Molly and Mick have to get up and out early Friday morning, so our Senior Correspondent was gracious enough to provide this compelling account for all of us.
After reading Mick’s post a couple of weeks ago about Molly removing those clothespins on switch day without permission, I tried to remember whether I had ever done anything similar. I couldn’t remember a single occasion.
Feeling rather pleased with myself, I mentioned that little fact to Bill. He leapt from the chair where he was sitting to dash across the room and put his hand across my forehead. I asked him what in the world he was doing and he said he could only guess that I was in a fever induced haze or early dementia was kicking in if I really couldn’t remember the many, many times I had misbehaved. I suggested that perhaps he was a bit too liberal with his use of the word many. He laughed until he had tears rolling down his face; I didn’t.
I asked Bill to give me just one example. “How about earlier today when I told you to…” he said. “No” I responded “not counting today!”
“Well, how about yesterday or any other day over the last 30+ years?” he snickered.
What followed was a recounting of my sins such as one might expect when standing in front of St. Peter, the Dom.
The offenses Bill dredged up from the past began with his beloved garage tools. Without delving too deeply here, I would like to ask how I could have known there are different saw blades for use on different materials. And I also wonder why I don’t get any credit at all for having the tenacity to stick with my DIY project while fiery sparks shot around me? And really, I replaced the saw, didn’t I?
Then Bill continued with my lack of care for his yard. Here’s what happened. Bill was, quite honestly, almost inappropriately attached to some flowering shrubs in our yard where we lived long ago. He fertilized and watered them, talked to them, and basically did whatever he thought would help them grow. And grow they did, to the extent they were blocking the windows. So at one point when Bill had been working out of state for a couple of months, I told him in a phone conversation about the overgrown shrubs and asked whether he had an objection to me arranging for them to be trimmed. He somewhat sullenly replied that if I really thought it was necessary, I should have them trimmed at shoulder height.
Foolishly believing that it couldn’t be all that tough of a job and that I could also save some money, I decided to use Bill’s electric hedge trimmers and do it myself. Sadly, what I neglected to factor in was that my shoulder height, sitting in a wheelchair, would be a tad shorter than a grown man’s shoulder level. It wasn’t a pretty situation, not for the hedges and not Bill’s response.
I would have to say, though, that the thing my cool and usually unflappable Dom is most apt to get truly displeased about is when I am unkind or too harsh with his favorite thing in the world - Me.
I am a bit of a perfectionist and can be incredibly hard on myself when I make errors. While that trait served me well in my work, on a more personal level it has caused some problems.
Bill has never had patience for a mindset drilled into polio children in the 50s that to cry, or to use crutches, braces or a wheelchair were all forms of not trying hard enough to improve, all signs of failure. As a result of that mindset, when I have been in pain, fallen down or had to ask for assistance physically, I have always apologized. That came to a halt two years ago.
I stayed up very late that night reading in the living room. When I headed to bed I didn’t turn on the hall light because I didn’t want it to shine into our bedroom and awaken Bill. Our bedroom door and the door to the basement are side by side. In the darkness, I opened the wrong door and instead of the next step on my crutches being into our bedroom, it was down a flight of steps.
I had a concussion, tore my rotator cuff and had some other nasty injuries, but what Bill says he remembers most clearly about those days is that when I regained consciousness my first words were, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” And again, when I woke up following surgery, those were my first words.
From that point on, I have not been permitted to use those words without being punished.
Bill made clear to me that the way I have used those words over the years has been disrespectful and hurtful to both him and me. From that day forward if what I meant to say was that I was frustrated that I had fallen or that I was concerned about the price of a new wheelchair, I better state that clearly because to apologize for something that cannot be helped and is not in any way my fault would no longer be tolerated.
When I slip and use the words I’m sorry, Bill punishes me, not in a lighthearted reminding manner, but in a serious, do you understand me, manner. Bit by bit I have come to understand that Bill is right. Those words served no purpose over the years…and I shouldn’t have trimmed his friggin’ shrubs, either!
So back to Molly and the clothespin. While this was a different kettle of fish in some ways, in others it was not. For those of us who are hard-wired for BDSM, discipline, both the giving and receiving, is part of what keeps us secure and safe, understanding how much we matter, as well as how we fit with and take care of those we love.
Through the positive and loving way the clothespin situation was handled, I think Molly learned that there are consequences for disobeying, Mick learned to keep closer tabs on Molly’s more subtle clues about her state of being okay and crossing the line into not okay, and the WC learned that there are yet additional ways he can receive both gifts and accolades from the UCTMW Management Team.