My approach to relationships has always been pretty straight-forward. Life is messy. Life can be gross sometimes. Add kids and pets and stomach ailments into that equation and it has a tendency to get even messier. And being a person who is infinitely entertained by potty humor, Life’s messes keep me laughing, and laughter is the key to any strong relationship.
Bean is gross. Just this morning she sat at the table and let out a fart that would’ve made a grown man proud, the whole time giggling into her bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats. Some mornings she wakes me up by backing up to me in bed under the pretense of “snuggling” and then sweetly whispers “the cannon’s loaded” before unleashing enough methane gas to kill a cow. When she was younger we made the mistake of laughing at one of her farts. Now it will be funny forever. Then there’s the poop. Even at the age of 6 she screams across the house to wipe her butt if its a “Slimy one”. There is no escaping this. She would rather subject her poor mother to the smell of toxic fumes than risk getting an itching butt. I guess I should be thankful. A few weeks ago she sharted herself and I honestly couldn’t hold in my laughter. I felt like the worst parent in the world, because my laughter upset her. But I couldn’t help it. Eventually I got her to see the humor in it, and she understands how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself too, but oh good lord, I was giggling about that all night. Even when I was texting D to let him know what happened, I was laughing. If I don’t laugh than the fact that I am constantly dealing with shit, literally and figuratively, it will depress me beyond the limits of my medication.
When she was an infant, she shit on me. Several times. D and I have both had feces on our hands. We’ve had to drain the bathtub, disinfect it and give her another bath because she unleashed a mushroom cloud of epic proportion considering she was so small at the time. It’s a good practice to make sure you don’t bounce a baby on your knee until you’re absolutely sure they have nothing left in their tiny little bowels. And even then…..there’s no guarantee.
The dog. It seems there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t ask D if the dog pooped, either on a walk or in the house, because sometimes he’s a spiteful little creature. I mean it. Every day. Sometimes twice a day. And when he doesn’t poop, we have detailed conversations about the last time he did; consistency, frequency, color. My old hound dog used to scare himself when he farted and I found it unbelievably hilarious. I’ve also had to express my dog’s anal glands. If you aren’t sure what this entails, you can YouTube in. i had to do this to my own dog on Christmas morning. I never thought I’d be able to say I anally violated a dog. And I had to do it because D “didn’t have the heart to do that to the old dog.” Let me just say thank god for latex gloves and my poor dog wouldn’t come near me for days after that. These are actual conversations and events 2 grown adults have had more after than we would like to admit.
Then there’s the adults. I have had conversations with my husband that would make any sane person cringe. And not just about poop. About several bodily functions. My husband has literally seen my vital organs, laid out like a human jigsaw puzzle. I warned him not to look over the sheet when I was having my C-section done, but he did, because he’s a man. And now he will die knowing what his wife’s intestines look like. I hope he’s pleased with himself.
We have had our share of stomach bugs, each more colorful and visceral than the last. We have had our share of drunken nights. I affectionately refer to it as D trying to call some dinosaurs. And we have shared these gastrointestinal pyrotechnics, usually in the form of one taking care of the other, or picking the lock on the bathroom door to make sure that the other isn’t drowning in his own stomach contents. And just so you don’t think I’m being unfair to D, he’s found me in different levels of shame throughout our relationship, the most recent being a combo of intoxication and food poisoning. I honestly thought I was dying. I wished I was dying. Death would’ve been easier. Death would’ve cleaner. Death would’ve smelled better.
I was raised with 2 brothers. 1 older, 1 younger. Can you imagine the hell I endured. I even had to share a bathroom with them at one point. My older brother has a gift. A very specific set of skills. He has the ability to unleash his noxious fumes at his convenience. Often, sometimes while trapped in a car on Alligator Alley with extended family, firing off butt shots like a machine gun. He made the mistake of doing this with our very Irish grandmother in the car. That was over 20 years ago and he still won’t pass gas in the presence of this woman. But as brother and sister, farts will always be funny. Even his kid thinks they are funny.
Then there’s my friends. I’ve been in the Food & Beverage industry for the better part of my adult life. People who work in Food & Beverage are gross. We have gross senses of humor. We play gross jokes on each other. We talk about disgusting things. We even crop dust tables or sections we don’t like. One of my best friends is a nurse. Part of her job is to literally make sure people shit after surgery. All day she talks about shit and farts. Thank god she has a boy 🙂 When we go on our annual Vegas Girls trip, It’s a bunch of girls sharing a hotel room. If you thought guys were gross, try going on vacation with a bunch of moms, a nurse, wives, and people who generally accept the fact that life is gross and smelly sometimes.
Someone who I am closely related to has never farted in front of her husband. 30 years, not one single fart. While I admire her dedication to the upkeep of this side of their relationship, I can assure you that is a one-way street. He happens to think farts are infinitely funny. She thinks they are funny, disgusting but funny, but refuses to cross that line in their marriage. Kudos to her!! I personally like to see how many times I can get my husband to blame mine on the dog, cat or child before he finally looks at me with a look that can only be absolute love and devotion. Otherwise I’m pretty sure he’d leave me. He faithfully(and figuratively) stood by my side while I anxiously awaited that first post surgery poop, well aware of the agony I would inevitably succumb to.
My point in all this is simple. Everyone has a picture of a life that’s all roses and rainbows. But life is messy and gross. And being able to admit that and take it in stride makes it that much easier. If at the end of the day you can’t laugh at the fact that you were shat on, farted on, or even sharted yourself, then you going to lead a pretty sad life. My marriage is better because we acknowledge the gross. It doesn’t overtake the awesome parts of our relationship, but it does bring a certain levity that only fart jokes can bring to the table. Or the bed. In the form of a “dutch oven”. I’ve never known such fear as waking up with the blankets pulled over my head. One day I’ll get him back. One day.
Sometimes I get defeated by the fact that there are so many unsavory aspects to my life. but then I rememeber…..”Shit Happens”. And it’s best for all involved if you can laugh at it. i have literally been up to my elbows in shit. And been laughing the whole time. Why? How? Because it’s funny. My husband loves me because I’m gross sometimes. My kid thinks I’m awesome because I laugh at her farts. My dog’s farts make me laugh. If I can’t laugh at the gross stuff Life throws at me…..what’s the point.
Until next time, keep those toes in the sand and some air freshener close by!