The Polyclay Forum
Lampwork Beads Gallery
Polymer Beads Gallery
Shows & Outlets
The "Share Your Shame"
would like to thank all of you who entered our recent competition to Share your
Shame. The competition was great fun and everyone was a great sport to enter. It
is now closed and the winning entry, along with some others, is shown below.
Apologies to those whose entries are not shown, I simply couldn't show
everyone's shame at once - it would have been too much for our ribs!
those who missed it, the competition came about because I made the most ugly,
shameful beads imaginable (see right) and decided that I could not keep the
humour to myself.
I thought it might be cathartic to share
their revoltingness with everyone rather than hide them away and pretend it
never happened. It got me thinking? I couldn't be the only one who has done
something, made something, or experienced something stupid and embarrassing? I
asked you all to share your shame with me - so that we could enjoy the humour of
the moments together. The prize? Well the revolting beads of course, plus some
other goodies to sugar the pill.
What surprised me most about the
competition is that it seemed to mean something different to everyone. Some
people shared stories with me about shame and what it felt to them. Some shared
photographs of their own "ugly" beads or other creative ventures. Some just
showed photos of themselves with vegetable strainers on their heads (Diana!) and
some shared those embarrassing moments that we all just love - when the happen
to someone else! Enjoy some of the entries below. Surprisingly not many folks
rushed to have their names included with their entries though - we will call
them by cute little anonymous names if need be.
Emma Green was the oh so lucky winner of
this competition. She shared two embarrassing moments that just tickled us pink
here - they really captured that feel of wanting the ground to open up.... Emma
I was once waiting for
some friends to pick me up (shopping trip) I heard their car horn honking and
rushed out down the drive and got in the car, put my seatbelt on and got nice
and settled. Only then did I realise that I didn't know any of the people in the
car, the strangers had in fact stopped to pick up my next door neighbour.
That just cracked me up. More importantly, it cracked the judges - my family -
up. But wait - Emma had more to offer. And this might have cinched the deal for
her. Not only social embarrassment, but being made a fool of too - could it get
any better? Emma's second shameful tale:
I once worked in a department store when I had just left school.
They had some work men in who asked me to go down to the shop stores and ask for
a large black hole. Not only did I go and ask for one, but the guy down in
stores told me to go back and tell them he didn't have any large ones, but would
two small ones do instead! I was halfway up the stairs before it dawned on me
what I had done and I am not even blonde.
Emma - all I can say is don't ever
change! Congratulations for sharing such great shame with us all. If you would
like to see what Emma gets up to when she isn't jumping into strange cars - why
not visit her website?
But wait...there's more
Oh yes, there was more shame to come.
Take for instance the sad - some might say pitiful - case of Diana.
She sent in this photo of herself as her
entry. And I think we can all agree that she is sharing some serious shame here
with us. I mean, would you show those curtains in public?...dang!
Diana won herself a second place prize
for this photo. Which was clever as we didn't even know we were going to offer a
second place prize until it happened. Oh - she is modelling a veggie colander on
her head too. ..... Well done Diana, and like Emma - don't you ever change! But
I think you really must stop watching that Saving Private Ryan DVD now
.......its starting to affect you ;-)
Diana says (and it is an individual
choice for each reader as to whether they believer her) ....
"Please, oh please, don't put
this up online. Its me. Meg gave me a Mommy Crown to wear. I couldn't well
refuse, but did I have to take a picture of it???"
Diana, Diana, Diana - how could I *not*
put this up online? I am only human my friend, only human.....
Ms. L- lets call her, shares a shameful
tale that I think many of us ladies can relate. A wise woman once told me -
always check your back in a mirror before going out - and this is why.....
"My shame happened many years
ago but it still is as fresh in my mind as if
it happened this morning.
I was at a party on the ship The
Queen Elizabeth when it was permanently docked here in Port Everglades, FL. I
was with a group of female friends and we were dancing with the gorgeous
British/Scottish/Irish/Welsh sailors, drinking Tom Collins (with four cherries,
courtesy of Tom, the bartender) and having a great time. Having consumed a
goodly amount of alcohol, it soon became emergent that I visit the loo. Walking
as though the ship was sailing through stormy seas, I found the ladies lavatory,
did what I had gone to do, and made my way back to my friends, who were on the
other side of the large dance floor that I had to navigate.
I couldn't imagine why my passing the dancing couples caused them to dissolve
into fits of laughter until I reached our table. When I had pulled up my undies
in the ladies room I had inadvertently pulled them up over the back of my dress,
which was now tucked inside my "Bridget Jones panties", and my whole backside
was showing, with the baggy white knickers glowing under the black lights"
Some people wanted to share their own
ugly creative moments with me. I think when it comes to uglies, my entry wins
hands down - but in the spirit of fair play, I will share ....
Red Hot Sal (AKA Sally Carver) sent
this ugly bead. All I can say is if that is your uglies Sally - heaven help us
all. Sally says of her creation "It just looks like, well, a
pustullent spot, or what you'd imagine the Plague virus to look like if you
could see it with the naked eye. I couldn't even get a decent pic of it - it's
even more repellent in real life."
