Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The first time

Allie knew that the hated ivory brush was part of a dresser set, including a comb and a mirror, Tom had given me as a wedding gift. She’d asked once if Tom had begun using this hateful thing as soon as we got married. I’d told her, no, not right at first. But sadly, it wasn’t long before he felt it was needed. I remember this happened just weeks after Mattie went to live with her daughter and new grandbaby. It was a terrible shock to my system and sometimes it still is. 
We’d only been married about six months and were still really getting to know one another when I needed minor surgery on my foot. It was no big deal, but it was very slow healingand I was having a lot of trouble with swelling during the day. Tom babied me after the surgery for a full week – which should have been long enough for me to recover. He barely let me walk at all and we were finally starting to get the swelling under control. 

“Are you going to be alright here by yourself?” Tom asked, as we lay in bed Sunday evening. “I miss Mattie. We need to find someone else to help out around here. I can make arrangements for a nurse for a week or so.”
We had someone to clean and maybe cook a little every other day so I told Tom, “I don’t want anyone but Mattie around all the time. And I certainly don’t need a nurse. I’m fine. I’m going to lunch tomorrow with the girls and one of them will pick me up. So don’t worry.”
“Oh, no you aren’t,” Tom told me, emphatically. “You’re staying home until that foot heals.”
I began to bristle. “I’m not your prisoner! I will come and go as I please. I’m not driving, I won’t be out long and I’ll be careful with my foot. Stop being so bossy!”
“No, you’re not my prisoner. You’re my love and I am the boss. You’re staying home tomorrow. That’s it. Understand?”
I huffed and turned my back to him. Tom was sweet about it. He kissed the back of my neck and whispered, “I’m taking care of you, whether you like it or not.”
The next morning, Tom got me set up for the day on the couch. I had the remote control, a plate of sandwiches and even a thermos of tea. I had strict orders to get up only to use the bathroom and to keep my foot elevated all day. 
Right, sure. That was Tom’s plan – unfortunately, that was not my plan. I had every intention of going out with the girls just as we planned. You have to understand that back then I hadn’t yet fully grasped how my marriage was going to be. I had done anything I felt like doing for a number of years and I had every intention of continuing the same way. I am embarrassed to say that the idea of lying to Tom really didn’t bother me. I had lied most of my life – to my parents, my first husband and often to the men I dated later. It was no big deal to me. Usually I felt it just kept everyone happy. Honestlythat was how I viewed it. 
Annie came to pick me up around 11:30. “Are you sure you should be going out?” she asked, as she watched me hobbling around.
“Now, don’t you start. I’m fine. I’ll take the darn crutches to keep you and Tom happy, but I’m not going to sit here staring at the walls all day.” 
Annie let me off at the door. In the hotel lobby, I spotted a pay phone. I called Tom at work to tell him I was resting and I’d call him to check in later. I hate that I used to lie to Tom, but I have to say that I was very good at covering my tracks.
We had a lovely lunch and visit. But having to use crutches was a big pain as I tried to find a comfortable place for my foot while we ate our lunch. When we were finished, I went to the restroom and to pay the check. Trying to manage my pocketbook and crutches was wearing me out. My foot was beginning to really hurt and it was swelling again. By the time Annie got me homeI was exhausted and in pain. 
“You take these sandwiches home,” I told her. “And pour out half that tea.”
“So Tom won’t know you went out today, right?” Annie asked. I gave her a sour look and didn’t reply.
As I got settled back on the sofa, I called Tom once again and told him not to call because my foot was really bothering me and I was going to take a pain pill and go back to sleep.The phone rang several times that afternoonbut I didn’t bother answering.
Tom got home about six. “How was your day?” he asked, giving me a kiss.
“My foot’s bothering me a lot. I think I might need another pain pill.”
Tom uncovered my foot and a concerned look came over his face. “Cassie,” he asked sharply, “did you go out today?”
Keeping my eyes closed, I snuggled down into a pillow to keep from looking at him, and said, “Nope, I’ve been right here.”
The phone rang again and Tom answered. “What’s that?” I heard him ask. “I see. Thank you, I’ll get it tomorrow.” When the call ended, Tom picked me up off the couch and carried me to the bedroom. I hadn’t even looked at him and it wasn’t until he put me on the bed that I glanced at his face and realized he was not happy. 
“What’s the matter?” I asked. One thing I will say for Tom, he never tries to trick me into digging myself into a deeper hole. He always just tells me. 
“That was the restaurant that called. You left your billfold there today,” he told me.
 Not truly realizing how serious he was going to take thisI said brightly, “Oops, I guess you caught me!” One more look at Tom told me he did not see this as an‘oops’, but something much more serious.
“Cassie….” He stopped and shook his head.“Cassie,” he began again, “I told you to stay home and you didn’t. You put your health and recovery in danger by not allowing your foot time to heal. And you lied to me.” 
I suddenly realized what was coming. I wasn’t always quick on the uptake back then. “Tom, you can’t spank me, my foot hurts!” 
“Well then, aren’t you lucky Im not going to spank your foot,” was his only answer before pulling me over his lap. He took time to make sure my foot was cradled on a pillow before he sailed into my behind. I knew he was really upset and he was spanking hard. He was saying something about how I was going to mind him and take care of my health. At least I think that’s what he was talking about. I wasn’t exactly concentrating on his words. I managed not to curse. By this time, I had learned that swearing only made the spanking longer and harder. But I was begging him to stop!
After many agonizing minutes, he did stop. He slid me off onto the bed and stood up. But he didn’t hug me like he usually did. 
“Girl, you’re going to have to listen to me and take better care of yourself, do you understand?” I was snubbing and sniffing as I nodded yes. I lay down to pout a bit when Tom said, “Cassie, we have to talk about your lying now.” I looked at him quickly and saw that he was holding the ivory hairbrush. He had never used anything but his hand before.

