is a

partnership. Neither has the right to cheat on the other. If one feels abused or taken for granted, he or she should talk it over with the errant partner and work things out.

2. When your husband has a love affair, you should dump him immediately

so you can feel relieved to be free of the bum¹. Your life is better focused, the agony and humiliation are over, and you are free to make meaningful life on your own. Many divorces report that wandering mate asks if he can come back home, only to find the doors locked.

3. Most women think they know when their husbands are cheating. My husband and I had breakfast and dinner together several days a week. He never went anywhere in the evening without me. We were together every weekend. So when did he find time to fool around? You guessed it. Lunch. For 10 years he met dame¹at noon for quickie¹. She supplied the apartment, and he brought the food. I never caught on because I never dreamed there where people would settle for so little. Is my saga²unique?

¹tramp; worthless person ¹a woman; female ¹the sex act done very hastily ²story


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4. My husband of 26 years has had the same mistress for a years, and I am

all for²¹ it. Here are my reasons: I am able to spend a lot of time alone (which I prefer), and anything I do is fine with him because then he’s able to spend more time with her. He is not aware that I know what’s going on and he treats me like a

queen because he has such a guilty conscience he feels compelled to make it up to me.

He is an excellent provider²², and I have total freedom. I figure he will die at an early age due to the constant stress he is under trying to hide his affair from me. Also he doesn’t take care of his health. (He averages about three hours’ sleep a night.) When he finally drops dead, I stand to collect several hundred thousand dollars in insurance money, and all of our assets will be 100 percent mine. The other woman is doing me a great favor.

5. I’ve been married to Jim for 20 years. He’s hard-working, honest, loyal

and a wonderful father to our three children. My friends say they would kill to have a husband like Jim. So why do I have affairs? (I’ve had three in the past twelve years), because I need romance and excitement in my life. My lovers make me feel desirable. Jim’s love making is humdrum²³ and matter-of-fact². He will not see a counselor, but I’ve seen two. They both tell me to leave Jim and start a new life, but I don’t want to break up my home.

²¹ in favor of; on the side of ²² person who supports a family or another person ²³ boring; dull ²direct or unemotional


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6. Advice to a woman in love with a married man.

1. Stop fantasizing about your lover. That selfish creep²has already stolen

several years of your life. Drop him like a bad habit.

2. Nobody is going to break your door to marry you. Make yourself

available to eligible²men. Get out of your comfortable routine and force yourself to get a social life. Shut off the T.V.

3. Lose some weight if you need to. Go on a supervised diet. Join a health

club. You meet people there.

4. Do you swim, skate, ski or play bridge or tennis? Not only can you meet

people when you take lessons but also afterwards. 5. Take evening courses at your local community college. There will be

others there who want to improve their lives.

6. Be a volunteer. There are many worthwhile organizations looking for

extra hands. If you follow these six steps, you will meet your future husband.

²boring, disturbingly eccentric person ²qualified


Let's Talk! 2


Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 45 STOCK INVESTMENT BLUES I’m a young woman on my own, and
I’m a young woman on my own, and I’ve been self-supporting since I graduated from

I’m a young woman on my own, and I’ve been self-supporting since I graduated from college three years ago. I have a male friend who makes his living on Wall Street and who knows a lot about stocks. He has done very well and insists that buying and selling stocks is not a gamble if you know what you are doing. Well, this friend told me that he had a “hot” stock that would sure go up immediately. I believed him and invested $5,000 in it. This may not be a lot of money to some people, but it represented my life’s savings. Instead of going up, the stock went down. It is worth $500 now. My friend felt guilty and offered to buy it from me at the price I paid for it. Should I let him buy it to, relieve his conscience? Or should I tell him I’m a big


What Does It Mean?

1. I’ve been self-supporting

2. makes his living on Wall Street

3. buying and selling stocks is not a gamble if you know what you’re doing

4. it represented my life’s savings

5. I’m a big girl.


1. How long has she been financially independent?

2. What does her male friend do for a living?

3. Under what condition does her friend think stock trading is different from


4. What caused her to invest?

5. How much did he invest?

6. Where did the money come from?

7. What happened to the stock she bought?

8. How much is her stock worth now?

9. What did he offer to do for her?


Let's Talk! 2

Discussion Points


Would you accept his offer if you were in her situation?



Who do you think is responsible for the loss?












Opinion Samples

1. Since he advised her to buy the stock with her life’s savings, he had a

moral obligation to keep his eye on it. If I were her I’d take him up on his offer.

2. Even though her friend knows Wall Street well and recommended buying

a particular stock, the ultimate responsibility falls on the investor herself. How can anybody be paid back for a loss in stock investment? Stock investment is an adult game and guarantees no reimbursement²⁷.



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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 46 THE LAST TO KNOW My husband was the quiet “type” the

My husband was the quiet “type” the last person in the world anyone would suspect capable of infidelity. Nevertheless, he was. I caught him his girlfriend right in our bed when I came home unexpectedly from a trip. After I filed for a divorce three of my neighbors told me that for the last year they had seen this young woman entering and leaving my home many times after I had left for work. I wanted to scream, “Why didn’t you tell me? You could have spared me all this!” Then I realized that they probably thought they were doing “the right thing” by keeping quiet. Had I been told, perhaps the problem could have been ironed out by counseling; or at least I could have filed for divorce earlier and be spared the humiliation of walking in on such a scene.

What Does It Mean?

1. capable of infidelity

2. “Why didn’t you tell me? You could have spared me all this!”

