I read a list about gross things women do and watched as it went viral on my Facebook newsfeed. I was angry. The list was filled with indisputably human behaviors and functions. The implications that these inherently human functions are so unattractive upset and inspired me. The fact that these things in the list were considered “unattractive,” to me, proves that even in this day and age women are viewed as objects rather than people. That the list came with a disclaimer for all men who see the women in their lives as perfect is almost infuriating. I documented my behavior for a few weeks, and formulated the “grossest” parts into one essay to serve as a wake-up call for the ones who still think women are just fake little dainty things rather than weird, “gross” humans just like anyone else. If that list made people uncomfortable, this is sure to as well. My suggestion to those people is that they sort some things out for themselves before they enter a meaningful relationship with a woman.
Before I went to bed last night I had a heap of things on my bed. A half-full bottle of PowerAde, lots of clothes (clean and dirty), a purse, shopping bag, miscellaneous paperwork and other various items that can’t really be categorized as anything other than “trash.” I was sleepy though, so I pushed it all onto the floor, climbed into bed, and watched an episode of Revolution as I fell asleep.
I wake up this morning, cranky to trip on the pile of mess on my way to the bathroom where I simultaneously insert my contacts and relieve my bladder of the night’s worth of urine. I stand up to brush my teeth. As I rinse, a large glob of blue toothpaste falls into the pool of backed-up water and spit. I reach in with my finger and make sure it wipes into the drain.
I dress quickly and rhythmically move between my make-up drawer and my mirror across the room to apply “my face.” I throw on the first two socks I can find on my floor (hoping they’re clean) and hop out of my room, ready to walk to the bus stop with my roommate.
On the bus we casually discuss how tired we both are, how itchy her armpits have been since she stopped shaving them, and how I haven’t pooped in 3 days.
We part ways, wishing each other luck in the day, and I head to Trader Joe’s where I will inevitably buy a pumpkin treat while searching for a suitable lunch item. I grab my first Super Big Gulp from 7-11 and complete my walk to work.
At work I drink gallons of water, literally, (plus a second Super Big Gulp around 3:00pm) and pee probably 11 times throughout the day. Each time I go, I try to dig out the booger that has been tickling my nose causing obnoxious sneezing fits. On pee-trip 5, I get it. On trip 7, my NuvaRing starts feeling funky and I have to get all up in there to put it back in its upright and locked position. Time to triple wash my hands. Is it bad if booger germs get in there?
At my desk I make my best effort to eat pretzels at a respectful volume and accidentally drop a couple pieces on the ground. Being in a community space, I pick up the pieces and set them on my desk as if to imply to a possible witness that I plan on disposing of them. However, as I finish the remaining pieces in my bag, I eat the floor-chunks.
It’s finally time to go home. I, of course, get the most ridiculous wedgie after making it up to the el platform. I pick it, what else can I do? I won’t stand for such discomfort.
When I get home I drop my backpack at the door to my room, remembering the shit show I created on my floor last night. I have no desire to take care of that now and decide I will put it off until later in the week. That way it’ll be clean next time my boyfriend is here and I can pretend that I keep my room clean all the time. (A promise I made when we spent a weekend rearranging and building furniture.)
I go the kitchen to make dinner. There’s absolutely nothing in the fridge that sounds good. I resort to an old favorite: pasta, throwing in ripped-up pieces of Aldi brand deli-ham, some generic brand Laughing Cow cheese, using pickle juice for sauce. Gour. Fucking. Met.
The good news? My innovative dinner solved the haven’t-pooped-in-three-days problem, and it was magnificent.
I proceed to catch-up with my roomies, and we exchange stories about our days. My stomach keeps distracting me, though. It feels like some sort of evil boulder sitting on top of my uterus – pressing down just hard enough that I want to die, but not hard enough to kill me. This is really fucking irritating considering the anti-cramp promises of hormonal birth control. This is even more fucking irritating when I realize that in about 7 days I will be facing the monthly routine that ensues when the friggin amazon river of blood begins flowing out of my lady bits, ruining countless pairs of underwear and staining all my clean sheets.
I take 4 ibuprofen in a moment of desperation and decide that a hot shower is the only thing left to soothe my cramps. It works. The shower lasts 4 minutes, all the time I need to clean my hair and body and gtfo.
It’s time to go to bed. I brush my hair, and lie down, and continue to ignore the pile of shit on my floor.
I am a woman.
I. Am. A. Human.
Honestly, in reflecting on these actions, I was kind of happy with myself. I made myself laugh! I thought, That damn NuvaRing, always a pain in the vagin! I felt no shame, no embarrassment. Maybe that’s a tribute to my personal, arguably odd, lack of an embarrassment gene, but I don’t necessarily think so. I think that it is because I am comfortable in myself and my gender and my humanity that I am comfortable with doing these things. I hope that eventually all women are comfortable with doing these things, and eventually with letting people know. Because while I am totally guilty of the whole not-pooping-in-the-boyfriend’s-apartment thing, I certainly don’t pretend to him that I don’t do it ever. Because I do. Everyone poops.