So, as you may remember from Wednesday, soap became my long-distance punishment for eating sugar. You may also have notice my comment that yesterday I ate chocolate without thinking about it. The following is my account of the conversation Pablo and I had last night. There is no spanking (for those of you who look to this page for that stuff) and more white bar horror.
If you find this somewhat tedious, I’ll defend myself by pointing out that the account isn’t entirely voluntary. In fact, it isn’t at all.
I dreaded talking to Pablo last night, even though I miss him and look forward to our nightly conversations every day. But I’d felt very nervous all day. I was worried about what he was going to say, if I was really going to have to keep a bar of soap in my mouth for 3 minutes and at the same time, I was worried that he was going to think I was either intentionally defying him (er, I have a little history for that) to see what would happen or that I wasn’t taking this seriously.
I guess on some level I still worry that he’ll decide I’m not really worth this much effort, that he’ll decide I’m hopeless. When the phone didn’t ring at 11 I called him.
As it turned out, he was just about to call me. We chatted about our respective Thanksgiving celebrations, both of us having enjoyed a day of fun and feasting. And then he asked if I’d been a good girl.
I didn’t know how to answer. I knew he knew about the chocolate because I’d emailed him right after I’d realized what I’d done. So I stammered.
He followed that up with "I mean beside what I already know about."
And so the conversation about the chocolate and the consequences began.
I explained to Pablo that the chocolate kiss’s sweetness was as ashes in my mouth and that I’d felt terrible about having had it all day. Clearly there was no need for me to be punished any further.
Pab countered by saying that the point of what we’re doing is so that I don’t end up feeling bad.
I followed that by suggesting that since this was an accident that it really didn’t deserve punishment.
That worked about as well for me as it has for Haron. My ability to eat sweets without being aware of what I’m doing, to live without being mindful of my actions seems to be disapproved of.
So then I just resorted to begging for leniency because it’s Thanksgiving. I suggested that such mercy is really a Thanksgiving tradition.
Pablo asked if that was true. If leniency is really a tradition of this holiday. He seemed unmoved by my pointing out that all traditions have to start somewhere.
I was trying frantically to think of something else to say when he told me to go to the bathroom and get the bar of soap I’d used the night before. I told him I didn’t think I could do it, not for three minutes. He said I didn’t need to worry about that because I had no choice.
And so with much delay and a few more bits of begging, the bar went into my mouth and he timed out three minutes. While it was in my mouth he scolded me a bit and reminded me this would be repeated when I got home, along with some other forms of traditional discipline. I just quietly cried and tried hard to avoid breathing in or swallowing.
When the three minutes were over (and after I’d rinsed out my mouth about 500 times and brushed my teeth with minty toothpaste) I curled up in bed with the phone, cried a little bit and tried to understand how I was feeling.
The rightness was as disconcerting as the taste of soap.
And today? No sugar at all. (I did pick up a chocolate but it went into the trash before I could eat it.) So see, I can learn. Really.