Voice 1: If you’re 'between the Devil and the deep blue sea', you are in a situation where you have two choices about what to do next. But both of these choices are as bad as each other. You are, in fact, in a difficult position and there is no easy way forward.
Listen to this conversation between Benny and his sister, Chrissie. Benny has a problem, and he doesn’t know what to do. He asks his sister for her opinion about what he should do next.
Benny: I’ve got a problem, a big, big problem. And I don’t know what to do about it.
Chrissie: So, what’s new? You are always having problems and you never know what to do. Go on. I’m all ears. As usual.
Benny: Well, you know Jenny Chan in my class at school. You met her a few times last summer. You came with a gang of us to the cinema to see the Avengers movie. And you came to a couple of our class barbecues. You chatted to her quite a bit. She plays the clarinet like you. Do you remember her?
Chrissie: Oh yes, that girl with a really bad dress sense. Talks a lot. I couldn’t get a word in edgeways. And she said she would email me details of the wind band she plays in, but she never did. Has she stopped talking now?
Benny: Don’t be sarcastic! Well, anyway. I’ve been out a couple of times with Jenny, and … I really like her. And I think she likes me. No one in our class knows we’re going out together, but it won’t remain a secret for long. I feel great about the whole thing. Chrissie: So, where’s the problem? Hang on - didn’t Jenny used to be Jason’s girlfriend?
Benny: Exactly! You’ve hit the nail on the head! Jason is my best friend, and he used to go out with Jenny. They broke up a couple of months ago. It was Jenny who stopped it all, and Jason was really upset. He still is, and would do anything to get her back. He talks about her all the time. He’s going to be more upset when he finds out she’s going out with me.
Chrissie: Oh, nice one, brother! Nice one!
Benny: I’m between the Devil and the deep blue sea. Jason has been my best mate since we started primary school. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt him. But I really want Jenny to be my girlfriend. I haven’t got a clue what to do. I’m in a real quandary. Jason will go ballistic when he knows I’m seeing Jenny. What should I do? What would you do if you were me?
Chrissie: Yes, you really are between the Devil and the deep blue sea. There’s no easy answer. I think you should keep your relationship with Jenny a secret a bit longer until you’re certain it’s serious. Then you will have to tell Jason and face the consequences. You have to be honest with him. Yes, you do have a bit of a problem there, brother dear, I’m sorry I can’t help you sort it out. Oh, by the way, does Jenny still wear those awful clothes or has her dress sense improved since I saw her last?