Archive for the ‘Relative stupidity’ Category

Stupidity’s Greatest Love

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

A surefire way to make a stuper (short again, for a ceaselessly stupid person) your bff (best friend forever) is to show him/her your money. As long as there’s plenty of it. You’ll have your very own, newly found, totally devoted stuper buddy, not only eating out of the palm of your hand, but licking it clean and giving it a manicure followed by an exfoliating scrub and moisturizing paraffin bath with toasty mitts. It’s not just celebs who’ve got a following. Stupers follow the money.

In my formative, late teen years, I recall an exalted presence revered by quite a few of my relations. (Remember, I have enough kin to rival the number of residents in Crawford County, Arkansas, population 280).

Kenny T was his name, spoken only in the most awed tones. He started out as a friend of one of my mother’s cousins; then, once word of his net worth leaked out, many of my relatives scrambled and tripped over themselves to become Kenny’s T closest and bestest pal. It was quite a tangled mess.

Kenny was much admired for….I’m not exactly sure for what, outside of his bank account. But tried and true stupers don’t require much in order to lavish their limited attention and unending, but highly superficial admiration upon a person; just plenty of dough. And a dash of celebrity doesn’t hurt either, which Kenny T cultivated by inviting occasional celebs to his parties.

Kenny lived in a mansion, drove the requisite cars, but seemed to me to have one small defect: zero personality. He didn’t talk much, but then again, he didn’t have to. His money did the talking for him.

I remember well the time when Kenny attended a party at the home of a cousin’s mother in-law. I happened to be there too. The hostess was practically in tears the whole night since she had Kenny T lounging on her leather recliner in the living room. There was a restless hysteria in the air, thanks to Kenny’s presence. People fawned over him, smiling fondly when he yawned and blinked his eyes. Those sitting near him feared leaving their seats lest someone else take over the coveted spot. Kenny T was a brightly shining neon light in the middle of a blackout.

So he continued to amass a large stuper following until one day he woke up to find…he’d lost all of his money. Guess what else he lost?

Many years passed and I forgot all about Kenny T as did my relatives. Then I attended the funeral of one of my great uncles. During the eulogy, I glanced over and noticed a lone man standing off to one side, behind the rest of the mourners. He looked vaguely familiar. Grayer, older, smaller. Just to be sure, I asked an uncle to confirm that it was indeed, the formerly beloved, Kenny T.

“Oh yeah! That’s him.”

Kenny T got into an older Volvo and drove away without having exchanged a word with anyone. I saw people glance his way…and ignore him. Quite a contrast to his bygone glorious, hallowed, monied days.

Stupers are opportunistic acquaintances. Fair weather friends. They choose people to befriend who can provide some sort of gain to themselves. A true friend doesn’t expect anything in return, and should not be interested in your bank account.

Keep thinking.


The Kiss of Stupidity

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Away for the past few days on a short, but splendid trip, I wondered what to write for my dear readers upon my return? Alas, I had no run-ins with stupidity.

I stayed in a lovely Inn with a terrifically friendly staff in an unfalteringly charming town with exceedingly pleasant company. Everything that could go right did. Even the garden-variety stupers (short, as you know, for unyieldingly stupid persons), did not receive my slightest attention or any recognition.

Before I fell asleep last night, while in the midst of divine communion, I simply knew that a topic would come to me. It did. I dreamt about it.

In my dream, my grandmother, mother and I visited an ailing friend of Grandma’s in some sort of large establishment filled with roomy suites. In one of the suites sat Granny’s friend, Sam, who looked pretty damn good for a sick pal, not to mention he appeared to have shaved off almost half a century and now resembled a young George Clooney, with nary a gray hair.

Some relatives of mine were also present, including those who subscribe to the minimalist school of thought. Namely, the vexing Aunt Fay.

Now, when you see some one you care about, chances are you’re going to hug, kiss, slap on the back, grab by the shoulders, pull by the hair…make some sort of physical contact. Unless, you’re a stereotypical Brit, which, of course, we are not. My idiot relatives, mainly Aunt Fay, air kiss.

air kiss

Aunt Fay approaches me, attempts a smile, then comes within about two-three inches of my face, turns her vacant head and kisses in the air near each cheek, Euro style, leaving me a little deaf from the resounding smack. There is absolutely no physical contact. This gets on my nerves because I think, why bother at all?

