Shame-ber on Wheels

If you don’t want to use your bathroom as your Shame-ber, there’s always your car:

So my shame-ber is actually my car, which, even prior to my learning about Shame-bers I refer to as my Dorian Gray Shame Car. I call it this because while my house is generally tidy and clean, my car is like my portrait of Dorian Gray, where my secret messy self lives.


I mean, it’s not out of scope with ordinary messy cars, just in comparison to the relatively scrubbed clean house I live in. We’re talking candy wrappers, petrified french fries gum packages, random scraps, jackets flung off and forgotten in the back seat.

Once I had a paper fountain soda cup kind of disintegrate (in my defense, this happened in under 24 hours, so I really think the cup’s poor construction, rather than my laziness, is the issue here), releasing the dregs of the soda into the cup holder. Since it was diet (i.e., contained no organic matter that could attract anything), I just let it evaporate.

Basically I use my car as storage. Same for bulky big items from grocery store, like paper towels or toilet paper or cat litter. Just can’t bring myself to get them out of the car until it is absolutely necessary.

And it’s been a while, but I also have had tendencies to use it as storage for things I plan to donate. For a long time. Months. Why I can’t just drive to the donation place when it’s all already in there is beyond me.

This behavior is all due to some kind of weird thing I have about being in cars, which is that once I am done with driving, I have this urge to just be done with everything to do with the car as quickly as possible and usually exit it as though I am being pursued by hellhounds. The idea of stopping to tidy or bring out trash is, for some weird reason, absolutely unbearable. I am wondering if this is somehow related to my raging ADD and the problem ADD-ers have with transition times. I say this because one of my good friends who also has raging ADD also cannot bear the whole getting-out-of-car process and wants it done as quickly as possible.

But (if I can get serious for a moment), there is one shameful thing I am vowing here to never do again in the Dorian Gray Shame Car. So I am broke and very very busy. And so taking a relaxing vacation is kind of out of the question for me. So what do I do when I feel tense? I go to the convenience store, get a menthol single stick cigarette, a pack of doublemint gum (I have to chew gum while smoking the cigarette because otherwise it’s just gross-tasting), and I drive around listening to aggressive hip hop and smoking my single stick.

Then this Father’s Day, my dad, who smoked his whole life until he quit cold turkey a little over ten years ago, calls me and says, “Oh, so yeah, I’m going into the hospital to have part of my lung taken out.”

So yeah, apparently he has stage one lung cancer, which he was keeping a secret because he didn’t want to bother me until the last minute.

The surgery was this Monday, everything is looking pretty good so far, but we are still waiting on the pathology report for the lymph nodes (they think they will not have cancer in them because they didn’t show up on the scan, so that’s hopeful).

But I think I have been scared straight so I am going to shut down the Single Stick Cigarette wing of my Shame-ber. No guarantees that all the other embarrassing aspects of the Dorian Gray Shame Car will be tidied up any time soon, but this one seems like a good one to jettison.

Leslie, I hope your father is on his way to a full recovery! If you need a substitute addiction, try Altoids! My car is full of empty Altoids tins.



Filed under The Shame-ber

4 responses to “Shame-ber on Wheels

  1. Matt

    Is that photo really your car? If so how do you get inside? Just wondering, no judgment, I just wondered how you get in the car with the blankets and stuff.

  2. Robin

    Uh oh, I should have clarified that the picture is not of Leslie’s car! I just found that somewhere on the interwebs.

  3. Marie-Reine

    I always know how long things have been in my car depending on where it is in the car. The most recent stuff is in the front on the passenger side (working in LA and commuting from Downey, I rarely have passengers). Then things get moved to the back seat when I do have a passenger, which happens every now and then. And once in a blue moon, I have to clear the backseat because I’ll have more than one passenger, so the stuff gets moved to the trunk, which is pretty much where it stays for the rest of eternity.

    Oh, and I’ve been carrying a 9 foot PVC pipe in my car that runs from the passenger foot area all the way to the trunk. I used it for an event…two months ago. Now people are asking me if it’s structural.

  4. lqs101

    Yes, as Robin said, that is not actually how the Dorian Gray Shame Car looks. You kind of have to get inside to get a good sense. But it was still a good pick, Robin, as my car IS as metaphorically full of shame as the one in the picture appears to be full of…possible quilting scraps?

    Thanks for the well-wishes. Dad’s situation is okay, nothing in lymph nodes, but it’s still all pretty new so don’t know what to think. Good news is a couple of times over recent weeks I had the idle desire to take a Hip-Hop Smoking Vacation and the current situation actually worked to keep me from it.

    Altoids are a great and appropriate suggestion as mints are exactly how my dad gave up smoking himself a decade ago. Don’t smoke, kids.

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