March 7, 2007

The Art of Borrowing

Each time I return home, I feel like a visitor. This has been a constant feeling, practically since I was a freshman; it's not a bad feeling..just an odd one, but regardless, this story isn't about that feeling, it's about something relating to that, and quite possibly, also connected to that. Since I left home, attending SHU as a freshman, my brother has had a consistant habit of "borrowing" from me. The only problem I have with this situation is his lack to inquire about my thoughts. If he were to ask me about the incidents he already performed, I would gladly agree and allow him to follow through with his ideas. However, the irritating element of the matter is his lack to ask. When I left for college, he borrowed my stereo speakers, without asking. When did I find out? When I came home for fall break, I think, and a joke was made pertaining to the matter. Later, I found out he had actually taken my stereo speakers and hooked them up to his own stereo. Not a problem, however he had, shall we say, forgotten to ask me about said situation. This was the specific detail that irritated me to no end. Why wouldn't he ask me? Did he actually think I would say no and thus did not ask out of fear? Or was he simply inconsiderate of my feelings? Even further so, did he just assume I would not have a problem with his request? He was correct, if the last assumption is true, I wouldn't have had a problem. However, I couldn't help but feel disrespected and excluded by his lack of action.

Again the situation occured a few years later with a cable. An internet cable to be exact. My first summer at home between my college years, I had acquired cable internet which I committedly (and gladly) paid for. Shortly after I left for my three week vacation, my brother and mother took it upon themselves to transfer the internet connection from my computer to my brother's newly acquired computer. Again, I wouldn't have minded..but when did I find out? After I had been gone and the time was closer to my return than it was to my departure. A similar situation to freshman year and my stereo speakers.

Shortly thereafter, the situation occured again, only this time, my parents were the culprit. I was in my roomjwatching TV over Christmas break when I heard my mom tell my dad how she had taken an old TV I had and done something with it. Where she took it was initially unclear; her statement of how she didn't think I would care, however, was clear despite the background noise of my room and the television in the living room. I waited for her to come back to my room that night, just to tell me that she had taken it, since it was technically mine. The moment I anticipated never came. It turned out she had taken it to our church since their television was no longer working. Again, I wouldn't have cared. I had my own bigger, better television, complete with a DVD player. Yet again, she had failed to ask me. I felt this was disrespectful and familarly, outcasting. I felt even more so like home was no longer "home".

Recently though, I had my chance to demonstrate my definition of "borrowing". It was spring break and I didn't feel like lugging my TV home. However, the thought of sitting in my chair and staring at the wall was not appealing. The solution came quickly: My brother's TV was at home. He wouldn't be home until a day before I was leaving. Excellent. I could borrow his TV and return it, in perfect condition of course, before he got home. I momentarily felt like a hypocrite and then decided to go about things the "proper" way. I called my brother to ask him if I could use his TV. He didn't answer; unfortunately for him. I informed him of my intentions and declared that I was going to do them anyhow, but politely reminded him of his neglection to ask me before he "borrowed" from my room. I later got a phone call where he informed me that he had never called back because it was "okay" if I borrowed his television as long as "nothing came back broken". I was glad he had agreed, and it's a good thing he did, because I had already watched an few hours of sitcoms by the time I got his call.

Posted by Lori Rupert at March 7, 2007 11:32 PM

As a youngest child, I had the benefit of staying at home after my siblings moved out. For a while I moved into my brother's old room during breaks, because both my grandparents came to live with us, and he had my old room. Well, I'm glad you and your brother came to an agreement.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at March 8, 2007 8:11 AM
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