I was bad yesterday, and it felt really good.
Even after I was punished for it, and even after I assured Abel how sorry I was, I still remember how good it felt to be nonchalantly naughty.
The story is simple (Abel has told it in more detail here): we were at a church wedding, and I fancied a mint.
I had no mint, but there was a pack of gum in my bag. When I reached to get some (this was, I must underline, after the solemn part was over, and the newlyweds were having pictures taken with the registry tome), Abel asked what I was doing.
I really wanted to tell him that it was none of his business what I was
doing every second of my waking day. But that would have been rude and
hurtful, so I just told him I wanted some gum.
"Don’t you dare," he hissed.
Now this here was enough reason in itself for me to reach for the gum
immediately. I felt a little tingling thrill of naughtiness going
through my heart. Abel can be very prim in a uptight English way. Most
of the time I like to take tips from him about things that are done or
not done in polite society (nobody likes to be a rude foreign type!),
but we’d already discussed the issue of chewing gum in church, and I’ve
privately decided that this was the sort of hang-up I wasn’t going to
copy from him.
I proceeded to get my gum, while he spluttered and threatened me with disastrous consequences.
I decided that it wasn’t my day for being told what to do.
The gum was really good and refreshing.
By the time bedtime came, I’d forgotten all about it; but Abel informed
me, just as I headed off to clean my teeth, that he was going to deal
with the incident just then. I cringed a little bit, and wondered if it
had been worth it after all. It was now too late, though.
I walked into the bedroom, and saw that he laid out a tawse in
preparation for the event: it isn’t the most severe implement, but it’s
got a healthy sting. To minimise the lecturing, I got into a comfy
position face-down on the bed, and waited, reading a book in the
Abel, as usual, wanted to know what I’d been thinking when I
deliberately disobeyed him earlier. I could have gone for the pitiful
version, like ‘my mouth was really dry, I was dying for a mint, it was
an emergency!’ It was sort of true, too: I really needed that gum…
But I decided to tell the truth: that I simply felt like being a little
bit naughty. Even though this magically grew my punishment from six
strokes to twelve, it felt better to let Abel know what was going on in
He swung the tawse quite hard, and I struggled not to make a fuss, but
it was one of the quicker punishments I’ve had. I told him I was sorry,
and at the time I was. Well, maybe almost sorry. Sorry that he has
never learned to enjoy gum, I guess.
I could have been sorrier for not being sorry (if that makes sense) if
I hadn’t subsequently find out that Abel’s mind during the punishment
was on placing all twelve strokes across the same strip of flesh on my
bottom. Seriously, he was having target practice. What did he think
this was, the Olympics?
Anyway, it feels refreshing to have walked into a punishment with my
eyes open, and to have dealt with it so quickly and fairly. Given the
time we spend apart, it’s actually quite unusual to have something over
with the same evening. I think, I like that.
I don’t think I’ll feel the need to be naughty again any time soon. Not
because the tawse hurt so much (although it did), but because I’ve been
there now, and paid for it, and can now go back to being mostly good.
(Yes, Abel, good. Stop laughing. Now.)