For Shame


Of the twelve songs I found on Wikipedia named Shame, I have had four of the containing albums. OK four in my home, I think Claire was the actual owner of the Smashing Pumpkins album. Oh I don't really like them- did Jessica Simpson seriously date super old Billy Corgan? Yuck. on so many levels.
Many people tell me that I should not be ashamed of being depressed, or tired, or feel bad and compare myself with other people. They tell me to have hope. I like these people, because they seem to like me. They are trying to help me feel better, which makes me feel both better and ashamed that they think I need to feel better. I don't know if I am really insecure and feel bad about myself compared to others all day long- but I do know a LOT of people who are better than I am at many things. I know the world would probably be a better place if we could all just accept each other. I guess.
It makes me sad though. I have long been a proponent of Shame. You might say it is bad and not to compare, but every time I think of the spotless house of my friend it makes my kitchen get just a little bit cleaner. And when I think of little Claire prancing as she runs on the treadmill (I am sorry Claire but you prance when you run. It is adorable) I try to go just a few more steps and wipe the gasping grimace off of my face.
Shame really is one of the only reasons I do several things, including-
1. put laundry away in the closet. It is shameful to leave it out.
2. Eat any healthy food. I think I would gorge myself without society looking on.
3. Comb Danielle's hair- she really doesn't like it but that fuzzball in the back from her rubbing her head on her pillow looks terrible.
4. Shave my legs. Wait I don't do that very often.
5. Try to say positive things on my blog. I am ashamed of being someone who complains ceaselessly.
6. Refrain from sharing stories about dietary distress or ask inappropriate questions.

I wish that more people had shame about their dietary distress. Really woman- did you want to tell me about how bad your diarrhea was the other day? Or your personal infection? I didn't want to know. Also I think people should be ashamed of thinking they are better than everyone. If I was better than everyone I would write lots of witty comments about the stupid things other people do.
I think the main reason people ever do housework is shame. If the least rewarding regular activities are shame driven then this activity is purely motivated by shame. My mother taught us a great deal of shame. If you bathroom is dirty, you should be ashamed. If you leave dishes in the sink, you should be ashamed. If there is a dirty diaper or other piece of trash on the floor, you should be ashamed. If you never mow your lawn, you should be ashamed. If you garage is full of dog bones, you should be ashamed.
If only shame had figured more into that last one....
The world is full of shame. There are lots of blogs that capitalize on shame. yes their lives are happier and brighter and better than yours. My friend Harley says those blogs are bad for women. I guess comparison is hard on us. I secretly love it though. It's like an ongoing personality quiz where you get to compare answers and decide which is best. Women think of lots of things to compare notes about- and they have lots of good ideas. Plus with all their sponsors I can learn about the things I need to make my life brighter and more beautiful. Shame might be responsible for introducing affordable lines of beautiful fashion and art. I want the items- and I want to be famous like them so I can get them for free. sigh...
Maybe improvement should come from within. Maybe Shame brings fleeting progress and joy. My theory is that shame is a stepping off point. Actually cleaning your house is important, even if you just wanted it to be cleaner than your sister in law's house.
So this week I am going to recognize my shame. I am ashamed to let Danielle watch very much television. I am ashamed to still be tired after my baby is over four months old. I am ashamed of having laundry on the floor of my bedroom. I am ashamed that I never make my bed.
Let's all have a little celebration of shame. This week we can all think a little bit more about what other people would think. Then you can blog about it.
Whoever had the most shame wins.
In other news baby Mark got his first tooth Sunday. He is so sad to be in pain. Also he sat in a chair today and sucked on a little piece of ice through a baby food net. super cute people. super cute.

Brooke (February 9, 2010 at 7:08 AM)  

Dear Janae,
I am also ashamed of my depression, sleepiness and dirty house. Also that I don't have one iota of the business sense that you do. I have recently decided though that I will not let my kids know about any of these things. I used to think we should all be totally open about our feelings in our little family and then I remembered all the damage that my own Mom's self esteem issues did to me. So, I will focus on the fact that I have rad hair, am a good decorator, and can be rather fun. You have a spectacular sense of style, beautiful skin & hair and refreshing honesty.
-love Brooke

sivab (February 9, 2010 at 8:27 AM)  

Do I get to be the sister in law with the super clean house?

kathryn (February 9, 2010 at 10:24 AM)  

Clark refuses to eat at our table at breakfast because no one cleans the table from the night before. I think I feel a bit of shame--but then I feel anger and make him clean it if he cares so much about a clean table. I don't think you should feel shame for sleepiness though. I think most women feel like a bulldozer has hit them for the first year of their baby's lives (I know I do!). I'm not a fan of shame (or shaming others) in general.

Carlie Madsen (February 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM)  

I always clean my apartment before visitors come, so they might never how my apartment actually looks. Perhaps it is shame that does it to me. When I see women who don't shave their legs, it makes me want to shave my legs more often...except in the winter. I would rather eat chocolate all day. Congrats to Mark on the new tooth. He's so cute!!

Harley King (February 9, 2010 at 4:30 PM)  

Your shame = my gain.

My shame posting tomorrow.

Michael (February 9, 2010 at 11:43 PM)  

Hey, I took that picture of Mark. He's definitely an awesome little baby. Diane and I had a ton of fun visiting this weekend. We're glad we could come. Good luck putting the kitchen back together. I'm glad that I was able to help out while I was there.

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