We all have relationship baggage. One of my biggest carry ons comes from an old boyfriend who grew up in a world where women must not have bodily functions. So in our relationship, he did not want to acknowledge any of the 3 P’s- peeing, pooping and periods.

tpAnd I get it, but these things are real. They happen. And they happen to me. I didn’t want to discuss them over dinner, I just didn’t want to have to hide them entirely. To preserve the relationship, I agreed to keep this illusion alive as best I could. But of course, I had digestive issues and kidney issues and that damn monthly bleeding issue. Damn them all.

When we broke up, one of his parting comments was, “I’m just not attracted to you anymore.” And while attraction can mean so many things, I blamed it largely on not being able to maintain the illusion. I vowed “next time”, somehow, I would be more of a lady. A perfect porcelain non-excrement filled lady.

And that I did.

In my current relationship, I did not poo when he was at my house. Not for an ENTIRE YEAR. Finally on our anniversary, it happened. It wasn’t pre-meditated or celebratory,  I just really had to go.

Where did I go all the other times? Here is my shortlist:

  • Jewel
  • Starbucks
  • Bakin’ & Eggs
  • Gym
  • Work
  • Other gym
  • Walgreens
  • Nearly the alley one time

When I told a close friend about this, she was amazed at my commitment and her husband chimed in, “You go to Jewel? That place is horrible. Homeless people don’t even go there.” Horrible, maybe. But it wasn’t my house, which made it ideal.

When we decided to look for a place together, my requirements list began with “more than one bathroom.”I wanted the bathroom to be a non-issue. I didn’t want to wait to use a toilet and worry I wouldn’t make it or have to ask him if he needed to use the toilet before I took a shower. Maybe I wanted the illusion too.

Luckily, we found a place quickly. And that place had THREE BATHROOMS. But in the meantime I sold my place and had to temporarily live with him in his place. For 27 days. With one bathroom.

We were in the adjustment process. We had boxes and misplaced items everywhere. It was chaotic but special. Despite the inconveniences of the cramped space, I had never been happier. Every fucking day. All four of them.

But then there was day five.

“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”…And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.”  -Genesis 1: 20-23 

It was 8:30am. I really had to go to the bathroom. I thought about either stopping at my old condo (still technically mine until my closing the following week), or just going at work. I thought, “But I live here now. I should go here.” I needed to embrace this. He’s not going to leave just because I can’t make the dinner we ate last night adorably evaporate.

So I got to business and it was fine. But when I commanded the toilet to flush, it did not. Instead, it swirled and filled up with water. And then, it overflowed. Water poured onto the floor on both sides. Water seeped into his bathroom rug. This is the thing of nightmares. I took a deep breath and tried to make light of this. I opened the door and said, “I was hoping to have two years until this happened.” He simply replied, “Plunger is next to the toilet.” It didn’t take long to fix. But I had to mop up poo water with paper towels. And then bleach the floor. And then ask him for a garbage bag for the bathroom rug. And swallow my pride.

Relationship milestones are usually things like first dates, first meeting of families, first holidays. In fact, just the other day, we went to a department store together for the first time. And went grocery shopping for the first time. How. Cute.

After only five days of co-habitating, I clogged the toilet for the first time. And despite blowing the illusion, we’re still okay.