3. they probably thought they were doing “the right thing” by keeping quiet

4. the problem could have ironed out by counseling


1. What kind of person was her husband?

2. When did she catch him and his girlfriend in bed?

3. What did her neighbors tell her after she filed for divorce?

4. Why didn’t her neighbors tell her earlier about her husband’s infidelity?

5. If she had been told, what could she have done?


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Discussion Points

1. Do you think the neighbors should have told her husband’s affair or was simply

none of their business?

2. Why do you think the neighbors were reluctant to inform her of her husband’s


Opinion Samples

1. People are reluctant to inform on their neighbors. There is too much

margin²for error. Furthermore, this case represents a very personal matter, so they might not be able to decide whether or not they inform her of her husband’s “suspicious” behavior, which in fact later proved to be a divorce-causing problem. The neighbors may have suspected some strange behavior, but they couldn’t know what was really going on unless they asked the couple involved. And that

was not the thing they could ask.

2. The husband’s strange behavior continued during a whole year, and

three neighbors noticed something wrong was going on, so they had to find away to report to the wife. How about writing an anonymous letter?



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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 47 FIRST MOVE I am a high school senior, and about 75

I am a high school senior, and about 75 percent of my dates have come

about because the girls asked me. As a matter of fact, it was a girl who asked me out on my first date.

It is a common practice for girls in my high school to make the first move. Of

all the girls I’ve ever went steady with, they all made the first move. One day in school I received a “secret admirer” note from a girl who said she had seen me at a football game and would like to know me better. Because she took the initiative, I dated her and we became very good friends, and we still date

every so often. If it weren’t for her making the first move I would never have met her.

She has

everything to gain and nothing to lose.

I say if



wants to

know a fellow better, let him

know it.

What Does It Mean?

1. I ever went steady with,

2. secret admirer

3. would like to know me better

4. because she took the initiative

5. She has everything to gain and nothing to lose


1. Who asked him out on his first date?

2. Isn’t it common practice for boys to make the first move in the writer’s school?

3. Why does the writer think the girl’s first move is a good idea?


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Discussion Points

1. Do you think it is OK for girls to ask guys out?

2. How do you usually let a prospective date know you are interested?

3. How would you usually make the first move?

4. How would you feel if you were approached by a girl?

5. Do you think it’s OK for a woman to call a man first?

Opinion Samples

1. How ridiculous it is to ask who is going to make the first move! Is it

necessary to distinguish between the sexes? Love is a feeling, and feelings never discriminate between sexes. If the feeling of love is shared between two people, who is going to make the first move is the last thing to be considered.

2. It is common sense that boys usually make the first move, and this

tradition won’t change overnight. I’m not saying that only boys should make the first move, but it is more natural. Smart boys know when to move, and bright girls know when to let them do so.

3. If a man and a woman are attracted to each other it doesn’t matter if the man calls the woman or the woman calls the man. Women are people, and people shouldn’t play games.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 48 CHURCH ETIQUETE [A] While in church I saw a woman put
[A] While in church I saw a woman put a $5 bill in the collection


While in church I saw a woman put a $5 bill in the collection plate and

take back $4. Is that considered proper etiquette?


I am not overly religious but I do like to go to church once in a while. It

seems to me that every time I go I am dunned for money. I thought religion was free. I realize that churches have to save some money, but I think their behavior is getting to be a racket. What do churches do with all their money?

What Does It Mean?

1. I am dunned for money

2. a racket



1. What did the writer see in church?

2. How much money did the woman give the church?


1. How often does the writer go to church?

2. When the writer does go to church, what happens?

3. What did the writer think about religion?

4. What does the writer realize?

5. What does the writer understand?


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Discussion Points

1. Do you think the making change from the collection plate is against common


2. Do you feel “a duty” to put money in the collection plate?

3. How many church goers donate one tenth of their overall income?

4. Do you think the churches are going too rich?

Opinion Samples

1. God knows the woman put in a $5 bill and took back $4. She did nothing

wrong from any view point.

2. When people go to church they should be prepared with money for the

offering. If they really did forget, rather than making change, they should bring a little extra the following Sunday. When people start digging around the collection

basket, they leave themselves open for suspicion. Why start a precedent by taking money out< it will only temp someone less honest to do something crooked. Contributing generously at the end of the year in one lump sum is another alternative.

3. While the person who gives to the church once a year may be very generous, those he see him passing the basket without putting anything in may assume he’s giving nothing.

4. Why does putting nothing in the collection plate at church set a poor

example? Maybe the person is out of work or has suffered some serious business reversal. The only example that should be set is one of kindness. Poor people need the fellowship of a church more than ever. People should give what they can, pass the basket along, and mind their own business. If people choose to steal from the collection they will have to answer to a higher authority than “Churchgoer.”


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5. Even priests, ministers, and rabbis must eat. Since they work full time at their tasks their churches must support them. Staff, professional choir members, and musicians must also be paid. Buildings must be maintained, heated, lighted and beautified. (And of course, they must be built!) Custodial staff must eat and feed their families. Most churches engage in philanthropic work; hence they have financial obligations. Churches can’t live on air. Religions, like water, may be free, but when they pipe it to you you’ve got to help pay for the piping. And the piper!



SITTUATION 49 CORPORAL PUNISHMENT Let's Talk! 2 We should speak out against corporal punishment in our

Let's Talk! 2

We should speak out against corporal punishment in our schools . Paddling children with a

We should speak out against corporal punishment in our schools. Paddling children with a board is child abuse. It also promotes child abuse. It also promotes child abuse in our communities by sending the message that it is OK for adults to hit children. Paddling creates fear in children and lowers their self-esteem. This adds to the dropout rate and lowers and test scores, as students lose interest in being educated in a Nazi-like atmosphere. It also humiliates and angers children, increasing vandalism and violence in the schools. Schools that forbid paddling are more peaceful, and the students appreciate being treated with respect to their teachers and to the school.