You can see some much less ugly Sal beads
on her website
Anna shared this hand-painted plate she
created for her nephew's birth. I will let her explain her shame over it! Anna
says: "When my sister had her first son, I made a really cool
birth plate with hot air balloons that had all the statistics on them and a
teddy bear dangling from one of them.... All in all it turned out quite
nice and I was very pleased with it. When number 2 son was born almost 2 years
later, I had to come up with something for him. So I found pictures and painted
a lovely winged horse with a long streaming rainbow tail. I think I may have put
all the info on the rainbow. I was once again pretty pleased with myself until I
finally stepped back and really looked at the plate. There was a lovely winged
horse with a great, long rainbow shooting right out of its ass! Not what I was
going for at all, but since it had been through a few firings, it was too late
to fix other than starting over. So my poor nephew is stuck with a very weird
birth plate from his auntie."
Lastly I want to share a couple of
stories with you that really touch on the notion of shame as a collected
experience we all feel whoever we are, whatever age. We go first to Jennifer Dangerfield. She reports a story that
I think we can all relate to... shame abounds. Shame abounds in multiples in the
fear factor that is .... the school nativity play. Grab a coffee for this one,
but put a towel over your keyboard first. We ain't insured for spluttering
incidents here.... Over to Jennifer.
“Two Kings and a Fireman” (or
the true story of the Nativity Play)
In the depths of winter, it is customary for the infant children of the parish
to gather together and assail the adults with a ceremony known as the Nativity
Play. This is the story of one such occasion…
The children were standing quietly in a corner of the church hall as the
audience were ushered through the doorway and into their seats. Mary boasted a
gown of fine blue satin, Joseph and the shepherds were clad in rustic cloaks of
uncertain hue and three magnificent crowns were firmly in place upon the heads
of the richly attired Kings. A reverential silence descended upon the hall only
disturbed by the sound of handkerchiefs being quietly removed from handbags
ready to stem the flow of maternal tears. The performance was about to begin.
But then, just as the vicar arose to greet the assembled parents, a loud cry
erupted from the corner. “I’m not wearing this. I want my Fireman Sam helmet!”
These two sentences echoed around the hall and brought an embarrassed blush to
the face of the mother of the errant King. A minor scuffle ensued as the
children’s teacher sought to quell the insurrection. Tears followed and finally,
the shame-faced mother left her seat and joined the, by now, flushed and surly
teacher. As she arrived, there were signs that the other Kings were about to
join the rebellion, but a temporary calm was established when the errant King
(who was easily the most vocal with his objections) was allowed to don his
fireman’s helmet. The second King was cuffed by his mother and the third had a
large boiled sweet inserted into his mouth.
The infants’ teacher now decided to hurl caution recklessly to the wind and
moved away to take up her place upon the stage in the guise of narrator. And so
the play commenced. Mary, Joseph and the donkey made an elegant procession as
they walked down the aisle and onto the stage. Upon their arrival, the
inn-keeper who, dressed appropriately for the late hour, was clad in a charming
pair of period Bunnykins pyjamas, greeted them in a welcoming manner. Just as
they were about to enquire as to the availability of a room for the night, the
errant King decided to ascertain whether his gift (a regally wrapped cereal
packet) would bounce. Discovering that, rather than rebounding, it made a far
more intriguing crashing noise, he threw it on the floor a few more times for
good measure. This time he was cuffed! Unfortunately, the other two Kings and
one of the shepherds were now alerted to the prospect that the errant King’s
gift offered far more chance of amusement than any of the other props, with the
result of which you will hear later.
The narrator duly beckoned the shepherds and their arrival on stage was achieved
with nothing but the normal commotion that arises from young children being
asked to do something that they have no desire to do. This was somewhat
exacerbated by the fact that one of the shepherds was reluctant to leave the
side of the errant King, drawn as he was by the intriguing possibilities of the
And now we come to what should have been one of the proudest moments in the
lives of the long-suffering family of the errant King. His father had taken a
day’s leave from the office and was busy fussing with the controls of a video
camera, whilst his two loving grandmothers who had both travelled many miles in
order to view these proceedings, were eagerly awaiting the appearance of their
grandson on stage. Thus we come to the entrance of the Three Wise Men or, as we
shall now refer to them, Two Kings and a Fireman. The T.K.A.A.F. duly arrived.
Upon being given the whispered instruction to offer their gifts to Baby Jesus,
one King vociferously refused, the second spat out the remains of his sweet
whilst the errant King hurled his under the manger with a resounding crash. The
covetous shepherd now retrieved the wondrous gift. In truth, it is inexact to
use the word ‘retrieve’ as this would indicate a quiet or surreptitious action.
