Embarassed for/by myself

Have you ever been embarrassed for or by your own behavior?

Not embarrassed because of what others might think but embarrassed by what you think about what you’re doing?

I learned a while ago that most people aren’t thinking about most other people very much.  There’s a great quote from the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison I’ll share here:

“And he wouldn’t give a pile of swan shit for either one of you.” 

I’ve always remembered this quote especially when I’m getting too full of myself or too concerned about what someone else my think.  In the novel, two women are bickering over the loyalties of a man.  (See a longer quote at the bottom of this post.)

Being worried that your shoes don’t match or your hair is not at its best or your argument could be heard outside by others because the window is open  or  that you didn’t have all the ingredients and so improvised on the dish you’re cooking or you’ve been mispronouncing a certain word forever (and no one corrected you) or someone saw you coming or going from this or that when you wanted to be anonymous or that you’ve become someone who asks and asks again and checks and checks again or that you just don’t care ’cause care don’t get you nowhere (to quote a ditty from your childhood) or that half the stuff you did really didn’t matter or in current space and time why do it right since so few people care nowadays and who can agree what right is or it really can be this or that, that or this coming back to the bottom line that it doesn’t really matter.

And, in fact, you realize that you don’t really even matter.  The spaces you’ve occupied are quickly surrendered to others once you depart.

I’d be more specific but, well, it would be embarrassing and much too revealing.  How the once high and mighty (at least in my own mind where I am a legend – ha! ha! t hat’s a joke) have fallen. 

Even if no one else knows. I know and I’m embarrassed of and for me.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

The Downside of Not Drinking

*Fuller quote from Song of Solomon (with notes from Bookbelle)

Finally, Pilate steps in again and this time in the fashion of wise King Solomon.  As Hagar and Ruth tug-o-war over Milkman’s love, Hagar tells Ruth, “He is my home in this world” and Ruth answers, “And I am his.” (137).    It is just like in the Bible story where the two women are arguing over the one living baby, convinced that it is their child to have, and King Solomon tells them to divide the child.   Only the true mother is willing to let the child go to sacrifice his life.  With the wisdom of Solomon, but with the ever present ironic twist, Pilate steps in and says, “And he wouldn’t give a pile of swan shit for either one of you….Whatever he need, don’t none of you got it.”  Boom.  Pilate stops their bicker over the Milkman just like that. 


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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