Betchy Linguistics: The Shameover

Shameover (n.) – the debilitating embarrassment one suffers after blacking out


We’ve all been there. You go out, thinking you’re going to get the casual level of drunk that you always strive for and yet never seem to achieve. A glass of wine turns into two, then four, then fuck it why not open another bottle? The diet of vodka sodas you swore to back at your apartment turns into shots of fireball the second you hit the bar. Fireball turns into whiskey, because you’re not a little bitch. The last thing you remember is whisper/screaming into your friends ear “I’m not even THAT drunk,”  and then BAM, you wake up the next morning under your comforter but inexplicably above your sheets, face full of makeup, mouth tasting like death warmed over, and zero recollection how you got there. Ah, blackout. We meet again.

Are you hungover? You bet your ass you are. The dry mouth, throbbing headache and body rocking nausea are old hat, symptoms you’ve had a longer relationship with than probably any guy. They’ll fade in a few hours, hardly even remembered come the next time you decide to “casually” drink – AKA later that night.  

Unfortunately, the hangover isn’t what keeps you firmly ensconced in the fetal position, shuddering every time your phone vibrates for the next full day. The hangover has nothing to do with that burning ball of regret sitting in your stomach, which no amount of dry heaving will abate. That my friend, is a shameover, and it’s here to stay until someone else monumentally fucks up and everyone forgets all the stupid shit you did after a bottle of wine and three shots of tequila.

Blacking out is not the source of this unrelenting shame; if it was, we’d have been in a constant state of anxiety since we discovered Mike’s Hard Lemonade at the tender age of sixteen. A shameover is a unique kind of hangover, one that results from you waking up and knowing that you did something horrifically embarrassing the night before, but being unable to remember what exactly it was. Call it a sixth sense, or maybe betches intuition, but something in the back of your mind is very aware that you professed your love to an ex while karaoking “Love Yourself” to a room full of horrified people, but won’t let you in on the gory details. The brain works in mysterious ways.

The cure? Ignorance. What others may call avoiding your problems we consider saving your sanity. A firm don’t ask, don’t tell policy is the only way to recover from this unfortunate occurrence, with the hopes that someone else will overshadow your drunken antics tonight. Let’s be real, the odds are high. Fret not, Betches, for one day this too will be a hazy memory and/or a chapter of your memoir. I mean, if Chelsea Handler can profit off of her functional alcoholism, then there’s probably hope for all of us.


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