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A Perfect Guide for Married Women

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  A PERFECT GUIDE FOR MARRIED WOMEN   7. APPRECIATE HIM  I joined Charlie on a business trip to California some months ago. One evening we met before dinner at a Los Angeles law office. High atop the penthouse office overlooking Beverly Hills, the lawyer told us about his partner who had passed away six ye ars before. “He was the most amazing and unforgettable person I ever knew”, he said. “He was only fifty -nine when he died. Just before his heart attack, he shared some personal thoughts about life with me. He told me several times, ‘As you grow older you’l l find that the one thing to treasure most in life is loyalty, and the worst and hardest thing to accept is ingratitude.’”  The greatest attribute  –   loyalty. The worst  –    ingratitude. As I pondered the counselor’s last words I realized they were, to a degree, opposites. Ingratitude is almost the antithesis of loyalty. This prominent California lawyer must have been burned more than once. The very statement implied that the cruel act of ingratitude had hurt him to the core. Underdone or Overkill   Husbands, too, feel that deep hurt. One remarked to me, “Maybe it’s the age we’re living in, but everybody seems to me so unappreciative. And my wife heads the pack. There’s just no joy in giving, mainly because she is so ungrateful.” An ungrateful wife  is no joy to her husband, yet so many wives are guilty of gross ingratitude. They have forgotten those simple words, “Thank you,” and all the actions and emotions those words connote.  If your husband came home tonight and met you at the door with a box of candy or a bouquet of roses, what would be your first reaction  –   suspicion or warmth? I think many wives might not express appreciation but would, instead, react in one of the following ways: 1.   She’d say, “Now where have you been?”   Translation: “You’ve been up to something and I’m suspicious!” Instantly her husband reads these vibrations. To him, she’s the judge and he’s suddenly on the stand. He feels guilty and condemned even if he came home with a clear conscience. 2.   Or she’d say, “Well, it’s about time!”   Translation: “I’ve deserved this for months. My efforts have been overlooked. You’re long overdue.” Her husband has now witnessed a transformation before his very eyes. His wife has become a creditor, and he’s actually owed   her the flowers fo r months. Instead of being a donor, he’s been made a debtor.  3.   Another might say, “Is this a rewrap or did the funeral home close early?”   Translation: “The price of your gift is in direct proportion to your love for me. I’d really love you for a biggie;    but I can’t get carried away over these flowers.” The shell -shocked husband now sees his wife as the cashier, and he’s the cheapskate who sheepishly paid for the smaller item in the store.  4.   Finally, she might say, feebly, “Candy, how nice.”  Translatio n: “Just what I don’t need! You know I’m on a diet, dumb - dumb!” The husband now looks at Miss Insatiability in utter frustration. Everything he tries is a failure. He blew it again. He’s incapable of fulfilling her desires. More often than not a wife will react in one of these ways, all of which are examples of ingratitude. Occasionally, however, a wife will go overboard in the opposite direction and say, with teeth showing, “Oh, dahling, I just love it!” But inside, she says to herself, “Smile, anyway.”  Miss Overkill never fools anyone  –    especially her husband. He’s seen the same fixed grin on a thousand other occasions. Her reaction is always the same, regardless of the motivation. It’s merely ingratitude in a different disguise. Inside he feels unworthy of a true response from his wife. Attitude of Gratitude  Stop a moment and check your gratitude meter. Are you guilty of that heinous act of ingratitude? Are you appreciative of the basics your husband knocks himself out to provide? Not just the birthday and Christmas “specials”, but money for the groceries, doctor bills and pillowcases?  Appreciation involves two parts  –    internal and external. First of all, a wife cannot be grateful if she’s grasping for her rights. If she feels she has the right   to be taken out to dinner once a week, she will not express sincere  gratitude. Only if she yields this right to her Creator is she able to fully appreciate dinner out, since it is then a  privilege, an unforgettable experience. Secondly, appreciation from within must be communicated outwardly, by words, attitude, or action, or by all three. This is easy since a heart of gratitude must express itself. A thankful person cannot keep quiet. Don’t let your “rights” keep you  from being grateful. Thank your husband for all those little things in life and he’ll begin to give you those extras you’ve always wanted. Thank him for supporting the family. If you’re a working wife, he especially needs your reassurance and appreciation, since his masculinity may be threatened by your  paycheck. Last Christmas, I watched as a husband shopped at a perfume counter. He told the saleslady, “Just hand me one of those gift packages. It doesn’t matter what I buy for my wife as long as it’s expensive. She’ll bring it back anyway.”   Then he smiled and said, “Now I’d like to pick out another gift. This is for my secretary. I love to see her reaction.” He spent twenty minutes choosing the right one for her!  