To Fart, or Not to Fart: A Friendship Question

How can you tell if you are genuine friends with someone else? Is it something innate that you realize after spending time together for a certain amount of time? Is it when someone else asks you “Hey, where’s your friend?” or “What’s your friend’s name? You know, that girl/guy you’re always with.”? Do you sit down and have ‘the talk’ but it’s a ‘are we friends’-talk? The truth is different for each individual person, but for me there is only one way to know if you are my legit friend and possibly friend for life. Flatulence.

My friends and I, more my college friends whom I’ve lived with, have had in-depth conversations about the embarrassing aspects of the human body. Of course, the funniest bodily function is the release of fumes that leave your body via the basement. I’ve told friends how I thought farts are breathalyzer tests for your body because, by the scent, one can easily surmise what’s going to happen in the relative future. If it is a quick and unscented little trumpet beep, then you’re all good. If it is the notorious ‘silent but deadly,’ you must prepare for possible out-coming doom. This theory has led to conversations about moments when gas-expulsion has happened in public; the most popular is when the gas must be released because there is no way to hold it back. My favorite is crop-dusting during Winter because, as my friend has told me, the cold delays the spread of the gas so it kind of hangs in the air for a bit before spreading. This is perfect if you’re walking quickly down the street and let one rip as you continue to walk leaving an invisible trail behind.

When I was younger, I’d watch TV shows that showed boys playing the ‘pull my finger’ game, but I never saw girls in anyway farting or whatnot unless it was to do the standard ‘Eww, you farted!’ thing. I knew I did and I knew everyone else did, but it felt like it wasn’t ‘lady-like’ for a girl to do so or talk about it in public. Screw that. If I have to release noxious fumes, I will release them, and I will talk about it in public if I want to (usually in a whisper). However, it depends on who you discuss it with because there are people who’d just give an uncomfortable laugh and wouldn’t contribute to the fart-convo. You can’t talk about it with just anyone.This is where true friends come in–no shame. Some of my favorite conversations include:

1. Laughing so hard you end up farting.
2. Farting while standing next to someone then walking away until the person smells it.
3. Car farts that turn the vehicle into an inescapable oven.
4. The challenge of trying to hold in gas when you’re in an inappropriate place.
5. People who fart while asleep.
6. Girls who deny they fart.

One of the best nights I had in college was when one of my roommates and I spent the evening on a couch watching TV. We were each under our individual blanket and throughout the night we farted under our blankets and laughed the night away. It sounds disgusting to some but, to me, it was Friendship Heaven. The trick was not letting the air out because we weren’t up for smelling each other’s fumes–we drew the line there because I don’t believe people love inhaling others’ gas.

Unlike my partner-in-crime during that evening, my other roommate is an anomaly; she’s different about her fumes. I am convinced she isn’t human because I am almost positive she never does it, though she must have throughout the years we lived together. It weirded me out, and still does, but some people don’t find it necessary to discuss body gas, even to their closest friends.

There’s nothing wrong with not discussing gas release, but it obviously isn’t my normal. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t walk around farting everywhere and talk about it to everyone around me. I am, however, comfortable with walking up to a friend and having a laugh about a funny story concerning gas.

It’s about honesty amongst friends though not all my friends are as comfortable as I am about this topic.

I measure my level of friendship with someone by what I can talk to them about without feeling judged or self-conscious. It’s about comfort and honesty. Sometimes chemistry between people is initially good because you find that you have a similar taste in music or that you love the same kinds of food. I don’t think chemistry gets great until you talk about weird stuff like playing the ‘what if…’ game, discuss what your turn-ons are, what are your pet peeves, and embarrassing moments. My favorite is when you talk about something incredibly embarrassing, but you discover that you share similar stories which usually ends in an ‘oh my god, me too!’ shout. Those are the best moments that usually lead to people opening up more and then the friendship takes off though not all initial friendships lead to the ‘friends-forever’ expert level.

Discussing gas has, for me, led to hilarious conversations and great friendships. Sounds weird, but it’s about honesty and opening yourself up to exposing unflattering things about yourself to another person. Sure, some might just give an insincere laugh and think you’re gross, but you can just laugh it off because farting is something that everyone does. Farts are necessary and they are both gross and funny so let it rip. Just be aware of your surroundings and…I don’t want to breathe it in, so please announce it to me; I’d really appreciate that.

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