My shame file expands


I had the most terrible realisation yesterday. As I trawled through my Facebook feed, I spotted a post from my sister-in-law, thanking everyone for the birthday messages she’d received on Sunday.

I spent Sunday with my sister-in-law. I did not wish her a happy birthday. I forgot.

She’d travelled to Sydney with her three daughters for my eldest’s 11th birthday pool party. Admittedly, I was in a flap, what with it being a heatwave, the birthday cake I’d spent three hours decorating collapsing on route, and making a pizza run mid-festivities.

But that’s no excuse for failing to remember your sister-in-law’s birthday. Especially when it’s on the same date as your daughter’s. We stood there singing “Happy birthday to yoooooouuuuu” to the eldest, while the other birthday girl stood there without a single note being trilled in her honour.


She was very nice about it when I made my craven apology and said she and my daughter “had a couple of lovely joint birthday hugs.”

The only person who possibly feels worse about the oversight is Husband. It’s his sister and he forgot too.

Oh the shame!

Shame has been a common thread through HouseGoesHome over the years. I’m a bit Catholic like that.

I kicked off back in 2011 with a Shame File blog:

There are many things I’ve done in my life that I’m ashamed to admit. I once mouthed “you’re ugly” to a toddler screaming over her mother’s shoulder in a check-out queue. The toddler promptly vomited all over my shoes. I was wearing thongs. I think that’s what you call karma. Speaking of vomit … I once threw up in a friend’s beanie at a party and hid it under his bed. I still squirm when I recall my audible sighs whenever my great-grandmother tried to chat to me during school holidays (I really wish I could turn back time on that one.) And, while it makes me cringe to write the words, I’ve gained 9.8kgs in the past 18 months …

(As for that last admission, I lost those 9.8kg again on The Divorce Diet. Brutal but effective.)

I was also Shamed By Mrs Geoffrey Rush once.  Gawd that was a cringe-worthy phone call to receive.

Then there was My Night of Shame when I got terribly, terribly smashed at afternoon drinks, then went to a dinner party and threw up in the bathroom during the main course and had to be half-carried home. I baked Sorry Muffins the next day to apologise, but I don’t think I’ll ever live it down.

I probably should be ashamed about what I did behind The Wee Tree. But it’s become the stuff of legend, so I feel a certain sense of misplaced pride.

There were some pretty negative emotions running through me when I got sacked because of a blog I wrote called Betrayal Hurts and another called Regret. (Though I will never regret standing up for a someone who couldn’t defend themselves.)

I feel AWFUL about what I did to the neighbours’ mail when they asked me to collect it for them while they were on holidays. Oh gawd, that was such a horrible night.

And I’ve tortured myself mercilessly throughout the year about the role I played in my marriage breakdown. To get all Kate Bushy on you: “All the things I should’ve said, that I never said. All the things we should’ve done, that we never did. All the things I should’ve given, but I didn’t.” (All the blogs I shouldn’t have written, but I DID.)

I’m thinking it’s high time I took a leaf out of Lady McBeth’s book. She told her hubby:

How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what’s done, is done.

Mind you, in the McBeths’ case there was murder involved … at least I don’t have THAT on my conscience!

How about you? Anything in your shame file you want to confess?

Song of the day: Snow Patrol “You could be happy”




4 thoughts on “My shame file expands

  1. Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh. –
    Henry David Thoreau xxx

  2. Birthdays are over when you turn 21. Most adults wouldn’t care if people (other than their children) didn’t remember their birthdays, I’m sure. As for shame… well I have a list so long it would embarrass Tolstoy. Meanwhile I’ll have to read some of these links I haven’t read yet 🙂

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