I asked my 12-year-old son to suggest a topic for a blog. He burped at me. And so I wrote it.
Why is it that the older you get the more unacceptable burping in public is? Let’s start with babies. A baby burps and everyone is proud. Or relieved. Gas in a baby is painful to the baby while the baby’s incessant crying from gas pains becomes painful to a parents ears. Burping for a baby is no small feat. It often requires vigorous patting on the back and bouncing up and down. It even can require walking around the house in circles with the baby positioned upright. Parents expect the baby burp and sometimes beg for it, “Please, just burp!”. It gives the baby (and the parents) relief when the burp finally arrives.
As children get older, they may burp loudly after drinking a soft drink and no one thinks much of it. Kids laugh at each other. Even parents may continue to laugh at the burp of small children. Approaching the teenage years the burp becomes less funny and more inappropriate. It becomes a teaching point – “If you are going to burp, please say ‘excuse me’ or please burp quietly.” Even better, ‘boys don’t like girls that burp’. What pre-adolescent girl isn’t going to take this statement to heart?
I don’t know too many adults who burp in public. If they do, they certainly keep it to themselves. If they have an audible burp they may turn a rosy shade in embarrassment or bow their head down to look at the floor in hopes that no one saw them. Something as simple as a burp (a normal bodily function) shouldn’t be viewed with such disdain, but it is. It is too bad we don’t laugh with other adults about this sort of thing. Where is the camaraderie and humor in burps? Perhaps it was left in the 4th grade? Does all the fun belong to babies and children who can burp without refrain or embarrassment?
Unfortunately the answer is yes, burps are for babies and children. The next time you have to burp I don’t expect you to do it out loud, but maybe you can be a kid for just a moment transported in time back to the time when burps were funny and didn’t require, “Excuse me”. What other fun things could you laugh about as a kid but cannot now?