The Stupid Relative

No, I’ve not been overcome by stupidity and therefore, unable to write a post. I’m in the middle of traveling with my younger son to junior golf tournaments. Can’t you just see me, keeping one eye on my child, while walking the golf course and fending off inane stupers (short for unbelievably stupid persons), one arm on my hip, the other slashing with my razor sharp sword and similar wit? That’s me on the right:
I’ll be back in a few days. Meanwhile, I leave you with an empty headed blast from the past:

Ah, the stupid relative, of whom, 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 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 wicked 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 idiotic relative to have any sort of impact on me. Just being a stuper was punishment enough.

Besides, there were witnesses present.

Thinking is an art.


5 Responses to “The Stupid Relative”

  1. Suzie says:

    You should have slapped her silly, then changed the blanket.

  2. FerdC says:

    Stupers can be very irritating. We have several in our families, and they seem to always be the topic of conversation because of all the dumb stuff they do. I think your approach is much better. Don’t respond, ignore them, and maybe they’ll just go away.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh, dear, how long it took me to learn to keep my advice and opinions largely to myself when it concerned other people’s children. Just rejoice, encourage, and listen! Limit your questions to stuff like: “Who do you think the baby looks like?” or “How is he/she sleeping for you?” You’ll not run the risk of hurting people so badly that, like you Keli, they remember it years later. It happened to me so many times with my four pregnancies and resultant babies. So many hurt feelings for nothing but thoughtlessness.

  4. Paulyn says:

    LOL! I totally agree! Being a stuper is punishment enough…Especially when there are witnesses present!

  5. Keli says:

    If only.
    They are most definitely popular topics of conversations! It’s fun to discuss them with the thinking relatives and hopefully share a few laughs.
    But the point is, you did learn.
    There’s a lot to be said for simple conversation. Thankfully, I wasn’t hurt by the remark, just aghast at the pure stupidity. Only a true stuper would say something like that to a new mother.
    If only there’d been no witnesses…

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