Relationships in a Time of Excretory Trouble

Dating is laborious and embarrassing. Irritable bowel syndrome is, too. In Narratively in March 2014, food critic and memoirist Gwendolyn Knapp wrote about both, detailing the humor and stamina involved in dating with IBS in a city of spicy food like New Orleans.

When you feel the need to shit uncontrollably, dating is tough. Like your mind, your whole existence is in the toilet, has been for years, and you certainly can’t expect to drag someone down there with you. One poor guy, Michael, contacted me after I hadn’t spoken to him in two years. He’d just moved back to New Orleans after a brief bout of grad school and veganism and wanted to know if anything cool and cheap was happening on Saturday night. We met up in Mimi’s, where most of these horror stories begin. It’s a popular bar in the Marigny that has great tapas and nightmarish bathrooms. The ladies room has two toilets that practically face each other and no stalls. There’s always the chance some crazy bitch will follow you in and lock the door, drop trou and sit down on the pee pee drops, looking at you like, “What, you pee shy or something?” Sucks for you.

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