How Comfortable Is Too Comfortable?

Last night, while I was trying to come up with the perfect topic for today’s blog, I asked Matt what I should write about.

My brilliant, sophisticated, lawyerly husband responded: “Write about when you start farting in front of your friends.”


“Seriously! Guys fart in front of each other all the time. Do girls? Do you fart in front of your friends?”

“My really close ones,” I said. “But no, usually not.”

When it comes to bodily functions, I’m not modest. Close friends know I’ll talk about toilets all day long. That said, I’m pretty sure no one comes to this blog to read about farts, so I don’t want to dwell on flatulence.

Yet there is something to the question of when, in a friendship, we get to a place where absolutely nothing is off limits.

In my own friendships, it doesn’t take long before I’ll say anything. My thoughts escape my mouth long before I have time to decide what’s appropriate.

When it comes to doing anything, that’s where I get shy. Back in the days when Truth or Dare was actually something we played at parties, I always always always picked truth. I had nothing to hide so I was willing to open up. (And besides, that Skeletons in the Closet 90210 episode with Kelly Taylor’s bulimic friend was totally awesome television.) But potentially taking on a dare and making a fool of myself? That was terrifying.

It’s funny. Like Matt said, guys will burp, fart, whatever, in front of each other without giving it a second thought. But when it comes to opening up emotionally, that’s where they get uncomfortable.

With girls it’s the reverse. We’ll tell someone our life story before we’ll feel comfortable getting all gassy in front of her.

I wonder why that is. I’d love to say it’s just because girls are classier, but there’s more to it I think.

Wait. No. Maybe there isn’t.

Given all the measurements of closeness I’ve toyed with throughout this blog—the last-minute-brunch-date comfort level, the why-do-I-have-four-jars-of-pickles phone calls, the would-I-ask-you-for-a-ride-to-the-airport scale—it seems that an am-I-willing-to-let-one-rip-in-front-of-you barometer is just wrong. And yet, at least for women, I do think it represents an entirely new level of intimacy.

As I get further along in this search I’m starting to feel like Barney Stinson, continually coming up with new theories that seem inane until, upon further review, they appear totally logical.

After all, admit it. You only fart in front of your most favorite friends.

On Monday, I will return to the classy stuff. But for now, for Friday, let’s open ourselves up to some toilet talk. Especially since my oh-so-mature husband might have had a point.

Tell the truth, do you fart in front of friends? Could feeling comfortable in a gassy situation be the ultimate sign of close friendship? Or should some lines never be crossed?

And then enjoy this bit from the master of random theories himself, Barney Stinson. Happy Friday!



Filed under The Search

9 responses to “How Comfortable Is Too Comfortable?

  1. Lorrie Paige

    To be honest, I find farting around other people (friends or not) without a care of doing so uncouth. It’s tantamount to picking one’s nose or scratching one’s butt. It’s bad enough some guys do it…But I find it very unladylike to fart in the presence of anyone; there’s a way of not doing it in public and if my gas is really bad, I’ll go to the restroom.

    I don’t even like to blow my nose around anyone, but I do in a discreet manner; when at a restaurant, I blow my nose in the restroom, but that’s me.

  2. Ana

    Agree. i don’t do that in front of my husband, family, or friends (not on purpose, anyways). and i would think it gross if someone did–male or female. While it may sometimes happen by accident, you say “excuse me” and move on…but most times I agree, can be avoided.
    i’d add scratching of private parts to that list lorrie (more a guy thing, but still!)
    i can be pretty open, but that is just gross to me.
    i have no problem DISCUSSING bathroom-related things with my close friends, but the actual events I find embarrassing!
    I’ve asked my husband about this before and he swears that he would also never fart openly in front of anyone, even his guy-BFFs.

    • Suzannah

      Ana, totally agree with everything you wrote….unfortunately my husband is not quite as refined!!!…and my sons, I think, will end up with the same lack of discretion!….but my daughters agree..”just gross!!!”

      • Ana

        Suzannah, thankfully my husband shares some of my refinement (hang-ups?) but I have a son who I am afraid will grow into his grossness very soon.

  3. If I need to fart or do anything uncomfortable, I excuse myself for a moment and go to another area. I always pretend that there’s an urgent phone call or I need to use the restroom. Works like a charm. Then I jump up and down to let the odor pass. No joke. I don’t want it clinging to me. Depending on the level of the fart and it’s gassiness, it might linger on me and I wouldn’t want everyone to know I excused myself to fart. So yeah, might sound crazy but that’s how I deal with it. 🙂

  4. You’d better believe that I fart and burp in front of my nearest and dearests. It’s a select few. A special few. But I love them, and they me, and nothing is off limits.

  5. Christina

    I never break wind around friends, but I have tooted around boyfriends and family members. They don’t seem to mind. In fact, they usually toot back in reply.

    As far as tooting in public… such as shopping for example, I try to walk down empty aisles in a store.

    However, whenever I have done such a thing, immediately 20 people appear from nowhere.

    It’s like they see the green cloud of gas and think it must mean “special sale on aisle 5” or whatever.

    It’s most perplexing.

  6. Marie

    I’m laughing that your husband suggested the topic – it sounds like something my hubby would have come up with!

  7. I brought this up to some friends today and got the same response as most of the commentors. They were appalled. Some of them don’t even fart in front of their spouses! But many of them pee in front of friends without a problem. I would rather fart than share a stall!

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