Chapter 40 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV


Calgary Zoo – Photo Credit:

Peter Contemplates a Second Opinion

March 15, 1966 Calgary

My dear Biene,

How I hate this tedious letter writing! What is being revealed in our lines is but a fraction of who we really are. And the long wait makes our hearts heavy and sad.

There are two new developments which I would like to quickly share with you. My kind professor of German literature spent two hours to discuss our problems with me in his office. For the beginning of our married life Dr. Cardinal advised against my idealistic plan of getting by without any form of birth control. He acknowledges the same danger I described to you, the danger of a shallow life style, followed later by  a complete disinterest in raising a family. Yet, according to him, this problem is more characteristic of the common person of vulgar disposition totally immersed in the pursuit of pleasure.

My professor believes that you and I have sufficient moral backbone to return to our ideals, when we will have acquired a solid financial base for raising a family. We should not shy away from taking advantage of what modern medical science can offer us. On such a complex and difficult issue I think I will have to sleep on it for a while.

Dr, Cardinal expressed his envy in a good-natured way for our happiness. He said that he regrets that he married so late and had listened to his mother. Her opinion was that at the age of 23 he was still too immature to get married.

He also believes that it is sometimes necessary to foster illusions with your parents to alleviate the pain of the final farewell. In that sense he is partly in agreement with you and even justifies your actions. As you can see, Dr. Cardinal has been like a father to me. He asked me to pass on his kindest regards and he is looking forward to meeting you.

Now quickly to the second news item: I have been very busy looking for a small apartment for us. I found out that the Italian family upstairs will be moving out soon. I had a good look at the apartment and immediately fell in love with it. Mind you, it has not been painted for years, but I saw the potential of what we could do with it. The rent is only $55. It is like a large doll house, but large enough for two people. There is also a basement suite available in the neighbourhood, which I will have to check out in the next couple of days. As you can see, I have been busy in the search of a more pleasant living space for the two of us. If only the dumb thoughts and worries about our future would leave me alone!

Always in love with you! Your Peter

37 thoughts on “Chapter 40 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part IV

    • Liebe Mitza,
      Gewiss, Biene hatte andere Sorgen. Die Situation mit ihren Eltern spitzte sich weiter zu und so war es für sie nicht leicht, sich mit diesen Fragen zu beschäftigen, wo sie zu Hause so viele Belastungen erdulden musste. Doch mein langer Brief war jedoch meine Antwort auf einen ihrer Briefe, in welchem sie dieses Thema angeschnitten hatte. Sonst hätte ich es wohl nicht gewagt, überhaupt darüber zu schreiben. Liebe Grüße aus dem Land, das sich immer noch nach Regen und Abkühlung sehnt!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sicher ist es für mich schwer zu verstehen, weil ich einer etwas anderen Generation angehöre und als Frau für mich selbst bestimmen möchte. Ihr mußtet Euch ja irgendwie einigen.
        Wir hatten dieses Jahr auch viel zu wenig Regen, aber es war ein herrlicher Sommer, ich fahre fast den ganzen Tag Rad:)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Peter, it is so good that you could take action. Having your professor to advise you was good. The apartment hunting shows that time was getting shorter for your seeing Biene. It is amazing what happens with the passing of time. Looking forward to her response.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting that your professor was so willing to help you with such personal matters. I think he gave you good advice (you already know my views on the Pill). I hope that this is not too personal, but can you explain your idealistic goals and what you meant by the “danger of a shallow lifestyle?”