What Does It Mean?

1. We should speak out against corporal punishment in our schools.

2. Paddling

3. Vandalism


1. How does the writer think corporal punishment affects our society?

2. How does paddling affect children’s psyches?

3. How does paddling affect children’s school life?

4. What is the relationship between paddling and vandalism?

Discussion Points

1. Are you for or against paddling in school?

2. What would you do if your child were paddled in school?

3. We often hear a teacher say that he paddles children for the sake of their

education. Do you really believe that? Or does the paddling simply reflect the

teacher’s uncontrolled anger?

4. Do you spank your child at home? If so when?


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Opinion Samples

1. We realize that in this age of one-parent households, latchkey children

and increasing violence, we may feel we are losing control of the younger generation. That’s partly because corporal punishment never goes out of fashion². Children should be taught that violence causes more violence, and in

that sense some degree of corporal punishment is necessary.

2. Children should learn through example, and the message a child receives

when he is struck, slapped, or paddled is that might makes right. Lessons must come from the head and the heart – not the fist or the paddle. And teachers and principals should not be expected to do work of parents. The job of parents is to prepare a child to get an education, respect one’s elders, and work cooperatively with others.

3. I don’t believe in hitting a child. A little slap on the wrist (just enough to

hurt his dignity) is all right. However, hitting a child hard enough to hurt him physically may rid you of your hostilities, but it will only teach the child that

violence is the answer to all conflicts.

4. Parenting is a challenging, sometimes very difficult, job. When pressures

build up, it is tempting to use physical punishment on a child. However, spanking

a child when you are angry can be dangerous. Children are often injured when an angry parent loses control.

²becomes unpopular as a style


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5. This society seems to value “quick fix” solution to everyday problems; therefore it is easier to hit a child than help the child learn self-control. Children who are disciplined by constant hitting and spanking soon learn that the way to deal with life’s frustration is to lash out³physically at others. Teaching children discipline is important. But discipline can be achieved without hitting or spanking. Children will do as we do more than as we say. If parents want children to obey rules, to solve their own problems, to control their anger, and to live in peace with themselves and others, then the parents must set that example³¹ themselves.

³strike vigorously

³¹ show a pattern or model, as of something to be imitated or avoided


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 50 PET PEOPLE'S TROUBLE Our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson accepted our




and grandson






Memorial Day cookout party. They live about 45-minute drive from our home. Our daughter-in-law somewhat reluctantly agreed to leave their dog home, knowing that my wife and I are not "pet people." Memorial Day morning, she telephoned to say that she was sorry, but she just couldn’t leave the dog alone all day. Then she said that the dog was a member of their family. She probably expected me to cave in and say, "Well, all right bring the dog."

Instead, I said, "I'm sorry you are not coming, but I understand your feelings, perhaps another time." She said, "Well, goodbye," and then she hung up. Neither she nor my son has communicated with us since.

What Does It Mean?

1. Memorial Day

2. pet people

3. cave in


1. What was this family going to do?

2. How far away does the son's family live?

3. Do the grandparents like pets?

4. Does the son's family like pets?

5. Why did the daughter-in-law telephone the grandparents?

6. Why haven’t the son and daughter-in-law telephoned again?


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Discussion Points

1. Who do think was wrong?

2. Who do think should break the silence first?

Opinion Samples

1. Who was right or wrong is unimportant. The writer had the right to ban

pets from his home, and the daughter-in-law had the right to decline his invitation because she couldn’t bring the dog. The important issue here is maintaining a

friendly relationship among the family members.

2. I understand the writer has the right to say "no." But if the parents had

said "yes," they might have looked very generous to their children and grandchildren, and there wouldn’t have been any estranged relationship among family members. The party was just for a few hours or a day. If we want to have a good relationship, we sometimes have to endure some unwanted things.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 51 SNEAKY FATHER I am a 16-year-old with a very heavy burden

I am a 16-year-old with a very heavy burden on my shoulders. In May, 1992, my mom was hit by a car. She had brain surgery, and the trauma brought back a manic-depressive condition she had shaken 10 years earlier. Mom has been in and out of mental hospitals for the past six months. My biggest problem right now is my father. Since mom has not been able to be much of a wife to him, he has found himself a mistress. Dad did not tell me about Denise. I learned from friends that he had been seen with this woman. I asked dad if it was true, and he said "yes, but please keep quiet." I am in terrible bind because I don’t want to hurt my mother, but when dad calls every night with a lame excuse as to why he will be home late it makes me furious. My mother has no idea what's going on, and dad assumes that I will protect


What Does It Mean?

1. Mom has not been able to be much of a wife to him

2. Lame excuse


1. What happened to the boy's mother in 1992?

2. What kind of disease is his mother suffering from?

3. Is his father faithful to his wife?

4. How did the writer find out about his father's affair?

5. Why does the boy hesitate to tell his mother?

6. Why does the father continue to fool around, even though the boy knows

almost his infidelity?

Discussion Points

1. Should the boy tell his mother about the father's sneaking around?

2. If he kept silent, would he be betraying his mother?


Let's Talk! 2

3. Do you think it is OK for some spouse to have another lover if the other spouse

doesn’t do his or her role, especially concerning sex?

4. Is it OK for the boy to take sides in his parent's marriage?

Opinion Samples

1. Even though the boy knows his parents' marriage is in danger, he should

not be forced to act like executioner. The boy should tell his father that he wants

no part in protecting him. And the boy should insist that his father behave responsibly and quit sneaking around.

2. Why should the boy keep silent? His father has a mistress, while his

mother is suffering from a disease. The boy should tell his mother immediately

and make his mother kick out her husband.

