Relative stupidity

By this, I refer to the stupid relative, of which, single orphans aside, most of us have, whether by blood, marriage, adoption or guardianship. The worst part of this type of relationship is that it’s pretty much carved in concrete, albeit, at times, wet concrete. Even if you attempt to bow out, circumstances or milestones, such as weddings, graduations, funerals, holiday gatherings and non-refundable monetary disputes, may force a person into sharing space or being around the stupid relation.

Here is one such ridiculous relative example taken from my own personal experience:

My infant son, only five days old, tiny, pink and cuddly, simply beautiful, lies sleeping in his bassinet, wrapped snugly in a yellow blanket. An in-law stops by to see him.

“Does he have jaundice?” she casually asks with about as much concern as one discussing the life cycle of the turnip.

Freeze frame. First I laugh lightly, too happy to let the words jar me.
However, later, when her question settles uncomfortably in place, I feel annoyed; in fact, at this very moment, recalling the scene, I still feel mildly irritated.

Words that were said over a dozen years ago!

In all fairness to this in-law, her husband is a podiatrist, so perhaps by virtue of co-habitating with a doctor, she felt sufficiently learned to make an immediate diagnosis (inaccurate as it was), and possibly considered that she was doing me a favor. Or perhaps the yellow blanket threw her off and caused her to misdiagnose.

What should I have said or done?

A. Slapped her silly;
B. Demanded to see her medical degree;
C. Replaced the yellow blankie with a blue one to see if it changed her diagnosis; or
D. None of the above


This stuper (short for stupid person) came from an antiquated, narrow-minded culture where boys were revered over girls for their gender instead of valued equally. She only had daughters. Perhaps it was stupidity’s cousin, envy, speaking through her.

The correct answer is D. By refusing to respond to her insensitive remark, I did not acknowledge it, and consequently, refused to permit this stupid relative to have any sort of impact on me. Just being a stuper was punishment enough.

Besides, there were witnesses present.

2 Responses to “Relative stupidity”

  1. Adiva says:

    I think I have this same relative in my family. Except that she is always criticizing me. Lately, it’s been about my hair. The first time I paid no attention to her. But after the fourth time, it was too much! It’s hard to ignore. Now she also criticizes my husband’s hair. Believe me, our hair looks normal, not overly long or weirdly styled or colored. I wish I could say something without hurting feelings (I can’t say what I’d like to because she is married to my brother). This woman is not a beatician or any kind of beauty expert. She’s not trying to be hurtful. She just has nothing better to say. If only she thought she before she talked.
    Thanks for listening.

  2. Dr. F says:

    I have some stupid relative stories too. My husband and I can’t say anything to his brother and wife, without them saying that their’s is better. Their son is more wealthy and anything their son has is more expensive, bigger and better. If one of us mentions a new phone, we’re told “Oh, our son has had that for months. His is the latest model.” If we buy a new refrigerator, we hear, “Oh, his is twice as big.” You get the message. It never ends!! It’s beyond annoying. There I feel much better just saying it.

    I’ll visit again, I’m sure I’ll have more to share. Thanks for having this blog site.

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