A more appropriate description would indicate that he launched a fearsome,
diving, rugby tackle that almost sent the manger flying off the stage; as it
was, we all watched with bated breath as Baby Jesus teetered on the brink of a
By now, the errant King had tired of his fun with the wondrous gift and, feeling
rather sleepy, he lay down, rolled himself and his velvet cloak into a dusty
cocoon and settled down to sleep at the front of the stage. Not so the other two
Kings. Outraged by the attack upon Baby Jesus (or was it that they wanted to lay
hands upon the wondrous gift themselves), one hurled himself upon the shepherd,
whilst the other emitted a chorus of curses and screams as he was manhandled by
his mother into the relative sanctuary of a corner of the room (a most athletic
woman; she combined the qualities of anticipation and speed of reaction in a way
that I really must learn to emulate). The narrator now decided to leave her
seat, but not before Joseph intervened with his shepherd’s crook. His aim was
somewhat wild and poor Baby Jesus received a clout upon the temple. As the
narrator separated the belligerent King and the covetous shepherd, the
inn-keeper informed the audience that she had wet herself whereupon a father in
the front row ceased hiding his laughter and lapsed into hysteria. In amongst
all this hubbub and fracas and despite the obvious danger to her child, Mary
quietly and diligently picked her nose.
Apparently the school is looking for volunteer helpers for this year’s
performance. Call me a coward, but they can certainly count me out.
© Jennifer Dangerfield 1998
Another story arrived in my inbox touching on the nature of shame and how it
feels well - shameful. I realised the competition was changing and mutating at
this point. No longer was this merely about us making an ass of ourselves. Some
entries were really showing me different aspects of shame... man it was getting
deep even. This story made me remember SO many incidents when I was a kid and
the feelings and thoughts and desperate attempts to "fit in" and to "hide our
shame". I always try to remember that stuff when talking to kids myself. This is
why they like me and don't put bogies on me. A plus point...
Over to Ms JAY - who reminds
us what it is like to be a kid. And maybe also why we need to teach kids not to
sweat the small stuff!
your shame" story is a pathetic tale of an experience which showed to my as-yet
unshaped personality the dreadful consequences of not behaving like Abraham
Lincoln in all circumstances. Nowadays, I do not wear a beard and a tall hat,
the way Lincoln chose to, but I do try to stay on the straight and narrow like
"Honest Abe", and it is entirely due to this really crappy experience I had at
the age of six.
First, I have to say that this teacher in my story had already hated me since
kindergarten. In fact, I remember politely asking her "where the scissors were",
when I was only five and an adorable chid, and having her ridicule me. She
curled her lip and sneered, " Oh, Jeannie, you know PERFECTLY WELL where the
scissors are! Now GO GET them!"
It was like something out of a bad Dickens story. And it only got worse, the
following year. It went like this: It was nap time at school, and we were forced
to lie on cots like a bunch of pod people, as the teacher read to us. As I
recall, I was behaving perfectly angelically, as always. However, every minute
or so, the "scissors" teacher, who hated my guts even more by first grade (was
it because I was so cute? Did I look like a child movie star? I don't know!),
would yell out, "Jeannie, PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN, OR I WILL SEND YOU OUT TO------->
THE COT IN THE HALL!"<----this was a terrible fate.
I claim to this day I was innocent, and she just was a really crummy,
un-engaging reader. And no, I didn't stab her to death with scissors--that is
not my shame story.
Anyway, finally she tossed me out into the school hallway after what she said
was my last chance. She made me lie on the cot right out in full view of anyone
and everyone who might happen to walk past. I lay there for hours and hours.
Maybe it was days. The only good thing about it was I could finally put my head
All of a sudden, the worst thing I could imagine took place. I heard two voices
nearing me...two people were approaching, involved in conversation. It was --
horror of horrors!!!--the headmaster of the entire elementary school
and--WORSE!!!-- my teacher for the upcoming year, Miss Van Dort! What conclusion
would they draw if they say me lying shamefully on this cot of perdition in the
hallway, being punished by my first grade teacher? I could only imagine what
they would think of me, forever and ever.
I could not bear this situation.
So I decided to hide under the cot.
They paused, and stood next to me for what seemed like hours--it was like a bad
Edgar Allen Poe story!!!-- I could hear my heart beat really loud. Could they
hear it too? Yeah, probably. Anyway, they were having a long chat about nothing.
Lying there, I could see their feet. She was wearing heels (stacked) and he had
on wingtips (brown). I think that was the way it went. I never moved a muscle,
nor did I say a word.
Once they left, I waited a bit. Then I got back up on the cot, drained and
psychologically messed up, permanently.
Since then, my psyche has been forever warped. I never do anything dishonest,
out of FEAR. I am as true as the day is long. I go so far as to stuff coins back
into pay phones if they fall out by accident, dialling the operator and
announcing I am about to do this. I am pathologically upright because of this
embarrassing experience. Always, I would rather take the consequences.
That experience just sucked too much.
PS: Now, as an adult, I realize the headmaster and Miss Van Dort knew I was
under there the whole time--it was just a camp cot with thin little metal legs.
You could see under it perfectly well.