The Truth About Farting (and other things we do)

The other day after a big red-faced cry, my little 1 year old daughter sat on the floor and began to fart and fart and fart. And laugh and laugh and laugh. She was hysterical with glee. It was a joyous and hilarious site to see this tiny cutie so amused by her own bodily functions. I texted a friend to share the moment. Her response, ‘ Very cute… laugh while you can get away with it little lady’, led to an interesting ping pong about farting appropriateness. And it inspired a train of internal musings about our own self-imposed boundaries.
We are all so very different in how we live our lives and how we carry ourselves as we do it. Some of us require a full face of make-up before answering the door, while others will go to a 5 star restaurant slap-free. Some of us may walk around the house naked, while others will not even show the tiniest hint of cleavage in any situation. Some of us may have a chat to the man at Woolies while he scans our groceries, while others may prefer not even to make eye contact. Some of us may find farting offensive even in front of our partners, while others will let one rip in a room full of strangers without a thought.
Some of the things many of us do or don’t do have been encouraged as ‘good manners’ or social etiquette either by our parents when we were young or our peers.
Thank you
No farting in public
Chew with your mouth closed AND don’t talk while you are eating
Always take something if you are going to someone’s place for a meal
Put the toilet seat down (men!)
Cover your mouth when you cough
Shake hands (men) / Kiss on the cheek (ladies)
Help clean up if your kids have made a mess
However, I’d take a random guess that at least half the things we impose on ourselves are our own doing; little quirks we have just picked up along the way from being non-robotic, flawed, emotional creatures strolling in a harsh land. Our idiosyncrasies are part of what make us unique beings. They can add to our personal flair, but they can also make us feel like we have a metal rod running up our back – rigid and tight and unable to just go with the flow.
Some of my self-imposed rules/quirks include:
I will not wear track pants or thongs outside the house
I will not pee with the door open
I like to get dressed alone
I must drink water from a bottle, not a cup
Will only fart in front of family, not friends or strangers
(Side bar: Isn’t it interesting how with all these rules (like with farting) we choose who it is ok to reveal these parts of ourselves to? It’s like we have an onion of people surrounding us. The inside layer gets to experience all the gruesome and beautiful you and as you peel back layer by layer, the people you don’t know as well get to see less and less of the whole and real you).
Back to the list…
Will not make eye-contact with window washing guys at traffic lights – they scare me.
Must disinfect my hands after touching a rubbish bin
Will only drink loose leaf tea as I swear I can taste the bag
Hair must look presentable before seeing anyone other than husband and child
Toys must always be put away when child is sleeping
Oh the list continues… I could be here for hours….
What would happen if we all loosened up a bit? Would we all spontaneously combust? While I freely admit I am a tiny bit of a control freak, I believe that no matter how easy going you are, these little rigidities and quirks are our way of exercising control over our busy manic lives. And for the most part that’s OK. I’m just wondering if we would all feel a little more relaxed, liberated and looser if we ditched a few of our ‘musts’ or ‘must nots’. It is quite possible of course that the opposite could happen and our lack of control could leave us feeling unsettled, disheveled and wild-eyed… not the ideal outcome…. But why not see?
I propose a little experiment to my lovely readers!
Let’s try loosening up (and hopefully not going wild-eyed in the process). Pick 3 things you would not normally do and incorporate them into your week. They can be big or small – seemingly insignificant as long as they are out of your comfort zone. Report back here in the comments section of the blog. Tell us what you did and how it made you feel. Liberated? Happy? Relaxed? Stressed? Nervous? Angry? Did you chortle in delight?
My 3 challenges will include:
Wearing thongs to Woolies
Drinking tea from a tea bag (bleurg)
Not cleaning up the toys during my daughter’s midday nap (I am doing this now!)
I feel stressed thinking about all three of them but I hope by the end of the experiment that all of us will experience the delight that my little girl felt when she was sitting on the floor farting and laughing without a care in the world.

2 thoughts on “The Truth About Farting (and other things we do)

  1. Cat says:

    Great post Nat, if only we could all be as free and unselfconscious as a one year old! I loved your list of self imposed rules.
    I thought a while on your challenge, but have had difficulty coming up with three things I am willing to try, partly because there are large parts of my life where I could honestly do with a few self imposed rules (I would happily go to the shops barefoot), and partly because I am far too attached to the self imposed rules I do have (I considered the idea of hanging out my washing in direct contradiction to my preferred and very particular method, but just can’t bring myself to do it). So instead of trying to do three things I wouldn’t normally do, I thought I would try to do less of something I do far too much – apologise.

  2. I’m so glad this post made you think Cat 🙂 What a wonderful thing to try and conquer. Change is hard regardless of it’s nature. Good luck with your apology project and let me know ho it goes, perhaps over a cup of tea… although I think I will spring for the loose leaf kind xxx

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