I am no great fan of farting. I realize that makes it sound like farting is a tween boy band or one of those weird Facebook pages dedicated to like, Panicking When Your Finger Gets Stuck in Something Stupid.
But farting (and farting-related bodily functions) do sort of have fans -- men and women who find lol hilarious and enjoy discussing them, making jokes about them, lighting them on fire in YouTube videos and in the case of my Oklahoma family members when I was growing up, having actual farting contests to see who could emit the loudest sound from betwixt their butt cheeks.
I don't like any of that. I don't think farts are funny except in this one scene in "Stepbrothers." That fart somehow outlasted my disgust and made me laugh.
I definitely do not like to talk about my own farts, as my number one priority in life is being at all times sexually appealing, which I cannot reconcile with passing gas.
And it seems that other people around here feel the same way. We didn't even have a "farting" tag until I just made one! Could it be I'm the first indelicate xoJaner to contront this topic head-on?
The reason I have broached the Lord Voldemortiest of subjects is that this: Every Friday night, I have dinner with my best girlfriends, drink excessive amounts of Diet Coke, and stage hobo fights for money. NO! Just seeing if you were paying attention, we talk about fucking mostly.
At a recent dinner, I found out that one of my girlfriends, married about a year, has not only never farted in front of her husband, but still runs the water in the bathroom while defecating.
A part of me couldn't believe that a married couple would still be hiding bodily functions from one another in this way, but another, more idealistic part of me thought, "My god, what have I become?"
Because despite all that I just told you about my feelings surrounding farts, around year 4 or 5 of my relationship, I just really started to let go in the privacy of our home. All those loud, enthusiastic farts emanating from the male half of my relationship, all those frantic bathroom trips in which I tried to finish a 20-minute job in 5 while my boyfriend proudly read most of Facebook from the toilet seat -- eventually I just gave up. And started letting them rip.
He didn't care, so I just kept doing it.
Now, over 8 years into my relationship, I'm more creature than girl, scurrying around feral and unwashed, letting my bodily functions run unchecked.
These days, I actually lift a cheek and push the fart out with full force so it makes a noise like a barking trumpet, with the half-hearted "sorry" that is my one concession to my former modesty. My partner and I sometimes have long conversations about our bowel movements, from consistency to duration to (oh god) overall experience.
I do have some standards. Once he walked into the bathroom mid-flush and I practically threw myself on top of the toilet in an effort to keep him from actually seeing my poop. He did a little, though; I spent the next 10 minutes crying while he reassured me it was no big deal.
A part of me, especially when faced with the reality of a woman who has managed to maintain her ladylike decorum around her lifemate, feels like I kind of screwed up by letting him see behind the curtain -- and not just with farting.
I spend whole weekend days makeupless and dirty, my breasts sagging braless under a shapeless T-shirt. He knows how hard I struggle to maintain my weight, has seen me cry and agonize over individual bites -- no illusion of effortless figure maintenance here. My nightwear has already come under criticism. Can any man see that, all of that, and still find his girlfriend alluring, sexy?
There's something for everyone. I once had a conversation with another group of married friends about the secrets they keep from their husbands. One was determined that her husband must never know the actual number of her weight. Another didn't want their husband to know that she bleached her facial hair. Another said she would never want him to see her get into her skinny jeans.
I understand these insecurities, but over the years of our time together, I have one by one let go of all of them. I have no secrets from my soon-to-be husband anymore.
And it's too late to go back. So right or wrong, I guess I'll just content myself with the fact that I'm ready to grow old and incontinent together, and that when the "in sickness" part of our vows kicks in -- well, at least we won't be ashamed to use a bed pan.