My Shameless Family
It appears that my laissez-faire attitude towards pooping and privacy has struck a nerve with a few PoopReporters. Since I discovered this site, I've embraced the Shameless Shitting Manifesto wholeheartedly; but I've lived it in spirit my entire life.
Until we moved when I was twelve, my family had only one bathroom for my parents, my brother and I to use. All four of us shared that one bathroom equally; in fact, some of us had to actually walk through the bathroom to get to our bedroom. Mansions, these were not, but we made do. (Pun not intended.)
This arrangement meant that I often saw both my parents on the toilet, and they saw my brother and I as well. No one made a big deal out of it. When we had to go, we went, no matter if there was someone in the bathroom doing something else. It was only when we built a much larger house that my brother and I and my parents had our own bathrooms. But by then my casual attitude towards using the toilet in front of others had been set.
My mother's formative experiences in this regard were even more nonchalant. In addition to her three sisters and her brother, she had a bachelor uncle and male cousin who lived with her family for a long time. Counting her parents, there were nine people sharing one bathroom. We were discussing it once in a light-hearted manner, and I asked my mother, "How did you manage it?"
She explained that where taking baths were concerned, you lobbied for a particular time of the evening when the door would be shut to allow for some privacy. But as for using the toilet, she said that there were just too many people having to go to worry about it. Often in the morning before school, she and her sisters might be brushing their teeth at the sink while any of the men of the family were on the pot. All combinations occurred in complete unselfconsciousness. No one was embarrassed because it was just considered a part of life.
Her experience passed on to me. I recall an incident when I was a teenager visiting my uncle. My uncle was a swim coach, and I spent a lot of time in the pool at his house during the summers. One afternoon, after a good workout with my male cousin, my uncle headed towards what we all called "the little house," where there was an office and a bathroom. My female cousin and I tagged along, not realizing why he was headed there. But it didn't matter. My uncle proceeded into the bathroom, and my little cousin and I followed, and talked with him throughout. This was no different, to my and his way of thinking, then when he was a boy using the toilet in front of all those other family members he had grown up with.
Even though we're all grown up, nothing has changed. These days, when my brother visits me, or I visit him, it's perfectly common for him to be sitting on the toilet, talking to me about the football game we're about to see, while his wife puts on make-up at the sink.
So my Shamelessness, which has shocked so many people, is the logical result of an unavoidable family situation that we were all comfortable with. If you ask me, it's too bad that more people didn't grow up like this.