We’ve all been there…


The first time my husband ever came to my parents’ house was years ago.  We were in college and it was Christmas break.  It was late, around eleven, snow fell softly outside while the woodstove toasted up the family room.  Everything was decorated for the holiday and the overall effect was warm and cozy.  The little Suzie homemaker that I am, I offered him a cup of cocoa- at the time, knowing nothing of his severe lactose intolerance and highly active IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  He, thinking that I would be making the cocoa with water and a powdered mixture- eagerly accepted.

 Excited to practice my homemaking skills on the cute guy sitting on my parents couch, I headed into the kitchen to whip up the best cup of cocoa the man had ever had!  Made with real milk, heavy whipping cream, melted chocolate and topped with a large dollop of whipped cream, I threw a peppermint stick in to finish it off.  Proud of my concoction, I delivered it with a smile and watched in rapture as he devoured it.  “This is great.” He had exclaimed.  Claiming he’d never had anything like it.

 Twenty minutes later, as we snuggled on the couch, I noticed his stomach began growling loudly and he acted a tad squirmy.  I didn’t want to embarrass him and so I tried to ignore the increasingly loud noises.  Fifteen minutes later, he asked what I’d done to make the cocoa taste so good.  I told him the ingredients proudly, hoping that I’d impressed him.  He didn’t comment further, but shortly after, announced he had to go home.  Assuming it was because it was getting so late, I smiled and walked him to the door, said goodbye and watched as he hurried to the car. 

 Sixteen years and four children later, we were sitting around talking about that night- the night of our first kiss, when he said “You mean the night you tried to kill me with a cup of cocoa?”

 Confused, I asked “What do you mean?”

 “Yeah, the lethal cocoa that almost killed me.  I had to get the hell out of there before I crapped my pants.  I barely made it home that night.”

 Realizing he was referring to his bowel issues, I began laughing uproariously.  I thought back to his bubbled up gut and obvious discomfort as he tried to cuddle and kiss me.  Even as I write this, I can’t keep from chuckling out loud.

 A friend was telling me just the other day about a similar scenario where she was at a wedding rehearsal and had to go to the bathroom.  Uncomfortable with pooping around others she wasn’t well acquainted with, she desperately tried to hold it.  Until she stumbled and fell down an almost flight of stairs- caused by a pair of really awful looking old lady styled shoes. 

 Once her descent was complete, her only actual concern was not broken bones, but whether or not she’d pooped her pants.  Tears of laughter ran down my face as she described how she had concentrated more on clenching her butt cheeks together than bracing her fall.

 We’ve all been there.  I don’t care who you are- it’s happened to you.  Ill timing and sensitive bowels causing a bubbling from deep within, a cramp of the lower intestine and the wave of nausea to accompany it.  A flood of panic consumes you.  Perhaps you’ve had one cup of coffee too many.  One too many Genny Lite’s the night before.  Or the large salad at lunch was a little too much fiber.  The chili dip, pizza and chicken wings are making their way out and you know it’s not going to be pretty.  But you’re stuck- at a friend’s house for the football game.  In the movie theater on a date.  At the mall shopping with the kids or sitting around the conference table at a business meeting. 

 A cramp seizes you once again.  You can’t talk.  The person speaking to you looks at you puzzled as you nod, trying to squeeze your ass cheeks together.  You’re focused on try not to pass out and discreetly as possible, find a bathroom.  Afraid to release any pressure for fear of literally crapping your pants or gassing out the people around you, you inconspicuously excuse yourself.  Walking as fast as you can, clenched and desperate; you find the bathroom and hurriedly pull your pants off.  With your head in your hands, you try not to outwardly sob and groan as the next wave of spasms and nausea begins.  A cold sweat ensues and then sheer terror- Every attempt to courtesy flush does no good.  The pungent, wafting odor fills the stall and bathroom.  What makes it even better, two other people were in the stalls next to you, or someone is knocking on the door. 

 As horrific as these various situations are, it’s damn funny later on when you’re telling your story to a group of friends.  Again, we’ve all been there and it doesn’t matter how polite and private you are- you may not share your story with others, you may even feign disgust, but you’re laughing!

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