We drove to Portland for my sister (The Nice One)'s birthday. The larger Hooligan came prepared, with a smart phone and large ear phones--the better to pretend he was somewhere else, like a really cool techno party in space. Yeah. Awesome.
I tried not to mind that he doesn't like us anymore. He gets this from me, in spades. I was an insufferable asshole as a teenager. I've been hoping that owning up to this and eating lots of crow about it would insulate me from having to co-exist with similar behavior from my child(ren). No dice. Remorse gets you nothing.
Towards the end of the drive I asked him to turn down the volume in his headphones because if I could perceive his techno (which I could) it might damage his hearing, which might interfere with his future music appreciation, etc.
"You just hate techno," he snarled, his voice cracking. (Well yes, I do, am I so transparent? Well, yes, I am.) "I love techno, I'm always gonna love techno. I hate your stupid music. Why do you have to listen to NPR? I hate the music they play in between stuff. It's so stupid."
What is he talking about? They play Ratatat when they transition on NPR. They love techno as much as he does.
He was able to emerge from his funk and be fairly pleasant at the birthday breakfast. (I locked all technology in the car for the duration). Afterwards he went home with my parents while I ran a couple of errands and the Smaller Hooligan accompanied Senor Cupcake (the nephew) and his mamas to the park.
I called my mom (Bad Grandma) after about an hour and a half, "Is the Larger Hooligan being reasonable?" I asked, "Or is he lurking in a corner with those damn headphones? "
"He is being delightful," answered my mother smugly, "I don't know what you're talking about when you say he's surly."
"Mom," I begged, "I know that it must be incredibly tempting for you to egg him on after what you put up with from me, but please, The Man Who Lives In My House is at a meeting in Canada for this entire week and The Larger Hooligan is very nearly larger than I am. Could you please, out of the goodness of your heart, encourage him to cooperate insofar as he is able?"
Bad Grandma laughed her evil laugh, "I was glad that I was always bigger than the two of you. I must say."