Happy New Year!

I’m making stew. Nick used his new drill driver to help Mike replace an outlet. The plug from the vacuum cleaner was always falling out of it. Now, he’s back to playing his new video game and Mike is out picking up our Christmas cards. Can I still call them that? He designed them with a message of peace and happiness for the new year along with a calendar. I like that. Maybe some people will keep it on their refrigerator where they can check next Tuesday’s date while they make plans to meet their best friend for lunch. I like looking at the photos on my fridge. I think of the people plastered there as I’m standing, wondering what to make for dinner. I still have my nephew’s photo covered by a magnet. That’s because he hung up on me a few months ago. I spoke to him at Christmas. It was an accident. I’d called my mother to wish her a ‘Merry Christmas’ and he answered. I wanted my first words to be, “You hung up on me when I was trying to explain my opinion.” I didn’t say that.

See, back in the summer, my nephew called himself a hacker. He was offended when I asked if he was doing anything illegal. He told me it isn’t a bad thing to be a hacker, but I tried to tell him that if the world defines a word one way that it will be hard to get the general public not to refer to that definition despite the attempts in the reverse of a small group of individuals. In the middle of this, he hung up on me. I looked it up. A hacker is still defined as someone who illegally breaks into other people’s and corporation’s software, usually for nefarious purposes. But the definition also included a note that some software gurus have taken the term ‘hacker’ to indicate high abilities. My hacker nephew graduated from college in December.

My dilemma is whether to acknowledge this fact with a gift of money despite his rudeness. My husband says I should still send him a gift, but indicated an amount that was a quarter of what I sent for his high school graduation. I wonder if that kind of escalation will mean anything to him. I’d like to simply tell him that he still owes me an apology for his rude behavior. Mike is ready to write him off as arrogant, a sin that is considered nearly as low in our household as using drugs and holding up convenience stores.

I think I’ll send something slightly more, but I don’t want there to be a wonderful reward for rudeness. I just wish that I could tell him the truth, that hanging up on me because I had an opinion that I was sharing was a mistake and he should still apologize for it even though months have passed since it happened. For me, that only makes it worse. This could end up being the death knell for our relationship. Does he care about that or is his arrogance running too deep?

I’m sitting here at my computer facing a darkened window. Nick is behind me, playing his video game on the couch. Teddy, the dog, is asleep with his nose nearly touching Nick’s thigh. Seth, the cat is snuggled with my blanket in my recliner. Does my wish for us to be kind to each other emanate from the back of me? Oh, I hope so. I hope that my boy won’t think that it’s okay to hang up on someone based on an expressed opinion.

Thank you for listening, jules


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