The weather outside has felt like April the last few weeks. Except less rain. Go figure. It was a bright and sunny day and as my boyfriend and I were both up (he never went to bed, I actually got up early), we decided to go to Multnomah Falls.
Not only was the weather amazing, but I’m feeling really good as well. We took the only Flexcar car available at the time, the Honda Element, which is way over on 5th and Harrison – a good 8 blocks or so. When we took this car last month, I had to drag myself through every last block. Today, we detoured through Smith Center to stop at the ATM and when we were stopped at the light waiting to cross the street, I realized that we were almost to the car. Six blocks (snapping my fingers) just like that.
School is in session, so this time as we walked to the car, I could see everyone rushing to class or to the coffee shop. Remembered and longed for that time when I was able to rush to class or hang out with my friends at the Broadway café instead of shuffle along with a cane in my hand. But then I stopped. Decided that was the past. I’m grateful for that past. For the experiences I had. But I will live in today. Be the person I am at this moment rather than miss the past.
I drove out there, hiked all the way up a little past the Benson bridge and back to the car without even having to sit down (though, I might have sat down had the benches not all been wet). As we passed the sign showing the distance to the top of the falls, I remembered how I once hiked up there as a kid. Had that pang of longing to be able to do that again. And then stopped. Decided I would be grateful for what I had today: more energy than I’ve had in months and months. Enough energy to hike .4 miles.
Then we drove through the old Columbia Highway and stopped up at Crown Point to get the view of the Columbia Gorge. Since it was windy (as it usually is) we only stayed for a couple of minutes and then drove into Troutdale where we went out to breakfast. Since we still had a bit of time left on the Flexcar, we stopped by Limbo and Trader Joe’s. On the way back we took the car through the car wash and filled up the gas tank since I get money back on my Flexcar bill for doing so.
Fitting in that last activity cut it close for getting the Flexcar back in time and it led to what I think was the closest thing we’ve ever had to a quarrel. He was concerned about the car being late (it costs an extra $4, at minimum, if we’re late), while I was certain we’d be back within enough time as we weren’t that far away.
“If we’re late, you’re getting spanked,” he said.
Again, I was certain we would be in time but made sure not to dawdle just to be super safe. Of course, I got red lights the whole way back, but we pulled into the parking place with a minute left on the reservation.
“See, I told ya,” I said as we got out of the car.
“Oh, you’re still getting spanked for cutting it so close.”
Hey, he hadn’t said that. But then I thought, well, maybe he’s just in a playful mood or something.
When we walked in the door, he took the bag of groceries and my purse. Took off my coat and scarf. “Get on the bed. Jeans off, knickers down,” he said sternly. I thought he was just being all strict to heighten the experience. I complied quickly, as you might imagine. Though did scowl when I saw him taking out the bath brush (Ugh, again? Gawd I hate that thing!). My skin was still a bit cold from being outside and of course, my bottom was still sore from the spanking on Friday. So that damn brush hurt like hell.
First there was a discussion about how at the gas station I’d said it was only going to take 4 minutes to get home – a number I honestly meant more symbolically to mean that we weren’t that far from home (as in “we’re only like, 4 minutes from home”), while he took it literally – and it took us 7 minutes to get home.We settled that misunderstanding, but apparently that wasn’t really the main issue.
“What really annoyed me,” he said while spanking me really hard, “was that you seemed to be rushing fast to get back.”
I lay there thinking back (which is REALLY hard when you’re getting trashed) to the 7 minute drive through a very familiar stretch trying to judge whether or not I had really been rushing. It didn’t seem like it. I wasn’t really speeding (well, okay there were about 5 seconds there when I was about 6 miles over the speed limit, but that probably would have happened even if I had all the time in the world). Sure, I probably took a couple of turns a bit quicker than I might have otherwise (but then again, because it’s such a familiar bit of road, I might well have been that zippy) but compared to what I normally do when I’m in a rush, that wasn’t really all that rushed. Yet, I certainly couldn’t say THAT as I’d really get whaled on.
