I have an undivided talent for talking. In addition I have a master instinct for saying something totally … wrong – a magic talent for saying that one sentence that stops everyone else. Combine that with being a foreigner in a (trust me on this) completely different culture to my own and we are quickly climbing into the darkness of a basement where I wish to hide and die forever.
I wasn’t going to tell you what happened yesterday, but then I read Sleepless Nights post this morning. Scroll down to the part where she talks about not being able to talk about her child’s bowel problems. I almost feel as if I found a friend.
Yesterday we went to the Chinese BBQ. It was lovely and we took with us the carrot salad I gave you the recipe for. There were some really nice people there, interesting, smart, good conversation. I happened to sit next to a woman who knew amazing things about nutrition, how changing your diet can help improve all sorts of things: ADHD, arthritis, cancer, MS, allergies, asthma etc. We talked about all sorts of disgusting things such as the use of nitrates in Australian food, the E-numbers, sugars, fat and bullshit in precooked dinners, the way meat is produced, etc.
Then it happened! I said the sentence that silenced the room: “I changed my diet and was amazed at the impact on my bowels”. I didn’t say shit, I didn’t even say poo, but there was no doubt I said something wrong. THEN I said (God help me) “how your bowels are working IS really relevant to nutrition” (start climbing Signe, you can see the darkness of the basement already) and then “more people die of bowel cancer than any other cancer” (close the door behind you).
The only thing left to do was to pull the “I’m a foreigner” – card: ‘Oh, I guess you don’t talk about bowls in Australia, sorry about that, it was reaaaally interesting what you said about raw food versus cooked food.’ There was a relaxed sigh and a couple of smiley nods ‘ah, that’s right, she’s a foreigner’ – I hung my head in shame…
But people! We need to desensitize here. We are experts in talking about what goes into our mouthes and what happens to it everywhere in our bodies APART from in our bowels. We can’t even let a frustrated mother talk about her child’s, very serious, health issues (in her own private space I might add – you are not forced to go there) because it has to do with poo. Come on! We have to do better than that: if we don’t learn to talk about our shit, we are going to keep dying.
Now please invite me to your next dinner party.