In an ideal world, farting would be the most OK thing ever. It would not have to be 100% socially acceptable, as I believe that teenage boy farts are gross and sloppy (double standard, I know), but I do think that if someone lets one slip at school or work, everyone should give that person a pass. For a second I sounded altruistic, didn’t I? However, I assure you that my motives are super selfish. If farts were no big deal, I would have someone to call when I needed advice and something to do each Saturday night.

When I was in second grade, I changed schools. In the first week, I farted in class. Loudly. Embarassingly. Painfully so. There was no smell, but I can assure you, the sound alone bought me a ticket to a solo lunch table seat for the next few years. I would eventually find friends in chess club and book club and the girls who collected weird rocks on the playground instead of playing “house” or four square, but I would identify as an outsider throughout my middle school years. I started out at that school as the girl who farted and, as a result, became the girl without many friends. In middle school, one fart robbed me of the opportunity to meet new people and find a group.

Because I was a loner in middle school, I began seventh grade at my current school with no self-confidence. I avoided talking to people. I dressed poorly. I barely spoke in class, and was hostile to those I perceived as too popular or too pretty. Because I acted this way in junior high, I had few friends as I started high school. And now, even though I talk to many of my PEERS, I believe that my social history and loner mindset have led me to alienate myself.

You know that moment when you accidently overhear someone talk about their weekend plans and they end up inviting you? I always turn them down. And when prom or a school dance comes up, I struggle with deciding whether to go, or with whom. I don’t want to be too imposing. I tell myself that I have no friends. And I know that it’s my fault for not accepting what I suspect is a pity invite, or just going ahead and asking to be in a group for a dance. I could even call someone up and ask said person to hang out. BUT I DON’T BECAUSE I’M A TOTAL IDIOT AND BECAUSE OF THAT DAMN FART.

FARTS AND SUBSEQUENT FART-SHAMING RUIN LIVES. Either super genius scientists need to eliminate this body function altogether (even though farting is really fun and cathartic), or people need to get over the idea that farts are gross. IF I ever decide to have kids, I will teach them not to judge anyone based on one fart, or to let one of their own farts become an enemy. But it can’t just stop there. EVERYONE should know that farts are just a bodily function that means YOUR COLON IS FUNCTIONING. When I stop being the laziest person ever, I’m going to start an anti-fart-shaming activist group that will change the way our culture looks at the act forever. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Farting is OK. FARTACUS HAS SPOKEN. ♦