3. This is a very sensitive subject between a couple, and the boy cannot

intervene in his parents' affairs. The mother might know what's going on, but decided to maintain her marriage anyway. So the boy should realize it's not his

business, but his parents', and keep silent.


Let's Talk! 2


Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 52 I'VE GOT A LIFE, TOO Am I the only one who

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the idea that an invitation from a family member is a subpoena? A few months ago, I made (and paid for) plans to go away for a weekend. Shortly after, I received an invitation to a family function for that very weekend. Granted, the family affair was an important one. It was, however, totally unexpected and on rather short notice. When I tried to explain that I had a previous commitment, several family members expressed such outrage that I gave in and attended the family function instead of taking my paid-for vacation. Now, I'm not sure I did the right thing when I permitted them to lay a guilt trip on me. I always thought an invitation was a request that a person has a right to refuse, without having to cave in to pressure.

What Does It Mean?

1. subpoena

2. granted

3. short notice

4. previous commitment

5. I permitted them to lay a guilt trip on me


1. What did the writer plan to do?

2. What did he receive, after his plan was arranged?

3. Did he expect any family get together before he planned his trip?

4. How did some family members react when he explained he had a previous commitment?

5. Did he go ahead with his own plan?

6. What does he regret now?

7. What does he think about invitations?


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Discussion Points

1. Do think he should have gone on with his own vacation plans?

2. Do you think a person has a right to refuse an invitation regardless of where it

came from? 3. Do you think a person deserves criticism from his family members simply

because he refuses an invitation?

Opinion Samples

1. As the writer argued, I accept the fact that an invitation is a request that everyone has the right to refuse, especially on short notice. Family affairs should be done democratically, and no one has a right to "force" another to do something against his will. The family that no longer respects the individual is not a family anymore – it's a dictatorship.

2. This was a family-together and every family member had a moral responsibility to participate. A family is a small society in which everyone must sacrifice something for the common cause. Without individual sacrifice, a family would collapse.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 53 STRANGE PAYBACK My parents, who are what I would call "comfortably

My parents, who are what I would call "comfortably well off" financially, lent me $2,000 interest free. According to our agreement I was supposed to have paid off this loan three years ago. However, some unforeseen things have happened, and I still have every intention of repaying them, but I don’t know when this will be. My parents have always sent me $200 for my birthday. This year they sent me only a card and explained that now I owe them only $1,800.

What Does It Mean?

1. interest-free

2. unforeseen things


1. How much did the writer's parent lend him?

2. When was the due date according to the agreement?

3. Why hasn’t he paid his debt to his parents yet?

4. Does he have any intention to pay them back?

5. Does he know when he will be able to do so?

6. What do his parents usually do for his birthday?

7. What did they do this year?

Discussion Points

1. Should a loan between parents and children be interest-free?

2. If parents demand bank-level interest, is it morally acceptable?

3. If parents refuse to lend money to their children, would they deserve any



Let's Talk! 2

Opinion Samples

1. The $2,000 was not a gift, it was a loan. The fact that the writer's parents

deducted $200 for his birthday and reminded him that he then owed them $1,800 was their way of subtly telling him that the debt remains outstanding. He shouldn’t let this debt unpaid any longer. Any amount paid promptly every month would probably be acceptable. He should set up a payment schedule with his parents again and stick to it.

2. A birthday present has a special meaning for the receiver and the giver.

But the writer's parent calculated the value of his birthday present by deducting

$200 from the debt. The debt is a separate matter and should be repaid by other means, not by deducting his birthday present. A birthday present can't be valued by money alone.

3. The parents were very generous to the writer. They understand that the

writer still can't afford to repay the loan and that he doesn’t know when he can pay them back. So the parents "suggested" a way of being paid back without tightening his financial situation. They are good parents since, under no circumstances, should parents let their children think that there is a free lunch.



SITUATION 54 WHEN A MAN HITS A WOMAN Let's Talk! 2 I would like to explain

Let's Talk! 2

I would like to explain why a woman might cause a man to become physically


would like to explain why a woman might cause a man to become physically

violent. I am in no way defending such actions. On the contrary, I am a nice guy who

treats women with respect. Recently, however, I had an experience that made me understand quite clearly why a man might hit a woman. Recently, a girl backed out of a date we had planned a week in advance. I had

been eagerly looking forward to this date and had called during the week to confirm the time and place. I set aside the evening, saved the money I needed, cleaned my car, and even got advice from female friends to make sure the evening was "perfect." I wore new clothes and tried to look my best.

I showed up at the place we agreed to meet. Sally was twenty minutes late

and told me our date was off because she already had a boyfriend and couldn’t imagine why she had agreed to go out with me. If a guy pulled that stunt, he would never live it down. Such humiliation could result in violence. If more women were decent and fair, violent crimes against them wouldn’t be so prevalent.

What Does It Mean?

1. I am no way defending such actions.

2. a girl back out of a date

3. I set aside the evening,

4. to make sure the evening was "perfect"

5. our date was off

6. If a guy pulled that stunt he would never live it down.

7. If more women were decent and fair, violent crimes against them wouldn’t be

so prevalent.


Let's Talk! 2


1. Does the writer defend men's violence against women?

2. What did he do to prepare for his date?

3. Was he on time or late?

4. When did Sally appear? What did she say?

5. What does he think is the best way to prevent men's violence against women?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think men's violence against women can be justified in some cases? Which ones?

2. Why do men use violence against women?

3. What would you do if your husband hit you and he repented just afterwards,

would you forgive him? Or would you seek a divorce?

4. People say it's never appropriate for a man to strike a woman. But what if she

hits him first?

