Clench Your Cheeks

I can remember sitting in a desk holding in a fart and praying that it would evaporate into me instead of out me. While I sat in that cold seat that threatened to echo, I felt larger than everything else in the room. Each of my classmates with a nose ready to accuse me of being the one who farted.

Afraid to stand up to go to the bathroom because they might see me waddling, trying to hold my butt-cheeks together so nothing could escape. Afraid that everyone’s eyes are watching for me to breathe wrong.

My body starts to heat up from anticipation and embarrassment. And then it happens. I let out a fart. Oh thank God its a quite one. A brief moment of relief before the panic of the smell sets in. The quieter the deadlier had always been the rule in my house. Should I use my hand as fan? Or is that way too obvious! Should I try to stand up and walk away so no one will know its me? I should try breathing a lot really fast so I can suck in the all the bad-smelling air around me, that’s it! It has to work that way, right?

Then the panic subsides and I realize that it doesn’t smell, I didn’t make a noise, no one around me is acting weird. I am safe. Finally being able to return to my school work.


I can remember thinking to myself in elementary school surrounded by a bunch of easily influenced kids that people would be nicer about farts when I got to middle school. I can remember being surrounded by a bunch of judgmental pre-pubescent teens thinking no one can be this cruel in high school about farts. I  can remember being surrounded by a bunch of kids who were trying to be cool and point out why others ‘weren’t as cool as them’ and thinking that when I get to college no one will judge me for needing to fart. With college came the same fear of being in a classroom and hearing myself being the one that dealt it.

I think what I learned in college was that if you need to fart someone will be waiting to judge you. Not just because they think its gross, but because someone judge them so hard as a kid they feel the need to overcompensate for it as an adult.

Kids are cruel, especially when it comes to something that people have told them is a disgusting thing to do. Farting isn’t like picking your nose and eating it. Farting is something our bodies do naturally.

I wish I could go back and talk to my elementary classes and tell them its okay to fart, sometimes you might need to leave the room or go to the corner to do it. Of course it’s not okay to fart on someone, come on we all have our limits. But an accidental slip shouldn’t be punished by cruel taunting from peers or a slew of embarresment form an elder.

Farting in public has become such a point for anxiety for me that when I think about it too much I need to freaking fart. I get horrible pains in my stomach. All I can do is hope that I can make it out of the situation without losing a friend or embarrassing myself in front of someone cute.

Its absolute ridicules that I feel that way! If my friend farted I wouldn’t mind. I would still like them. In fact I probably would be more comfortable around them. But I have been conditioned from a young age to believe that farting in public is something only the most disgusting people on the earth do.


In my household everyone knows that my mom has the worst farts. They are silent and very deadly. My brother once joked that if we could bottle up her farts and drop them on terrorists that they would immediately die or surrender. The worse part is she will let one drop and then won’t tell you until you smell it.

I have never been angry or cruel with her for dropping one on us. She has never been angry or cruel to us when we dropped one. My parents house was and is one of the only safe places I have to let one rip.


I think instead of telling kids that it is bad to fart. That we should be made fun of in front of our peers for farting. That instead we should be kind when someone farts, understanding that its part of our bodies.

I’ll teach my kids that its okay to fart. That they shouldn’t make fun of someone for farting. But instead of fart right along side them.

Maybe you completely disagree with me. That’s okay, you can clench your butt cheeks. Or don’t.

One thought on “Clench Your Cheeks

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