I wait tables. For this reason, I can tell you: there is a whole lot of Stupid in the world.  Yes, we have a soup and salad meal – it’s the item on the menu called Soup and Salad. No, Moss Point Gumbo does not contain moss. Yes, Walt’s Champagne Chicken Salad comes with chicken.  It’s terribly frustrating, but at least I comfort myself knowing that my encounters with Stupid are as temporary as the time it takes to consume a 14oz prime rib and a side of mashed potatoes. (Surprisingly, this is a lot faster than is probably healthy.)

Unfortunately, a dear friend has struggled lately with a Stupid that lives a bit too close to home. This is a special breed of Stupid, a Stupid that masquerades as a part time grandparent offering ridiculously offensive advice to my friend’s impressionable children. Take, for example, this token of wisdom spoken by the adult family member, who should have known better, to a grieving 7 year old, whose maternal grandmother had recently and suddenly passed : “Don’t be sad or miss her! When you miss her, that’s the devil talking to you.” The poor child laid awake and cried all night, convinced the devil was talking to her because she missed her grandma.  The next week, after mom and dad set the wayward caretaker straight, she changed her approach, choosing to give the girl half a sandwich for lunch while her older sister enjoyed two halves. Why? “Because you’re a bit heavy and you need to be on a diet.” The perfectly healthy little girl would not take her towel off during swim lessons later that day because she was embarrassed by her “fat”. And remember, she’s only 7.

How is it possible that this breed of Stupid has survived without close, careful supervision? What manner of miracle protected this person from the onslaught of daily threats like forgetting to breath in and out or walking into oncoming traffic? And not only has she merely survived, but she has somehow achieved the title “Grandparent.” Her actions are neither grand nor parental! What kind of justice explains her vitality while others, more caring and competent, suffer and fail?

I may not know the answers to those questions but I do know this: I am baking cookies. I am taking them to that little girl and her momma. We will eat them all and we will cry about her grandma.

Advertisements