5. Would you marry a man who hit you during your courtship, thinking that you

can change him after marriage?

6. Is there any way to deter men from beating their wives?

Opinion Samples

1. What Sally did to him was lousy³². But he described himself as a "nice guy

who treats women with respect," even though he also said he can understand how some men might be pushed to the outer limits. This suggests to me that he is perfectly capable of doing just that. He sounds to be a potential batterer to me.

2. Most men never stop at hitting once, even though they swear that they

will never hit a woman again. If he hits his wife once, he would be a life-time batterer nine time out of ten. So how do we prevent this? The only answer to wife-beating is immediate divorce. Forgiving a batterer means giving him a license to commit violence against. Would-be wives must make it clear that under no circumstances will their husbands hit them. If they do not make their case very firmly, there is a high possibility that they will become victims of spousal violence.

³² mean or contemptible


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3. Many comment that it is never OK for a man to hit a woman. I hope they will consider their stand. On numerous occasions I have seen women slap men. If anyone ever hit me, man or women, I would not hesitate to hit that person back. That's how one gets respects. Saying that hitting does not get respect means; nothing, it merely escalates the violence. No one has the right physically to abuse another person. Today's society needs to recognize that women can be just abusive as men, and it is only fair that they be judged and punished the same way an abusive man would be.

4. Researchers are finding that violence during courtship is as pervasive³³as violence within a marital relationship. Even more surprisingly, many individuals who are beaten, slapped, kicked, punched, and seriously injured with knives or guns go ahead and marry the abuser anyway. Contrary to the popular belief that women are almost always the victims of domestic violence³, one study showed no significant difference between the percentage of men and women engaged I life-threatening violence. Why do men and women enter into abusive relationships? People tend to believe in the power of love to reform the loved one. Abusers have a number of traits in common, including a background of family violence, a low level of tolerance for stress, and zero self-esteem. A lack of religious belief is also a major factor. Violence may be also triggered by a variety of factors among couples who are dating. The major ones are jealousy, drinking and disagreements over sex. Spouse abuse is often also the result of arguments over children and housekeeping. Inability to control anger tops the lists as the main cause of violence. The inability to communicate is a close second. Courtship, it seems, is a training ground for marriage. Unfortunately, it can also be a training ground for spouse abuse.

³³ present and perceived everywhere ³violence in the family


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5. Battering is not an occasional beating. It is a system of controlling a woman through terror, confusion, disabling, and every imaginable brainwashing³technique. Many battered women are prohibited from leaving their homes, forbidden to use birth control, prohibited from speaking to their friends, not allowed to work. They have no access to money. Many women who started out strong and self-reliant have been battered into feeling weak, powerless, and totally dependent. Bettered women are often deprived of sleep and become confused by their spouses' unpredictable responses and crazy behavior. Living in constant state of terror is so debilitating that they lack the energy to think straight. Statistically, a woman in a battering relationship is as likely as not (50 percent) to come from a family were there was abuse. There are admittedly, some women who repeat self-destructive or co- dependent patterns. A batterer, like a mugger, will deliberately choose a woman who seems least able to defend herself. In addition, batterers can be extremely charming, even downright charismatic.

6. The best way to protect women from male violence? I have a solution. I think some people would call me a husband beater, but that does not mean I'm a violent person. The problem is really my husband. Jim is as macho³as anyone you will ever meet. When we were first married, he ordered me around a lot. If I didn’t do what he wanted, he would shove me. He didn’t actually hit me or anything, but he was physically rough. I noticed that when Jim was angry with me, he would be especially rough in bed. I told him I didn’t like that kind of treatment, but he insisted it was all in fun and kept on pushing me.

³controlled systematic indoctrination, esp. one based on repetition or confusion ³dominating, domineering male


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Finally, I decided to fight back. I was a good athlete in school and used to roughhouse³with my brothers. I'm also a runner and in pretty fair shape³. When Jim shoved me again, I let him have it. It turned into a real fight, and I beat the tar out of him³. I've never seen him so mad. Over the next few months he started a few more fights, and I beat him every time. The bottom line⁴⁰ is our marriage is much better now. I realized that husband-beating pays.

7. Although we all are aware of a few exceptions when mentally ill women by men are horrifying. Many studies indicate that most women are attacked, sexually assaulted, raped, or murdered in their own homes, and the attackers are their husbands or boyfriends. Unfortunately, a surprising number of these men are not prosecuted because the women refused to press charges. We need to get the message across that it is NEVER OK for a man to hit a woman, regardless of the circumstances. "She drove me to it" is not a valid excuse. Men are almost always bigger and stronger and able to walk away from a dangerous situation. A great many males seem to believe it is perfectly OK for a man to use force against a woman to prevent her from hurting him. The first time a man hits a woman she should get out of the relationship. Stop believing a man when he says, "I'm sorry, baby. I'll never do it again." Every study I have seen says he WILL do it again. Wife-beaters almost never stop. Another thing to remember: Alcohol and drugs are almost always factors in wife beating. The fact that a man is drunk or high does not give him a license to beat or kill a woman. My advice to any woman who is going with or married to a male who becomes violent is this: one strike and he's out.

³rough, disorderly plays ³condition; state ³defeated or trashed thoroughly ⁴⁰ the result of any computation or estimate; a fundamental or crucial point of fact


Let's Talk! 2


Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 55 DISAPOINTING WEEKEND My husband and I, both in our 60's recently

My husband and I, both in our 60's recently had the most disappointing weekend of our lives. Our daughter and son-in-law invited us to their lake home for the mother's Day weekend. We were promised some good fishing. We love to fish, and because we both work long hours and don’t own a boat, we had really looked forward to the weekend. We drove two and half hours to their home and found their front kitchen unlocked and a note on their kitchen table saying they had taken some friends out on the lake. We could have cried. Dad and I fished off the dock alone. When the kids returned late that evening they said, "We thought you'd be tired after that long drive, so when our friends stopped by we took them out on the lake to fish." Not wanting to upset them, we didn’t tell how hurt we were.