In my dream, I complained to Mom about the futility vs. the usefulness of air kissing by Aunt Fay. Mom replied,

“She’s f***kingly phony.”

In shock from Mom’s startling expletive, I awoke.

First of all, the possibility of my mother swearing in any manner is about as likely as my growing six more arms and roaming about on the ocean floor. It ain’t gonna happen. Not in this lifetime, anyway. Secondly, can the F word be used as an adverb?

Aunt Fay is phony. My sincere, thinking relatives don’t think twice about showing physical contact when around loved ones. Demonstrating affection, unless contrary to one’s culture, religion, or found to be punishable by imprisonment is not only permissible but a means of communicating feelings.

I know. Some of my readers are saying, get over it, Keli, it was just a dream and maybe you’re not one of Aunt Fay’s favorites, so why expect some sort of tearful, yet joyous reunion during your sleep? I don’t. But I do appreciate tranquility, asleep or awake.

Many people banish relatives, friends or lovers from their lives before any closure or resolution takes place. Of course, sometimes closure isn’t possible when one or both parties has a mind that’s closed or is just plain stupid, which is what a closed mind is, after all.

The best avenue to follow is to create your own ending from inside your own thoughts and heart. People aren’t always going to behave the way we think they should. Take control. Imagine speaking together in a way where kindly understanding does take place. To do this one must be unbound by any past unhappiness (which is not easy to do when you’re the proud, but humble owner of a virtually photographic memory, particularly when it comes to past wrongs).

I’m not a fan of my Aunt Fay and can’t say I’ve ever been (she’s married to Granny’s bro). But in my head, I imagined hugging her tightly (after the air kisses) and telling her how happy I was to see her. And treating her genuinely like someone I actually cared about. Her response to me was unimportant because in the end, it’s my own reaction that forms my character.

I’m not advocating turning into a doormat in order to deal with a diligent dolt. But I’ve found that one healthy way to deal with stupers is to admit to their existence, try to understand them and then, with monumental fortitude, be indifferent to them. Otherwise those irritating malcontents will take control of your mind.

Control your thoughts.


Philandering Plus Nosy Stupidity

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

This weekend, I attended a “Welcome Home” party for one of my physician cousins who’d volunteered his medical services in Papua New Guinea over the past year. Many of my relatives were present, including the meager minded members who qualify as stupers (short for audaciously stupid persons). I’d like to introduce two of them to you so you may see for your intelligent selves:

Meet Uncle Carl. He was married for the past forty years to Aunt Marilyn. A pretty long time, don’t you think? So long that many of us can barely recall which of the two is the true blood relation. It’s actually Carl, who’s had several flings during the marriage, the last of which caused Marilyn to finally file for divorce. This infuriated Carl who believed life was good and should go on in the manner to which he was accustomed.

Consequently, he demanded Marilyn be blackballed from all family gatherings. This did not take place.

Poor Uncle Carl. He’s been so misunderstood. So what if he had no self-control or an acute case of wanderlust (the kind that had nothing to do with travel)? He always returned home afterwards. It was all Marilyn’s fault. She should have been more understanding. Besides, Carl liked to point out, how did he know that she was faithful to him? Maybe, just maybe, while he was fooling around, so was she.

Stupers are adept at blaming others for their own incompetent, often hurtful actions. Besides, for Carl, the devil made him do it.

Meet nosy Aunt Nellie. Her motto is, “Your business is my business.” She asked me to sit next to her so she could grill talk to me. Thanks to Aunt Nellie and her ilk, I’ve learned to evade annoying questions.

Nellie – “Why doesn’t your son apply to a college on the East Coast?”

Me – “Why would he?”

Nellie – “What are you going to do with yourself now that your kids are almost all grown up?”

(Note to readers: I hate this question. It’s often asked by those persons, such as Nellie, who I hardly ever see and barely know, and who have no real interest in me. I don’t want to share any personal information with this sort. Yet, if I don’t provide an answer, I’m invariably given a lecture about my foolishness in walking away from a legal career. So I try to provide a reply to keep the idle mind occupied and then promptly escape).

