The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 6, 2001 · Page 61
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 61

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 6, 2001
Page 61
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Contimied fivm pwmom page bles. State yom- case, allow the other person to talk without interruption (there's nothing more infuinating than having someone talk over you), and force youi-self to listen to the other side. Finally, if you can avoid it, try not to fight when you're hungiy, tu'ed or on youi' way out the door. Whereas women can talk about any topic, any time, in fi-ee-floating conversation style, according to Tannen, men are uncomfortable randomly discussing touchy topics. rtti.i -j.iKi - in DEBORAH TANNEN Visit our Web site, u$, and you'll find a link directly to Tannen's new book on 9 Discuss fighting when you aren't fighting. Sounds like a do'.vner, but put it into perspective: We discuss death and burial options while we're alive, so why not other diflBcult subjects before emotions kick in? Talk to each other about individual needs, and what you and your loved ones should try not to do. # Use humor. My boyftiend and I have worked out a code phrase we use to cut thi'ough the anger during a fight. When things get heated, one of us looks at our little 10-pound Chihuahua mix dog and says, "You know, we're upsetting the dog." If my boyfiiend, a 6-foot-4, 275- Sandra bought a ^c"! ticket to attend her i,^, niece's wedding. GETTING AWAY THIS SPRING IS AS EASY AS 1st Fare Full Price 2nd Fare 50% Off This spring, family or friends can get away for a quick weekend trip or a nice long vacation with the Amtrak' 1-2-Free spedal offer. The first person pays full price, the second person pays half price and the third goes for free. Even if just two people are traveling, it's still a great offer and a great way to rediscover how much fun taking the train can be. Best of all, your satisfaaion is guaranteed. Amtrak Spring 1-2-Free fare must be resen/ed by May 12 for travel March 11 - June 15,2001, so act now. For reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call Amtrak at 1-877-223-5247. 3rd Fare Free WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE TRAIN MAKES offer available for sale February 25-May 12, 2001, and goad for travel March 11-June 15, 2001. Minimum of 14-day advance resen(atlons required on all trains including unreserved service. Tickets must be purchased v»lthln 3 days of reservation. Fares are non-refundable once purchased and subject to change fees if applicable. Blacl<outs apply to travel April 12-16, 2001, and May 25-29, 2001. Not valid at any time for travel on Auto Train', Acela" Express, Metrollner" Service, joint Amtrak"A/IA Rail Canada services to or from Ontario, Canada, 7000-8000 series Thruway Service, multi-ride fares, or YOFC/YOSJ fares. Also not valid on Friday/Sunday peak periods on NortheastDirect* and Acela" Regional. Full-fare passengers and companions must travel together on the same itinerary and are subject to the same restrictions, blackouts and exchange fees as any other passenger. Additional charges apply for First Class and other accommodations. Amtrak Spring 1-2-Free fare cannot be combined with other promotions, offers or standard Amtrak discounts. Fares are based on availability and are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. ©National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Tony and Carmela Soprano of HBO's mob series try to talk out their marital troubles. pounder, really wants out of the doghouse with me, he picks her up and pleads, "Candy, protect me! Mommy is being mean to me." SUly, but cracks me up every time. Is there such a thing as a good, healthy fight? Is it ever acceptable to release some of that anger and finistration and pick a fight? I asked Tannen, the guru of get-along. "Sometimes fighting is healthy if it forces people to con- fi-ont issues that they otherwise would sweep under the rug," she said thoughtfully. Then, ever the linguist, she added, "However, I'd call it 'lisking' a fight instead of'pick­ ing' one." Great spin. Now if only I can convince the recipient of my risk he's not actually being picked on.. .. ca Contributing Editor DENNIE HUGHES vrriies the •niagazine's RelaMonTipa column on family issues, What we can learn from The Sopranos Though they're hardly the average American family, the Sopranos provide an object lesson in the power of talk and silence. Given that his job involves extortion and murder,Tony Soprano is not your typical husband and father. Yet the frustrations he confronts at home are similar to those the rest of us grapple with.Tony feels both his families slipping away. Son A J. asks to have the TV on rather than talk to his dad, but when his sister calls, AJ. heads for his room while talking non-stop into the phone. Daughter Meadow won't talk to her father because she disapproves of his disapproval of her boyfriend. She'll talk to her mom but not about her biggest secret: having sex with her boyfriend. Tony's mob family is terminally tongue-tied: When his mother dies, his friends stand around mumbling,"At least she didn't suffer,"while he can only repeat,"Whaddya gonna do?" And the mob isn't what it was:The new generation "flips"and wears wires instead of following the code of silence. Fights are sparked in both of Tony's families by words said or not said; keeping (or revealing) secrets, telling (or uncovering) lies. Secrets have a way of leaking out: Junior confides in Tony and admonishes,''Dont tell anyone I have cancer."Tony promises he won't — then rushes to the phone to tell his sister. A J. overhears that his father sees a shrink and reveals the secret to his grandmother, who tells her brother-in-law, who sees it as a fatal threat to mob secrecy. If Tony's son let that secret slip without knowing the consequences,Tony's mother was an expert at seeming to let things slip while knowing full well the consequences. She revealed secrets to wield power — even as she wept that she didn't have any. Silence and talk. For the Sopranos, as for every family, words often prove as powerful as blows to create problems — and to solve them.That's why Tony himself risks breaking the mob's code of silence by talking to a psychiatrist. Tony's shrink believes that his panic attacks are caused by a failure of talk:"Silence, anger, then you pass out!" If silence and lies are fundamental to the mob, they can be corrosive in family relationships. Breaking that silence at home can be a starting point for rebuilding bonds among family members. BY DEBORAH TANNEN 10 USAWEEKEND-May 4-6,2001

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