Am I the only one who lives in fear of pooping in a public restroom?
I’m not a huge fan of patronizing public restrooms anyway, but, you know, life happens, and I occasionally find myself in a row of stalls with between two and ten other women, and suddenly I realize extra effort is required, and I start to sweat – because I’m terrified that people will realize it’s me.
This is not to say I don’t do it – I am human, no matter how feminine I strive to be. But why this stigma? Who is it I am afraid is judging me?
The aforementioned toddler has been working on going #2 in the toilet, rather than in his diaper. And succeeding, for the most part (thank heavens), in large part because he has been encouraged by his nanny (my husband) and his dad to consider pooping both a victory and a game. In fact, his favorite part of the experience is to check out his production and declare it “a big snake!!!”, which is the goal, apparently. (The bigger, the better.) There is such unbridled, nonjudgmental interest in his excrement, and the laughter and joy of those moments from last weekend have stuck in my mind.
Then, the other day, I was using the restroom at work, which is shared by several companies on the floor, and to my horror, I realized that I was about to have a more…solid…result. Why the horror? Because another woman was in the room. I didn’t know her, and yet I was mortified to think that she would realize the activity of my bodily functions.
Has anyone else ever sat in a stall for an extra five minutes, just to make sure that you leave without anyone seeing you? Anyone else ever felt embarrassed when passing someone heading to the restroom you just left? Yup, that’s me every single time.
I can’t tell if this is an adult thing or a female thing. Perhaps it’s a little of both. Women aren’t supposed to have bodily functions like sweat, gas, or poop, and there is such merciless teasing when you do so at a young age. (One of my most horrifying life moments was farting in the middle of storytime in fifth grade and then being required to admit it to the class; I cried so much that day….) But then also, as adults, we’re not supposed to be fascinated by such a childish function, either. So women, who tend to focus on maturity a little more than men, are doubly condemned.
I wonder what would happen if I decided to investigate each work of art I created and congratulate myself on the size and shape of them?
Seriously, though, has anyone else thought about this? What are your attitudes towards such a basic bodily function?
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbird/19650368/”>thejbird</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>