I began to wonder: Does this happen to other couples, and if so, what do they do? How do they handle this potentially awkward situation that screams, “Because we have only been dating a short time, and every time I have used the bathroom when we are together, you are miles away on the other side of the house, in a different room, with several doors and walls separating us, and maybe even the TV volume drowning out any sounds you may incorrectly think you hear coming from the bathroom. But now, you are on the other side of this flimsy Plexiglas unit that is posing as a door, and I don’t know how I am going to accomplish this very personal task without you totally getting to know me on a much more intimate level than I ever imagined you would at this point in our relationship!”
Granted, this is not even close to the same scenario as when I had food poisoning. This is worse. Because everyone understands that when you have food poisoning, you have absolutely no control over what is exiting your body, or from where and when it will be exiting. So in a way, you have total license to make whatever sounds you need to make in order to feel better. Such is not the case when you are not sick. Maybe under normal circumstances, for everything to happen as smoothly as possible, you even have an intricate routine to which you must carefully adhere.
“There’s a whole production that takes place involving magazines, my iPad and at least 20 minutes,” declared one of my male friends when I inquired if he would be embarrassed in a similar situation. “But, I mean, we’re all human. What’s that book you give to little kids? Everybody Poops, or something like that? Maybe you should just take a copy of that with you next time you go out of town.” This is good advice. (The book is called, Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi, for those of you wishing to purchase a copy. Click on the link to purchase this book right now.)
Ultimately, we did not have any embarrassing moments on our last-minute, three-day trip to the beach (praise Jesus!). Instead, after a couple glasses of wine, we talked about everything and laughed ourselves silly over the absurdity of worrying about it. I mean, we are adults. In our forties. We have kids. We have pretty much seen, heard, and cleaned up all of it.
Taking your relationship to the next level can be wonderfully rewarding and unexpected. Next time you decide to embark on that journey, be prepared. Talking openly about how and when you might accomplish “personal tasks” while traveling together can certainly help lessen the anxiety you may both be feeling. And, if that doesn’t work, you can suddenly get a case of food poisoning…that only lasts 20 minutes.