I have a gage that I use to determine how comfortable I am around a person. It doesn’t involve sharing my most inner deepest darkest secrets, it actually involves if I can fart around that person, and then we have a laugh (nonjudgmental I may add) about it.
If I really look back on some of my closest friendships and meaningful relationships, they all involve a fart story. I’m not sure what it is about that exchange that makes me feel closer to someone, but if they can accept me and if I can accept them for all their stinking glory – we just become closer.
Bear with me as I give analysis to the dynamic and or sour exchange that can occur between people when the gaseous ghostbuster arrives on the scene.
If I and/or someone farts around me and we both laugh and have no issue then it usually sends a message that we accept one another. We can let down our guard of a taboo and embarrassing bodily act that can normally set others off. It says, “Hey, you’re just like me and I don’t judge you for it. My stuff smells too!” There’s a lot of beauty in that. Even when people have dealt some major stinkbombs, I can get over the pungent odor and gross feeling in my stomach knowing beneath the stench is someone who will embrace me, not judge me and accept me as I am.
On the other hand, I’ve had encounters where farting does nothing but make things awkward and gross. Are you still reading? Lol. Take for instance when I worked a desk job and had a cubicle. If my stomach was a rumbling and no one was around, sure I’d get some ease from the pressure and bloating from my Thai food that I took on my leisure lunch (I do miss the perks of working downtown Chicago and access to great food for lunch). I’d hope that no one would come around, I usually surveyed the area for a good 5 minutes (which is long when you’re holding in a fart) and hope and pray that no one would walk by and/or that it didn’t leave a lingering nose twitch. Most times I was able to get away with it, but of course as fate would have it, one time I was not so lucky. I had a more senior colleague come in my cubicle and ask me to work on a new exciting project. Once they arrived on the scene, I’m sure they would have rather asked me “do you need to take a shower?” They were as gracious as they could be despite the circumstance. Their face twitched, my dignity and competency to do the job sank. Though there was an agreement between parties to work on the project, the only real agreement was that I smelled. Every time I saw that person around the office or in team meetings, all I could think was they could see pass my professional and pleasant demeanor, and thought I was a rotten stench mine. The subtext was…you have no decorum and I don’t accept you. Though I can laugh about it, and even the see the merit in my colleague’s disgust (I would have been disgusted too) it just goes to show that farts can really make or break a relationship.