Greetings, sweet kittens. It's me, Zara, your digital big sister.
While I love the weekend as much as the next free-wheeling, high heel-wearing, winged liner-sporting, booze-swilling, red-lipsticked PARTY GIRL, 99.9 percent of the mistakes I've made in my life have taken place during the weekend. I've spent one too many Mondays spiraling down the dark vortex of weekend guilt, regret and shame.
But hey, don't fret. Because I'm going to be here every Friday to stop you from the awful weekend fuckups that are screwing up your life. Here's this week's Very Important PSA.
Guys, I know you're going to think this is really, truly disgusting, but I have a very important PSA for this weekend:
Don't NOT go to the bathroom because you're trying to be a LADY.
Now, look, some of you might think because I've written about some pretty crass topics, that I, Zara Barrie, am very liberal about going to the bathroom.
This is simply not true. I might as well be an Orange County housewife married to the Republican Senator of Newport Beach I'm so damn prim about bathroom issues. I mean, I used to live in Connecticut. Girls just don't go to the bathroom in Connecticut.
However, I've suffered the dire consequences of holding it in more times than I care to count. In fact, you better believe when I'm in a new relationship, I totally screw my body up because I try to act like this PERFECT, nonhuman creature that doesn't have basic excretory needs.
I won't even go number one around a new flame for a while. I want to be some sort of brunette, lesbian barbie doll, without bodily functions. I want to be made of plastic, not flesh.
I don't even know where this issue came from. My family is English and notorious for loudly discussing their farts over $22 glasses of wine at Michelin-starred restaurants, for God's sake.
I didn't grow up with one of those old-school mothers who says things like, "Girls should be seen, not heard." I grew up with an outrageous, bikini model mother who drinks champagne like it's water and has no problem telling anyone who will listen to "fuck off."
I've watched — my mouth agape in horror — as my own sister freely farts in front her husband. And he just laughs and farts back at her. The whole thing is so sick, it's practically out of a horror movie.
OK, I'm getting a little off-track, sweet kittens. But can you blame me? It's been the longest week (with the torturous debate); the twisted, political times are haunting our entire nation; it's rained all day and it's just been grim for the past seven days.
But my point is, I'm not like my family. I don't go farting in front of my partner because that will kill my sex life. I don't pee with the door open, and I don't talk about my toilet habits at all, OK?
But what I HAVE done is something that you should NEVER do... and that's holding it all in.
I drink a gallon of water (for superficial reasons) per day. And yet, when I'm seeing someone new, I'll hold in pee so bad that it hurts.
I don't know what happens, but this bizarre wave of shyness suddenly washes over me and I become too paralyzed to even ask a new bae where the bathroom is in her apartment.
I just don't want her to imagine me going to the bathroom. Plus, I'm traumatized from a bad, toilet-clogging date experience that practically ruined my teens. I don't want to risk a toilet malfunction, and I don't want her to think of me perched on a toilet — not before we've had sex at least 10 times.
"Um, don't you have to go to the bathroom?" a girl once asked me when we were curled up in bed. We just had sex for the first time, and yes, I had to go to the bathroom... badly.
But I was completely frozen. I was so frozen that I knew if I tried to go, I wouldn't even be successful because I suffer from pee-fear, on top of everything else.
I mean, as if OCD, anxiety and depression weren't enough, let's just throw pee-fear into the mix!
"I'm FINE," I answered her, my voice a little too hysterical to be believable.
"You know, it's OK to go the bathroom," she says, as if she were talking to a small child.
"I KNOW. I JUST DON'T HAVE TO GO, OK?" I said, losing it. Clearly, she triggered something dark inside of me, so she let it go after that.
Yeah, she let it go, and I got a urinary tract infection — because we all know we need to pee after sex or else we're hopping on the painful, UTI train. And that's no fun for anyone, is it now?
It was all because I was trying to be a fucking lady!
Not only did I suffer through the infection (which lasted two weeks), but I suffered through it without seeing a doctor because I was a goddamn freelance actress without health insurance at the time. Not my best look, kids.
Speaking of "shitty" experiences, let's talk about number two. Like I said, I'm extremely shy about this subject, so I'm going to channel my inner child and say "number two," instead of the proper medial terms or street slang.
The second I'm relatively knocked out of my routine, I'm one of those people who can't go to the bathroom at all. I dry up like the Sahara.
I've struggled with being "regular" (in more ways than one, honey) my entire life, so if I'm blessed with the urge to, um, go... it's imperative I seize the opportunity.
Who knows when I'll be so lucky again? But alas, when I'm anywhere except my own apartment with no one — not even a pet — in my nearby surroundings, I freeze up with fear. I just can't go. Actually, it's not so much that I can't, it's that I just won't.
