I’m going to save the terrifying events of yesterday for Miserable Monday. Since it’s Friday, I thought I’d talk about something a little more lighthearted: farts.
People seemed to think my mention of smelly farts as a reason for couples sleeping separately was a bit hilarious. Even as I type the word, I feel the internet quiver with 12-year-old laughter. I’m not sure what’s so funny about the whistling sound air makes as it passes out our butts, but people seem to get a kick out of it. Maybe I don’t always see the humor because my family is weird about farts.
I have plenty of memories of family members farting, but rarely do I recall them laughing at the event. There was one time, where my dad was going on about how something smell, that my mom got mad at him. It’s a perfectly normal bodily function and she didn’t care for the way he was making fun of her.
Since then, I have always thought it rude to laugh at farts. Why laugh at a person for something out of their control? Then I met the boyfriend, D. D has a lot of flatulence. In fact, I cannot overstate how often this man farts. In public and around new people, he’s good at holding it in, but five years changes a couple. He has no problem releasing his gases around me. To be honest, I don’t mind. They’re just farts. I fart, too, and I don’t expect him to think any less of me for that. His farts don’t even smell, so what do I care?
The funny thing is, D cares. He thinks farts are hilarious. Even though they rarely smell, you can always tell when he has passed gas. He gets this big goofy smile on his face and, if he can pull you aside, he’ll ask if you noticed.
I almost never notice because I make a point to breathe a little less when I see that smile appear. I know what that smile means.
Life gets all the more awkward when D interacts with my family. He knows that, to them, laughing at the sound of flatulence would come off as rude. Typically, if one of my parents or grandparents farts, they say excuse me and move on. No one around them will so much as twitch.
What is the social norm for reacting to farts? Does it depend on the people around us? I don’t recall ever telling D not to laugh at farts around my family, so I assume he figured it out watching the reaction of those around him. Does that mean it’s only okay to laugh at farts if other people are laughing at farts?
About a month ago, my grandmother was sitting in the living room with D and me. When she got up, there was an audible fart. She said excuse me and walked off. In his chair, D’s face twisted in a struggle to avoid laughing. The poor man. He gets so much enjoyment out of farts and can’t express his glee for them around my family.
I guess my family is just weird about farts. It’s not a problem for me. Perhaps I’m a product of my environment, but I do not like it when people laugh when I fart. In fact, I have become a pro at the silent fart. Most of the time, they don’t even smell. Maybe I’m lucky, or maybe I’m just young. I’ll have to wait a few years to see how age affects my farts.
When is it okay and not okay to laugh at a fart? If no one else is laughing, is it rude for you to laugh? Is your family funny about farts, too? What’s the funniest kind of fart?