Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Ouch

When I was little, I refused to have my hair washed. I wore it in braids every day, Laura Ingalls style, and although I loved to take baths, I did not like getting my hair wet. My braids would slowly grow into dreadlocks, at which point my mom and my tiny self would begin the "well, we can wash your hair or cut your hair" debate. I have never had short hair, which means I instead not only had my hair washed, but then--here's where the trouble starts--had the knots taken out.

It's not surprising that, as a five year old having the knots taken out of her dreaded hair, the hairbrush came to be known as "the ouch." "No, Mummy, not the ouch," I'd cry, and I have to laugh as, twenty-four years later, I find myself crying, "No, Sir, not the brush, please not the brush." Yesterday, as I moaned those same words, I began to wonder just why it is that paddles of all sorts are my least favorite implements.

Perhaps its their seeming innocence that troubles me so deeply. (In fact, I know it is that thuddy sting that troubles me so deeply, that feeling of having a thousand bees alight upon my bottom at once in force that is the problem, but allow me the extrapolation for a moment.) The darling paddle to the right is one such an example of a paddle's innocence. My husband and I found this in the kitchenwares section of 1874 House Antiques in Portland. One of the owners suggested that it was from Norway, though even if it had been made locally, it would have been no less charming. It is hand-cut, carved, and painted, with a hook at the end for hanging. It reminds me of the paddles at Rosy Bottom, but it is clearly quite old by the wear of the wood. For all its old-world charm, though, it hurts! It's friendly flower hides a crueler backside. The wood is just thin enough to leave barely a mark, and thus all my yelping does no good.

How is it that I prefer a caning over a little paddle? I even avoid spanking stories that note at the beginning that there is paddling involved. And yet, at the grocery store last night--after a spanking that included a paddling, mind you--we encountered a back to school aisle and were delighted to find a simple wooden ruler. For some time, new wooden rulers featured a metal strip that ran along the full edge of the ruler. "Did you ever have to fight with needle-nosed pliers to get rid of that strip?" I asked. He laughed; he had. The 100% wooden ruler went into the basket. Why why why why why? But that voice screaming "Why?" in my head and in my flesh is probably the reason that it came home with us, just like the Norwegian paddle, just like the hairbrush (above) we bought together before we were even a couple, nevermind married, but knew just how it would be used when we got home that night. The "why why why" becomes "ow ow ow" and then it all fades and there is only fire. The Ouch breaks me faster than anything, but it leaves me riding the break, like surfing heat, like floating on flame.

Even my cat wants to punish me. You can see it in her eyes. I call her Fetish Kitten as a nickname.

1 comment:

  1. Intriguing post and intriguing blog! Welcome to the blogosphere--enjoy and have fun!

    (I am having trouble reading your blog as the font seems very very small)....

    Best regards,
    "The Cherry Red Report"


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