I’ve never been a nervous pooper. Some people get anxiety about their twosies, but for me, it’s always been second nature. Once I got into the working world, I even came to think of it as a power move. Something about confidently dropping a bomb in the side-hallway bathroom and then walking into the conference room to debrief on something that I have no business being involved in…well, it just makes me feel competent.
That is, until a few months ago. I finally flew the nest and moved out of my parents’ place and in with one of my close family friends. Here’s the thing: my roommate is a girl. I am a guy. The question on my friends’, family’s, and pretty much anyone that I’ve come to respect over time was, “What’s the pooping situation going to look like?”
It’s a valid question. It’s not something that we hadn’t thought about. After all, it’s a smaller apartment in Chicago with only one bathroom. Plus her office is all the way out in the suburbs, while mine is closer to the downtown area. We should barely cross paths in the morning, right?
In theory, yes. However, I forgot to factor in one thing: she works from home. A lot. And our bathroom doesn’t have a fan, the toilet has a deep bowl, and the walls are very, very thin. So every time I go to squeeze one out, not only do you hear everything that hits the water, you hear it in excruciating detail.
Look, like I said. I’ve never been a nervous pooper. I can shit in a public toilet any day of the week. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have common courtesy. How would you like it if you had to wake up hearing gaseous bowel movements every day? Some squeaky… some deep… some sounding like running water until you hear the little “pffft” at the end, usually after checking out the new Thai food place that opened up down the street.
I understand that there’s an expectation to be set here. This is my apartment too. My living space. I should feel comfortable spreadin’ my cheeks and releasing any exercise-induced fallout that may have been held back. Frankly, if this were only a once or twice per day occurrence, I wouldn’t have this issue. Not that I keep track of my bowel movements, but once you start feeling paranoid about cuttin’ a log at your own apartment, you notice the frequency with which you’re doing it.
I’ve used a lot of workarounds for it, too. As cliché as it is, getting paid to take your morning shit at the office is pretty sweet. I’ve tried taking the time in the morning to walk to my gym and do my business there but had to put that to rest when I almost shit my pants at the halfway point.
Am I overthinking this? Probably. I’m sure she’s done the deed too. I’ve never heard it… but the clues are there. Mostly just the smell. Febreze only does so much. Either way, the day will come when I hit the point of no return. Maybe it’ll be the day when I get food poisoning from the taco joint around the block. Maybe it’ll be the morning I drink one too many cups of coffee. Hell, maybe it’ll be the night her friends are in town and I try to cook to impress them, ultimately resulting in my own demise. A long-term solution hasn’t been discovered yet, so until then, I’ll just keep holding it in for as long as possible..
Image via Shutterstock