Monday, May 26, 2008

Mexico: Seven Full Days of Talking About Poop

My friend Katy likes to talk about poop. And farts. And anything butt-related. She giggles every time she farts. She pinches her nose and wags her hand in front of her face. "Ooooh-ooooh," she says. "That's a bad one!"

Katy enjoys discussing the look and feel of her bowel movements. She even likes to discuss the look and feel of her husband's bowel movements. She likes asking other people about their bowel movements, too. She's naturally curious that way. And I've known this about her for a very, very long time.

When I was still in Minnesota, Katy admitted she was confused by me. I wasn't like her. I didn't like to talk about poop, farts, or other butt-related things. I didn't honk my way through dinner. I didn't rate the smells of my bathroom excursions. I wanted nothing to do with any of that. As far as I was--and still am--concerned, the world does not need to know details about the more intimate of my bodily functions. I think some things are better left to mystery, and pooping/farting is one of them.

Therefore, Katy had one special request: she wanted me to blast out an audible fart when she was in the room. This, she said, could be a Christmas present, a birthday present, or--if I did it in front of her and her husband--an anniversary present! She insisted that's all it would take to please her. But I was never able to muster up the desire to give her that kind of gift, and as I was hugging her goodbye on the day I left Minnesota for good, she tearfully reminded me I'd never once farted in front of her, and that made her very, very sad.

I should've known, then, that Katy would be the type of girl to use our vacation to Mexico--where, it just so happens, she would be meeting the Boy From Work for the first time--to try to bring my boyfriend over to the dark side. She wanted him to talk about poop and farts with her. And she wanted to discuss my resistance to talking about poop and farts. And she wanted to say the word POOP! POOP! POOP! so much that my cheeks would run out of blush.

I prefer not discussing these things with anyone, much less boyfriends. When I was a teenager, my mother revealed the fact that when she first started dating my father he had been a perfect gentleman in every way. He didn't belch the ABCs in front of her, and he didn't raise his cheeks off his chair to rumble out a fart at the dinner table. He kept it under wraps. Until, my mother revealed sadly, my grandfather got his hooks in him. After a certain number of family parties and dinners where my father endured my grandfather's vomit-belching and thunderous farts, my father bent under the pressure, and it was all over from there. I remember thinking back then that I certainly didn't want the same thing to happen to my boyfriends, if ever I was lucky enough to be blessed with a little male attention, and so I pledged that I would be very disapproving of anything toiled-related. I didn't want any of my future boyfriends to think I was the type of girl who would swoon and giggle and find myself charmed by their toilet talk.

And I did okay with that for quite some time. Keith started out gentlemanly and eventually degenerated into a farting machine, and the Wily Republican's favorite topic of discussion was the outcome of his daily offloading, which was as dependable as the tide, but for the most part any boy I was even slightly romantic with did pretty okay. This is a fact that Katy would find absolutely unacceptable.

And this, I think, is possibly why she decided to use our vacation was a way to turn the BFW to her corner. She thought maybe--just maybe--if she could get him talking about it, get him being open about it--which, let me assure you, was no feat, since the BFW apparently doesn't mind discussing those types of things with complete strangers from Minnesota--then maybe she'd be one step closer to getting me to open up about it.

Poop was discussed at every meal. It was even discussed in the ocean. ("Bubbles!" Katy would shriek after she farted into the warm salt water. Then she would dissolve into giggles.) Farts were debated every night as we waited for the entertainment--usually some sort of stage show--to begin. Katy even went so far as to follow me into my room and sit outside the bathroom door as I went. ("Do I hear noises?" she sang as I locked the door and asked her, for the umpteenth time, why she'd followed me there.)

And the BFW was delighted to help her torture me. The three of them--Katy, her husband, and the BFW--ganged up on me all week and tormented me with their tales of tragic bathroom happenings. The three of them listed the foods that made them gassy, the foods that made them poop (for Katy, it's coffee, which is exactly why I wouldn't let her drink the gallon of coffee she craved on the morning of her wedding, a day on which I would be in charge of holding her billowy dress as she went to the bathroom). The three of them discussed Montezuma's Revenge and how thankful they were for anti-diarrhea medicine. For seven days, I shrieked and covered my ears and said things like, "Gross! Eew! You're so foul!" And they were--all three of them--so, so foul.

Of course, I know it could've been worse. The Boy From Work and I could have also gone on vacation with one of our waitress friends, a girl we know from the place we both worked last summer. If she had come to Mexico with us, if she had joined forces with Katy and her husband and the BFW, it would've been unbearable. And I reflected on this tonight as I sat with her and her boyfriend in the darkened dining room of the restaurant where the BFW now works. We were all eating twenty-five cent wings, but our waitress friend paused in her wing-eating every minute or so to announce that she had to fart and then she would squeak one out beneath the table. And right before we left for the night, she cuddled up to her boyfriend and sat on his lap and let another one go, and he--clearly impressed, clearly charmed--smiled and laughed and kissed her.

"Well," I told the BFW, "she would certainly get along with Katy."

Oh, just imagine what Mexico would've been like if the two of them had ever, ever, ever met.


Casey Sween said...

Hmm...I like the liberties you took with this. I like that you didn't mention that it was your BFW who came up to me at breakfast, nudged me in the side and said, "Ask Jess about her poop. Ask her what color it was." So it's not that you don't talk about it, miss. You just won't talk about it with me. And that just makes me sad.

Jess said...

Now now... I only talk about it when it really needs to be discussed. Like when I am in a foreign country and it appears in the toilet in a shade that I've never seen before. But I will not announce everyday bowel movements, nor do I wish to discuss them over a fine glass of wine. No no. Poop skank.