What Does It Mean?

1. We were promised some good fishing.


1. How old are the writer and her husband?

2. Who invited them the writer and her husband?

3. What did they promised?

4. Do they love to fish?

5. Do they have a boat?

6. What did they find when they arrived at their daughter's house?

7. Did they cry?

8. Did they drive back home?

9. What did the kids say?

Discussion Points


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1. Do you think the parents should have created a scene and told their kids how

hurt they were?

2. Should the parents have driven back home before the kids returned?

3. Does the kids' statement that they thought their parents would be tired after

two and half hours' drive make sense?

Opinion Samples

1. Of course, they should have created a scene on the spot because the kids showed no respect for their parents. I don’t understand why the kids invited their parents and then went fishing with their friends. The parents drove two and a half hours, only to see a note that made them feel hurt. The fact that the parents said nothing and pretended they were not upset gave the wrong signal to the kids that breaking a promise with their parents would be OK as long as they made a lame excuse.

2. The parents showed how difficult it is to be "real parents." Parents should always be understanding and forgiving, especially concerning their kids, since parents are always the models to follow. What would have been gained by creating a scene? If the parents had created a scene, there should have been an argument. Parents could teach their kids by behavior, not by an argument.


Let's Talk! 2

Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 56 PRO-LIFE VS PRO-CHOICE This is a message to those men and


This is a message to those men and women who try to prevent women from entering abortion clinics and carry big signs that says, "They Kill Babies Here!" Have you signed up to adopt a child? If not, why not? Is it because you don’t want one, can't afford one, or don’t have the time, patience, or desire to raise a child? What if a woman who was about to enter a family-planning clinic saw your sign, then decided not to have an abortion and chose instead to give her baby to you? Would you accept it? What if the mother belonged to a minority group – or was addicted to drugs or tested positive for AIDS. Why are you spending your time carrying a sign? Why aren’t you volunteering to babysit a child born to a single mother, so she can work? Why haven’t you opened door to pregnant teenager whose parents kicked her out when she took your advice and decided not to have an abortion? As for the taxpayers who resent paying for abortions: who do you think pays for foster care, welfare, social workers, and juvenile delinquency? Let's talk about something money can't buy: love. Have you ever visited a home for abused and unwanted children? Have you ever been to juvenile hall and seen the children who have committed crimes because they were born to mothers who didn’t want them? I'm not thrilled about abortion, but I don’t think anyone has the right to tell others not to have one unless he or she has done all the things I mentioned above. So, to those carrying those signs and trying to prevent women from entering family-planning clinics, heed my message: If you are against abortion, don not be a hypocrite, make your time and energy count.


Let's Talk! 2

What Does It Mean?

1. a minority group

2. tested positive for AIDS

3. single mother

4. juvenile delinquency

5. I'm not thrilled about abortion

6. If you are against abortion, don’t be a hypocrite


1. Does the writer side with the pro-life or pro-choice movement?

2. According to the writer, what circumstances force women to have abortions?

3. What does the writer want pro-life demonstrators to do?

4. Pro-life demonstrators grumble about taxpayers' money paid for abortion. Is it

a logical complaint?

5. What does the writer call pro-life demonstrators?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think we must concede that unborn babies have the same rights as any

human beings?

2. What is the difference between killing unborn babies and killing a man on the

street? 3. Is abortion an issue the government should intervene in or something individuals must deal with by themselves?

4. Is it justifiable for pro-life people to kill abortion-performing doctors, calling them murderers?

5. Do you think a wife should have the right to have an abortion without a "yes"

from her husband?

Opinion Samples

1. The argument for abortion seems to hinge on the rights of women, but what about the rights of the children? If free abortion is abolished, unwanted babies will be forced into the world, already grossly overcrowded and burdened with problems that seem unsolvable. If there is a desire to deepen morality, the criminalizing of free abortion and the opposing of family planning are not the way to go.


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2. Do you think it is fair that killing born people is murder, but killing unborn babies is not a subject to criminal law? We all know that the right to life begins at conception, don’t we?

3. Above all, we should focus our all efforts on preventing unwanted

pregnancy through information, education, birth control, and affordable, available contraceptives. At the same time, we should also support a woman having the right to make her own decision concerning her own body, and he thinks that a woman who is not pregnant has no right to decide if one who is should have an abortion or not. So I think the best policy is "Respect the right, reduce the need."

4. If the church is really worried about saving the family and unborn

children, why doesn’t it offer to take unwanted children under its wing and then either offer them for adoption or raise them itself? It is of no use to show sympathy for unborn life and be against abortion without suggesting a practical solution. Until the proper solution can be found, women should have the right to decide for themselves about abortion.

5. Pro-life groups do encourage information on birth control (not just

abstinence) and sex education. They also promote the fact that all children, born

and unborn, are precious – and all human life should be afforded the respect and dignity that it deserves.


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Let's Talk! 2 SITUATION 57 ADOPTION "Mom, I'm pregnant." "You're WHAT?" "This can be

"Mom, I'm pregnant." "You're WHAT?" "This can be true. Are you sure?" "Yes, I've seen a doctor." "What are you going to do about it?" "I'm going to have the baby and put it up for adoption." "You have no obligation to go through with this. We could arrange an abortion." "I don’t want an abortion. I'm going to have the baby." We were sitting in a restaurant having dinner when this conversation took place. If anyone told me that our daughter would get into this kind of mess I would have questioned his sanity. She was a college student, intelligent, a loving, all-around wonderful person. In my wildest dreams I never thought this would happen to her.

