Why is it so easy to give a friend or family member a compliment and so hard to give ourselves the same kindness? I know I am not the only one who does this. I have heard so many women talk about what they hate about themselves when they look in the mirror. Noses and muffin tops and wrinkles. Sometimes I talk to myself in the mirror, and it is usually not nice things. This isn't new for me. I have struggled with this, and I know other women do, too.
The thing is Sam tells me I am pretty about 10 times a day. I think he first told me back when we were 15 years old and falling in love. For as long as I can remember, he has called me his "Pretty Lady." Of course, I love that he tells me that. But do I really believe him? Rarely. This does bother Sam sometimes and over the years we have talked about this insecurity of mine now and then. He gets frustrated.
So there's a story here somewhere. Sam has really made the move toward semi-retirement. Hooray! He will probably always keep his hand in the business, but he is very excited about traveling more, and he has started to volunteer his time at a cool science/history museum here where we live.
I love seeing him take the time to do things that make him so happy. He has been going to the museum several mornings a week for over a month now. Although he is thoroughly enjoying himself, he has mentioned that people don't seem to be all that friendly. I assured him that once he has been there for a little longer, folks would get to know him better and that would resolve.
Then this last week there was a Brown Bag Lunch Lecture being given by a retired scientist for the volunteers. Sam asked if I could attend, and that was fine. We picked up some Subway sandwiches on the way and found the classroom at the museum. Sam introduced me to several people before we found a table. The volunteer supervisor welcomed me warmly.
The lecture was fascinating, and the presenter was well prepared and a good speaker, too. After the man finished, Sam gave me a grand tour of the facilities. We were both familiar with the museum already, but he took me to the back where the workshops and display preparation were located. Then on to the administrative offices. As we meandered through this maze of rooms with people working at their different tasks, Sam introduced me to everyone. They were most welcoming and we chatted with many of them.
One of the men, who worked mostly on restoration of the science equipment, stopped and greeted us. He shook both our hands and asked Sam to introduce me to him.
"Jim, this is my wife, Ella," Sam said.
The man smiled at us, and questioned Sam, "This is your wife?"
"Yep, she's been my girl since we were both 15 years old."
"Well, Sam, I want to tell you that the day you met her, was your lucky day," Jim said.
I thought he was a really nice man, and we stopped at several more stations and talked to some other employees. As we made our way through the last set of offices, one of the men I remembered from the lecture room came up and introduced himself to me.
"I'm the museum director here," he said, shaking my hand. "We are so glad to have Sam coming to volunteer. He's doing a wonderful job. Thanks for coming to the lecture. Please come next month. They are usually quite good."
Sam went his way after this, and I had errands to do. When he came home from work that night, we sat together over our evening beers.
"Well, you were surely popular today. That is the most anyone has talked to me since I started there," Sam smiled. "I am always so proud to have you with me anywhere we go. You are so pretty and personable that people are just drawn to you."
"Oh, don't be silly, Sam. People were just being polite," I said.
"It's true, Ella. It happens everywhere we go," he continued as he started down the hallway to change into his comfy jeans. I followed and was putting away some laundry as he took his shirt off. Never like to miss an opportunity to rub my nose in the hair on his chest. One of my favorite ways to say hello to my man. I love his scent. He pulled me close.
"God, you are such a pretty lady," and Sam's hands rested on my bottom. "Hmmm...it's been a while since we've had a 'just because' spanking. I love your pretty ass all pink."
And with that he unbuttoned my jeans and pulled me across one knee as he sat on the edge of the bed.
"Damn, Ella, I am not kidding you, you know. You are beautiful," he said as he spanked. Very - spank - Very - spank - Very - spank - pretty.
"And you are very, very full of it, mister," I protested.
"What? Are you disagreeing with me? This is not a good position to be in if you are going to argue with me. Who's the boss?" and the spanks got a little faster and a little harder.
"You are! You are!" I laughed. "Ow, Sam!"
"Then say it, Ells. Say, 'I am pretty' for me," Sam insisted.
"No, you know I am not going to say that," I answered.
Well, that was the wrong thing to say, and Sam's hand began to work over my bottom like there was no tomorrow.
"Say it, Ells," he repeated.
"I can't, honey."
"Say it," he demanded, and the spanking cranked up again.
"Say it for me," Sam laughed.
"Ok! Ok! I'm pretty," I finally gave in.
"Again, louder this time," he said, and his hand never paused.
"I am pretty! Damn you, I am pretty!"
Sam's hand rubbed my sore bottom softly, and said, "See, that wasn't that hard, was it?" He pulled me up to sit on his lap a minute before we walked back to enjoy our happy hour together. But when my very warm bottom hit the dining room chair, I could not help but think that Sam had had his way. No matter what I thought of myself in the mirror, he had me "sitting pretty."