Re-nig: (Merriam Webster) (Alternate spelling, Renege) To go back on a promise or commitment.
(Urban Dictionary) To back out of a deal or a promise.
If you have ever been to a family reunion, BBQ, or any type of house party where older black people are in attendance, then you have probably heard the term “re-nig” before. If you have not had the pleasure of attending any of said events, then let me break down what “re-nig” means. Typically, you will hear this term used during a game of Bid Whist or Spades, and you will usually hear it used with an angry tone towards a card player’s partner. Another way to look at the definition of “re-nig” would be as a false promise.
I’m sure in life everyone has made a promise that they may not have been able to fulfill in entirety, but made every effort in trying to do so. Occasionally though, we come across people in our lives who makes promises with no intentions of even trying to keep them. That person would be considered a “re-nigger” (see what I did there? Gotta be careful with that word). You hate to ask that person for anything because you know at the end of the day, you are going to end up disappointed. Well, my story revolves around a certain individual who constantly “re-nigs”:
The day before New Year’s Eve I receive a text message from my father, who I had not heard from since before Thanksgiving (That’s another story in itself). He asked me if I would like to join him for brunch at a fellow co-worker’s house for New Year’s Eve. I said yes. I met up with my father on New Year’s Eve to drive to his co-worker’s house. Since this was the first time I had heard from my father since before Thanksgiving, I was expecting for there to be a slight bit of tension in the air because I was still a little mad that he had not reached out to me during the holidays. On the car ride over to brunch my father began to make a little small talk. He asked me about my holidays and what type of gifts I had received for Christmas. After catching him up on the past few weeks he had missed, he shocked me. One of the gifts I had received was a gift card to the Apple store, which I had planned on using towards purchasing a well needed computer. To my surprise my father said that he would be willing to contribute to the cost of my computer since the gift cards I had received were not enough to cover the total cost.
Pay attention closely to the exchange that happened after he made his offer. It will be very important later in the story. My father said, “I will give you money to help cover the rest of the cost of the computer. Once you figure out what kind of computer you want and your price it out and I will either give you the cash or pay for it with a credit card.” I replied, “Ok. My mother told me that she would be able to get an additional discount on the computer through her job so once I figure everything out I will let you know.” New Year’s Eve came and went. I spent a couple of weeks trying to decide if I wanted a laptop or a desktop, but once I figured it out (I decided on a laptop) I was able to price out the computer with my mother’s discount.
For the sake of making a long story short, let me get straight to when the drama started. My mother had to be the actual person to order it since the discount was coming from her job. I informed my father of the cost of the computer before my mother ordered it. He asked how much his contribution would be after I used my gift cards and I told him around $500, but if the cost was different I would let him know before placing the order. Well, the order ended up costing $600 more than expected, which brought my father’s total contribution up from $500 to a little over $900. And to make matters even worse, my mother went ahead and placed the order for the computer before telling me about the swift change in price, so I had no way of being able to speak to my father before the order was placed. Needless to say, once my father caught wind of what happened, he was PISSED.
Now this is where that first part of the story from New Year’s Eve comes in. My father never told me that he was only willing to give me a specific amount towards my computer. He just said that he would be willing to help cover the cost of the difference. So, in my defense, I didn’t technically go over his budget, because there wasn’t one. I know I told him to expect to pay around $500, but clearly I was wrong. The second thing my father said after expressing how pissed he was was, “So you can work off the additional $400 dollars that you spent on my card for that computer.”
Let’s go back to “re-niging” for a moment. Now, when you “re-nig” that means that you said you were going to do one thing, but then all of a sudden you decide to do something else. In the case of the computer, my father told me he would help cover the cost of the difference that my gift cards didn’t cover. But now since the difference was more than my father expected, all of a sudden he didn’t want to contribute. And on top of that, he wanted me to work off the extra $400 that was charged. Now I’m confused. How do you offer someone a gift, without specifications, and then get mad when shit doesn’t go as you expected it to go, because you didn’t provide specific instructions, and then want to say, “That’s not what I meant. You need to pay me back”? How does this make sense? You offered me a GIFT and now you want me to pay you back for it?
I understand things happen in life, but if you offer, or promise to do something for someone, and then decide to change your mind for no logical reason at all that’s not fair. That makes you a re-nigger, and also makes you an unreliable person. I mean, how would you like it if you won $1 million dollars in the lottery, received the money in your bank account, and then all of a sudden the lottery commission called and was like, “Never mind, give us the money back.”?