Me – “I think I’ll raise cattle or maybe even grow cotton.” (About as likely as my becoming an animated mannequin in the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney ride). “Excuse me, please.”

And I thankfully exit.

As I’ve explained in earlier posts, a stuper will focus on others to avoid focusing on a self that’s not in proper working order. Authentic family members, who engage in thought, treat each other well and are happy for others whether they desire to become astronauts or scarecrows.

Stupers should be avoided whenever possible. And if not possible, as in the case of relative stupidity, make the forced interaction brief and maintain your composure. Don’t allow them to bring out the worst in you. Bring along the popcorn, relax, and be prepared to be entertained.

Choose to think.


Never a Borrower or a Lender to Stupidity Be

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

It’s a well known fact that should money be loaned to or borrowed by a stuper (short for an abysmally stupid person), said money will not be paid back. Ever. It’s akin to burying the money in quicksand.

In my pre-stupidity specialist days, I’d made such loans. But that was before I fully understood the consequences of engaging in a financial transaction with a charter member of the Stupid-Among-Us Club. My husband and I once made a very large loan to a relative. Years later, we experienced financial difficulties. The idiot borrower/ sister-in-law relation had not yet repaid. She’d secured steady income working as a professional, but decided to repay just a fraction of the loan which, to her pea size brain, equaled full payment. Perhaps her math skills were simply not up to speed. Or perhaps my husband and I should have hired a couple of thugs to beat her up in a dark alley with us as audience.

Despite my fervent pledge of never loaning money unless it’s to a genuine, authentic human, known personally to me, I did just that, almost two months ago. The amount was very small compared to the above loan; I paid for a hotel room to be shared by two of my son’s golf mates after being requested to do so by the parents. I’d driven them all to a golf tournament, and we ended up needing to spend the night.

One thoughtful, responsible parent repaid me immediately. The other, however, has not, and most likely will not. She initially told me she’d give me the cash right away. It didn’t happen. I called her a few weeks ago, and she apologized profusely for her forgetfulness, promising to send out a check forthwith. You can guess why I’m writing this. But it is my own fault. This parent was known to me as a stuper whose mind, like a hummingbird, flitted, from subject to subject with little rest. How could she possibly remember? Most stupers, as my dear readers know, are victims of ROA (Rapid Onset Amnesia). In the case of this last stuper, she may have additionally suffered from an inability to properly address and mail an envelope and/or to navigate her Suburban to my house which is a good five miles away from her own.

Some people who loan money are actually paid back. Maybe even by stupers. But, lack of repayment by a stuper can lead to, at a minimum, irritability of the lender.

In order to maintain one’s sanity, it’s imperative to keep proper perspective. Perhaps some difficulty prevented the borrower from repayment, other than inferior mental faculties.

The most important factor should be the well being of your own mind. If attempts to collect have been fruitless, think about the additional cost to your peace of mind in pursuing the matter. Maybe if the amount is small and you can afford it, let the matter go. If not, then communicate with the stuper until you receive back what is your’s; if necessary and possible, collect in person or have a third party do it for you.

I believe that if you can and would like to help another person financially, you should. But to ensure repayment, be firm and clear. Reduce it to writing. Especially if a large sum is involved. Otherwise, look upon it as a gift or donation. You’ll know what to do the next time they come a borrowin’.

Take time to think.


Stupidity Throws a Wedding

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Stupers (short yet again, for unquestionably stupid persons), have an uncanny knack for turning the people around them into stupers too. Here’s an e-mail I received that confirms this statement:

Dear Keli:

I don’t know if I’m the stuper or my aunty-in-law is. I’d like to think it’s Aunty. I’m hoping you can tell me so I can move on and stop feeling upset.

My cousin, Tamara, is getting married next month. Her parents, Aunty and Uncle, have invited over 200 people to the wedding reception. I was disappointed to discover that my daughter was not included. I’m pretty sure other nieces and nephews are invited.

Tamara and her siblings were all part of my daughter’s wedding party. When Tamara was little, my daughter babysat her and took her to the movies, etc.

