There was a brief period in graduate school when I was flirting with an eating disorder, and my big “indulgence” was tortilla chips dipped in a fat-free bean dip. To be fair, by “indulgence,” I mean I pretty much ate Special K for breakfast and lunch and bean dip and tortilla chips for dinner. Every day.
Now, I can’t totally begrudge this diet because while I had so little protein and vitamins that my teeth started becoming see-through, it did help me lose tons of weight. (Joking! Kind of!)
Unfortunately, and seriously typing this is making me cringe so hard that my contact lenses might pop out, it also made me fart. For some reason that side effect didn’t occur to me, although what did I expect when I was relying on bean dip as my only source of protein? (I think not getting proper nutrition can also affect how well one’s brain works, but whatever, because at least I was thin?)
Now, I get it, farting is a natural part of life or something. Although I don’t know why life had to give it such a horrible name.
My grandmother used to call passing gas a “slipperence” as in if you farted, she’d say, “Excuse me, Daisy. Slipperence?”
But I feel like slipperence implies something slipping out and I AM GOING TO HAVE TO KILL MYSELF AFTER I SUBMIT THIS ARTICLE. Anyway, the entire family drove around the Netherlands one spring and you can imagine how funny my brother and I thought it was every time we drove into another smelly cheese town to say in our best Southern accents, “Excuuuuuse me, Grandmother. Slipperence?”
HOURS of fun, I tell you. Hours.
Anyway, back to the borderline anorexia. So not only was I subsisting on bean dip and Special K, I was also having sex with a very nice, but totally not my type in any way, shape, or form dude as “retaliation” against my boyfriend who cheated on me and dumped me the day before my birthday. This was a SUPER healthy time in my life, clearly.
The thing about having sex with someone in small-town North Carolina is that if you’ve been drinking, you can’t just duck out when it’s over like you would if you lived somewhere with cabs or good public transportation or any common decency.
Which means: I had to stay the night sometimes. Which means, okay, I’m just going to type it and get it over with: the dude would hear me fart in my sleep. I mean, like one time so loudly, I woke myself up. And still managed to get out of bed and not kill myself later that day.
I was reared by a Southern mother and let me tell you, it was made very clear from a very early age that farting and burping and all of that other “natural” bodily stuff that occasionally happens is NOT something that is done in public. (I mean, growing up I had to chew gum in the privacy of my bedroom if I wanted to chew it at all, which is kind of a non sequitur but gives you an idea of what my childhood was like.)
And though I know there will be dissenters, I actually totally agree with my mother (HOLY SHIT, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?) that noises from our body shouldn’t be seen or heard. One shouldn’t belch or fart in public. And one definitely shouldn’t (after today) ever discuss those things amongst “polite” company.
Of course, we can’t always control when we burp or fart, so if one does happen to slip out, the right thing to do is quickly say, “Excuse me,” and then move the eff on from the topic because no one wants to dwell there. (Am I actually typing this? Am I truly writing out rules for how one should behave if she burps or farts? Is this a high point or a low point or even a point at all?!)
Anyway, back to my “magical fruit” diet and the boy who was hearing the results of it in my sleep. One day, in front of a group of his friends, he made some offhanded comment about how I’d been farting up a storm the night before while I slept.
I seriously almost dropped dead then and there. Like, it was already SO embarrassing; now he was telling other people? He actually saw my jaw drop and pulled me aside later to apologize, but it was too late. I cut him -- and the bean dip -- out of my life for good.
Because that’s what one does when she’s turned into the type of person who farts in front of others, even if accidentally. She realizes she has an enormous problem and she gets rid of it. Makes life changes. Moves back to California where she can start anew. Where no one will ever know about that time she farted so loudly in bed she woke herself and the guy up. Because farting in front of other people is disgusting and wrong. And EVERYONE knows that.
Except -- and I don’t even know how to tell you guys this -- apparently not everyone agrees. How do I know this? The Daily Mail told me so.
In fact, according to super scientific information, it only takes a (British) woman seven and a half months to feel comfortable enough to start burping and passing wind in front of her partner. It’s also at this point that women are totally cool letting their partner watch them go to the toilet. Because heaven forbid we shut the door and have a few minutes apart from each other.
After seven and a half months, I’d think a woman would welcome the privacy shutting the bathroom door would give her, but alas, no. Every moment is precious. Even when one is wiping her ass.
I suppose a part of me gets it. (LIE.) We all want to be comfortable around our loved ones. But burping and passing gas aren’t something we should do in front of ANYONE (yes, that’s how manners work), so why would someone think it’s okay to do it in front of her partner?
I can start to see the comments now: “I force my husband down on the bed and fart in his face all of the time and we think it’s hilarious!” or “I burped so loudly in my boyfriend’s face last week he could tell I had Chinese food for lunch.” And to that, I say: Ew. And yes, that’s me judging. Sorry. (Not sorry.)
I can also see some of you insisting that I must be in constant pain what with all of the holding in of burps and farts I’m doing. Sorry to break it to you, but no. I’m actually not in any pain at all. I drink a lot of beer and, yeah, I have to burp from time to time, but I cover my mouth, turn my head away, and manage to get it out without making any noise.
In terms of farting, let’s just say that I’m about to go hide in a cave for the next 17 years because this is already beyond awkward so if I can manage not to fart in front of other people 99% of the time, so can you. Trust me.
As far as doing it in front of your partner? Hey, that’s obviously up to you. All I know is that even though the things that happen with our bodies are “natural” or whatever, that doesn’t mean we need to share them with our loved ones.
Personally, there’s nothing romantic or sexy about smelling someone’s fart or having someone burp in my face. In fact, it’s gross. I want my partner to respect me. Doing something he wouldn’t/shouldn’t do in front of me just because we’re comfortable in our relationship is not a sign of respect. In fact, it’s the opposite. After all, who better to use our manners in front of than the people we love the most?
Okay. Enough from me. Let’s get to it. Share all your comments about how much you love to fart in your partner’s mouth in the comments. I’m ready.
Daisy has never dated a guy who purposely farted in front of her. Of course, she’s also currently single. Follow her on Twitter @daisy for more of her opinions about really important etiquette and other dumb stuff.