I woke up this morning in the beach house, looked out the window, and saw the blue sky over the marsh. It was a perfect morning and I was feeling especially benevolent, so I decided to make my famous (or they really should be for as good as they are) stuffed french toast sandwiches for the whole family. After a trip to the local Piggly Wiggly for some supplies, Matt and I got started on whipping up a delicious spread. Gradually the family awoke to smells of french toast, bacon, and coffee, and sauntered into the kitchen, just in time to grab a heapin' helpin'. All six of us ate out on screened in porch overlooking the marsh, complete with majestic white egrets. It sounds idyllic, right? It kind of was. But what do you think the subject matter was during this occasion. Plans for the day? Books we were reading? Kate and Will's wedding/honeymoon/impending divorce? No. As so many conversations do in my family, it floated to the subject of floaters. Not "bodies murdered by the Russian mafia and found in the East River" kind of floaters, but poopy floaters. Excrement. BM's.
Poop has a special place in most of our family stories. It actually is a badge of honor to have good bathroom tales. Everyone in the family snorts and laughs until their spleen's hurt when my Dad tells about the time he went into "the wrong john" in the Columbus airport and had to run out, pants hoisted, belt undone. My mom, a former poop prude, embarrassed that my father said something as benign as "she's in the restroom" to explain her prolonged absence during dinner at my dad's partents house when they first started dating, still shudders during these conversations, but even she chimes in with my sister's epic dirty diaper stories--especially the time she let out a huge juicy plop right in the middle of church during the homily. And as an adult, a product of being in Morocco, Jeanie waxes eloquent about her scrapes with parasites, accidental diarrhea, and pooping outside. She claims earnestly that if anyone in the Peace Corps in Morocco say they didn't poop their pants at some point during the trip, they're lying to you. Something about the atrocious hygiene. Having never been to Morocco or in any other way disgraced myself, I sadly, don't have any funny poo stories, so it's kind of like being the little brother who wants to run away and join the circus at a family reunion full of neurosurgeons.
How did the two newcomers react to this topic area? Actually, I knew Matt would fit in with my family when he said he knew he liked his brother-in-law when he was strangely ok with looking at a particularly impressive specimen of Matt's poop. Ok. Welcome to the family, sir. Even better? Jeanie's paramour, James, fresh off a two year stint in the peace corps in Morocco, missed the toilet at his house in Brigantine, NJ, and pooped on the floor. Within a few days of going home to his mother. My mom, having heard the story a few weeks earlier from Jeanie, asked him how on earth this was possible yesterday morning, with all the relish of Gestapo officer, the same way she's been interrogating the boys the entire trip. He cheerfully shrugged and said, well, "I've been used to squatting outside for two years..."
Strangely, this was one of the most fun parts of the entire trip. All six of us, outside in beautiful weather, juuuuuust shootin' the shit.