Paddled For Working Too Hard

"What happened to your morning break?" asked Abel, standing over me.

I blinked at him. I was going through one of my productive spells, typing away, as though the whole thesis had always been a breeze. A morning break? I wasn’t aware it was time to have one, no more than I could tell what time it was, or what day it was, or for how long I’d been typing.

Sometimes I go through dry spells in my work, where I stare at the screen for hours, studying every fleck of dust, waiting for the moment it’s finally time to make coffee, or an excuse to forget about the whole thing altogether. And then there are times when I sink my teeth into a piece of work, and not let go until it goes so dark that I can’t see my longhand notes. For some reason, Abel isn’t happy about either of these methods of research: he has drawn up a timetable for me, which includes breaks.

I love breaks. Really. But sometimes breaking up is a nuissance, and up until that morning last week I’d thought it was optional, too.

"The break? Uhm. I forgot about it," I said. I mean, I was working. The text was adding up. That was good. Right?

Not if you’re Abel.

"Upstairs," he said.

"Wha… Why?" I’d never been in trouble for working too much. This was too weird for words, and I even pinched myself on the thigh, to check whether I was having one of my frequent spanking dreams.

"You’ve been given a timetable," lectured my husband, pushing me up the stairs with a palm between my shoulder blades. "It’s there to be observed."

Well, yes, but wasn’t it there to keep me chained to the keyboard, rather than to make sure I’d had enough cups of coffee?

Not according to Abel. In reality – according to Abel’s version of reality – it was there to help me pace myself. To keep me from burning out. To make sure I was still at my desk the next day, instead of being so tired that I head out for lunch with a girlfriend and turn it into afternoon tea, after which I’d get invited to stay for dinner and sleep over.

The timetable was binding, you see, and that included the breaks.

In our bedroom he told me to bend down with my elbows on the bed, and picked up a frat paddle that had stayed there from when we’d last played with it. (Note to self: in future, tidy away implements after playing. Like, immediately.)

"That’s so unfair!" I protested. "I didn’t know I had to take breaks! Hey, put that thing down!" I babbled my protestations. This has been known to get me into further trouble, but Abel must have been feeling generous, or maybe lazy. (Hi, Abel – do you like this entry? Good.)

He gently advised me to shut up, and then swung the paddle back, and landed it on my jean-clad behind with a good crack.

"Oooooh," I said appreciatevely. I didn’t cry it out – this wasn’t a hard enough stroke to yelp – but sort of breathed it, as tingling spread over my cheeks.

"Alright, stand up," said Abel.

And that was it. One swat, and he gave me a hug, and told me to go downstairs and have a break.

I didn’t even have a heart to mumble anything rude, because he’d hardly been too harsh. But now I set up reminders for when I’m due to break for coffee.

9 thoughts on “Paddled For Working Too Hard

  1. Abel

    Not sulking… Just surprised that Haron hadn’t understood the importance of sticking to her timetable. Particularly given that the whole point of establishing the timetable was to prevent her working into the early hours of the morning.
    Very surprised.
    Paddle-wielding surprised.
    Wait ’til I get home, young lady. The train is due in in just under two hours.

  2. Iris

    I have two voices in my head now. Voice 1 says, “Yay, Haron! Chalk one up for speaking our minds! Hooray for reasonable top-type people!” And Voice 2 says, “Awwww! I was hoping for some juicy details!”
    Which one to listen to? Hmmmm…

  3. Megs

    Getting smacked for working TOO much? I’m pretty sure there’s good psychological reasons not to do that… something about association and uhm dispair caused from hopelessness because damned if you do damned if you don’t…

  4. Abel

    I actually got sidetracked when I got home by a rather nice new implement that had arrived through the post, so rather forgot about the paddling! Thanks to everyone who commented for reminding me…


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