I think of myself as a pretty easy-going kind of guy. And I do believe that’s an accurate and fair assessment. I generally lean toward politeness and tend to not anger quickly or often. But on the other hand, I do not let people push me around and I will speak up, plainly, against injustice. I start there so you will have a context for this next anecdote.
There is a prominent story currently in the news about an NFL football player, Adrian Peterson, who took a switch to his 4 year-old son and left welts on the toddler. Anyone who is NOT outraged by that kind of behavior has a screw loose upstairs. That, my wife and I completely agreed upon when we discussed the story.
But Old Dummy, that would be me, had to take the conversation further and bring up the topic of using switches for adult discipline. I have experienced it in the past and I vigorously advocated the opinion that it should be off the table. I said it is too harsh and often cuts into the skin.
Well, it was especially bad timing on my part because I was outraged about the little boy being hurt that way and my dander was still up. I allowed my passions about that to overflow into the discussion about adult discipline. While I would never be insulting toward my wife, I was overly “enthusiastic” about defending my point that a switch is too severe.
A part of me was watching in horror while the other part just kept at it and at it. The Smart part was saying “Shut up, Man”. But Old Dummy was on a roll. I am sure you can see where it went.
She sat me down in a chair and looked right into my eyes, in that all too familiar icy calm way. She said that we are two adults and should be able to have a civil conversation about anything. Then she made it clear that the way I had behaved was uncalled for. I knew exactly what that meant and silently resigned myself to the spanking that would soon follow.
As I tell you about it now, what would follow should have been obvious. But at that moment my expectation was that I would be paddled, get the strap, something “normal”. I always get very nervous about it and my mind does not exactly run calmly or analytically through what is happening.
So when she told me I had 10 minutes to go cut a fresh switch, peel it, and hand it to her, I was stunned. I managed a few sentences about it before I realized it was not only a waste of time, but that if I kept it up at all I would be getting extra.
It was wicked painful; standing where she told me to and enduring 10 strokes. I was in tears after 3 so you can imagine what it was like. I did my best to stay where I was told, but it was impossible. I jumped around, and she even had to pull me back to my place.
If you have never “had the pleasure” please take my advice and skip it.