Saturday, July 05, 2008

Private Matters

There are some things you just don't talk about, right? But everyone has different standards for what those are. A friend of mine has a bad reaction to gluten, and before she figured this out, she had very bad stomach problems. While I feel very sorry for her and know that's not fun in the least, I also don't really want to hear about it. But it seems to be no big deal to her to say that she can't eat dessert until she gets rid of "a big gas bubble" or talk about how long she spent on the toilet, and why. TMI!

But to her, it's not a TMI. It's just sharing information, sharing something about her life. Every person, every family, has their own idea of what's private and what's okay to share. My aunt and her family talk openly about the passing of gas, and use the proper, medical names for "private parts"; she's a nurse, so this is no big deal to her, and therefore to her kids. But when my little cousin would come in and says "My penis hurts," it was weird. Little boys, I think, should say "pee-pee." My sister-in-law and her family say "hoo-hoo" for girl-parts, and while I think that's a little silly, it's what they do.

And then there's me. I didn't even say "vagina" in the above paragraph because that's not something I do. I said "girl-parts" and left it at that. If I'm having unpleasantness in my lower areas, I say I'm having "stomach problems," not "gas" or "diarrhea."

So I suppose I've just got to accept hearing about a certain friend's toilet issues (a different one than the one previously mentioned in this post), and not let it bother me to hear my neice say "hoo-hoo" but my cousin say "penis." And the people who say "vagina" will have to endure me saying "girl-parts" instead, and "stomach problems" for the more unsavoury of toilet habits.

Anyone have a good story about inappropriate/appropriate vocabulary for things better left unsaid?

1 comment:

carrington schaeffer said...

Oh Heather.

Hang out with me long enough and nothing will phase you.

Ha ha!