Any time, there is any sort of a family party, Aunty calls the host(s) and tells them to invite her freaking bro. So we always include her brother.

Aunty is super phony, superficial and is into designer labels. She once carried around her Gucci purse’s certificate of authenticity to pull out should she need to prove that it was no phony. The purse was real; Aunty is the phony. My uncle is a cardiac specialist and has been for thirty years, so they’re very well off. Aunty tries to act sweetly and expects everyone to act the same to her. If she feels they don’t, she’s easily miffed. My daughter has been candid with her a few times, so she’s not high on Aunty’s list.

Anyway, I’m disappointed that my daughter wasn’t included, and I can’t seem to get over it. I don’t want to go to this wedding, but my mother, who is Uncle’s sister, is forcing me. I feel like Aunty is on a power trip. So is my mom.

I don’t want to talk to Aunty about it because that will only fuel her power trip. What should I do to feel better? I have visions of bi*ch slapping her.


Mom that was stabbed in the back by a stuper who is also her aunty

Dear Mom:

You don’t mention how your daughter feels about not being invited. If your daughter is okay with the lack of an invite, so should you. You should be happy for Tamara and focus on that thought rather than what or who you believe is missing from the wedding.

Perhaps you are taking this too personally. If your aunt and uncle are throwing the party, the choice of invitees is their’s. You are obviously aware of your aunt’s bouts of idiocy and have been for a very long time. Her overlooking your daughter should have come as no surprise.

Your own thoughts are making you upset. If you want to be a more intelligent person than your aunt, act like one. Although slapping might give you temporary relief, violence is not the answer. Do not allow a stuper to bring out the worst in you.

He that lets the small things bind him, leaves the great undone behind him. ~ Piet Hein

Think for yourself.


Recourse for When A Relative Acts Stupidly

Monday, February 25th, 2008

I received the following e-mail about a problem with a stuper (short once more, for an unflappably stupid person). This particular stuper was a relative whose stupidity showed no signs of diminishing:

Dear Keli,

I’m upset. I need relief from a dose of stupidity. I am a forty-year-old real estate agent. I have a thirty-five -year-old cousin, Darin, who’s a doctor. He moved to my area, and I sold him his home. Everything went smoothly. We’ve always been friends as well as family. We got together quite a bit. One year later, Darin decided to list his home for sale, but didn’t bother to mention it to me. I read about it in a mass e-mail to family and friends. I called him and asked if I could help him sell his house. I thought maybe he wanted to sell it on his own. He said his new “best friend” from Church was going to list it and sell it. I was not happy, and I told him. He did apologize, but I still feel hurt. He no longer sends me any e-mails. I rarely hear from him now. I’ve only known him his whole, entire life! I resent the fact that he went to some one else. How could he do this to me? I’d like to beat the cr*p out of him. I think that might make me feel better. Am I being bit**y or was he being stupid?

Mad as Hell

Readers, what one trait openly distinguishes human from beast? I ask because it’s a flaw that marks most stupers. Read on to find out: 

Dear Mad:

There is one obvious attribute that separates man from beast (and I’m not even sure if this is always a telltale sign): the ability to effectively communicate. You feel let down by Darin’s lack of communication with you as well as his unexpectedly shoddy behavior. But from your letter, it appears you’ve been harboring ill-will towards him for over a year. That’s at least 364 days too long. Ill-will is a scrubbing brush that wears away the hand and heart of the holder.

In order to maintain your sanity, you must take refuge in thoughts of good-will any time you think of Darin. Negative thoughts do more harm than good. And it does sound as if you have some pleasant memories to call forth. Granted, he let you down, but so what? People, especially those who subscribe to the minimalist school of thought, can behave contemptibly. It appears that you told Darin how you felt. That should have given you some satisfaction.  However, if you still feel remnants of hostility towards him, I have a suggestion. This is a tactic I’ve utilized myself, and it works. Here’s a list of the items you’ll need:

–  At least three clear photos of Darin, preferably showing him smiling;

–  A pair of recently sharpened, sewing scissors; and

–  One small wastepaper basket.

