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RELATIONSHIPS, POOPING AND THE “FIRST FART”

WHY DOES SOMETHING SO NATURAL BECOME SO EMBARRASSING??

They say that once you get past the first real “Toot” “Fart”, “Flatulence””Buttwind”…(Whatever you want to call it), in front of your significant other, it means you MUST be in a long term relationship.

Let’s think about this for a moment, shall we? Why, in a relationship, does it become such a “thing” for most people? (Lets be honest, this refers to most WOMEN)

I remember the first time I heard my guy sneak out a butt tremble in our first month of dating. I didn’t know whether to feel embarrassed for him or relieved for me! It was done! The big moment, when your inhibitions are out in the open! Does this give ME permission to do the same in his presence?? Ummmm…in my mind…HELL NO!

In fact, before him, I was married to my ex husband, whom I dated for two years previous to marriage, and NOT ONCE in 23 years did that man hear me FART! I would do everything in my power to ensure it NEVER happened around him. AND… we locked the bathroom doors if we had to do a NUMBER 2 so neither of us ever had to “deal” with accidentally walking in on each other. On vacations, sharing the same hotel room, he and I had a pact, that if one of us was in the washroom, the other would leave the room, because it embarrassed me so much. I could also hold a record of simply “not pooping” for over a week while we were on vacations. I would suffer through belly cramps and bloating and not being able to eat, just to avoid doing it. I am not proud of it, and in the end, I gave myself a shy bowel over the sheer anxiety of the chance of him not thinking I was perfect, and to make him believe that I just “didn’t do those things” -perhaps thats part of the reason we divorced?

Fast forward to now, after 8 years of being in a relationship with my man, I don’t try and be “as perfect” anymore. I still don’t fart around him, if I can help it at all, but come on! I am almost 49 and bodies aren’t as tight and controllable at my age. So, occassionally I have a “sneaker”, he giggles like a school boy and I turn bright red. And we carry on…its over and done. If he hears me through the bathroom wall, he will proudly annouce, “I heard that”, and again, I blush.

He also goes in to the washroom and does his business with the door half open and THAT makes me lose my mind! I tell him that “DOOR mixed up is ODOR.. Don’t mix up the door! Close it!” I like to think that NUMBER 2 is JUST FOR YOU. No one else needs to be privy to that kind of information about their spouse.

He recently had surgery on his colon and since then, POOP has become a huge topic in our household. Yep, Poop is now a household word. He had about 8 inches removed from his bowel, and if he is in pain, it means something is “hung up” in there. So our daily conversations are the following:

Me coming home from work: Hi Honey, how are you feeling? Did you poop today?

Him: Yes, I had a couple (somedays the answer is “not yet”)

Then, there’s a description or, if I’m really LUCKY, there’s photos! Yay me!

Him: Does this look normal or do you think I should call the doctor?

Typically, I am a gagger. I GAG at everything that is nasty, bad smelling, gross to look at, or sometimes even a thought of any combination of the above. I have learned to try to get over that since his surgery. He is always so happy when he can pass gas, in fact he couldn’t leave the hospital until he:

  1. Passed gas
  2. Was able to eat real food
  3. Pooped

He had a friendly competition going with a lady why had the same surgery an hour before him while they stayed at the hospital. “Did you pass gas yet? I did”. Then it was “Why did she have a Bowel movement and I haven’t yet?”

They are still in touch as facebook friends

And I was so lucky, I actually got to witness the nurses going into the bathroom in his room to “examine” his stools. How awesome is that? (insert gagging here) But now, at home, its like every day conversation. I honestly don’t know how I feel about that….

But, I am a tad more “anal retentive” than most, so I have been told. I will do what I have to because I love the guy, but wow, our boundaries have certainly changed since he has been home. It is kind of amazing what you will do for people you love.

(His recovery is going very well by the way )

When I am in the washroom, I will make noise with my phone, run water, or clear my throat if I know I am going to make noises. I don’t know why, but it has always been a thing I am extremely private and easily embarrassed over. Even when my daughter was little, I could “hold on” until she was asleep, so she couldn’t come in and keep me company while I was “busy”.

