Shame on me

13 Dec

I have been to Family and Friends weekends at rehab places for people three separate times.  I like the introductions, trust exercises and the craft services at these kumbaya affairs.   Wherever there is a group of people trying to kick something you will find a bottomless coffee pot and sweet, sweet, sugary snacks.  Me:  “Oh, that is awful that your Crank addiction stems from Grandpa locking you in the closet and diddling the family dog while you listened.  Do y’all have anything salty?”  A feature of the therapy is the “shame talk”.  It yawns on about how our loved ones get into their predicament because of their fear of exposure and great shame over (insert issue here).  This is where I zone out.  The gist is to out yourself with your hang-ups.  You know, let your freak flag fly, so you can gain accountability in your life.  Remember Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is Good” speech from Wall Street, inspired by Adam Smith’s 18th Century bestseller, The Wealth of Nations?  The guiding notion is that seeking out self-interests spurs creativity and independence, which benefits everyone from the butcher, the baker to the candlestick maker.  I feel the same way about shame.  Shame is good!  Keeping some things concealed beneath cloak and dagger benefit mankind.  When is the last time you were cornered at a cocktail party by someone telling you about his “thing” for plush animals and huffing gold spray paint?  Where is the shame???  Or the client that wants to tell you about their “wrongful arrests”?  Don’t they see that I have fashioned earmuffs with my hands and am rocking?  Quit making my ears bleed!

Shame and fear have kept me from a lot of mischievous behavior.  I never tried cocaine in college or ever.  There was the fear that if I liked it, I’d blow all my money on the snorty stuff, my parents would have to get involved and be all disappointed.  I don’t wear bikini tops with hot pants to Wal-Mart because I would be horror stricken to end up on that Ugly People of Wal-Mart website.  I don’t berate the kids at the Grocery store because I don’t want people to see what kind of mother I really am.  See, my shame is good for everyone around me.  But I can’t help wondering that if I could ease up on my iron curtain, every day would be like a Summer’s Eve commercial.  Maybe it would be restorative for me to expose some of my secret shames.


1.  The Blue Lagoon – The acting is 100% awful, the story has holes all in it, but I just can’t quit this movie.  Christopher Atkins in that ridiculous muslin diaper is a-okay with me.  The rumor, at the time, was that Brooke Shields’ mother wouldn’t even let her see the movie because it was rated R.  I actually have several other secret shame movies.  Anyone seen Mandingo?

2. Carnival Food – Funnel cakes, mini-fried donuts, apple dumplings, roasted turkey legs; I could go on and on.  I should know better than to gnaw something that has been deep-fried in a cheap camper by a warty old man with green, blurry tattoos. It’s all wrong on every level.  But one whiff of a fried dough turd under a mound of powdered sugar makes me loose all reason.  Of course I am only good for about three bites before my secum begins to spasm.

3. Granny Panties or, as I often call then, “turtleneck underwear”.  They couple best with flannel pajamas, greasy hair and a Lifetime movie.  It’s like a cotton hug for your fanny and bloated stomach.

4. Ross Perot I can neither justify nor explain this.  I am on record as wanting to go on a bear hunt with Sarah Palin, so maybe I just have affection for tiny politicos who like to speak in odd metaphors.

5. Prop Comedy That’s right, I said it.  I could go highbrow and drone on about Harpo Marx and the genius of Vaudevillian comedy, but that’s not my truth.  Carrot Top and his big trunk, Gallagher with the Sledge-o-Matic, Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3,000 or Steve Martin being a wild and crazy guy with an arrow through his head.  I can’t help it.  I’ll most likely be shunned by many over this.  I AM the lowest common denominator.

So, now that I’m out about a few things, to be honest…I’m not feeling all that liberated or integrated into a greater community.  Maybe a better list would be the things that I secretly hate, but keep hidden because I know that people will think I’m a monster.  Things like Christmas caroling (shoot me, please) and theme dressing.

Anyone have a shame they want to talk about?


One Response to “Shame on me”

  1. Laurel Spatz December 14, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Friends and Family Rehab Reunion, Holla!

    My secret shame is not really secret. While an occasional literary masterpiece sails past my radar and sneaks into my favorite books pile, for the most part the literature I like does not precisely qualify as literature. Spare me the McCarthys and Franzens, please. Just give me an actual plot, or at least a discernible plot thread, and some sort of resolution at the end. Happy is better, but as long as I don’t need antidepressants I can live with it.

    Oh, this book was nominated for the Pulitzer? Sounds awesome but if you’re not reading Goblet of Fire right this minute maybe I’ll borrow that.

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