No, not the door you’re thinking. Not the “back door.” I’m talking about the bathroom door.
A week or two ago, Baby Sideburns posted on her facebook page clues that one has been married a long time. By the way, if you have kids and you’re not following Baby Sideburns, what are you waiting for? She is the most awesomely funny mommy blogger ever. Once, I would have aspired to be her, back when I thought I would be a humor blogger. But then I started blogging and realized I’m way more serious and earnest than I ever would have imagined. Who knew? Anyway, her list included things like “Your maiden name starts to sound weird to you.” (Yes. And also the word "maiden." We really still call it that, huh?) “You can say words like vagina to your husband without flinching.” (Um, I can pretty much say vagina to almost anyone without flinching.) “You’ll ask him to buy tampons for you.” (Husbands shop?)
The comments thread though, that was where the magic happened. Hundreds of women proceeded to talk about dropping a deuce in front of their man, or hanging out putting on their makeup or showering while their hairier half dropped his kids off at the pool.
No. Just no.
As I shuddered inwardly at the idea of my hubby coming in to shower and shave while I did the third S, I began to wonder if maybe I’m just weird and repressed. I grew up in a family of six with one bathroom. It was not at all uncommon to have someone pee in the tub in desperation while someone else leisurely flipped through a Reader’s Digest on the toilet. Oh, while a third person washed their face in the sink, and someone else did hair or makeup. All within like three feet of each other. That totally happened. Other than the Ghostbusters “cross the streams” jokes when two or three dudes were peeing at the same time, it kind of sucked. I was never really comfortable with it, but if you waited to do your (80’s South Jersey Aqua-netted) hair until no one was taking a crap, you might have had to go to school without a magnificent tower of bangs to show how cool you were. If you waited to pee until the toilet was free, you might have had to go in the backyard on a tree, like your brothers routinely did.
It was forced extreme intimacy and I never liked it. So maybe when I moved out, I went too far the other way. I’ll pee in front of someone, but that’s it. The other stuff is private. I basically want no one watching me. And I have no interest whatsoever in watching anyone else. Now that my kids can (mostly) wipe their own butts, I’m pretty much hoping I never have to deal with or in any way experience anyone else’s excrement ever again. If it came down to it, would I caretake my husband or kids or anyone else I loved? Of course I would. If I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do it.
But here were these hundreds of women talking about how they have great conversations with their man while hanging out on the toilet. Was I crazy? Only one way to know… I asked my sister and my best friend. One has an open door policy. The other doesn’t. My friend then proceeded to ask pretty much everyone she knew, which is so awesome. I just imagine each of her friends getting a text: “Do you guys crap with the door open?” I really know how to start a conversation, huh? Yeah, I’m a big hit at parties.
So it turns out it’s pretty mixed. Some do, some don’t, lots mostly don’t, but are OK with someone coming in to give them a roll of TP or whatever. I’m on the extreme end. No TP transfers even. I have found myself trapped exactly twice in my ten year marriage, and both times he knew to stay behind the door and just throw in a roll. Good husband. Don’t watch me. And don’t breathe until the door is shut again. Not that I’m, like, extra gross or whatever. My crap is just the normal amount of gross. But that’s plenty gross enough for me.
I guess I’m kind of a proponent of maintaining a certain amount of mystery. I just find someone more appealing if I have not recently experienced the sight, sound, or smell of their poop. I’m not a blushing newlywed. I just think some things are private. Maybe it’s a luxury because we have two bathrooms in close proximity. He often wants to shower when I am having my “caffeine response,” as it were. So I use the hall bathroom if I know he needs to get ready for work soon.
There is a part of me that wonders if I am missing out on the magic of complete open-door intimacy. And then I think about having to smell his crap while I’m brushing my teeth, and I’m like, no, no, I’m good with it.