Shameful Shitters' Anonymous
You don't really need to know my name. Nor where I live. I could be Charlie Cubicle, Tommy Timeclock or Oscar Ordertaker at your workplace. Maybe I live next door to you or just down the street in your hometown, a fellow citizen of Regularville, USA. You probably think you know me, however casually -- but you really don't know me at all.
The fact is, I am anything but a citizen of Regularville. I don't struggle with constipation or diarrhea, with IBS or any other more obviously symptomatic condition. But I do suffer from having a shameful attitude towards the bathroom scene. Somewhat regarding #1; but explicitly where #2 is concerned.
I'm not exactly sure how it all got started. Is it genetic? Or should I look back on my potty training for clues? Regarding the latter: I don't find much there worth examining. Perhaps I don't really remember the details because that was so long ago. All I can tell you is that at some point in my childhood I emerged with a full-blown sense of shame about when it came to taking a bowel movement anywhere except on my familiar home toilet.
Growing up, I was the type that actually held it in all during school hours. I reluctantly allowed myself to go to the boys' room once or twice during the day to do #1. But even then I couldn't bring myself to step up to the urinals beside the other boys. I ducked into one of the stalls -- classic case of bashful kidney. Not that I didn't want to be able to stroll casually up to the urinals and let fly, maybe laughing and joking alongside classmates who seemed to think nothing of performing the act in such a public way. I envied them their sense of ease.
But my shyness regarding public urination paled in comparison to my total inability to unleash the bowel beast. Not only did I want to keep this procedure under wraps until well within sight of familiar port (o-let), I didn't even want to admit that I was keeping it under wraps. For those of us who are truly shameful, even talking about the deed is a trial. Some of us not only don't want others to see, hear, or smell us in public bathrooms -- some of us don't even want others to tumble to the fact that we are headed towards the bathroom at all. Even knowing that others may have guessed what we are up to is painful for us. When all is said and done, we practice quite a tangled web of deceit.
So after years and years of struggling with the discomfort and inconvenience of having to time my bowel movements for private home performances only, I decided to do something about this lamentable situation. I joined the local Regularville chapter of a relatively new organization called Shameful Shitters' Anonymous. I thought you might like to hear how things went during my first meeting.
First off, there were only about a dozen other people in attendance. The entire movement -- and I use the word appropriately here -- only emerged about five years ago, so there aren't yet that many established chapters available across the nation to the general public. But from the moment you walk into the room, there is a deliberate attempt to defuse your long-term sense of discomfort with a disarming touch of humor. You are greeted at the door by the chapter's team leader -- in my case, a man calling himself The Big Turtlehead. He had a little nametag on his shirt that identified him just that way; the first thing I did when I saw it was smile broadly and openly.
"There ya go!" The Big Turtlehead said to me, shaking my hand and then assuring me that he had washed it thoroughly after his most recent bathroom use. "Smiling about your problem is the first step towards a healthier, more relaxed attitude! Now, just plop down in your seat, my friend, and we'll get things moving!"
I settled in, feeling that maybe this wasn't going to be such a strain after all. The others in the room were smiling at The Big Turtlehead, who began the meeting by leading the group in the following recitation:
"We acknowledge freely that we are Shameful Shitters. We like to hold things in rather than letting them out in a timely manner. We think up excuses not to go and we look for places to hide. We know we need to learn to drop the kids off at the pool without riding around for hours in search of the perfect hidden stream. We will work on doo-ing better, without regard to time or place. We will diligently attempt to develop a more shameless attitude towards what must inevitably come from where the sun don't shine -- so help us, Kohler!"
There was a spate of pleasant snickering following this opening 'prayer', if you will; and I felt a wonderful sense of relief at hearing such sentiments expressed so openly by people who had the same problem as I. Knowing they had come this far to learn how to go more easily, I instantly felt that the program might be just the thing to get me off the pot on this issue. Or on the pot, rather; and any pot, mind you, not just Old McFlusher down on the farm.)
I then listened quite intently to a couple of testimonials from Shameful Shitters who were making slow but steady progress. One man, whose nametag identified him as Stealthy Steve, revealed that before his matriculation in the program he had routinely used his entire lunch hour to drive home and back just to take his daily constitutional (his words, not mine -- he said he was working on finally being able to call it "taking a dump"). Now, he said, he had at least modified his behavior to the extent that he had scoured his office building to find its least-used single-user facility -- a safe haven in which he could perform on his lunch hour. With the price of gas going through the roof these days, he revealed, it was costing him a fortune to maintain his shameful attitude; this less drastic position was actually saving him serious money throughout the workweek.
Steve was roundly applauded for his progress, although The Big Turtlehead reminded him that his ultimate goal should be to freely use the multiple-user mens' room on his own floor at any time nature called. Steve would know that he was completely cured when he was able to actually announce to co-workers where he was going, tucking a newspaper under his arm as he left.
Another program participant, whose nametag identified her as Very Private First Class Polly, then stood up. Polly testified that she had recently and finally joined the ranks of the many women who go to public bathrooms together (to do God-knows-what) and had actually taken a stall next to a girlfriend of hers, where she managed to participate in a normal, meaningless conversation full of small talk through the stall wall -- while doing the deed.
"It was heaven!" Polly continued. "Before Shameful Shitters' Anonymous, I would have declined such an invitation to go powder my nose with my gal pals. I would have made some excuse about absolutely not having to go or something like that. What I've discovered now is that those public stalls are almost like confessionals. You can tell your girlfriends just about anything with those dividers between you. I love my newfound freedom!" Polly, too, was then applauded for the steps she had managed to take away from shamefulness.
I was then introduced to the gang. For starters, they asked me to stand up and say to them, "My name is (Phil In The Blank), and I am a Shameful Shitter!" The applause I received for this simple admission blanketed me like a big whiff of room deodorizer, and I knew that I was well on my way to success, wiping away my cares and woes, and -- with a flick of the handle -- likely flushing them down the drain forever.
Should my problem also be yours, may I wholeheartedly recommend that you look into the chapter of Shameful Shitters' Anonymous nearest to you. You have nothing to lose but your load. In a timely manner.