"You're like the female Al Bundy." That wasn't exactly compliment, and it wasn't a diss either. It was more like a declarative statement followed by a defeated shaking of the head that ended with a sigh. If this were a sitcom, the "Oh, Helena" would be implied. Cue the laugh track.
Basically, what happened was that my man caught me in the middle of picking my nose. Like, seriously in the middle of it. It was the morning! And I had to clear out some of the dried-up dust trapped in my nostrils from the night before. Anyway, right when I was about to finger sweep my left nostril, Ike comes in and I freeze with my pointer finger pointed at my own self.
"What are you doing?" Paused mid air, I just stared at him, hoping maybe he didn't really want to know. This lasted for about a minute.
"Hello? What are you doing?"
"I'm picking my nose, OK!" And just then. JUST when I thought I might have had the moral high ground seeing as how I wasn't murdering puppies or crushing dreams. Just then I let one rip with a gastric force so strong the sheets rippled with the power my homegrown wind, and the release felt so good I actually said, "Ah, yes," afterward. I am super gross.
"Jesus," Ike said while backing out of the room.
"What?" I yelled after him, "Do you want me to implode?" I called, using the old line from my middle school science tests. Back then, I thought every bodily functions' purpose was to ensure that you didn't collapse from within, and I told Mr. Kim as much on the space provided for the one answer I didn't know on every pop quiz in Life Science 2.
It's a given in any relationship -- friends, family, lovers -- that eventually your comfort level with doing super gross stuff is directionally proportional to how close you really are. Or at least that's the equation I've been working with for the past forever. All my good girlfriends have seen my boobies, my family is totally familiar with my penchant for crop dusting the backyard BBQ, and now my boyfriend is in on the secret -- I ain't a lady.
Once, when I was a teenager, I showed up for work at my grandmother's $1 Soul Food restaurant in a very on-trend sleeveless sweater cut short to expose my mid section. It was the late 90s. She was scandalized to the point of ushering me into the back for a talking to. "You've got all your business out," she warned. "You have to leave something for yourself." That's good advice for a teenaged virgin who just discovered Forever 21, but now that I'm on the down slope of 30, I'm less inclined to follow it.
Although I'm pretty sure he won't buy the cow if he's getting the milk for free or the sausage if he sees how it's made, I also know that I do all the grocery shopping around here. So why sweat it?
Is there ever really a bad time to pull the curtain back on the Great Oz or is it just better for everyone if you know there's an old guy in his jammies behind that booming voice? Same goes for the farting-burping-I-regularly-wee-with-the-door-open girl behind the put-together grown up the rest of the world sees after I've had a proper bath. I'm not one of those girls who put on makeup to FaceTime with my man or who excuses herself when she's got "the vapors" (although I'm dying to use that excuse to get out of an awkward cocktail convo someday).
Maybe this flaws-and-all philosophy won't work out in the end, but at least I'm not holding anything in -- because as we all know that's how you implode.