long live the wrong!

It's early morning and I'm gulping coffee in my studio as I write this. Soon I must get out of my pink bathrobe and show my face at my both my low or non-paying jobs (glamorous!). But first will you hear my story?
Something like five years ago my brother and I were at my mom and step dad's house helping clean for some event. We had music playing. You know that song by Pearl Jam I think? It goes like this: "Feeling, doo doo doo doo doo ta doo do..On a Sunday afternoon". You know? While shaking out rugs, I am enthusiastically singing along to this song I have heard since I was a little dweeby highschooler.
 And I go, "Feeling like a ham and mustard sha-ake" No shame. That's how the song goes. My brother stops dead in his tracks. What ensued was a lively argument about the lyrics and an obscene (was it 50 or 500?) bet. Google machine!
Can you guess? Right. I was super duper wrong. Who would right a song about a ham and mustard shake? Actually the song has nothing to do with food so why did I think the lyric fit at all? I don't know. I was WRONG.
So this all comes up last night when in my macro practice class we had a lecture on the power of making mistakes. I brought up shame and how in my home growing up shame was accidentally used all over the place. I mean, we like slathered our toast in shame. So screwing up, saying the wrong thing, getting worked up, we all do these. Why the shame (self shame, imposed shame, shame cold shoulder) ?
We all exist in our own mini paradigm. What is valuable to me, what is rude to you, all these little lenses in which we view each other. The minute we start believing that we must protect our "rightness" with our lives, we shut ourselves down to the glory of being wrong. And when we have too big a reaction to others when they are wrong we perpetuate the shame factory leaving them with no other option but to fear you.
This story ends well. My brother reacted like this: He didn't make me pay that over zealous bet (possibly there was a double or nothing that followed) and for the rest of his life, when that song comes on the radio he can sing loud as he wants that he's feeling like a ham and mustard shake. Tell whomever is nearby the story of his sister and her mega-bet and probably have a good chuckle.


the brother in question said...

I still have a good chuckle when I hear that song. even if no one is around to hear it.
...and if I remember correctly, you wanted to make it a more reasonable bet. I, being the amazing brother I am, made it an idiotic amount because I didn't want you to may me anything. I honestly thought you were messing with me. I mean, who sings about ham and mustard shakes? Weird Al?

and the moral of the story is, at least I believe. shame is just a way of telling someone else they should be glowingly proud of themselves. in this case that person was me. :)


Tanya said...

"It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong"
-G.K.Chesterton. You and your family have always been really good about admitting when you're wrong and forgiving eachother quickly without passing judgement or shame. Which I'm sure makes for fun family nights when 5 people with 5 different arguments are Hands down, 100% certain that they are RIGHT! When really there can only be one right person.