Before I met Ward I had never said the word “fart”. I mean never-ever. I couldn’t even stand hearing the word “fart.” I also hated the expression “Who cut the cheese?” My mom used the expression “passing gas.” It was tolerable but my thought was “Why even mention it?” I eventual started using the expression “breaking wind” which I think I read in a Louis L’Amour western.
My brother used to somehow save up his farts until my sister and I were around and then let it rip. Big, stinky eye-watering farts.
Our dad said, “He only does it because it bothers you. Don’t let him know it bothers you.”
Really? How is that possible? The living room, which smelled like nothing, now smells like death. How to pretend that isn’t happening?
I am not sure I actually farted until I was about twenty. It slipped out and I was mortified – and I was alone.
Ward broke me of my inhibition to say the word fart – mostly because he farted so much. He teased me mercilessly about the expression “breaking wind”. It was almost a practical decision. So much faster to say, “Stop farting!” Then “Stop breaking wind!”
(His incessant farting didn’t start until about six months into our relationship. I don’t know what he did with them during that time. I am convinced “new relationship sex” had something to do with it.)
It was a minor but significant victory on his part to get me to say fart. I still don’t like farts though or poop or pee or snot. Or vomit.
Over the last several months our house has been a documentary version of John Waters Pink Flamingos (1972)* with farts, poop, pee, snot and vomit of varying degrees. Late winter a swift but violent flu swept through our household resulting in me being vomited on three times; Thorin’s potty training, means pee-and poop-in-the pants next to me on the couch; Coco-the-anxiety-induced-incontinent-lap-dog farts non-stop, has ghastly halitosis and given the opportunity eats poop; Walt-the-dog licks the floor non-stop and the dishes I used to keep on the low shelf; and, before we knew Thorin had a dairy intolerance we all lived with snot everywhere.
Today, after wrestling outside with Coco over a freshly laid turd I found Thorin in the bathroom washing his hair in the toilet. He had peed in it by himself beforehand though. Sort of a lose-win kind of situation.
Jung said, “What you resist persists.”
Sounds like my dad’s advice oh, so, many years ago.
* Pink Flamingos, starring Divine, follows the antics of competitors for the ‘the filthiest people alive’ contest. The bar is set high with plating licking and feces eating.