After 6 weeks of marital bliss Penny decided to test my patience. She sat at the kitchen table with a legal pad, making a list of some kind.
‘Shopping list,’ I asked.
‘No sweetie,’ she answered, ‘it’s a contract. You agree to do certain things, I agree to do certain things.’
‘What kind of things?’
‘Well, for example, I know how much you like to do things for me and how much you like to wash the cars, so we have number 1. We’ll make it your responsibility to keep my car clean and check the air pressure and oil and things like that. Men things. Is that OK?’
‘Men things, huh. I guess that sounds OK.’
‘And number 2. I know how obsessed you are with my panties so from now on you can hand wash all my delicate lace panties. I don’t want them to get ruined in the washing machine and I like the idea of you doing that for me.’
‘Very funny, I’m not obsessed with your panties.’
‘Is that a no?’
‘No…I guess it could be fun.’
‘Thank you sweetie. I knew you’d do it.’
‘Number 3. Your rule about having my cell phone turned off when I’m driving is unreasonabe and overly restrictive and is hereby revoked. I need my cell phones and I can operate them hands free.’
‘Wait a second. I object to number 3.’
‘OK….your objection is noted.’
‘What does that mean? My objection is noted. You’re not allowed to use a cell phone when your driving. That’s the rule.’
‘I’m not sure I can comply with that request.’
‘In that case I’ll write number 4. GIVE PENNY A PROPER WHIPPING.
I crossed out number 3 and signed the document.
Penny watched me tape it up on the refrigerator door.
‘I’m going to bed.’
2:30 am…….I can’t sleep…It’s obvious Penny will not take no for an answer. She has a romantic impression about domestic discipline and she wants me to be more strict. She’s read about the sting and the burn of a rattan cane applied to the lush bottom cheeks of the heroine and she wants it too. Luckily, I have cherry trees in my back yard and every year, after the spring rains, they send up sucker shoots which are long, whippy switches, fat and heavy with water. It’s good to prune them off the tree when they’re about as thick as your finger, about three feet long. I like to put them in water in a vase and in about a week the little buds will bloom into beautiful cherry blossoms.