I told my husband. He had a difficult time accepting it. Her sibling knew

and was supportive. The next call was to her doctor. He confirmed everything

and said she was in perfect health and should have a normal delivery.

I telephoned an abortion agency. That was the most difficult part. An

appointment was set up for our daughter and her father and me. I was afraid my husband would fold at the last moment, but he didn’t. We talk to a gentle and compassionate woman for over an hour. She assured us the baby would be placed in a loving home with parents who had been waiting for a child for many years. She made our daughter feel good about her decision and praised her mature judgment. The ensuing months were a challenge. We gave our daughter a great deal of love and emotional support. The adoption agency provided excellent counseling to prepare her for the trauma ahead. We all went to the process of dealing with grief. The denial: Was this really happening to us? The guilt: Why did we do wrong? The anger: Why US? So many young women do the same thing and get away with it. Then came the acceptance of what we couldn’t change.


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The birth was a difficult one, but the baby was healthy, alert and beautiful. I wept as I held my first grandchild in my arms. I knew she would not be mine for long and I dared not become too attached to her. The new parents were ecstatic when they came to the hospital to claim "their" baby. There were many tears, hugs, and kisses as they left with their daughter in their arms. They promised to give her the best home ever, and I'm sure they will keep their word. Our daughter is back in college, making excellent grades, and is happy and well-adjusted. I now understand why she could never consider abortion. Why didn’t think of it before? It should have been obvious. She herself is an adopted child.

What Does It Mean?

1. in my wildest dreams

2. A normal delivery

3. I was afraid my husband would fold at the last moment

4. The ensuing months was a challenge.

5. Trauma ahead


1. Where were they when the conversation took place?

2. What were they talking about?

3. What did mom suggest to her daughter?

4. Did the daughter want to have an abortion?

5. When the father was notified about the pregnancy, how did he feel?

6. What did people during the ensuing months?

7. Was the birth easy?

8. Describe the baby.

9. What is the daughter doing now?

10. Why does the mother think the daughter put the baby up for adoption instead of having an abortion?


Let's Talk! 2

Discussion Points

1. If you were medically unable to have a baby, would you adopt one?

2. If you were too poor to take care of your new-born baby, would you give him

up so he could have a better life?

3. Do you think that giving up a baby for adoption, especially, just so he could get

her baby back, who do you think has the right to take care of the child, the natural mother or the adoptive one?

Opinion Samples

1. I would never give up my baby for adoption under any circumstances.

Many mothers think that doing so can be justified because their children could then be brought up in financially better off family. But nothing is more important to the baby than to be brought up by its natural parents. To me, giving up a baby for adoption can never be justified, and especially not for achieving better living conditions.

2. If you have a baby for mistake and are not in a position to take care of

the baby, what should you do? The best alternative is to apply for adoption.

Adoptive parents are carefully screened for eligibility by an agency. In general they are financially well off, and there is no reason to believe that they can't be good parents.

3. I am 42 years old. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for

eight years. We are both successful professionals. We have a beautiful home and no money problems, and would be wonderful parents. WE have been on the waiting lists of three adoption agencies for two years and keep praying that one

of them will call. If you are not able to take care of your baby, contact an agency through your clergy man or your doctor and ask that the child be placed with a loving couple whose empty arms long to hold a little one. You will be rewarded for this act of generosity and feel good in your heart, forever knowing you have done the right thing.



SITUATION 58 ORGAN DONATION Let's Talk! 2 received a letter from a man who was critical

Let's Talk! 2

received a letter from a man who was critical of organ donation. He felt it

was wrong to "mutilate" the body of a loved one.

I am a nurse in a busy critical care unit in Louisiana. Although our hospital

does not perform organ transplants, it supports the organ donation program. Not everyone is favorably inclined toward organ donation. Unfortunately, some common misconceptions exist that make a rational decision difficult. People need to know:


1. Hospitals do NOT sell organs. It is against the law.

2. The agency performing the organ removal uses artificial structures to replace long bones or eyes so the donor will look "natural."

3. When skin is removed it is taken only from areas of the body that will not

be visible in an open casket.

4. All bodies are handled carefully and with the utmost respect.

5. The cost of surgery for organ donation is NOT charged to the family. It is

the family of recipient who pays. When the time comes, it is the next of kin who makes the decision about an organ donation. Discussing this with your family while you are in good health will improve your chances of having your wishes followed. And it is always nice to carry a donor card in case of an accident.

What Does It Mean?

1. Critical care unit

2. Not everyone is favorably inclined toward organ donation.

3. When the time comes, it is the next of kin who makes the decision about an

organ donation.


Let's Talk! 2


1. Do hospitals sell organs?

2. Does the agency leave the removed part empty?

3. Which area is taken off in skin removal?

4. Who pays the cost of surgery?

5. Who decides for or against organ donation when the time of death comes?

Discussion Points

1. Are you willing to carry an organ donation card?

2. If your child were declared brain-dead, would you donate his or her usable


3. What do you think about donating your body to medical research after you die?

Opinion Samples

1. Some people think it is "just wonderful" that a family donates the body

of the deceased to be cut up and given to people who need a new lung, a new heart, new eyes, new kidneys, etc. And the skin could be used by someone who has been badly burned. I find it incredible that some people consider cutting a body to pieces "an act of enormous generosity." To me, it is just plain gruesome. If my son were killed in an accident, I would never allow his body to be cut up for any reason whatsoever. I would want the world to know that I loved and respected him in death as in life, and I would see to it that he was laid to rest in a dignified manner.

