A Thank You Note to Stupidity

I’ve found that wrestling with stupidity has strengthened my nerves and sharpened my mental faculties. Stupers (short for indefatigably stupid persons) have helped shape me into the person I am today, and I thank them. In turn, I try my best to help others be enhanced rather than enraged by their run-ins with the hollow headed.

My friend Margie, a sweet person of a calm and passive disposition, called me in tears. Her daughter’s one-week-old marriage had fallen apart. But that didn’t activate the waterworks. Her sister-in-law, Sally, had sent her a letter about a month after the nuptials.

Before we get to the letter, let me tell you about Sally. You may even know someone like her. She tends to take religious verses out of context or too literally and without any real purpose. Sally has had the same page of the Bible plastered on her forehead for about thirty years. It’s quite tiresome to be relentlessly reminded that Jesus died for our sins.

But first, I must reiterate; I believe religion can provide wondrous contentment. The capacity for kindness and generosity in one who practices spiritual teachings is limitless.  Such enlightenment can and should promote harmony. That said, Sally was more of a pew warmer than a pious person. She actually believed that the ear she kept pressed to a drinking glass against the wall gave her a direct line to God.  

Once out in the world (say the Church parking lot, for instance), Sally had zero tolerance for others. This basically amounted to a form of a superiority complex. Yes, there are stupers who believe they are superior.

Back to Margie’s letter. Sally was offended that she didn’t receive a thank you note for the wedding gift that she provided for the ill-fated marriage. So what if the couple broke up? Sally needed to be thanked or the wedding gift should be returned to her. Pronto.

Sally’s letter scolded Margie for not teaching her daughter better manners and for both Margie’s and the bride’s thoughtless inaction. The scathing note fell into my hands when I visited Margie a short time later.

Margie’s initial reaction was to do nothing; she’d just write a thank you letter to Sally on behalf of her daughter. But that would have led Sally to believe she was justified in her accusations. And a wishy-washy note would have been fruitless. Watered down missives won’t even light a fire in such cases as stupers do not comprehend indirect communication. The response had to be direct, brief and concise.

The surly tone of Sally’s note swayed me into suggesting Margie write a very firm, blunt response so that there would be no question as to how she felt about the matter. We wrote the letter together and included these key points:

– Judge not, lest ye be judged;

– Enclosed please find your stinking gift;

– How can you add to some one’s pain when understanding, love, and patience are required?

– Haven’t you learned anything from your three-decade-long, weekly Bible readings?

– Go suck an egg.

The directness of the letter caused a positive reversal. Sally, the prodigious zealot, revised her uncivilized stance by writing back to Margie, apologizing profusely and asking for forgiveness. Perhaps something in the letter had awakened a drowsy awareness in Sally of the inappropriateness of her insipid action.

Good thought is worth much and costs little.

Think good thoughts!



7 Responses to “A Thank You Note to Stupidity”

  1. Hmmmm…. and if the marriage was only a week old, regardless of the demise of it, doesn’t seem unexpected that thank you’s hadn’t been sent anyway to me.

  2. Agnes Mildew says:

    What a great post, Keli. Glad you forced the sanctimonious Sally to think again. Unfortunately, her reaction to a lack of thank you note is exactly how my Mother would react, too. I know it is good manners to say thanks, but within one week? And if things are rocky immediately? Blimey…obviously she’s not come across the bit in Corinthians “Love is patient”!

    PS. Does it make me a stuper that I continually forget to do the sum in your box, submit my comment and then have to write it out all over again? Even a laboratory rat would have remembered this procedure by now…

  3. Katie says:

    Well, I just wrote you a long comment on this and hashbash sent me back as I did something wrong. LOL Maybe I did not add the numbers write. LOL Katie

  4. Keli says:

    I can’t get anything past my sharp-eyed readers. Thanks for pointing out that I missed a relevant point. Sally sent the letter about a month after the wedding. I have now clarified that in my post.
    Don’t worry, you are definitely not a stuper. It took me a month to learn to add the numbers and even now, I forget. It’s there so that only the most genius of readers, such as yourself, may leave comments.
    I’m sorry to miss your long comment! It’s all in the wretched math. Obviously, you conquered the little box as this comment did reach me. Thank you!

  5. Julianne says:

    I have to give props to Sally for her change of heart, a very unexpected twist.

    Does that mean that the affliction of stupidity is reversible?

  6. Julianne says:

    Forgot to add:

    Did you know that someone posted a comment on my blog on behalf of your goats? I cannot figure out who it is.

  7. Keli says:


    Good question! (Not the goat impersonation query, but the one on the affliction). I’m doing the FAQs of stupidity soon and I will answer the reversible affliction question, among many others, at that time.

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