Find a quiet spot at home and make yourself comfortable with the above materials. Pick up a picture of Darin and commence to cut. Take your time. Start with the head, if you like, and snip away until Darin (pieces of his photo, that is) could fit neatly inside of an ant colony. Continue until you can find the humor in what you’re doing or until you become exhausted, whichever comes first. Laugh away or wear down the grudge you’ve been cultivating.

Don’t grudge the people who pushed you down. They could be the ones to help you up the next day ~ unknown


Stupidity Attempts Conversation During Dinner

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Ah! What an enormous pleasure it is to feast on a sumptuous meal in excellent company. Unfortunately, nothing can deflate a delectable dining experience faster than doleful, depressing subject matter, i.e., when a stuper (that’s right; short again for an egregiously stupid person) spills the measly contents of its meager mind on the table. The unintelligent excel in spreading rubbish, diminishing all flavor and appetite. Allow me to demonstrate:

I attended a dinner party and shared a table with eight wonderful family members. We discussed our children, the weather, pets, books we’ve skimmed, recipes we’ve altered and social encounters we wished we could have skimmed or altered.

In addition to the eight pleasing relations, there sat two seasoned, industrious and steadfast stupers among us: Iris (who’s been studying the Bible for over three decades and has made, I ‘m afraid, not a shred of progress), and Gil, a fifty-three-year old bachelor/trust fund recipient/atheist.

My cousin, Scott, discussed filming his surfing documentary when he unintentionally grabbed the ears of the hollow headed:

Scott: I filmed these huge waves in Pebble Beach last week and…

Gil: I heard about the surfer that got killed there on Tuesday. Is that when you were there?

Scott: Oh yes, that…

Iris: Someone was killed? (She poked her nose in, interrupting herself while in mid conversation with my aunt).

Gil (to Scott): Did you know him?

Scott: I was there because the waves were really high…

Iris: Did you see the body?

Gil: You think you could have saved him?

Iris: How did it make you feel?

Scott: Well…

Iris: Did you get it on film?

Scott: I didn’t even know anything happened ’til much later.

Iris: You can sell the film to a TV station.

Scott caught my eye.

Me: It’s not right to profit that way.

Scott: No, I don’t think so either.

I, stupidity specialist that I humbly am, had intuitively tuned out the beginning of this conversation until the very end when I heard Iris suggest selling the footage. Then I had to put my foot down. Unfortunately for Iris, I was wearing four-inch heels (the kind that needs to be sharpened with a file now and then), and she wore rubbery sandals. Thankfully, paramedics were not necessary.

Meal times, especially at festive affairs, should be mirthful, relaxing occasions. Conversations should lean toward the lightweight and harmonious.

There are three ways to handle those who wish to discuss distressing news at the dinner table:

  1. gently steer the conversation back to a different, more palatable topic;
  2. scold the stuper for his/her attempt at spoiling everyone’s appetite; or
  3. get up from your seat with your filled beverage glass, walk over to the stuper and pour out the liquid over the stuper’s head..accidentally, of course.

Common sense is not so common ~ Voltaire

Think for yourself.


Prying Stupidity

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

The most obvious means of dodging the distress stemming from encounters with stupers (short yet again, for brazenly stupid persons) is to stay at home, alone, locking all means of entry and treating the phone like a rabid raccoon. Alas, this is as possible as boarding the Titanic.

During the holiday season, there’s a surge in brushes with stupers, especially when attending soirées, and positively if relatives of the seldom seen variety are present. These are the ones who, though infrequent visitors, expect to be regarded as priests in the confessional. They want to hear all. Consequently, I’m offering a quick refresher course on ways to maintain sanity when asked Questions from Hell. Of course, a sign may be worn around the neck, which reads: Do Not Disturb. But it’s unlikely, no, improbable, that stupers would get the message.

A close cousin of mine, Alice, recently got a divorce. Hence, she avoided all family gatherings in order to bypass an inquest by relatives. Queries were directed to me instead.

Stuper: Why did Alice and Ted break up?

Me: I don’t know.

When a stuper asks a question that is none of her business and/or one you do not wish to discuss, it’s okay to play the part of a stuper yourself. Merely look wide-eyed and slowly trail the end of your response upwards two or three octaves; then bring it suddenly back down at the last possible second, while slightly shaking your head in obvious wonder. The different tones along with the head motion can cause a slightly hypnotic effect on the stuper, rendering them (hopefully) speechless. During this interval, tiptoe to safety.

