This post appeared on medium.com/@MicheleTally.
“You know about… the thing? Right?”
He stared at me across the table. It was a cold fall day, his eyes still watery from the wind outside the restaurant.
“Yeah,” he said.
“And it’s okay with you?”
“I mean, it’s not optimal, but it’s a part of you.”
We’d hung out with the same people for three years, and honestly, we’d never really noticed each other. Then, a few months ago, something shifted. There was more smiling, more eye contact. He sought me out instead of catching me by chance. We started reading the same books.
He was cute, with tousled brown hair and blue eyes, a skinny guy who sometimes wore plaid shorts with striped shirts. He liked puns and fantasy novels. He made me laugh.
But even though he’d just asked me out, I couldn’t help having this moment of insecurity.
In December, I’m having my large intestine removed. It’s sort of a big deal, not just because evicting an organ generally is, but because I’m going to have a colostomy bag afterwards.
In case you didn’t know, a colostomy bag is a pouch of your own crap, slung against your abs like the fanny pack from hell. I’ve been calling it a crapsack, because laughing is how I have chosen to deal.
That’s what this post is about — laughing at myself.
I’ve crafted a list of benefits of having a crapsack. Eight ways having a crapsack will help me kick ass, you know, at life.
Until now, I’ve been keeping this list on my iPhone, as a note titled “Don’t Be Insecure, Girl. Work That Crapsack.” I add to it randomly, whenever a new idea pops into my head, and look at it whenever I’ve spent a little too much time wallowing.
(I do that, sometimes. It’s only healthy.)
I thought I’d share my list, in case anybody else out there poops through a hole in their stomach and needs a laugh. I wish you the best, my colon-less comrades.
Here we go.
1. Instant weapon.
Scenario: I’m walking alone at night when I notice some man close behind. He gets closer. Closer.
I THROW A BAG OF CRAP AT HIM.
Who would not be completely disarmed by that? Like, who’s going to carry on with their original insidious plan when they’ve just had crap thrown at them in a bag?
I’m thinking not many.
With a crapsack, I’m dangerous. Threatening. You don’t want to meet me in a dark alley. I could do something crazy.
2. Creepy dancing men will also be deterred.
Scenario: I’m at a club, dancing with my girls, when the creeper who’s been standing against the wall watching us suddenly starts grinding up on me.
Currently, I’m somewhat defenseless against this man. I might say, “I’d prefer to dance alone” or, if I’m feeling feisty, “Back off, buddy.”
With a crapsack, he feels something under my clothes. He asks, “Hey, what’s that under your clothes?”
“IT’S CRAP. A BAG OF MY CRAP. I CARRY IT AROUND WITH ME.”
He vanishes into the crowd. I’m free to go back to dancing with my girls.
3. No bathroom, no problem.
As of now, I’m the bathroom master. You don’t get your large intestine removed because you hardly ever need a bathroom.
If I arrive somewhere and there’s no bathroom, I start to sweat.
Future, crapsack-wearing me doesn’t care if there is no bathroom. Crapsack Me ventures into the festival where the bathrooms are gross port-a-potties and says, “I am without fear, for I do not need to use the gross port-a-potties.”
Crapsack Me boards trains and buses without anxiety.
Crapsack Me is fearless in most any bathroom predicament.
4. Greatly slashed toilet paper budget.
I will spend less money on toilet paper than all of you colon-having people. Why is that?
Because crapsack people don’t need to use a lot of toilet paper.
I could probably spend that money going to the movies.
Maybe I’ll go see the new Star Wars. In IMAX.
5. The private hilarity of crapping in front of people.
While giving a presentation. During a job interview. While having coffee with a friend.
All times that I could be pooping, secretly, while looking into your eyes.
HAH. Hah. Hahahahaha.
6. Opportunity to shine as member of smaller people group.
Currently, I’m not especially special. I am, for the most part, your average young working woman.
I wear normal clothes. I have normal hair. I might as well have popped out of a mold.
Crapsack Me is special. She’s part of the small, secret cadre of intestine-less humans walking the Earth.
If I wake up feeling happy, I could be the happiest intestine-less person in the world that day.
If I run a 5k pretty fast, maybe I’ve run it fastest out of any person in the race without a colon.
Currently, I can’t say things like this. I’m competing with too large a group.
Not so for Crapsack Me.
7. Can join rest of mankind and drink alcohol.
Because of my digestive issues, I’ve never been able to drink alcohol.
Parties in college involved watching people drink alcohol. Which explains (partly) why I didn’t go to parties in college.
(I’m also more of a quiet type.)
With a crapsack, for the first time, I’ll be able to drink. Goodness. Imagine the possibilities.
“Getting buzzed” will be more than a mysterious unicorn state. I can find out if I’m one of those craft beer people.
I can, by God, dance like no one is watching.
8. Convenient test of romantic candidates.
When a guy looks you in the eye, acknowledges the situation isn’t optimal, but says, “It’s part of you, and you’re the one I want, so I’ll take it” — you know you’ve found a good one.
What a convenient and amazing assessment of commitment and character.
I call it “The Crapsack Test of Whether Or Not He’s Into You.”