This is fucking worse than the fiery pits of Avenue D when I get into a new relationship. I can't tell you how sick I've made myself.
When a new GF mentions a "couples vacation," I internally recoil. I know what a couples vacation means: me doubled over in pain because I didn't go the bathroom right away, and now, it backfired and I'm WILDLY constipated.
Yep. It's a total party, baby. So romantic not to have gone number two in five days.
I've struggled with being "regular" (in more ways than one, honey) my entire life.
And nothing will kill your sex life like being constipated or just having stomach issues in general. You don't feel sexy when you're bloated, and you sure as hell don't feel sexy if you're backed up.
So that's why you need to GO when you have to go, regardless of where you are. Learn from my mistakes.
I got so sick earlier this year that I developed IBS and had to start taking really expensive probiotics every single day of my life. It was a tormenting time. My skin broke out, and my work suffered.
So now, I just go when I feel the need. It might be unladylike, but you know what's really unladylike? Being doubled over in pain, screaming in acute agony because you have trapped gas, and you're totally unable to have sex because it's so painful.
Yeah, that's NOT sexy, mate. You might as well be peeing with the door wide open and shaving your armpits in front of your partner. They will know what's going on. There is a specific facial expression all women make when they're holding it in, and it's a dead giveaway.
You know what's really unladylike? Being doubled over in pain.
Plus, I've learned some tips and tricks since I vowed to retire that life.
I love Poo-Pourri. It's a small spray you spritz directly into the toilet before you go, and it covers up all the unpleasant scents.
I also love Joe Malone fragrances as an after-bathroom spray. I know it's expensive to use a designer fragrance strictly for your bathroom issues, but HEY, girl, it's discreet.
You won't have to stand there speechless and humiliated about your cover being blown when a bottle of Poo-Pourri comes tumbling out of your bag after you've dropped it on the pavement.
Some perfumes mix strangely with post-number two smells, but the classic, Jo Malone "Basil and Neroli" is perfect. I tried it, so you don't have to, honey!
Also, a friend of mine taught me a trick last week — one I've not only implemented into my dating life, but into my work life, too.
Layer the toilet water with toilet paper, and no one will hear the sound of your feces falling into the water. It's the worst sound in the world. I think it's worst than farts, even. In fact, I'm bright red in the face writing about that horrible splashing sound.
But as your lesbian big sister, it's my civic duty to share these kinds of things with you, even if it means making myself the most undateable creature on the planet.
So if you're nervous to pee, just go. That's the easy one. You have deep, psychological issues (like me) if you can't even bring yourself to pee on a date, and you need to seek therapy (which I did, and look how great I'm doing now).
And if you just ate a big dinner and HAVE to go, but you're ashamed and don't want your date to know you're a real person because you're still trying to be that glittering, fantasy girl, I hear you. I see you. I am you.
But you need to work through it. We can work through it together.
Imagine me lying on the couch in your new bae's studio apartment, watching you guys salaciously make out, my brow furrowed in judgement.
I'm judging you because I was at the restaurant, lurking in the windows during your date, and I saw you eat that burrito, girl. And we all know what happens after you eat a burrito. I know you have to go. You can't fool a fool.
I saw you eat that burrito, girl. And we all know what happens after you eat a burrito.
I know (and you know) if you don't go RIGHT now, your body will turn on you, and weeks will go by before you can go again!
I'm waving a bottle of Jo Malone fragrance in front of my face (because I have no respect for the price of anything), and I'm whispering, "Just go, babe. Just go, babe. JUST GO, GIRL."
You stop your date mid-make-out and strut over to me in your sky-high heels. Your shimmery-shadowed eyes take in the sight of me laying there in my hot-pink, silk, leopard-print, Betsy Johnson pajama set. I'm dressed for bed, but like a real queen, I have a full face of pancake makeup on. My mascara is so thick, my lashes look like spider legs.
We exchange a sweet smile, you grab the fragrance out of my buffed fingers and off you go to the precious bathroom, baby girl.
And you're ~free~ now. Now, you can have bloat-free sex, and because I taught you the toilet paper/fragrance trick, you can go whenever you dang please. Even the classiest ladies need to expel the poison, and both you and I are known to like our poisons.
Message me if your imagination fails you, your bowels tense up and you're afraid to go. I'll give you the sisterly words of encouragement you need. You're safe with me, your trusty, lesbian big sister, here to rescue you from the pitfalls of IBS, unwanted bloating and the intolerable pain of trapped-in gas.
So I'll see you next week. And next week will be better because you'll have relieved the stress of going in bae's apartment.
It's a new you. You've gotten rid of the fear. You flushed your anxiety down the toilet, you've been released and you're gorgeously free to live your LIFE free of constipation, babe.
Zara, Your Lesbian Big Sis