The year was 2004. December. Florida. I was twenty-five years old and about to walk down the aisle for my second wedding. My husband, Judah, was twenty-one.
I had been married previously, for nine heart-wrenching months, when I was twenty. It was a short, but very difficult, very painful, and very wounding relationship. Some of the wounds lay in the sexual realm, including that I did not choose to give up my virginity.
For this second marriage, I was dead set that we would not have sex before we were married. In fact, I actually had some aversions to intimate things. There were times I was grossed out by kissing where I had previously had no problem with it. Dare I say, I had even enjoyed it.
The bottom line was I had felt disrespected by my first husband, had even written in my journal that I felt like I was just a hole for him to stick his penis in, and I was hell-bent on not having a repeat experience.
Judah was well aware of all that had happened in my previous marriage. Before our wedding, he put in a special request that one night of our honeymoon, I sleep naked with him.
He had not seen me naked, and I had no idea what demons I might face on our honeymoon.
My first wedding night and honeymoon had been painfully disappointing.
All I could do was promise I would try.
We had already discussed the fact that I might not be able to have sex on our wedding night. I had no clue what emotional pain might be triggered or how I may respond.
We had a small, intimate wedding on Treasure Island Beach behind a timeshare gifted to us by my grandparents where we would spend our honeymoon.
Our families were the only people in attendance.
After the ceremony, we shared a modest meal catered by a local grocery store which included a wedding cake in the shape of the comedy-tragedy masks. Where my first wedding had been by-the-books. This wedding was only and exactly what Judah and I wanted. It was perfect.
And then everyone left.
And Judah and I were left alone.
Thankfully, I didn’t have as terrible of a response as I had feared. I didn’t sleep naked that first night, but we did have sex.
Probably night two or three of our honeymoon, I mustered up the courage to sleep naked.
Everything was fine, sweet even, and the next morning we woke up in our marriage bed, naked.
In the relaxing glow of morning, Judah rolled over and put his leg across my lower abdomen.
And let one rip.
This was not the first time gas had been shared between us. When Judah and I were friends, he had accidentally farted on my head. I was laying on the ground, and he was giving me a massage. He broke that ice before we were even dating!
I, on the other hand, took longer to break wind. As I’ve shared previously, I was well-schooled in what it is and isn’t to be “lady-like”.
Once we did start dating, it was long distance so there weren’t many opportunities for me to change my body’s programming from childhood. The first time Judah came to visit me in New York, we were hanging out with my roommate (a lover of potty humor), and I felt a rumble.
This was the perfect company to let ‘er rip. The game was afoot.
I declared my intent.
I have to fart.
They cheered me on.
You can do it!
My internal battle began. My current self pushing the wind through the tunnel. My upbringing clamping down inside, doing everything in its power to block the wind’s escape route.
It took every ounce of concentration. From all three of us. And in the end, I prevailed. And let out the smallest little poot. But it was out! And I was met with affirmation and encouragement.
All this to say, Judah’s wind on our honeymoon was not a first. And, it felt like an invitation. A statement. A challenge.
We’re married now. The walls have come down. There’s nothing to hide. Nothing to be ashamed of. I let loose what was in me. What’ve you got?
Oh, I had something. A rumble had made itself known.
In response to his passing wind, I responded.
With the full security of marriage and the confidence of a woman who had overcome her painful past and slept naked with her husband, I gave it everything I had.
Oh boy. Too much pressure on the gas.
A brief pause, and Judah said, “What?”
“Are you serious?”
Yes, go. Get out and don't look back.
Honoring the wishes of his new bride, Judah got out of the bed, left the room, and did not look back.
I, too, got out of bed, but I did look back.
I had gotten much more than I bargained for.
I aimed for a fart and landed a shart!
I shat the bed!
On my honeymoon!
And I wasn’t done. I hurried to the bathroom to finish what I had started!
My sweet, precious, loving groom did as he was told and steered clear of the whole situation. He stood, naked, in the living room of our honeymoon suite, with his nose inches from the television screen because his glasses were in the bedroom.
Once I had emptied the foul contents of my body, I took him his glasses and set about cleaning up the aftermath.
Thankfully, the timeshare had a washer and dryer in the unit, so I was able to take the soiled linens and place them immediately in the washing machine.
It turns out I hadn’t fully cooked the chicken!
Let me back up.
We spent our honeymoon in this resort hotel with extended-stay features, so there was a full kitchen. We purchased groceries and cooked some of our own food. Back then, “cooking” included boxed meals like Pasta Roni.
The night before “the incident,” I had made us some Pasta Roni, broccoli, and chicken. I didn’t know I was allergic to gluten and dairy, both of which were in the Pasta Roni. Apparently, I also didn’t know how to fully cook chicken.
Based on the evidence left behind in the bedsheets, the chicken was the main offender.
Once the storm had calmed, within me and in the bedroom, I joined Judah in the living room. I was definitely a bit embarrassed. And shocked at how quickly a precious moment had turned into a literal shit storm.
Good thing we’d already tied the knot! There was no way out now!
Thankfully, he thought it was hilarious. After he knew I was okay, of course. He found it funny much sooner than I did.
He takes things in stride. His feathers weren’t ruffled.
And now we have a great story!
It took me a few years to be ready to share it with other people. My ego needed some distance from the situation. To untangle myself from the embarrassment and to embrace the sheer humanity of it all.
I mean, who hasn’t shit the bed in their marriage at some point, right?
Okay, maybe not literally.
It took about six years after that to discover I had food allergies which caused me all kinds of digestive upset over the years.
I never soiled the sheets again, but Judah weathered every gust of wind along the way with humor and with grace.
If we were in bed, and I let one rip, he would smile and say, “Careful!”