Saturday, February 26, 2011

Perspective (Or "From Bosoms to Bowels")

Recently I came very close to posting a status update on Facebook about the state of my bowels.

After some consideration (and a second draft of this post) I decided that the exact information about my digestion is probably something the majority of my readers, a group of fine, hard-working, intelligent, good-looking, sophisticated citizens of the world, would not appreciate.  Going along with me on a journey through life is one thing.  A journey through my colon is, I think we would all agree, quite another.

However, much thought on this topic led me to the two following conclusions:

1. "Important" is very much in the eye of the beholder, and

2. Boundaries are much harder to set nowadays.

Regarding point 1: Everyone has different things that are important to them.  It doesn't automatically mean they are important to me, and vice-versa.  For instance, it is completely normal for you to care about your job.  It doesn't mean I care about your job; though, as a friend, I will be happy to listen to you talk about it.  I just won't be thinking about it before I go to sleep.  I'll be thinking about my bowels.

It's like what Dr. Phil said about a certain element in marriage: if it's good, it's almost completely unimportant.  If it's not good, it becomes very, very important.  I will now begin using the euphemism "bowling."  If you and your bowling partner are consistently racking up the strikes (or picking up spares when necessary) you aren't too concerned about improving the game.  But if one partner is consistently rolling gutter balls (beginning to regret this choice of euphemism) suddenly each partner becomes very concerned about improving the game.

That's what digestion is like.  When your digestion is normal you don't think about it.  You go about your day without a thought to the millions of organs solely dedicated to breaking down your food for nutrition and tidily removing the waste.  (Your organs don't mind.  They wish you'd call more often, but they understand you have a life of your own.)  When it isn't normal it is ALL YOU THINK ABOUT.  Whatever you might be doing on the outside, whether it's writing a blog post, washing dishes, or leading a group of five-year-olds in the "Beanbag Boogie," inside you are thinking, "Maybe today.  Please.  Today."

But, since the entire point of this post was how I am not throwing my digestive woes in the faces of my readers (figuratively), I will move on.  (Ha!)

Regarding point 2: There is nothing wrong with my being concerned about digestion.  (Debatable, but it's my blog.)  Had I lived in the olden days, when people had nicknames like "Smokey" and "Half-Pint" and "Illiterate Stain" (who was actually named "Stan" but they liked to have their fun then, too) my concern over digestion would have been totally normal, as seen from an actual made-up excerpt from an ancestor's farm diary:

Monday: Sunrise, 6:41 a.m.  Breakfast of buckwheat cakes, rashers of bacon, sausage, coffee grounds, 17 cigarettes, whole wheat toast, and Activia Yogurt.  All members of household and farm animals regular, except for Illiterate Stain (hee!) who continues to regret the experiment in cheese-making.  Sunset at 7:02 p.m.  Skies fair.  Illiterate Stain in the barn until further notice.

Writing about your digestion in your journal?  Fine.  Discussing it with your doctor?  Wonderful.  Answering your grandmother's questions about it?  Weird, but all right.  Posting it as your status so that your 350+ friends see it in their newsfeeds?  Not so much.  From now on, my rule of thumb about posting on Facebook will be as follows:


Good status:  What a great day!  One of those days where everything went right!

Not so good:  It finally burst.  What a relief!

You're welcome.