Last week I was hanging out with my boyfriend and the unthinkable happened—my body made a small, unpleasant noise that I like to pretend never ever happens. No, “pretend” isn’t a strong enough word, I deny their very existence! As it is, my family can only cite one incident in which they verified that I am indeed like other homo sapiens in this respect. And I was doing yoga and sneezed; it was an anomaly! Anyways, as I pride myself on being well-mannered, I was mortified by the incident.
“That didn’t happen,” I declared. My boyfriend had a few laughs but then agreed to humor me (an action I frequently require).
We’re getting to the point in our relationship where we feel more comfortable with each other. But that incident made me wonder. It was a one-time thing, right? We won’t suddenly be getting all gross, right? (Not that I’m EVER intending on doing that again. I’m just theorizing here people!).
Because lately I’ve been noticing a similar trend with my roommate and myself. We have lived together for almost two years and we’ve recently been getting a little less, well, modest. Nothing is wrong with that of course. But once we started it became more and more frequent. I couldn’t help but compare it to my own indiscretion with my boyfriend.
Now, most college students know about a little thing called “breaking the seal.” During an evening of drinking you start to feel the urge to relieve yourself—alcohol is a diuretic. But doing this too early is perilous because once you go, you keep finding yourself back in the line for the bathroom over and over again! The longer you hold it the better, because then you waste less time in the bathroom. Say it to yourself in a slurred voice: “Don’t break the seal!”
Getting closer in relationships is like breaking the seal. Once you do something once you can’t help but feel like it is okay to do it more and more regularly. This is certainly not always a bad thing. Self-disclosing for example, is usually a positive thing in close relationships. When people tell others about their personal feelings and problems, they establish trust and set up a pattern for future intimacy, which creates closeness. When my roommate and I hung out alone for the first time it was super awkward. It wasn’t until we had hung out a few more times and gotten to know each other better that we began to become close, and talk about things other than what we had in common.
Breaking the seal with my roommate was a great thing. And our new tendency to walk around naked is a non-issue. But what about bodily noises?
My father and brothers are basically fart-machines. The rare times my father scolds my brothers are fairly ineffective because they know he’ll turn around and do it himself.
Apparently, when he and my mother were dating he would hold in his gas while they spent time together. He loves to joke about how when he would leave her house he would wilt the plants all down the path through the front garden. But then they got married and he broke the seal! And I live in a house full of farts.
I’m now imagining my boyfriend walking across the porch of my sorority house and past the flowers to the white picket fence….but I’m stopping the comparison there.
My recommendation regarding gross bodily functions? Don’t break the seal!