For the first six months I dated my husband, I never used the bathroom when he was in the house. Peeing with the girls while we chat in the same bathroom at a party is one thing, letting down your guard around men -- especially a man you are attracted to and don't want to scare away -- is another thing entirely. To date, if asked, Bill will tell you that as far as he knows, I don't poop. Then again, he also says I don't snore (I "purr").
Disclosure: This is probably the most tasteless blog I'm ever going to write so if you are grossed out by potty talk, stop here. Consider yourself warned.
My blog today was inspired by the funniest column I've ever read on the subject of passing gas on a first date and is titled "The Fart the Almost Altered my Destiny". It made me think of every lovely Caribbean hotel room I've shared with my husband. Their handcrafted, louvered bathroom doors don't give anybody much privacy... from three rooms away sometimes. It's not uncommon for one of us to suggest that the other "take a walk." I have a friend named Anita who, I swear to God, used to force her husband to use the public restroom in every hotel they ever stayed in. We traveled together on business a few times and every morning you'd see Thom trudging down the hallway with his coffee and newspaper. This was before Bill and I were married and for a second, it seemed like an excellent idea. Til I saw the look on Bill's face. Apparently I was mistaken. Anita might not have been the ultimate marriage role model. But damn, I still admired her chutzpah.
Most couples live together before they get married and the inevitable awkward moments are addressed, literally, one at a time. How couples choose to address the issue of bathroom privacy -- or lack thereof -- is certainly an individual matter. Who can forget the famous episode of early reality television's "Being Bobby Brown" where Whitney Houston and her dedicated husband actually discussed -- on camera -- his help in relieving her constipation (I'm sorry if you haven't seen it -- I can't give you any more detail than that without crossing the bounds of mediocre taste). What you and your spouse decide to set as the boundary of taste is certainly individual... and private. Of course, here I am talking about poop in my blog. OMG.
Some couples I know keep the door open and chat while they take care of business on a regular basis... I'm sorry folks, but that is just wayyy too much closeness and togetherness for me. You gotta draw the line somewhere, for God's sake.
Remember, there's nothing you can do about certain bodily functions and if you live together and sleep together, gas is an unavoidable part of life. The difference in how you deal with flatulence has to do with the kind of sense of humor you have, or in my case, how bad your gag factor gets when in a closed room (did you know they sell cans of "Doggie Fart Extinguisher?" It works on human gas too). Farts were funny when we were kids -- no wait; they're still funny to men. Any older brother who claims he never "dutch-ovened" his younger siblings is a big fat liar. But to girls/women, flatulence becomes one of the worst possible potential public embarrassments out there.
Still on a practical level, what the heck are the designers of those fabulous, shiny, modern hotels thinking when they make the john out of see-through clear glass? Oh sure, you can pull a quasi-opaque shower curtain (sometimes), but nobody is fooled. Turn that TV up honey... maybe the Nature Channel? Depending on where you're on vacation, Animal Planet might give you some better sound coverage. Discovery Channel isn't going to drown this one out unless Deadliest Catch is on. I'm sorry... I'm being gross. But you know exactly what I'm talking about and you have wondered the same thing if you've ever been faced with the crapper-in-a clear-glass-box situation. It's cruel and unusual punishment. I don't even like it when I'm staying in that kind of hotel room alone!
At least once you're married, you can joke about it and do your best to be polite (or not). The blog I referred to above has to do with a sudden intestinal battle that hit while the writer was on her first date with the man she later married. Clearly, if they could make it through that, their marriage can survive much deeper shit in the future (sorry, couldn't resist the pun).