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The Last Time
I attended a large university in Southern
California as an undergrad. The school has a serious parking
problem and one quarter I didn't get a parking permit. I got
a few tickets here and there and my father paid them, knowing
that it truly was a choice between getting the tickets or skipping
class. One morning I found what I thought was an on-street
parking place. When I went back out to my car that evening there
were nine (yes, 9) parking tickets under my wiper (I was lucky
the car hadn't been towed). Each was 25 dollars. I knew my dad
would be annoyed with me for being so stupid as to park in a
NO PARKING location, so I just stuck the whole stack in my glove
box and dealt with them in a sort of a 'Scarlett O'Hara' manner.
About three months later, my dad was doing
the monthly bills. He called me in from outside to ask me about
the auto registration notice on 'my' car. The renewal claimed
he owed over $900 in unpaid parking tickets, which had to paid
before new registration tags could be issued. As you might imagine,
he was furious when I explained to him what I'd done, both that
I had gotten so many tickets and that I'd hidden them. Because
I'd waited so long, the tickets' fines were more than tripled.
He told me how terribly immature I was (which was true, but
then whose fault was that??).
I've always treated my father with a great
deal of respect - but I really didn't fear a spanking. I should
have. This was clearly the direction that the discussion was
heading. I just didn't at 22 pick up on the signals I had known
so well at 15. So I argued, and made excuses (lame ones I'm
sure. I can't think of a good one even now). He finally told
me I'd behaved and obviously deserved to be treated as a child.
When I asked what he meant (I was pretty sure at this point,
but in some way just didn't believe it), he told me to go to
my room and wait for him. That helped me figure it out. He was
going to spank me. But I had a choice, I could have walked away,
left the house. But I didn't.
Now I say 'spank', but in fact my father always
used either a Ping-Pong paddle or a wide (like from the 70's)
doubled belt (very rarely a switch to 'make an impression').
This had been the case for as far back as I can remember.
If you're surprised I went up to my room at
22 to wait for my father to come up and spank me, you don't
really understand how Latino families - or at least my family
- work. Had I refused I would have had to move out without any
support from any part of my extended family. I did not have
a job, nor had I ever had one. It no more occurred to me to
disobey the order this last time than it would have at 12.
About ten minutes later my father walked into
my room, holding the strap. I stood up, tears running down my
face, apologizing. He neither told me to be quiet, nor did he
Instead, my father took the pillow from the
head of bed and placed it on the side. He guided me to bend
over it - telling me to take down my shorts. I did and felt
them drop to my knees (I still had on my panties). I gripped
the pillow, telling myself this wouldn't, couldn't hurt as much
as I remembered. Then the first blow landed. In fact it hurt
more, much more, and I exclaimed 'Oh shit!' and reached back
with my hands to protect myself.
My dad grabbed both of my wrists with his
left hand and pushed them into the middle of my back. I think
I was going to get twenty-five, but saying 'shit' meant I got
fifty on my bottom and on the tops of my legs. The pace was
slow and deliberate, and throughout I was tempted to get up
and run away. Yet I really couldn't imagine doing so. Besides,
he had my hands pinned at the small of my back. Way less then
halfway through I was sobbing.
I think in between punishments, it's impossible
to remember just how much it hurts. It seems so childish in
some ways, part of me doesn't believe it would hurt as much
now. Yet I'm just as sure it would.
Afterward he told me to go wash my face. I
did, still crying and then came back and apologized a final
time. He said he forgave me, but I was too old to need this
sort of punishment, that I had to be responsible for myself.
I nodded, tears still running down my cheeks.
After he left the room, I went back into my
bathroom and looked over my shoulder at the damage. My backside
was very red, with welts that went all the way to the top of
my legs. The strange thing is, when I showered and went to sleep
(after crying a bit more) I slept very well, always did after
a 'spanking' . . . sort of the sleep of the innocent, I suppose.
to Mija's stories
to the treehouse