Resolutions never seemed to work. An arbitrary date in any event, the ritual of adding another year was often depressing. When was the last time they stayed up until midnight? There was a good reason no rock band was called ‘The Ravages of Time’.
Deborah Cantel – Deb to her friends – and sweetie to her husband, avoided mirrors on general principles.
“No today, Deb, today is a new start.”
In the full-length closet mirror she tried her best to see what her husband adored.
“Face? Meh. Tits – saggy, tummmy – wobbly, bum – plump; all-in-all, Deb, you need help, girl.”
She picked up the sheet of paper and went over her list one last time. “I sure hope Josh understands this.” She grimaced at her reflection and tossed off a mock salute.
Josh Cantel was concerned. The holidays were always stressful for them both, but his wife Deb normally carried the bulk of the responsibilities in terms of family logistics. The year however, between the crazy work schedules and school breaks, he’d decided that the usual trip to his parents for Christmas, would instead be a kid’s only extended New Year’s visit. If it went well, and so far all reports were good, then Deb’s parents would host next year.
The house was amazingly quiet the past few days, the normal exhaustion after serving in retail hell from 8 to 6, was tempered by the knowledge they didn’t have to sneak in a quickie and keep a lid on the noise.
But Deb had been subdued. She claimed she missed the kids. To Josh, she was unusually preoccupied and spent excessive time online. Not that she turned down his overtures, but… her responses seemed feigned at times.
If there was one constant emotion Deb had felt – did feel – throughout all their dating and marriage, it was guilt. Josh deserved a better woman, a better wife and a better lover unburdened by self-doubt and loathing. His compliments bounced right off her thick internal walls.
“How’s the game?”
Deb watched silently until the next commercial break.
“Honey? Can I ask you something?”
“Sure. What’s up, sweetie?”
“Without the sound please.”
Josh pressed the mute button.
“I made some resolutions this year, again, and based on past efforts, I doubt I’ll reach February without giving up.”
They watched an annoying dancing elf pitch the latest sale.
“I hate that guy,” Josh muttered.
“I don’t know, honey, I thought you looked kinda cute dressed up as the company spokes-elf.”
“Watch it, Deb,” he growled.
Deb shivered, “I like it when you’re all stern and gruff with me.”
She nodded. “It makes me believe you find me attractive.”
“I do find you attractive, sweetie. You know that.”
She shrugged. “It’s me, not you. I hate my body.”
“Come on, not that again. We’ve talked about this how many times? You’re a beautiful, sexy, smart woman and I love you even more today than ever.”
She sniffled. “Thanks, honey. I just wish I could believe it.”
Josh shook his head. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
“Maybe that’s the problem. It’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t do.”
He stared blankly at the television screen.
“Honey?” She got off the couch and knelt at his knees. “I need your help to meet my goals, not by cheerleading and hugs, but by leading and holding me accountable. Josh, what I’m trying to say is that I want, I need you to spank me when I, when you, think I’m slacking off and need discipline.”
Josh pressed the off button.
“What?” His astonished voice filled the den.
“I can’t do this on my own and words, whether written or spoken, just don’t motivate me. I’m hoping actions will jolt me out of my funk.”
“You want me to spank you? For real? As in punishment?”
“Sometimes, yes. Discipline too and maybe a reward for a job well done.”
“And if you don’t like it? What happens then? Do I get blamed and the cold shoulder?”
“All I know, Josh, is that I want to try spanking when I don’t do what I have promised to myself. I made a list. Are you willing to help me make a new start?”
“You really want me to spank you, Deb?”
“Yes, sir. I do.”
He nodded and thoughtfully stroked his chin. “OK, I’m in. Take your pants down and lay over my lap. I’ll give it my best shot.”
“Are you back-talking me already, girl?”
“I changed my mind. Strip naked first, then I’ll warm your ass.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Josh ran his hand over his wife’s plump curves. “How hard and for how long?”
“You’re in charge, sir. I know I need a good cry though, so don’t stop just because I say no, only if I say red.”
“Red as in stop?”
“Yes, sir. It’s a safe word in case I can’t take anymore.”
“Then you are actually in charge, not me.”
“No…! I mean… what if?”
“What if? What if I decide to beat you unmercifully?”
“No, you wouldn’t do that to me.”
“Do you trust me, Deb? Do you trust me to spank you as you need?”
“Then you may say red, but it will mean pause, not end. The end is when I say so.”