Stuper: How much does your husband make?

Me: Oh that reminds me. My kids’ 4-H club is having a See’s Candy fundraiser. How many boxes would you like to buy?

This defense response somewhat resembles an eye for an eye. Should a stuper put you on the spot, don’t be afraid to do the same to them. That should keep them from approaching you for awhile (at least twelve-fifteen minutes).

Stuper: How come you’re not practicing law anymore? (I can never escape a function without being subjected to this weary query.)

Me: I’ve become really good at borrowing money from family members and friends to keep me afloat. Can you loan me ten grand?

Use this last one in an emergency. Attempting to borrow money works like a charm for getting rid of a stuper in a hurry.

I don’t mind questions. But those of a personal or intimate nature should come only from close, loved ones. Not sporadic, stuper relatives/acquaintances.

You can’t teach a person to think. But you can find ways to distract them during probing questioning without being rude, using the above techniques.

If none of the tips for deflecting relentless prying suits your style, you might choose a simpler response: “I’ll get back to you on that later.” This provides a polite and speedy escape.

Think first, last and always!


Stupidity and Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Ah holidays! When nearly forgotten, ever eccentric and quirky relatives leave their attics and tree trunks or wherever it is they reside, and provide ample entertainment during family gatherings. No, I don’t have an Uncle Albert who floats up to the ceiling every time he laughs or an Aunt Mabel who likes to wander into neighbors’ homes and pilfer their pantries. But I do have the mysterious case of the all-too-visible pooch that refused to disappear.

Thanksgiving in my family means that all five of my grandmother’s children, along with assorted grandchildren and great grandchildren, gather at her home to celebrate together. Personally, I believe in small, meaningful (as opposed to meaningless) crowds at holiday events. Anything beyond say, a dozen or so relations may provide a recipe for unrest and possible mayhem.

Grandma’s youngest son, Larry, lives 140 miles away. He visits Grandma several times a year bringing along his wife, Fran, twenty-three year-old daughter Melba and pooch, Henry. Henry is a miniature Pincher, whose price, we’ve all been advised on many an occasion, rivaled that of a small, slightly used, Korean automobile.

Henry is much loved by Fran and Melba. Whenever they visit, Henry perches on the coffee table or sofa, or prances about as far as his little paws will carry him, though Grandma would prefer he enjoy the great outdoors. No matter that Grandma is ninety, has asthma and keeps her own dog in the backyard when company is present; Henry’s place was among the other guests.

Larry’s last visit had been during a family and friends party of about fifty people. Visitors mostly lounged in the living room, family room and kitchen areas. This was a coincidence as Henry too mostly lingered in those rooms, on a leash. Unfortunately, his flexible, twenty-six foot leash created a booby trap of sorts, tripping a few elderly relatives who then slipped on the wet puddle next to Henry’s water bowl (in the family room) and almost fell headlong onto the kitchen counter.

After a few complaints about said leash, Melba decided to liberate Henry. He, in turn, chose to reward all by trotting away into Grandma’s master bedroom and doing his duty on the carpet beside her bed in the exact spot that Granny liked to place her foot upon climbing in and out of bed.

So come Thanksgiving, Grandma asked Larry to leave Henry at home. Larry objected, claiming Henry had no where to go.

Here is some background information regarding this last statement: Larry’s family kept a full-time, live-in maid; Fran had about two dozen relatives living within a fifteen-mile radius of their home, including her parents, assorted aunts and uncles, brothers, and several cousins.

Larry told Grandma that either Henry comes along for Thanksgiving or none of them would be there. Grandma felt disturbed, not quite knowing how to please everyone or anyone, for that matter.

Should Grandma have:

A. Had Thanksgiving outdoors that year so Henry could do his duty properly. Grandma could wrap herself up in heavy blankets so the late, chilly fall air would hopefully not affect her;
B. Explained to Larry about kennels, dog-sitters, and so on. Something she’d obviously failed to adequately handle during Larry’s childhood;
C. Told Larry and family “Happy Thanksgiving” via the telephone, fax or instant messaging; or
D. Allowed Henry free reign once again and placed plastic sheeting all over the flooring and furniture.

