We frequently forget this but everyone poops. Everyone has a buttonhole and every buttonhole pushes out little butt babies on the daily. To be human is to take shits. C’est la vie.
While its commonality is only so comforting, taking a shit when you are uncomfortable is not ideal. This discomfort can come when you are making in a public restroom or in a gross portable on a very hot day. Those are bad places to poop. What might be even worse is being placed in a more intimate environment with people you love and having to poop quickly and quietly. Is it possible? I have doubts and the thought makes my palms sweat because shitting when people can hear or see you is the making of a panic attack.
(Proof of this: in college, I wrote an article about quiet, cool places to take a dump on campus. For the entirety of my time at school, professors recognized my name because the article was so relatable. Obviously I am not alone in my shitty anxiety.)
This is all is back in my mind (As if it ever left.) thanks to writers at Broadly sharing thoughts on pooping while dating. The results are surprising—some people just don’t poop, others make their habits known early—but I was left wondering: how do you deal with pooping at someone else’s house entirely, in a bathroom you are unfamiliar with? Let’s say there is no stopping you: how do you doo-doo?
First, I would say quietly exit a situation and take care of business in the bathroom most accessible but furthest away from the action. This is in direct relationship to if you are at a dinner party. This one time I was at a dinner party that was just me and Bobby and another couple. It was at their house. We had all had dinner and it was delicious but I had Chipotle for lunch (FUCKING IDIOT.) and my stomach was wrecked up and I was sweating because my body decided it needed to release a brown burrito as we sat down, post-dinner, to have a bottle of wine. “Why don’t you pour?” someone asked me. My hands were too slippery to handle anything so I said I didn’t want any wine and I asked where the bathroom was and I went to the further location, since that was an option. That is the end of phase one of this story.
Second, go fast. If you are gone too long, people will wonder. People will want to know what took you so long. “Did you fall in?” they’ll ask. “No, I was fucking dumping the history of my culinary life for the past 24 hours into your toilet and then using your fancy toilet paper to make mini Chris Ofili paintings with my spare time,” I think. That’s what happened to me at that dinner party: it took some time and, because I had poops and poops and poops, I had to get up and do my stuff twice. (Ugh. Chipotle.) My advice is to move your bowels and get out of there as fast as you can. At a small dinner party or a party with just one bathroom, you gotta move it or don’t go at all: people will wonder where you went or a line may form. You don’t want to be that person.
Lastly, if your stomach is a shitter, just stay home. I was supposed to go to a dinner last December and was very excited. I had spent the day prepping for it and picking out my outfit and then a black cloud sunk to my stomach and I realized something very wrong was going on: I had mild food poisoning and I was not going to be able to make it. I thought I would be fine and we even were in the Uber headed to the location—but the trip had to end early and the plans had to be cancelled. My stomach was dropping out of my ass and I was a mess of sweats. Instead of spending the evening with friends befriending the tiles surrounding their commode, I opted to spend the night at home in my own bathroom, with my own things, deep in my own shit.
Another option, one that I imagine is very unpopular: own your shit. Be that person who announces the beginning and the end of the movement. “I need to make a number 2,” you’d say. “Where is the best place to do that?” Put it on the table. Let everyone know. That is the only way to erase all of the aforementioned rules. No one can tell you no since you all do it. You have acknowledged your butt function: everyone will bow to you because you called out that you do make the brown sound and that you are about to make the brown sound in their bathroom.
So plan your poops when going to other people’s houses for extended periods of time or be prepared to talk all about it. Mind what you eat and remember that, yes, we all shit—but don’t put yourself in a shitty situation if you don’t have the time to be in one. Learn from my shitty mistakes when pooping in other people’s houses.