Katie, Ami, and Minelle all talked about leaning on Sam for support. That worked really well. I stuck very close to him, and the sisters never said a negative word to me when Sam had his arm around me. I remembered to be kind like Sunny and Meredith suggested, but sadly, only part of the time. I would ask a question about something they cared about, even if it was dreary for me. Examples - opera, Mensa-level grandchild (Ha!), travel, sensible footwear, gas mileage, support bras and restaurants. Lovely Jan kindly asked me to visit her far away - probably the most definitive solution. Finally, I felt lots of good energy and prayers from Maggie and Terps. When I thought of all of you, I was able to genuinely smile.
It was a very tough experience. There wasn't even this much stress with older son's wedding several years ago. For that occasion I made certain that Patty and Selma were staying elsewhere. When they were at the house, we were always focused on some task for the rehearsal dinner or the wedding. This time there were not specific preparations to occupy us, and both Patty and Selma commented on how I wasn't able to sit still. They are right about that. I know that is the way I am. I would try to keep busy in the kitchen and keep a friendly exchange going at the same time. The conversation was as scintillating as watching paint dry.
Believe me, I stayed close to Sam and to our sons. Son #1 sent me funny texts that sounded like Patty or Selma, and he spent a lot of time being charming. Son #2 stayed for at least 3 hours one night being witty and fun. They absorbed a lot of the Blah, blah, blah. They were the golden boys and may have been the reason for the only compliment I remember getting from Selma. There were none from Patty.
Perhaps the thing that saved me was that the 2 sisters can't get along with each other either! I had really forgotten about that. So after they had been with each other for several hours, Patty would leave in a huff. Then Selma spent the next few hours ripping her apart. Maybe it is not the most Christian of actions, but I almost encouraged that.
While grading my performance, Sam said instead of being gracious and happy, I just avoided engaging. He was right. Instead of chancing an altercation, I just became very quiet. Once when there were a good number of people at the table just talking for hours, I slipped out to my garden at dusk and pulled some weeds. I sang to myself and felt renewed.
Selma and husband left on Monday. Patty stayed away. I took the day off, but Sam headed back to work. I could tell when he came home from work at lunchtime that I was probably in trouble. His voice was all businesslike, like we had things to discuss. Sam was not angry, but he was disappointed. He pulled me close and talked softly in my ear. He agreed that I had not lost my temper but stated flat out that I had not done my best. I knew he was right, and it made me feel ashamed. I asked if we could talk before he spanked, and he agreed. He folded his arms around me gently, and I spilled my thoughts. What I had done well, and where I had fallen very short. He nodded and rubbed my back as I talked. It felt good to feel that close again, but I knew I had distanced myself from Sam and everyone else, too.
The spanking was not that long or that hard. I was expecting worse. It didn't matter. I felt awful that I had a wonderful husband who loved me and that I had disappointed him. His spanking was businesslike, too. Let's get this done and move on. He didn't pretend that he had a good time this weekend. He knew it was miserable. What made me feel so crappy was that I didn't make more of an effort for him.
There was a lot of hugging and many kisses when he came home for the day at 5:00 pm. Then, surprisingly, there was what started out as a happy spanking. Over his knee, bare-assed, right in the kitchen. Soon though, it turned much more serious. His voice was laughing, but his hand wasn't laughing at all. It hurt like hell, and it went on much longer than I expected. Sam is wise and knows me
It felt so good to be alone and to have our house back to ourselves. I enjoyed the quiet and the touching. I thought how remarkable ttwd is in our lives and the quality it brings to our relationship. I just put my head on his shoulder and held tight. It is moments like those where you feel you are the only two people in the world. Everything else just falls away.