Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The magnificent Bête de Jour has been running a series of posts under the loose category of 'shame', revisiting those life moments that still bring on an intestinal lurch when they edge too far from the box marked "BLISSFULLY FORGOTTEN".

The Beastly One's posts are superb, hovering somewhere between Dostoevsky, Wodehouse and Adrian Mole, but I think his secondary intent - encouraging his readers to post their own tales of self-imposed humiliation - is doomed to failure. Most of us don't feel able to revisit the true depths of our own social loserdom, unless we're: a) in the safe and confidential confines of a therapist's consulting room; or b) profoundly drunk.

I've touched before on a few past moments where my sang froid got a bit chaud, most of them related to mishaps I've endured while undertaking physical exertion, so I've only really got myself to blame. But, prompted by Bête's badgerings, I've remembered another, from about 10 years ago. It's fairly minor on the face of things, but it still provoked a few sweats, cramps and shudders as it loomed into my consciousness. All that happened is that, getting dressed one morning without properly waking up, I put my jumper on back-to-front, and travelled into work thus attired.

Which wouldn't have mattered that much, except that, as noted by the colleague who finally pointed out the sartorial gaffe, it was a V-neck jumper.


EW said...

Tim, if this is the worst incident you can think of in ten long years of living, I don't think you've got much to worry about.

Jumper on back to front? I can only DREAM of embarrassing stories that rate on the level of putting my jumper on back to front.


Tim F said...

Welcome, EW.

That's essentially my point. This isn't the worst thing I can think of, by any means - it's the worst thing I can think of that I'm prepared to share here. You want soul-baring - go see Bête.

Rog said...

The picture of the fat reptile with the V-Neck Jumper is hammering home the point, Tim.

Betty said...

Your embarrassment threshold is too low if you're upset about wearing a v-neck jumper back to front.

Most of the embarrassing things I can think of are connected to the menstrual cycle ... having a menstrual cycle raises your embarrassment threshold by about five thousand per cent though.

patroclus said...

To Betty's point, I've also discovered that giving birth isn't without its massive indignities, either.


Tim F said...

But Murph, don't you just love his funky specs?

Betty/Patroclus: If I ever have cause to menstruate and/or give birth, I will be very careful to do neither of them backwards.

Valerie said...

I have successfully managed to block most of my moments of shame so that I would need hypnosis, meditation, analysis, or a quiet hour to myself — none of which I'm likely to have — to dredge them back up. I'm not entirely sad about this.

My brother occasionally goes to work with two completely unmatched socks, but he tells me that once, he managed to go with unmatched shoes, too...

garfer said...

I threw up over a bus driver when drunk once. He was quite good about it, he just threw me to the ground and jumped up and down on my rib cage.

I wasn't embarrassed, just sore.

Rosie said...

i put my knickers on inside out the other day, but by the time i noticed i was midway through pulling up my tights. i wore them like that all day.

sometimes i'm embarrassed that i'm so lazy.

most of the time though, i'm not that arsed.

La Bête said...

With your outlandish comparisons, you are really spoiling me. One for the sidebar I feel.

I'm not sure I agree with your opinion of my secondary intent however. I've been pleasantly surprised by the amount of feedback I've received from readers keen to share their embarrassment and pain. I even had someone confessing (albeit briefly and anonymously) to a murder! (Of course there's no way of knowing if it's true, but I like to think it is.)

As for your V-neck catastrophe, frankly I don't know how you dare show your face in public after that. Go on, get thee to a nunnery.

Dick Headley said...

I'm with valerie. My worst ones are buried too deep for retrieval and the SWAP file has been overwritten too many times. Dealing with the recent stuff has become second nature.

Tim F said...

Valerie: My dad did the shoe thing once.

Garfer: Bus drivers deserve everything you throw at them.

Rosie: I've done back-to-front pants. I felt something was wrong, but it wasn't until I went to the loo that I worked it out.

Nuns don't wear jumpers, Bête.

So you weren't always shameless, Dick?

Anonymous said...

All my most shaming things only I find awful.

Most other people don't even realise so might mention them, causing me to cringe myself inside-out.

Tim F said...

That's an unpleasant mental picture, Billy.