When I was in my thirties, I had a pivotal life experience with regard to major appliances. I’d just bought a new dryer. The first time I shoved in my dirty gym clothes and ran it, I was overcome with joy: The machine was silent!
The joy was followed by dread. Realizing that I was now at an age where a quiet dryer was all it took to give me a wave of satisfaction made me worry my life was almost over. Or at least, the fun part of it was.
How wrong I was. I have since learned: a) There is still fun to be had; and b) There are many more disconcerting phases yet to come.
The appliance-joy phase left without warning—no mile markers, no starting bell. Instead, my life just slid right into the next phase: Bathroom obsession.
In this phase, virtually ever food decision I make has something to do with how the food in question might a) slow down the works or b) encourage good digestive behavior. The joy in this phase comes from doing what I had assumed all my life was just part of my birthright for walking the Earth.
But enough dancing around the toilet seat. Here’s the deal. In this phase, before eating anything, I’m forced to consider: Will this make me poop, or block me up for days?
And that latter part is the real issue. It seems now that any little misstep (including travel with or without food included) can completely shut things down for days.
Oh, yes. Days. I’ve gone four, five, six days without unleashing the kraken. During those times, the mind reels at the thought of what one is hauling around on hikes, in gym workouts, or at dinner parties. And yes, I do think about it. All my week’s meals, now packed inside me, refusing to leave. How is it possible that I’m presently stuffing Saturday night’s dinner in the hole, yet I’m still walking around with Friday dinner, Wednesday lunch, possibly even Tuesday’s breakfast still just hanging out? What are they doing in there, anyway? Working on world peace? Cold fusion? The designated hitter rule?
If this is all becoming too indelicate for your sensibilities, I get it. And maybe you’re lucky enough to not be so afflicted. But if you’re in your twenties or thirties and are thinking, This won’t happen to me. Pooping is choice. And I choose to poop every day. It will leave my body so effortlessly that wiping will merely be for show. Well, to you I say, give it time young Grasshopper. (And try to snatch this prune from my hand.)
But, if you’re reading this and nodding the nod of understanding that comes with, wisdom, age and too much cheese, then let me share what I’ve learned along the way.
The following is a list of Tissue Issue problems & solutions:
I know it’s the list is short-ish. But these are the things that come up most often in my world. Of everything there, the flax seed has been the regularity revelation.
Now you may be asking, “Where does alcohol fit in this equation?” That’s a question I try to avoid asking myself. Having to give up hooch would be a massive bummer (and that’s me down-playing it). But I will say this: If I’m feeling overfull after dinner, a bit of whiskey does help.
The following two practices also have a big effect on restroom success:
1) Working out at least four to five days a week. Anything helps, even walking. Stop moving, and you stop “moving.”
2) Avoiding opiates. Yes, I know. You’d hate to give up chasing the dragon. But seriously, if you’ve ever had surgery and chased it with a Percocet or a Vicodin, you already know. It’s a potent little recipe for never again seeing the inside of your water closet.
So, bottom line: eat your flax seed, work out, and don’t do drugs.
P.S. The Following is a list of phrases I thought about using in this post but didn’t, because I’m not twelve years old. Yet, the fact that I’m including them at all points a sincere problem in my mental development.
Lay pipe, pushing cotton, puppy nose, make spätzle, building a log cabin, hit the Hershey highway, cut a cigar, unload some timber, take the Browns to the Super Bowl, fish food, drop a duce, liquidate assets, take the kids to the pool, pinch a loaf, cop a squat, make room for lunch, finless brown trout, visit the announcer’s booth, baptize a Baby Ruth, log out
Okay. I think I got that out of my system ;)
Honey Parker has been writing, writing, writing for decades, decades, decades. In there, she has also been a standup comedian, a Hollywood screenwriter, a director, and a co-author of edgy business books. Careful-ish is her debut novel. It is the first in a trilogy. It is comedy-ish.