When a man gives his wife a present, his only reward is seeing how pleased he is. In one case, a husband gave his wife a bracelet, but it wasn’t to her choosing. She took away his joy by constantly complaining about it. Finally she exchanged it for one she liked. Her husband hasn’t bo ught her any gifts since, and why should he? If you’re not really crazy over a gift, be careful. If at all possible, try to use it. Express your appreciation for taking his time from his busy day. If you don’t actually like the gift, don’t be insince re and say you do. But you can still tell him how thoughtful he is for thinking of you, and be sure to thank him for the surprise. Charlie told me about the morning he drove our three-year- old, Michelle, to her grandmother’s house. As he dropped her off, Michelle kissed him good-  bye and tenderly whispered, “Thank you, Daddy.” Charlie felt like a king all day. Childlike appreciation lifts the heart. Daddies need that too! The perfect balance between ingratitude and overkill is an attitude of grat itude. A sincere “Thank you, honey,”  by words and actions will satisfy any husband, whether it be for a mink stole or a bag of popcorn. That biblical admonition, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” is so true. Don’t keep your husband from being bl essed! I received a postcard recently from an alumna who had generously used the four A’s –   to accept, admire, adapt and appreciate her husband. The card read: The Total Woman is in heaven –   a beautiful suite overlooking the    Atlantic Ocean in the heart of San Juan –   new, gorgeous luggage in my closet, with the sweetest guy in the world as my companion. That course is powerful stuff! “Nothing’s too good for my honey!” Bob says. Those four A’s are the keys to making my man come alive! (excerpts from The Total Woman  by Marabel Morgan) A READING COMPREHENSION AND STYLE 1. Take a close look at the language and type of argumentation used in the text above and try to approximately identify the decade in which this guide was written (the 50’s, 70’s, 90’s, etc.) Try to support your decision with evidence from the text. 2. a) Consider the following essay on women. Can you relate the point made in this essay about ‘women’s language’ to the language used by Marabel Morgan in the text above? Is ‘women’s   language’ different from men’s? Can you find evidence in Marabel Morgan’s discourse?  b)*   Translate the essay in English, paying attention to the style, vocabulary used in it: Despre femei “Dacă eternul masculin, în termeni ideali, constă în ceea ce aş numi  geniul dăruirii    –    îi explică odată Zacharias Lichter unui tânăr care făcea declaraţii misogine –   eternul feminin l- aş identifica  geniului receptivităţii . Numai aşa îmi explic, de pildă, un fapt destul de curios la prima vedere: sentimentul deplinei înţelegeri, al unei înţelegeri  stimulatoare, care- mi dă aripi şi mă face să planez în spaţii din ce în ce mai pure, îl am rareori cu bărbaţii decât cu femeile, chiar şi cele mai simple. Mi s -a î ntâmplat să vorbesc ore întregi, în limbajul meu complicat şi rebarbativ (fără a face nici cea mai mică concesie, fără a coborî, sfătos şi ipocrit, la un nivel mai cotidian sau mai familiar), - cu câte o femeie de serviciu sau cu câte o ţărancă aproape analfabetă venită să vândă zarzavaturi în piaţă, şi –   dincolo de reacţia imediată, dincolo de micile uimiri speriate sau de chicotelile înăbuşite –    simţeam tot timpul bucuria unei comunicări dintre cele mai fecunde şi geniul meu iradia cu o forţă rareori atinsă.   Desigur, această înţelegere, această comunicare -molipsire se realiza pe un plan metaverbal. Cuvintele nu mai însemnau nimic, devenind purtătoarele unei energii inefabile, cu totul străină de semnificaţia lor: prezenţa îngerilor stăruia deasupră -le. Pierzându- şi orice individualitate semantică, ele nu mai erau decât nişte simple vehicule ale unei realităţi care se refuză semnului. Prin extraordinara lor receptivitate, femeile pot depăşi cu uşurinţă “convenţionalismul” tipic masculin (prejudecata comunicării exclusiv în limitele codificate ale “limbajului”),  participând direct, prin intuiţie, la mişcările esenţiale ale spiritului, la fluxurile şi refluxurile lui, pe care vorbirea l e  poate transmite , dar fără să le  semnifice . Bărbaţii care se plâng că nu pot fi înţeleşi de femei, misoginii de toate felurile, îi cer femeii să se integreze în sistemul lor de convenţii şi stereotipii, să le înţeleagă –   în chip cât mai precis şi mai mecanic –   limbajul explicit. Or, la majoritatea, acest limbaj explicit n-are nici o acoperire   interioară, e rece şi mort.”   (Matei Călinescu–    Viaţa şi opiniile lui Zacharias Lichter  ) B VOCABULARY   1. Find expressions in your text that would match the meaning of the following ones: to a certain extent/ the lawyer must have been cheated more than once/ she is the worst of the lot/ he has failed again/ very often/ a wife can exaggerate her reaction in the opposite direction/ a wife can smile hypocritically and  praise her husband/ a horrible act of ingratitude/ the wife is trying to get her rights/ the bracelet wasn’t to his wife liking/ appreciation raises one’s spirits   2. Paraphrase the following: a foxy woman/ a runaway victory/ a tightfisted fellow/ a catty sister/ a scorcher/ sizzling passion/ mousy hair/ flagging energy/ to pare down one’s expenses/ a taxi - stand/ zest for life/ a mulish expression/ in donkey’s years/ waspish remark/ a fishy situation/ a horsy face/ sheepish smile/ nicely underdone vegetables/ saccharine smile 3.   