The kicker of all of this, is that over the years, I have given myself the “shy bowel” and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and have to take daily meds just so I can go the big one. That’s what being “ladylike” has done for me over the past 4 decades of my life (thanks Grandma for teaching me proper lady etiquette).

And, lets talk about post-poo etiquette while we are on the topic. Women like to spray pretty smelling sprays and turn the bathroom fan on, to cover up their odors. There are shelves upon shelves in the stores of ways to hide yer stank. There’s Glade, and Febreze, and a million other sprays that smell like lavender, coconut, pine and on and on,.. and there is an actual spray for women called Poo-Pouri-A highly expensive spray bottle we can pack in our handbags “just in case”. It is developed specifically for hiding your aroma after a public poo! The commercial for it is utterly hilarious and disgusting at the same time. In my experience, not many men, that I know, will actually spray or turn the fan on. Hell, some don’t even check the bowl before they vacate the john! You’re lucky to find a man who washes his hands after with soap AND water! (Mine does thank goodness).

If I was smart, I would have taken lessons from my daughter when she was little, or the daycare children I worked with. They are PROUD to POOP. They think its some kind of miracle that EVERYONE needs to come and see! Not only that but you GET to wipe their bums for them too! And its cute! “Awww look, you pooped on the potty! Here, have a sticker!” Maybe we should ALL get stickers or candy everytime we poop. That way, it wouldn’t be such an ordeal!

I work in an office full of about 30 women, and we all share a 4 stall bathroom. There is also washrooms on the floors above us, but we only have access to them, if we sneak into them. Often times I will go into OUR washroom, and someone is in the stall beside me “dropping a deucey”. I would be MORTIFIED if I were her! There is no way in hell I can poop at work. Call it a mental block, or whatever it is, I simply cannot do it. I have to be in the comfort of my own bathroom. Conversely there are women I work with that joke about it all the time, and although I laugh about it with them, my inner self is screaming for help. One of my coworkers, who is one of the funniest people I know, will go up to the next floor, sneak past security, and come back to our office to tell me she just had a “code brown” and shared with the upstairs neighbors. Yikes! I don’t know if its because I am old fashioned? Or if its because of anxiety issues, or what it is, but my “code browns” and my flatulence are for my eyes, ears and nose only.

And, WHY oh WHY do some guys beam proudly when they pass ass gas? Why do they come up with things like Dutch Ovens and Cup’o Cheez like they are in grade school? We have friends who are the sweetest and most thoughtful, and also very religious, couple. The other night they were over for tea, and she proclaimed that the previous night her husband dutch ovened her while she was asleep! It actually woke her up, and they both laughed and laughed about it, with her telling him she would “get even!” Is this normal between couples? I laughed, of course, but again, the inner me was freaked right out! How will she get even? Surely, not the same way!?! It makes me want to have a follow up conversation with her next week, to see if she actually “got even”, and how. But, then again, maybe not.

Also, why are there YouTube videos of guys lighting their farts on fire, or farting in other guy’s faces? I get that its a “natural” bodily function, but seriously! What kind of sick relatinship do they have? What is wrong with these people!

Kids think farts are hilarious! Babies could care less if they fart, and it makes us laugh when we hear a diaper padded bottom rumble. Then we say things to the baby like “Ohhh that was a big toot! Do you have a tummy ache sweetie?”

The one thing that I can do, and I honestly have no problem with, is I can burp. I can belch like an old sailor. I like to burp, maybe, to “get even”, but maybe its my way of saying, F**k being a lady! If I have gas to get rid of, I’ll let it loose…Just not out of my bum.

Its still International Woman’s Day. I wonder how many women out there let their farts fly, and make no apology, or poop with the door open. How many women fart in front of peers, or co-workers, and have no embarrassment after…

My mother in law told me a story about her eldest sister, who sadly was in palliative care in the hospital. She recalls a day when she was visiting, that her big sister burst into laughter out of the blue, to the point of tears. My mother in law asked her what was so funny. Her sister replied, “I just had a fart! First time in my life, I don’t care!” ….. I’ll leave you with that to think about….

Happy International Woman’s Day ladies!

And gentlemen, WE DON’T LIKE DUTCH OVENS!!

Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler

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