No! Forget it! You are not using that thing on me! I thought in a panic when the realization hit me that I didn’t have a choice.
“No, Tom, please, not now! You just spanked me hard! You can’t do this!” 
I was wrongHe could and he did. 
I thought a hand spanking hurt – and it surely did, but this was something else altogether. I know I was already sore but that brush simply burned like fire. He was going slow and deliberately. It didn’t last longbut that brush and I developed an instant, and intense, dislike for one another that lasts to this day.
I will saylessons were learned that day. Tom learned that I wasn’t above lying to him. I learned he absolutely would not tolerate it. I also learned that I hated the ivory brush andunfortunately,Tom learned thattoo. It quickly became his weapon of choice when he thought I really messed up.
I complain a lot about that horrible brush. But if the truth be knownit is used a lot less thait was during the first few years of our marriage. I guess I don’t see it, well, feel it, all that much anymore. Maybe a couple of times a year. And there have been years where it was never used at all, if you can believe that. But everywhere we have ever livedit has stayed on my dresser, unless Tom has it packed. It was my wedding gift from Tom and it is my lot in life. I guess that there's something to be said for heirlooms, but certainly not this one.

Note from PK:

If you enjoy Cassie's stories you can read all about Cassie and Tom and their friends in the Cassie's Space series.


Roz said...

Wow Cassie, Tom was definitely serious about you taking care of your health and about lying! Sounds like some hard lessons learnt that day for both of you. I can definitely understand you developing an instant dislike of the brush!


Ella said...

Cassie, I never knew this story about the hairbrush. That picture of an ivory hairbrush was perfect. It even has an evil look about it pretending to sit on your dresser so innocently.

I recently had some knee surgery, and your story rang a bell with me. If I would just get it written, I have a story about Sam and I that is very similar.

Love you, girl,

Rosie said...

Hi Cassie,
It's really fun to hear about the beginnings of you and Tom. This might not be such a great memory for you, but I loved reading it. I'm glad to hear that he helped you change your habit of lying. Your marriage would never have been as strong as it is if you'd kept that up. A little omission sometimes is totally understandable...though, I know, not to Tom even now, right?
Rosie Dee

Leigh Smith said...

Wow, I'd forgotten all about dresser sets. Everyone used to have one and I'm sure the hairbrushes were always used for more than hairbrushing.

Cassie said...

Roz - and I guess he and I are still pretty much the same. He's picky about my health and still intolerant of lying! I'm not as concerned about my heath, but don't actually lie to him anymore.

Ella - I hope your knee improves quickly! I'd love to hear your story!

Rosie Dee - You're right. I don't lie to Tom - that's the truth! But fudging, omitting, keeping my mouth shut, well that's different to me. Not to him!

Leigh - I'm sure you're right. I say they are evil, sadistic things!