My husband and I were freshly married when we spent an evening with friends and good food. We said our goodbyes and headed for the car. When Steve was sure we were alone, he began punctuating each step with a toot.

“I have been holding that in. All. Night!”

With relief, I released a few of my own and, in concert, we propelled ourselves toward the car.

I can’t remember ever holding back around Steve. We pee with the door open. I don’t like being shut in small spaces. And often it’s urgent enough that stopping to close the door could be the thing that means I don’t make it to the toilet.

The problem (because there’s only one) with leaving the door open, is that sometimes a poo surprises me mid-pee. Public poo plop-plop-plopping is out of my comfort zone, so it becomes obvious that I’m pooing because I suddenly shut the door. And that click of the door is like a formal announcement to my family: “POOPIN’!”

Which. Embarrassing.

I don’t have the kind of bowels you can set your watch to. I’m always surprised to go in for a pee and find out there’s bigger business to take care of.

Early in our marriage, Steve and I lived in a house with a big bathroom. We could easily be in there together doing bathroom things without shuffling to trade spaces or spitting on someone’s head.

Once, when we were brushing our teeth together, I finished up and sat down to pee. Steve and I began to chat. He spit out the last of his toothpaste and turned to face me and finish his story while I listened. I was so focused on his words, I failed to notice a surprise poo sneak up.

So there we are, busy making intense eye contact when I involuntarily make The Push Face.

You know—The Push Face: Holding your breath with a clenched jaw from the concentration it takes to contract your stomach muscles, while your head pulsates from the tension in your neck. Ya. That.

I made The Push Face while Steve was talking… TO MY PUSH FACE.

I had crossed the sacred barrier of Poodom. I mean, you know people poo, but you don’t ever want to see them poo. I can barely watch my dog take a dump, and there I was taking a shit in front of my husband.

Before I had time to hope he hadn’t noticed, I heard him ask, “Are you pooing? Did you just PUSH OUT A POO WITH ME IN THE ROOM?”

He doesn’t talk to me while I pee anymore.


Shannon has been writing on the web since 1998 when you could make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich before your page loaded. Her work has been featured in print and online and she blogs at There, Shannon writes about vulnerability, courage and mental health. Before content strategy, Shannon spent nine years leading classrooms of small humans.


  1. OMG I am dying at PUSH FACE. I think I snorted out loud (but no involuntary poo, whew!). I thought this was going to be a post about peeing while on the phone (you know you do it, too) but this was so.much.better!

    I am sharing this post because it is freakin’ awesome!

  2. Funny! That has always been the sacred zone in our 24 years of being together – bathrooms are off limits. I would have died of embarrassment. Can’t imagine! This was a good read.

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