“Well, were you or weren’t you?” Punctuating the question with several hard smacks.
“Well, I don’t know,” I said as he smacked some more. “I mean, maybe a little bit but…OW!” He spanked me several more times, then stopped and tapped the brush against my bottom. No rubbing my bottom or my back.
“Yes or no. Were you or were you not rushing?” It seemed like an unfairly bipolar question without taking into account any sort of degree, which in this case was very minor (though I couldn’t think enough through the spanking to say it that articulately). I continued with my argument that it was only a little bit, to which he responded with more smacks and then repeated the question.
This was just being mean.
I finally conceded “Yes” though maintained that I would have still stopped to fill up the gas tank as I knew we’d still be back in time. He spanked some more than asked me if I was going to rush when I’m driving, to which I replied (albeit a bit sullenly) “No, Sir.” A couple more smacks and then he stopped. Put the brush on the bed then sat down on the edge.
I climbed up toward him expecting to cuddle, pulled up my knickers, and asked if he could put some arnica cream on my bottom. “I’ll put the cream on, but you’re not getting a cuddle as you have absolutely no remorse for what you’ve done.” He was sorta smiling as he shook his head, so I couldn’t help but sorta smile too as he was right. I really didn’t at that point. But when he got up and went to have a smoke, I was stunned. How could he not cuddle me? I felt completely abandoned. How could he be that mean? I curled up with my pillow and scowled. Teared up a bit.
“Look,” he said, “if you think I spanked you unfairly, just say so. I mean it.” That’s when I realized he wasn’t playing at all. He really was annoyed. But by that point, so was I. “Think of it this way,” he said more kindly. “You’re not well. You don’t drive that often. Your spatial perception is off. No, you weren’t driving or speeding in a way that was all that unsafe. But you’ve clipped my heels three times today – which was only slightly annoying – but shows that your spatial perception is off. What might be only slightly unsafe for someone else is much more unsafe for you.”
He smoked and I lay thinking through the whole thing. The drive. Not being cuddled. His comment on my spatial perception stung about as much as the spanking. It was true, though I drive more than he does. And it’s different when I’m driving than walking, though I didn’t know how to explain that. And I’d actually been even more careful than normal in changing lanes because I’m not used to driving the Element. A part of me felt some remorse. Conceded that he might have a point. But not cuddling me was just mean.
This was a shitty way to end what had been such a great day.
After he finished his cigarette, he came over. Lay down next to me. “Okay, cuddle.” I started crying softly as he put his arms around me. Then he whispered in my ear. “Will you do me a favor? Will you promise not to rush when you’re driving?” I nodded. Smiled a bit.
“Though, it’s going to be a hard habit to break,” I said with a little giggle.
And we cuddled. He rubbed my bottom. “I don’t want anything to happen to my Shadwell” (his Welsh bastardization of my Arabic nickname, Shadiah). I smiled. A lot. Not just because what he said was very sweet, but because he’d kill me if he knew what I was normally like when I’m rushing.
“You keep looking like you want to say something,” he said. I grinned and blushed a little. “Well, if I say it, I’ll get in even more trouble.” No, he assured me, I would not. So, I told him that the rushing that afternoon was nothing compared to my normal rushing.
Which, he’d already figured was the case.
There’s such a fine line between play and discipline. It certainly makes me realize how important communication is when a relationship like this involves some sort of disciplinary arrangement. Not that all relationships don’t require good communication. But somehow when you’re giving someone else control over you to some degree, it can be easy to lose yourself, which means you have to be more assertive in setting boundaries and verbalizing your feelings. With my boyfriend it’s very easy as he regularly validates my feelings and readily respects those boundaries, usually without me even having to verbally set them. But this experience made me appreciate just what a balancing act it is.
And that rushing in the car, no matter how very little it might be, makes Mr. Stern very unhappy. And when he’s unhappy, my bottom is very sore.