As it turned out, Larry and his family came, and left Henry at home with their housekeeper which, Fran informed Grandma, was where they typically left him when they were not at home. All this fuss over naught.

Larry needed to get his priorities straight. As the ending of this episode showed,
holiday arrangements for Henry were easily made. Larry could have made his mother
happy by merely exercising some thought and flexibility for that one evening. Yes, moms do take priority over pets. Most moms, anyway.

Holidays may bring along added stress from the excitement of organizing, socializing and/or traveling. Stress promotes stupidity as it prevents clarity of thought. Take note of what it did to Larry. It’s important to acknowledge this ahead of time and plan ways to alleviate or defuse potential sources of anxiety. Deep breaths and an equally deep sense of humor can work wonders to keep stress at bay.

Think first, last and always.


Recurring Stupidity Part 2

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

From last time, how to get rid of a recurring stuper (short, yet again, for an unambiguously stupid person). By recurring, I refer to those meager minds that steadily bombard us with unappetizing morsels of their mental shortcomings.

As you may recall from my previous post, during Naomi’s tireless telephone tirade, I industriously took care of a few domestic duties. This was a perfect way to offset the ridiculous ramblings of a stuper. Alas, after this call, Naomi did something quite disturbing. So disturbing that I cannot repeat it here, as I do not wish to highlight the unpleasant in any way.

I felt enormously upset. I kept thinking of Naomi, wondering how any one, especially a fairly close relative, could possibly be so ludicrous and hurtful all at once.

I wrote nasty, unsent letters to her, spilling forth what I could not say and ripped the missives into ant-sized pieces. I tried creating an effigy of Naomi (a remarkable likeness, if I do say so), and sticking pins in the most painful places. I conducted imaginary phone calls with her where I said my piece (this was particularly helpful; if one of my statements wasn’t eloquent or churlish enough the first time, I could have endless retakes). But I couldn’t rid myself of the anger I felt.

Let me backtrack a moment. As I mentioned in my last post, the almost identical scene had played out a few years earlier. I’d overcome my markedly negative feelings then by taking a certain course of action. Naomi had subsequently moved away, and I saw little of her. Peace was restored. Now, I had to do the same.

What did Napoleon, Garbo, Byron and Einstein all have in common? (Besides being sufficiently famous enough to be known only by their last names). Does the word exile ring a bell? In Garbo and Einstein’s cases, their banishment (Garbo from Hollywood, Einstein from his native Germany) was self-imposed. Banishment is the main ingredient in my secret to getting rid of recurring stupers.

We must exile the stupid among us. No, I don’t mean send them off to the Siberian wilderness, as appealing as that may be. I mean, stop thinking about them in a negative fashion. I changed the way I thought about Naomi, and she vanished from my mind. She and the problems she caused me, ceased to exist.

During the time I spent staying angry at Naomi, she decided she wanted to move once again… near me. That sounded as appealing as sitting on a beehive.

Naomi, indeed, bought a house close to mine not long after my phone call to her. I remembered what worked for me before in getting her out of my life. As we shared family members that I cared about, I could do nothing drastic. But I could once again banish Naomi from my mind. It took me a few months, but I changed the way I thought of Naomi.

When we try not to think about something, that very thing insists on staying in our mind.  So I didn’t try not to think of Naomi. Instead I replaced all my negative thoughts with positive ones about her. I wished her and her family well, hoping they all stayed happy and healthy and so on.

As unbelievable as this may sound, as soon as I stopped giving Naomi any negative time in my mind, she moved once again, far away and out of my life. It sounds metaphysical, even supernatural, but it is the truth. My cure is simple and effective. It merely requires taking control of your thoughts. Every time I permitted negative pictures of Naomi in, I gave her a prominent spot in my mind. And consequently, she kept reappearing in my life. Exactly where I didn’t want her to be.

Now, when I do occasionally see Naomi, I extend only kind words, if any, for my own sake. Once I’m done with the interaction, I’m done. Do not devote any time thinking or talking about the mentally incapacitated in your life. What we continuously think about, likely comes to pass.

Keep only the best thoughts in your mind!