IDIOMS: Fill in t he blanks with the appropriate ‘animal/insect’ words, in order to make up a simile:   as poor as a ………..   like a …. ……. in a china shop   as dead as a ……….   like a ……….. with a sore head   as bald as a ……….   like a ………...on hot bricks   as slippery as an….   like a ………..out of water    as busy as a………   he eats like a………   as meek as a………   he drinks like a………   as happy as a………   as stubborn as a……   as free as a ………..   as mad as a…………   as strong as an………   as blind as a…………   5*.SYNONYMY: EXAGGERATE.  Translate into English, making use of some of the following phrases:   exaggerate, overkill, overstate, overstatement, to overstate your case, overemphasize, overrate, overdo, to make too much of, blow something out of all proportion, lay it on thick, (over)dramatize, make a thing of:   Dan spune că a văzut filmul  Marea evadare   de cel puţin douazeci de ori, dar cred că exagerează. / E exagerat să spui că o să dăm faliment. Avem şi noi o problemă, două, asta - i tot./ Ai cam întins coarda cu maică -ta azi. Nu vez i că aproape ai făcut - o să - ţi plângă de milă?/ Să spui că are o voce ca a Mariei Callas înseamnă să deformezi serios adevărul./ N - am vrut decât să o speriem puţin, dar ţipetele ei ne fac să credem că am cam întins coarda când ne -am   jucat de-a stafiile./ Ce faci atâta caz pentru că a spart un pahar?/ Iar dramatizezi. Nu poţi şi tu să spui exact cum a fost?/ S- ar putea să fi prezentat lucrurile deformat, dar n - am vrut decât să o conving că am dreptate./ S -au exagerat  prea mult în ultima vreme virtuţile pastei   de dinţi Aquafresh./ Nu mai face din ţânţar armăsar! Nu eşti singurul care a  picat la examenul de conducere. 6*.POLYSEMY:  STAND . Translate into English, trying to make use of any collocations containing the verb/noun    stand  :   La intrarea în gară era un chioşc unde se vindeau hamburgeri./ Kane nu a depus încă mărturie la procesul care se  judecă acum./ La cuier erau atârnate o mulţime de pălării, toate furate de fratele său./ Te rog aranjează tu partitura pe suport/ stativ, pentru că George se pregăteşte să cânte./ Dacă nu te grabeşti, o să închidă chioşcul de ziare şi să vezi că nu mai punem mâna pe Evenimentul Zilei./ Am reuşit să fac rost de un loc în partea de sus a stadionului./ Prea multe tarabe strică priveliştea oferită de frumoasele noastre străzi./ Rezistenţa lor a durat o lună încheiată./ A luat în sfârşit poziţie faţă de problema aceea importantă./ Trupa de actori a poposit câte o noapte în fiecare oraş din regiune./ N- ar fi rău dacă toată lumea şi - ar apăra ferm punctul de vedere. / S - a dus şi şi -a ocupat poziţia lângă aspirator şi maşina de spălat: de - acum încolo avea să fie un soţ model, nu un fotoliu cu papuci şi ziar.   C GRAMMAR: PRESENT PERFECT Compare the first paragraph of the text above to the next ones. While the first paragraph contains a story, a narrative  piece of text, making use of  past tenses   that ‘move narration forward’, the next paragraphs use  present tenses  which help the writer to formulate generalizations related to ‘conjugal life’.  Now consider the following Present Perfect instances taken from these paragraphs: (1)    Now where have you been? (2)   You’ve been up to something and I’m suspicious!  (3)   I’ve deserved this for months. My efforts have been overlooked. (4)   Her husband has now witnessed a transformation before his very eyes. His wife has become a creditor and he’s actually owed   her the flowers for months . Instead of being a donor, he’s been made a debtor.  (5)   He’s seen the same fixed grin on a thousand other occasions. (6)   He’ll begin to give you those extras you’ve always wanted. (7)   Her husband hasn’t bought her any gifts since, and why should he? All of these instances of Present Perfect have something in common: they make a link to speech time. In other words, none of these sentences conveys information on something which strictly happened in the past and has no connection to the moment of speaking. The tense used in these cases clearly indicates that the information contained in them has relevance for the present moment . This is why we have underlined the time adverbials that are combined with the temporal forms: if you take a close look at these adverbials, you will see that all of them make a link between a past moment and speech time. One conclusion that we can safely draw so far is that Present Perfect is indeed a  present tense , since it helps creating a link between a past moment and speech time (now). In that, this tense form exhibits a strong resemblance to the Romanian  perfect compus , which can also create this semantic effect. But if you try to translate the examples above, you will see that not all of them can be translated by means of  perfect compus .  The misconception that the  perfect compus  is the equivalent of Present Perfect is one of the reasons why Romanian learners have trouble mastering the use of this English tense.  NOTA BENE! PRESENT PERFECT ≠ PERFECT COMPUS  What are the reasons why Present Perfect is considered to be a  present tense ? And why is this particular tense so different from other ‘present perfects’ in other languages?
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