Sh*t Happens

I have never been the kind of person who embarrasses easily. I don’t always think before I speak or act and that leads to a lot of situations that would probably be embarrassing for most people – I just tend to let them roll off easily.

There have been exceptions, though. And it’s taken awhile, but I think I’m finally ready to open up about one.

My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years, but we’ve been together for 7. His family is amazing and they welcomed me almost immediately. I’ve been integrated into his family since well before we said, “I do.”

My husband’s grandparents own a small cabin on Table Rock Lake in Missouri and we went down to Grandma and Grandpa’s lake house one day to spend time with the fam. Grandpa built the cabin himself and it resembles a rustic retreat on the outside and a local Applebees or Cracker Barrell on the inside (imagine things like fishing nets, beehives, and saws hanging from the walls). It’s very rustic and very country. There are a lot of knick knacks, and sometimes you have to brush the spiders off of your bed before you sleep there. It’s a homey cabin with a lot of character; a lot of memories have been made there and as is the case with most older dwellings, sometimes this one requires a little extra TLC. On this particular day, there was something wrong with the water. The sinks weren’t running and the toilets wouldn’t flush.

You can probably get a decent idea of where this is going. I promise you it’s much worse than whatever you’re thinking.

We were enjoying the beautiful weather, playing with the little kids in the lake, fishing, sitting on the porch…you get the idea. We had been there a couple of hours – Grandpa working on the water pipe situation for most of the time – when I slowly began to realize that I might have a problem.

As a teacher, I’ve gotten pretty good at being in control of my bodily functions. Unlike most people, I don’t have the luxury of being able to use the restroom whenever I feel the need. On this particular day, I was exercising that ability while the water was out because the toilets weren’t functional.  It would’ve been easy if all I’d had to do was pee. I’m not above squatting in some underbrush.

But that wasn’t what I had to do. I had to poop. And this was a poop that had been building up for an hour or so. You know how sometimes if you hold it in the urge goes away for awhile? Yeah…that wasn’t happening. This poop was coming and there was nothing I could do about it. I had already been holding it long enough and I was frantically running through my options as the poop situation got down to the wire – or down to the rectum, if you will.

Just when I thought I was going to have to make up some excuse to run down the road to the gas station, I realized that Grandpa wasn’t in the house anymore. Could it be, perhaps, that he had fixed the issue with the water? Was I in the clear?

Everyone else was outside…this was my chance.

I went into the house and found the most remote bathroom – the one upstairs. I gave it a test flush. The last thing I wanted to do was poop and not be able to flush it. That would be mortifying. To my great relief, the toilet flushed and everything worked normally. I sat down on my throne and did my business.

After I finished, I came downstairs hoping no one noticed that I had even been gone. As I was stepping across the threshold to the porch, my husband intercepted me grinning from ear to ear.

“Do you want me to tell you what you just did?” he asked, with laughter in his eyes. He could barely contain his amusement and excitement. I had a feeling that whatever he was about to tell me would not leave me feeling nearly as amused as he was and I was instantly terrified. I knew what I had just done, and I was afraid something had gone terribly wrong – in spite of all of my precautions.

“I’m not sure that I do want you to tell me…but go ahead,” I replied anxiously.

My husband then proceeded to explain that while Grandpa had fixed the water flow issue, there was still a pipe down in the basement that was loose.

My face began to turn red….I had a feeling I knew what was coming next but I was frozen to the spot – rooted in fear. I should have been running – out the door, down the porch steps, across the yard, into the car, and back home – but I stood stock still and listened as my husband told me that I had flushed my “business” all over the concrete basement floor. While Grandpa was down there trying to fix the pipe.

Yes … I took a massive shit on my husband’s sweet, precious, loving, wonderful grandparents’ basement floor. It didn’t matter that I had checked to make sure the toilet would flush. (Remember when I said that the most mortifying thing that could happen would be if I had left poop in the toilet?) It didn’t matter that I was careful and waited until I thought the water issue had been fixed. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know or intend to take a massive dump on their basement floor. All that mattered was that there was a pile of poo that Grandpa had to hose down, and that poo belonged to me. The only upside to the whole thing was the fact that Grandpa wasn’t standing under the pipe when I flushed.

My husband’s grandfather had to clean my feces off of his basement floor. And I had no idea…until the moment I found myself frozen in place as my husband took an excruciatingly long time to tell me this because he was struggling to get it out in between fits of laughter.

I’m sure you can imagine that not only did I not think it was funny – I thought it was as far from “funny” as it could get. This wasn’t funny – this was the opposite of funny. This was mortifyingly unbearable. I did the only thing I knew to do. I begged my husband for us to leave. NOW.

The problem was, we had only been there a couple of hours and they were expecting us to stay the day. And we don’t get to see his family that often. So we stayed. The rest of the day.

I. Could. Have. DIED.

I had to spend the rest of the afternoon hiding my face in shame while my mother-in-law’s husband made as many understated poop jokes as he could. He, like my husband, thought it was hilarious. They had a great time laughing at my expense while I died of humiliation.

I have never been more embarrassed in my life. I was certain there was no way I could survive it. I had resigned myself to never seeing anyone in my husband’s family ever again – because how could I show my face around them now? I was going to have to change my name and move. I briefly considered faking my own death.

Not only did I defecate on Grandma and Grandpa’s floor – I unknowingly caused Grandpa to have to clean up my shit. And there was absolutely no question as to whose it was. I was the only person in the house at the time. What I thought would be a private atmosphere to drop a deuce was actually the most damning evidence against me.

Can you think of anything more embarrassing?

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

The good news is we can all laugh about it now. Well, not all of us. I still don’t laugh per say. I chuckle mildly while I relive the humiliation. It took weeks before I let my husband tell my family the story and it’s taken over a year for me to feel comfortable enough to write about it for your enjoyment.

I will probably never laugh about it. Sure, it’s funny, but everyone else’s amusing anecdote is my eternal shame so I think getting to the point where I can tell the story without dying is about as good as it’s going to get.

I did learn a couple of things for certain: my husband’s family must really love me to still want to be around me after that, and it isn’t possible to actually die of shame.



*Author’s note: Hey guys, if you are enjoying my blog, do you mind doing me a favor and sharing it with someone you think would enjoy it as well? Blogs are only as good as their readers and they’re hard to get off the ground. If you like what you’ve read here, please share. Thank you!*

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Courtney Livingston

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