Forgive me for bringing up the rude, but I feel compelled to bring up the sensitive topic of romance. Or more specifically, what happens when the romance dies.
I’ve thought a lot about the lady – a lady in the truest and purest sense of the word – who kept a low profile on her boyfriend for more than two years. Last month, the 19-year-old Irish woman was reported to have developed extreme abdominal pain that landed her in hospital with appendicitis. The condition can be caused when pressure builds up in the appendix, so holding it in the wind can cause damage. She later posted a story on TikTok, noting that her boyfriend “laughed dead” when he found out, though she’s since vowed to “just let it out from here on out.” Within days, the story was, um, up in the air, with outlets in New York and Australia continuing the story.
I mean, this commitment to upholding the feminine mysticism within a relationship is really something to be admired. And we’ve all been there when it comes to finding a new partner, pretending we woke up with dewy skin, or that matching underwear was something we would do every day, or that natural bodily functions aren’t once part of our biological functions would form. Farting when you’re the new shiny girlfriend is definitely off-brand.
As relationships progress, the shine is rubbed away and things get a little muddy around the corners. Intimacy takes on a whole new meaning. Farting in front of a new lover is a similar milestone to meeting parents, attending a cousin’s wedding together, using the other person’s toothbrush (in a pinch, m’lud), or getting to know their bank card pin. Once you cross that line, don’t “take a lover” or “have an affair” or “date” anymore. You are official. The passing of the wind makes it so.
I can’t remember exactly when I made the “before” to “after” jump, but suffice it to say it happened. I’ve never had appendicitis, let’s put it that way. It happened well before the two-year mark. And now, if it ever happens, I can point out that I don’t want to end up in the hospital unnecessarily.
My three-year-old has never found anything more entertaining than her own “butt belches.” She lets it go with a performative, happy fervor, cackling goofy as she does so, letting everyone know when the feat happened. Luckily, all of this is happening within the relatively safe confines of our home. I have no idea what will happen the first time she does that in line at Dunnes. I’ll cite appendicitis, I suppose.
A friend of mine is in what we’re going to call the “pre-fart” stage of a new relationship, and I can’t say I’m not jealous. She dresses up for dates, sends me photos from dark jazz clubs, enjoys sexy weekends in hotels with four-poster beds.
I’m sorting laundry, walking around the house with hair removal cream on my upper lip, and arguing with my husband about rubber gloves that were left in the sink. We have heated debates about what exactly constitutes the “slamming” of a toilet seat. How did I go from red lipstick and heels to gray panties by the radiator?
It wasn’t always so “intimate”. Once upon a time there was a kiss on the street. I remember the electric charge when my husband texted me back. But now the last traces of romance are only there.
To some it may sound like things are beyond repair in my marriage; that we have inexorably slipped into a cloudy, filthy complacency and that this sloppy, unattractive odyssey will eventually doom us.
But there’s the thing. The boring parts of our relationship and the mundane rhythms of simple, everyday life have become the best parts. It’s intimacy, in the truest and best sense of the word. Somehow, romance survived in these inhospitable conditions. I’m totally myself, probably for the first time ever in a relationship, and there’s something wonderful about that. The alternative – not breathing out for years, figuratively and literally – is out of the question.
That being said, I’m pretty sure I was the girlfriend who was in charge. I was too busy worrying about hiding shaky bits, strategically undressing, and sitting at odd angles that might minimize my tiny arms. God, being shy and seductive was exhausting. Not pleasant at all. The bandwidth expended to keep the “romance” alive was significant. And yet, being a woman in a relationship felt like the right way to go. No wonder these romances hid to nothing.
Farting isn’t exactly going to be the glue that holds you together — it’s not like we have regular competitions or anything — but being comfortable enough to allow for the odd parp is everything in a relationship. We compensate for that stuff with the barely-there gestures that keep the wheels greased. Watch movies together. Offer a biscuit next to a cup of tea. A bath after a stressful day. Unbeknownst to us, we kept the romance alive in small but great ways.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/farting-may-not-be-on-brand-if-youre-the-shiny-new-girlfriend-but-being-comfortable-enough-to-allow-for-the-odd-parp-is-everything-in-a-relationship-41596567.html Farting might not be hip when you’re the Shiny New Girlfriend, but being comfortable enough to allow for the odd parp is everything in a relationship