Moments of Personal Shame.
Everyone has them, even if you don’t know what they are.
It’s those moments where you are deeply embarrassed, and even though no one saw it and no one will know, you still somehow feel ashamed.
Let me give you a quick example. One day at work I was feeling uncomfortable, couldn’t figure out why. Just kept shifting in my chair, getting up and walking around, fidgeting. When I got home that evening, changing out of my work clothes I looked down and saw that I had put my boxer shorts on backwards. So I stood there looking down at the tag sticking up out of the front of my shorts, embarrassed.
That is a moment of personal shame.
Now to the meat, and another moment of personal shame.
Last night, a Thursday, I went out for the usual evening: to Rio Bravo for drinks and food before something else (if something else happens). And so I’m there, I have a couple of beers and a couple of shots. I’ll admit it, I got drunk. But an hour of not drinking and a glass or two of water and I felt fine.
So I’m in the car heading home, totally okay. Until the last drink I had, a shot – an Oatmeal Cookie to be exact, just must have hit some particularly sensitive spot of my gullet. I quickly pull off the highway and into an office park, but I don’t get the door open, and… yep, you guessed it, puked in the car. On the window and door.
Well, I open the door and most everything spills onto the ground, and a quick wipe down with a few tissues cleans up most of the mess. This is not the moment of personal shame.
I drive the rest of the way home, put my clothes in a plastic bag for washing tonight, get a shower, drink a couple glasses of water, take an aspirin and hit the sack.
This morning, I get up (late) and get ready for work. I head out to the car. Mine is the only car in the parking lot, everyone else is already gone to work. I open the car door, and look at the mess. But it really isn’t too bad. I head back in, get some paper towels, cup of water and the air freshener. A few minutes later and its all clean. Still smells a little, but that’ll go in a day or two. This is not the moment of personal shame.
I head to work. Stopping at the gas station for gas, I get a carwash, and about a dozen of those little green trees for the car. All signs of the incident appear to be gone, or going. I get to work and as I get out of the car I see, just under the edge of the seat, a small spot that I missed. This is it.
I cleaned everything up, and if I didn’t write this page, no one would have ever known about this. But seeing that small spot on the floor board, I felt it. Embarrassed. A Moment of Personal Shame.
So now I have given you two of my moments, and believe me, this is only the tip of the iceberg. But personal shame can be a good thing, you can learn alot. I always double check my underwear when I put it on, and I won’t be drinking Oatmeal Cookies anymore.
Have a good day. And don’t laugh at me too hard. 🙂
8 October 1999
Moments of Personal Shame.