    I think I had some idealized notions of marriage when we were married 42 years ago—that our love could conquer anything, that we would be able to read each other’s minds and anticipate and satisfy each other’s needs, that we would never fight, etc. Life has taught me otherwise, but I still know we made the right choice 42 years ago. We are still each other’s best friends and still very much in love. But perhaps our goals were more earthbound than yours—it sounds like you had some very intellectual ideal of marriage that went beyond being friends, lovers, companions, and partners in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Amy,
      it is extremely difficult for me to retrace my thoughts and feelings I had fifty years ago. All I can say is that they most likely had a connection to the literature courses that filled my mind with new and highly idealistic ideas. Perhaps I was trying to say when alluding to a shallow lifestyle that sex, while it is an important component in a marriage, should not be the only thing in a loving relationship. Biene and my ideals agree with yours that in marriage we strive to be friends, lovers, companions and partners in life.
      It is now time to see what new twists and turns are coming up in Biene’s response to my intellectual meanderings!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The rent seems cheap by today’s market prices. But if you consider the rate of inflation over the past fifty years, the rent would have been at least $500 in today’s money. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Luda!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Peter, I have read this and your last post your suggestions to Biene about birth control options. I think it’s pretty brave of you to open up so honestly towards Biene, yet I wonder why you have brought up this subject a few times, were you don’t even know for sure that Biene is coming to your arms for the future. If I would be Biene , I would be taken back quite a bit , were she is in the process of taking her serious decision to move over , probably not even thinking of building a family right away, just taking that leap over to Canada, leaving her worried family. It would be really filling in and interesting to hear Biene’s respond to your concerns. Can’t wait for her voice to your loving letters. Have a wonderful weekend with your dear Biene.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many good points in your letter that it’s impossible to address them all. One of them is pointing out the need to “foster illusions with your parents to alleviate the pain of the final farewell”. It’s so great that you have documentation of this conversation. I can totally relate to this from my own experiences with my own mother when I moved away from our hometown as a young man. I don’t know about Biene’s family, but parents sometimes have a way of making it all about them. I agree with Dr. Cardinal that in some cases, the “illusion” is necessary to keep the parent(s) from emotional collapse! I might assume he knew this from personal experience? Totally enjoyed your post, as always. Des.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Des,
      You zeroed in on the one issue with which I had experienced a lot of inner turmoil at that particular time and quite a few years afterwards. To foster illusions, to conceal actual intentions, to twist the truth ever so little were abhorrent concepts in my idealized world. It is safe to say I was a bit of a fanatic about truthfulness. But now looking back, I realize that we do this all the time not for evil purposes but out of love for our fellow human beings. It sounds odd, but I believe that truthfulness in its extreme form is cruelty. I do not know whether I made myself clear. Entire posts could be written about this topic. Thank you very much, Des, for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, I totally get it, Peter, and I agree, blunt truth just isn’t always helpful. Good to know; I’ve struggled with that same issue many times. I am having a great weekend, Peter, hope you are as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter, ich kann mich so gut in das alles hineinversetzen! Am Anfang einer Beziehung gibt es so viele Probleme und Vorstellungen und Fragen und und und..Daß Du Deinen Professor ins Vertrauen ziehen konntest, war wirklich sehr schön..Und daß Du auch schon eine kleine Wohnung fur Euch gefunden hattest, war ein Glück, oder? Ich kann mich auch noch an alles erinnern , was Dieter und mir als junges Paar damals sehr,sehr wichtig war.Alles sollte möglichst vorausschauend geklärt und geplant werden. Und viele Dinge sollten genau so laufen, wie wir es uns zusammen ausgedacht hatten.
    Und bei Euch kam nun noch erschwerend die große Entfernung dazu. Ihr hattet es schwer. Und trotzdem habt Ihr Euer Leben zusammen gestaltet, nachdem Ihr endlich zusammenkommen konntet…Bis dahin habt Ihr so viel überwunden, woran heute so manche Beziehung scheitern würde,denke ich!
    Mal sehen,was Biene antworten wird..
    Herzliche Grüße von uns!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Edda, mein Professor war der einzige in dieser schwierigen Zeit, dem ich mich mit meinen Sorgen anvertrauen konnte. Es tat mir gut, mich mal richtig aussprechen zu können und jemand zu haben, der eine echte Hilfe war. Dr. Cardinal war sogar bereit, bei einem Deutschlandbesuch Bienes Eltern zu besuchen quasi als eine Art Friedensmission. Doch dazu ist es nicht gekommen. Ich schreibe das nur, um zu betonen, wie er mir damals geholfen hat.
      Herzliche Grüße auch an Dieter! Peter


  6. How fortunate you were to have a professor you could turn to for advice! Whatever you ultimately decided, I think it was wise of you to seek his opinion, and then to think about whether or not you agreed. For all that you and Biene have been through, you deserved a long and happy marriage!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great you had a good mentor. I much liked how he put it back then. And I look forward to hearing about your life in the “doll house” or wherever you two ended up…love this love story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Book I of the P and G Klopp Story will end with Biene’s arrival in Canada. After that I will take a break from it. No worry, if you stick around long enough, you will find out more about us in the ‘doll house’. Haha! Good night!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.