2. Let as assume for a minute that your son was suddenly stricken blind,

and the doctors told you his sight could be restored by a corneal transplant. Would you not thank God for the miracle of modern medicine and be enormously grateful to the family that agreed to donate their child's eyes so that your child could see?


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3. Only organ recipients know that the need of organ donation is enormous and there is no gift as great as this one. Organ recipients are deeply indebted to a family they will never know. Organ donation turns a sad loss into tremendous joy for the organ recipients and their families. What better way is there to immortalize a loved one than by giving new life to others? There are many people waiting for this medical miracle. Signing a donor card and making your wishes known to others is easy, and it is a gift beyond measure.



SITUATION 59 SEX APPEAL Let's Talk! 2 I am in my mid-40s, still attractive, and know

Let's Talk! 2

I am in my mid-40s, still attractive, and know that the odds of finding a

I am in my mid-40s, still attractive, and know that the odds of finding a partner drop tremendously at my age. I'm engaged to a man that I'm not "in love" with. I admire, respect, and love him – as a friend. We have a lot of fun together, and the companionship is great. He supports me in my career and accepts me exactly as I am. He's handsome and treats me like a queen, but there is no chemistry. I've been married before and I have also been in relationships where incredible electricity flowed, but one of them turned out to be the most personally destructive situation I've ever been in. (He was handsome, charismatic, and abusive.) I have come to the conclusion that intensity often characterizes sick relationships and I won't get into another one if I can avoid it. But I also know I’m missing that wonderful feeling of being in love.

What Does It Mean?

1. odds

2. chemistry

3. relationships where incredible electricity flowed

4. charismatic

5. abusive


1. How old is the writer?

2. Does she think she could easily find a partner at her age?

3. Does she love her fiancé?

4. How is her fiancé?

5. Does she like sex-appeal relationships?

6. Describe her most memorable relationship?


Let's Talk! 2

Discussion Points

1. Do you think sex appeal is an important factor in marriage?

2. Who would you rather choose in marriage, a partner with sex appeal or one

socially successful but without any sex appeal?

3. How can you tell the difference between love and infatuation?

Opinion Samples

1. Although it is not necessarily true that intensity often characterizes sick

relationships, the intensity seldom lasts in any relationship. Her fiancé sounds like

a first class "catch." It depends on how important "the sparks" are. Some women

could never settle for a relationship that wasn’t sexually exciting, while others place a much higher premium on kindness, compatibility, good character, and reliability.

2. Infatuation⁴¹ is instant desire – one set glands calling to another. Love is

friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream. Love is the quiet understanding and mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you – to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his presence, even when he is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him near. But near or far, you know he is yours and you can wait. Infatuation says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing him." Love says, "Be patient. He is yours. Plan your future with confidence." Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are in one another's company you hope it will end in intimacy. Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you can be lovers. Infatuation lacks confidence. When he's away you wonder if he's cheating. Sometimes you check. Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. He feels your trust and it makes him even trustworthy. Infatuation might lead you to things you'll regret later, but love never will. Love lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you

a better person than you were before.

⁴¹ foolish or all-absorbing passions



SITUATION 60 EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF Let's Talk! 2 The order to abandon ship automatically presupposes

Let's Talk! 2

The order to abandon ship automatically presupposes two rules: Women and children go first, and the captain is the last to leave or goes with this vessel. Romanticized by novels and films as well as history, the maxim seems to have almost the force of law. Thus, though all 571 people aboard the Greek cruise liner Oceanos survived its spectacular sinking off the coast of South Africa recently, the ship's captain, Yiannis Avranas, was widely castigated as being cowardly and irresponsible. Avranas, 51, left Oceanos aboard a rescue helicopter while some 150 passengers, including several elderly and infirm, still awaited evacuation. He abdicated the hero's role to a South African entertainer, who not only operated the shipboard radio and made certain everyone was safe but also rescued Avranas' own dog and released the captain's pet canary from its cage, before becoming one of the last to quit the sinking vessel.

In reality there is no law of the sea that requires the captain to remain with his ship to the end. And Avranas, backed back by his employers, argued that the communications on board so bad, the evacuation was best directed from shore. But the captain's statements immediately after the disaster did not help his popular standing. "When I order to abandon ship, it doesn’t matter what time I leave," he said. "If some people want tom stay longer, they can stay."

What Does It Mean?

1. Romanticized by novels and films as well as history, the maxim seems to have

almost the force of law.

2. But the captain's statements immediately after the disaster did not help his

popular standing.


Let's Talk! 2


1. What are the two conventional rules when a ship is abandoned?

2. What happened to the Greek cruise liner Oceanos?

3. What did the ship's captain do?

4. To whom did the captain give up his responsibility?

5. Is there a law that forces the captain to give up his life with his ship?

6. Did the employers criticize the captain?

7. What did he say when he tried to justify himself?

Discussion Points

1. Do you think the conventional rule that requires captains to leave the ship last

is fair?

2. Do you think Captain Avranas deserves criticism?

3. What would you do if you were the captain of a sinking ship?

Opinion Samples

1. The traditional rule must be observed, even if not forced by law. That is

the last hope for the people aboard if they are faced with an emergency? If it were nothing but empty rhetoric, no one would believe in the ship's safety and crew's morality. And no captain could maintain his authority in an emergency situation, which could result in even more casualties.

2. This is about a man's life, not romantic feelings. No one can force a

captain to do "unnecessary" brave actions and risk his life. If he performs his duties as required in an emergency, he should not be under criticism. All lives are equally important.