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How I found out this weekend that I am brave.

For the past five days, I have been in New York City for this little conference called BlogHer 2010. I had a blast, and I plan on writing a full recap soon, but for now I thought I would talk about something that happened that made me realize how brave I am.

I don’t have any problem speaking to new people or introducing myself. I’m not shy about talking to anyone, even the bloggers that are considered “big”. Throw me into a room of random people, and I’ll find somebody to talk to with relative ease.

But you know what I won’t do? Do you know what event shakes me to my utter core and makes me tremble and want to cry? Do you know what I thought I was never brave enough to do, regardless of the circumstances?

Poop in a public bathroom.

Like a friend of mine, I refuse to use public bathrooms for anything other than urinary satisfaction. When I was a child, I went to summer camp for a week and didn’t poop the entire time. My mother still loves to tell the story about driving me home and watching me sprint for the bathroom, leaving my clothes in my wake.

So, where do you think is the worst possible place to have the sickening, twisting realization that it was going to be physically impossible to clench your ass tight enough until you get home?

Not just a public bathroom. How about an airport bathroom?

Wait. That’s not bad enough. How about the Newark Airport bathroom?

Newark Airport is, in the words of my esteemed Voices of the Year Keynote Speaker friend, “the dirtiest airport I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in airports in India and Nepal, and this is fucking disgusting compared to those.”

I’m not going to go into detail about my Newark poop adventure, but suffice it to say that if the other patrons in the bathroom thought they heard the occasional sob, they’d be right.

And I totally have to burn these clothes.

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71 Replies to “How I found out this weekend that I am brave.”

  1. Lora

    The idea of public pooping terrifies me, and I almost didn’t go last weekend because of it. I pooped at the hotel once, but I had to have a few drinks and three cups of coffee in order to pull it off. I would seriously rather poop in an alley than poop in a public restroom.

    Or in Newark.

  2. Alex

    Have you ever read your blog?! I’ve never thought of you as anything less than quite brave. Except when you wouldn’t write that John Wooden thing, but hey, that’s water under the bridge.

  3. Mik

    As someone who never pooped in a school toilet all through high school I hear ya, I’d rather suffer until I get home. I’m sure a shrink could have a great time with it.

  4. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    Well, there’s a big difference between pooping in a relatively decent public bathroom and pooping in the dirty pits of hell. But me? I figure I don’t know any of these people anyway and they’d probably piss on the seat if given half the chance, so I’ll return the favor and stink up the place a bit. Why do it at home and then have to clean up the bowl?

    God, I’m so crass…

  5. Dave2

    At least you didn’t have to poop while on the plane!

    I’ve never used the bathrooms at Newark… there usually isn’t time because the traffic flow is messed up and security checkpoints take FOREVER to clear… hope you got a tetanus shot!

  6. martymankins

    Personally, I don’t have any issues using most public restrooms to poop. Although I admit to wanting to be clean, so I normally will take a paper towel, wet it down and then use it to wipe off all areas where my ass will be. It helps in knowing at least I took a couple of steps to make sure there was some form of cleanliness when I have to take care of business.

  7. Black Belt Mama

    OMG, this made me laugh so hard. One time, my 4-year old and I were in the bathroom and trust me when I tell you she has NO problem with pooping in public bathrooms, and she basically became a journalist, verbalizing her experience the entire time for the entire bathroom. Like this: “It is almost coming. The poop is almost out.” You need to poop in a bathroom beside her, because she would have drowned out the sobbing.

  8. tara

    ugh, i had to do it on the trip home too, at some teeny bathroom in LGA with TWO STALLS and a line out the door, no toilet paper (but a stash of food napkins)… the pregnancy version, no less, which too often involves grunting. i’m still disgusted.

  9. Biz

    That’s a big traumatic step Adam. I’ve very proud of you for choosing to suffer the airport bathroom in lieu of ending up in the hospital or pooping your pants. I’d be happy to give you my therapist’s number if you are still having nightmares in another week. It’s possible I’m a total ass because the idea of you sobbing in the stall all traumatized about being there made me laugh.

  10. amber

    I have nightmares about public bathrooms. No, really. In fact, I suffered through a painfully knotting belly all the way home from NYC, just so I wouldn’t have to sit on a public toilet.

    You deserve a medal.

  11. Amber

    Awhile back I wrote about how appalled I was to find out that women actually pooped in the public bathrooms when I walked into one and it smelled like..well, poop.

    My problem is that I’m shy. So I think BlogHer would be difficult for me.

  12. Sam

    Oh god…Newark?! I’m sorry that was your first public pooping experience. And, I’m envious; when I have to go, it’s always a code red emergency, so it kind of doesn’t matter where I am…it just has to happen. Immediately.

  13. Kirsten

    I’ve been in Newark, and didn’t think it was that bad (but this was years ago, maybe the last time it was cleaned?) Now the Greyhound terminal in Buffalo is another story. I missed my transfer by 5 minutes and had to spend the night there. Unfortunately I had to go sometime during my 8 hour wait. Don’t ask me how a woman can use the restroom without touching the toilet or letting her feet touch the floor, because I’m still trying to block it out.

    Congrats on your poo. Public restroom poops are a big step.

  14. Faiqa

    I’m actually one of those people who will not poop in public restrooms, too. I don’t remember this happening while we were at the airport, though… Huh. That was a dirty, dirty airport, though, so I am impressed.

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