Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Moral Dilemma

Over the holidays, my husband and I changed our cell service. And as a result got new cell phones. Cool razor phones--is that the term? Fit easily in the pocket. Easy text messaging, pictures, and so on. Great fun.

Well, that was the problem. Easily fits in the pocket. A couple of nights ago I managed to launder my new cell phone. Went through the entire cycle.Found it the next morning. Very wet and very dead.

So here is my husband’s solution--after giving me a predictable little lecture on how I’m always the one to do this kind of thing. That’s another story. But I digress. . . . . His solution: take it back to Costco, play dumb. It quit. Need a new one. You should give me one.

My husband has proved over time that Costco has an amazingly liberal return policy. He has used items for years (I don’t think I exaggerate) and then returned them. Now for me this seems suspect. I don’t believe I can do this. I don’t think I can return my cell phone and maintain my cool. I will cave. I will tell them that I laundered it. I will tell the truth.

The dilemma? Two-fold. There’s the part where my dear husband continues to lecture me on my incompetence. I think that returning the phone partially redeems me in his view. I don’t like to be criticized. I’m a great avoider. So do I go against my moral, my commitment to truth telling, in order to avoid the struggle with him. But at a deep level, this little description is a blind to hide the deeper issue. Whatever brave face I put on this, I’m thinking about sending the phone to him (he lives in another state--yes, yet another story). He can return the phone. That way, I won’t have to. I won’t have to lie. But I won’t have to buy another phone.

Now this gets to the real moral dilemma. Exposes the real weakness of my position--and my character. I don’t want to do the dirty work. But I’m pretty sure I would be willing to reap the rewards. I’d be happy to have a new cell phone, a free one. This wouldn’t be the first time I’d be willing to reap the rewards of my husband’s willingness to push at the limits. He downloads music. He downloads movies. He downloads TV shows. I buy them. I work for a software company and have a lofty view of intellectual property. Still in the end, I copy his music, his movies, his TV shows to my computer, and to my ipod. I enjoy the fruits that drop from the tree of his view on what is fair and proper.

And there in is the dilemma. Or perhaps, to be blunt, my failure. I’m simply weak. I don’t have the courage of my convictions--or perhaps, to get to the point, my lack thereof.

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