Recurring Stupidity

I’ve been getting e-mails from readers asking exactly when it’s appropriate to cut off all contact with recurring stupers (once again, short for categorically stupid persons). Recurring because some sort of connecting bond exists linking the authentic, thinking person to the counterfeit human, such as long-term friendship, kinship or in-law-ship.

As you know, dearest readers, personal experience, observation, research and careful study weigh heavily in forming my expertise. I’ve learned ways to effectively get rid of stupers without any upsets.

I’m going to unveil here, for the first time, one of my most successful secret ingredients for eliminating a stuper…permanently. And no, it requires no bloodshed, weaponry or surreptitious nocturnal visits to the local toxicologist for the latest in untraceable poisons. It requires only one tool, but a tool that must be used properly. It worked for me not once, but twice…on the same person. Why twice? Because after success the first time, I became indolent, forgetting to utilize my tool properly. Idiocy reappeared. Thankfully, it was ultimately conquered.

For twenty years, a stuper of singular, stagnant stupidity hounded me: Naomi. As she is a fairly close relative, periodic contact is mandatory.

When my kids were toddlers, Naomi lived mere blocks away and spent a lot of time at my home. She too had tots. Having visits at her house would require effort and possible monetary expenditure on her part, so she always came to mine.

Not only is Naomi highly skilled at verbal insults, but pick any repugnant personality trait and Naomi embodies it: greed, insecurity, misery, meanness, envy, parsimony (in case you couldn’t think of any). Plus, she is a consummate critic and whiner. Believe it or not, Naomi hardly bothered me. I was so wrapped up in my own happiness, I was immune to her odious qualities. Once in a great while, I’d respond to her in annoyance, but typically, I grinned and bore it. In retrospect, I humbly marvel at my tolerance.

Then I suffered a bit of a crisis. A low point in my life. Naomi was not only of absolutely no help, but excelled in constantly bringing to my attention exactly what caused me pain.

I had to take action so I could live and be Naomi-less. I accomplished this in a simple way and when I did, Naomi moved away, and out of my life for several wonderfully stupid relative-free years. The course of action I took had to do with changing my way of thinking; I will elaborate on this shortly.

Two years later: I slacked off on following the course of action I’d set for myself. So Naomi reappeared and brought along her endless supply of annoyances.

Then Naomi got angry with my husband for not doing her a favor. She detonated with a foot stomping, expletive hurling explosion. I took the same course of action that had been successful in temporarily getting rid of her before. But first, I placed a phone call to Naomi, to clear the air.

She talked for over an hour. In order to maintain my sanity, I put her on speaker phone.  During her tirade, I baked a delicious lemon meringue pie, gave myself a refreshing cucumber & honey facial and trimmed a rose bush right outside the kitchen door.

When Naomi finally ran out of steam, I asked why she never bothered to act kindly. Her astute response:

“I guess ’cause we have nothing in common.”

Firstly, are we only kind to those with whom, we believe, we share something in common? Isn’t the fact that we all live on the same planet enough? Kindness is its own reward. Secondly, here’s what we don’t have in common:

We are the same age, attended the same college and graduate schools, were in the same freaking sorority, are in-laws (albeit, hanging by an exceedingly frayed thread), have kids the same age, are both attorneys, and so on and so forth.

After this conversation, I locked myself in the attic and racked my brain for hours in a desperate attempt to think of one act or word of kindness on Naomi’s part. When a hollow headed relative acts ridiculously, I immerse myself in their agreeable traits. This helps to overcome what is, hopefully, momentary stupidity. But what about recurring stupidity as in Naomi’s case? There were kin I cared about who would be hurt if I committed bodily harm on Naomi. So I kept thinking. 

I always came up empty-handed. Surely there had to be something. There was that time she gave me a flyer about the recall of my baby stroller. But that was immediately cancelled out when she failed to reimburse me for some shopping she asked me to do for her. How about that matchless moment when Naomi actually apologized to me? She’d asked me to pick up her daughter after school, then, changed her mind and had her brother pick up the child without telling me. Consequently, I scoured the campus for a trace of the missing girl. Just before I called the FBI, I ran across the school secretary who told me Uncle Paul picked up the girl. I left Naomi a none-too-happy phone message. She called me back to say she was sorry. But her apology was annulled because it had this attached,

“I hope this won’t prevent you from doing favors for me in the future.”

What did I finally do?

The answer and more, next time.

Guard your thoughts!


5 Responses to “Recurring Stupidity”

  1. M.C. says:

    Naomi sounds like a total idiot!

  2. Mary says:

    This is cruel to make us wait, hanging on the edge of our seats! At least you had the chance to get a lot done while you “cleared the air” on the phone. Very funny – can’t wait for the conclusion.

  3. Agnes Mildew says:

    She sounds way too much like hard work and as she isn’t a close relative, I’d cut her off, change your name and address and have an ad put in the local paper saying your family suffered in a freak snowballing accident in June and are sadly no longer with us. As she is so stupid, she would believe the ad and just try to find out who your solicitor was in the stupid event that you had left her some money. It will keep her busy for a long time…

  4. Julianne says:

    Can’t wait to find out your stuper management strategy. My stuper management skills could use some tweaking.

  5. Suzie says:

    You think you have a problem with your’s?
    When I was mad at my husband, my sister-in-law called him and
    asked him if he had anybody (meaning a girlfriend) ready in case.

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