One of my favorite quotes from The Simpsons is when Lisa says, “I learned that beneath my goody two shoes are some very dark socks.”
In my early teens, I was sent to juvie for eight months for self injurious behavior. Before that, I was a bit of a goody two shoes, compulsively following most rules I was given. But one of the first things I learned from the juvenile correctional program was that some rules are made to be broken. By my third day there, I learned that I had to break the rules in order to poop.
One of the rules there was that we were required to shower every day. My first shower was prompted by someone saying, “You, shower now.” I did as I was told, and when I stepped out of the bathroom 15 minutes later, I was met by my enraged peers, closing in on me like a pack of angry dogs. By occupying the bathroom for more than ten minutes, I had apparently communicated that I’d decided I was more important than anyone else there.
The next day when it was my turn in the bathroom, I spent about five minutes on the toilet before hopping in for a quick shower. I got out, dried my head enough to put in my hearing aids, and vacated the bathroom in just under ten minutes. This time, everyone looked at me with disgust, like I had shit on my face or something. I got in trouble for being unsanitary because I had spent less than five minutes in the shower.
The day after that, I tried to poop faster, but I couldn’t. I stopped in the middle to go turn on the shower so I wouldn’t get in trouble again. When I finished on the toilet, I had just enough time to wet my hair so people would believe I’d showered. It worked. I didn’t get in trouble.
I began to see the dark socks peeking out from beneath my goody two shoes. I learned to feign showers regularly so I could poop in the toilet without getting in trouble for being selfish or unsanitary. It makes almost as much sense as sending me to juvie to punish me for punishing myself.