I thought about whether to share this story for a while, mostly because I was so dumb. The whole post reminds me of an episode of I Love Lucy. "Oh, Ricky!" "Oh, Lucy!" If you knew the GPA from my graduate degree, you would say, "How can she be such an idiot?!"
Several months ago, Sam decided that we needed to invest in one of those self-installed security systems. It's called SimpliSafe. Sam likes gadgets. We have cooking gadgets in our kitchen that we don't need. We have building and maintenance gadgets in the garage we don't need. We have lots and lots of technology crap we don't need. The only gadgets I do not complain about are the sex gadgets Sam loves to buy. He just got one for me called "Starlet - Your NewComer." Clever name. And on the advice of a dear friend, there is something called a "TangoTouch" that is on back order.
SimpliSafe was easy to install and Sam spent several happy hours getting each component perfectly positioned and working. He kept calling me to see what I thought of where he was placing the sensors, and I tried to seem eager about the whole project. He loves it when I appear amazed about his latest "Presto Burger Press."
Introducing the easiest setup ever. No drilling.
No wiring. No tools. Just plug in your Base
Station, place your sensors, and in a few
minutes your whole home is protected.
There are sensors on all the windows and doors, and I will admit they are not ugly or intrusive. You need to be sure everything is closed before you switch on the system. Right by the front door, there is a keypad where you press the "Away" button when you are leaving the house and a voice tells you to exit now and other stuff. When you return, you have 90 seconds to enter a self-chosen number code that shuts the alarm system off. Then the voice says, "Alarm Off."
Simpli Simple, right?
When it is first installed, there is a grace period of 2 weeks in which to make mistakes as you learn all the rules. I did make the whole system go off once during that time; the alarm was exceedingly loud! Freaked me and the dogs out big time. Sam also took the key ring away from me because I set off the little, red "Panic" button trying to find the damn keys in my purse.
After the grace period, both the live monitoring center and the local police are notified. No one would really complain if there was a bona fide burglar, but they are not as patient with people like me that seem to have trouble with all things tech-related. About 2 weeks ago, I did something really stupid. I will freely admit it. On my way out for an errand, I pressed the "Away" button, locked the door, and headed for my truck. Damn! Forgot my grocery list.
It hadn't been but 5 or 6 seconds, and somehow, in my head, it made sense that I could dash back in the house, grab the list, and be out the front door again before the voice on the system could even finish her blurb which says, "Please exit now. There is a blah, blah, blah....." And I did beat her message and took off down the road. I hadn't even gone 4 blocks when there was a call on the Bluetooth system in my truck. (Don't really understand Bluetooth either, but that is another story.) The person on the line asked me for a password, but I could only remember our pin number. Apparently that took too long, and the police were notified.
Sam was actually fairly patient. I apologized profusely and admitted that I had done something really stupid.
"Ells, I can't believe you didn't think it through. You should have known that you couldn't 'beat' the alarm," Sam said and sighed. He went on and said a bunch of tech stuff that went right over my head. He was very serious, though, about not calling out the police on a wild goosechase and taking them away from their real work.
But then two days later there was a letter in the mail with a warning from the police department. If this happened again, there would be a $150 fine. So Sam lectured me some more, waving the letter around a bit. I promise you all that I listened with deferential attention. Sam seemed satisfied that I would be more careful in the future. And I was.....until yesterday.
Coming home from Sam's Club (no relation to my Sam) with lots of perishable food. As I put the key in the lock, I could hear the phone ringing and thought it had to be the painter I had been trying to contact. The alarm went right out of my head as I scurried to the phone. I was busy talking to the painter when the alarm went off. IT IS LOUD, and I dropped the phone on the counter and keyed in the PIN within ten seconds. The noise stopped. I told the painter I would call him back. Instead I dialed Sam, and as the phone rang, I thought,
"Oh, no. This is it. The police are going to come,
and Sam is going to kill me!"
|There is a double meaning here, I think.|
This time he did not sound so patient.
"EL-LA, how could you do th----"
I cut him off, apologized, and asked about how to notify the SimplSafe people. He told me what to do, but the number was definitely not the monitoring center and I finally gave up. However, there were no phone calls from the security company and no sirens pulling up outside. I started to breathe again thinking I had shut it down quickly enough that I didn't set off anything this time. Whew! After about 15 minutes, I felt like I had dodged the bullet.
That was until Sam came home.
He came in the front door with the dog. He kissed me long and hard like every night. Then he took my hand and led me to the bedroom. For a short time I couldn't understand what was happening. Talk about dumb. I even thought, for a second or two, that he had plans for a "just because I love you" spanking. By the time I was over the bed, I realized this was going to be more like a "just because you screwed up" spanking.
"It was an accident, Sam. I forgot. I got distracted. It's not fair to spank me for a mistake," I protested.
"Not spanking you for an innocent mistake. I am spanking you to help you to be mindful when you are leaving the house or coming home," he lectured. "I don't want to pay a fine to the city, and I don't want a cop to be called away from his job just because you aren't taking this seriously."
There was no paddle, and the spanking didn't last very long at all. Sam hugged me and told me to be careful from now on. To think, slow down, and be careful. Done deal. I was still a little indignant about it, but I kept that to myself.
On the following day I had lots of errands to run and one outing with a friend. I am being very honest here. Each and every time I went in or out the front door, I thought of that spanking and I was exceedingly diligent about the steps needed to both activate and deactivate the alarm system. And then I thought about that same dear friend who once wrote about the connection between the brain and the bottom. It was true! Everything I needed to remember was right at the front of my mind. How does that work?
That night I climbed on Sam's lap and told him that I was actually glad that he had spanked me because I remembered everything so clearly that day. His brows furrowed, and he said with a smirk, "Well, I guess it's a good thing, but I really don't care one way or the other if you were happy about the spanking or not. Not my problem. Just don't mess up the alarm again, Ells."
What did I expect? For him to say he was so glad that I approved of the spanking? That wasn't going to happen. And when you think of it, that's really the way it should be. He spanks, and I listen. Done deal.