There seems to be a lot of spanking about lately.
Well, we have made it so far. Tomorrow is our fourth 'discussion'.
And what I want to know is this - what position is the best for maintenance? It's all very well for those of you who've been doing this for some time. But to a newcomer it's all a little difficult to get my head around at times.
Because we have chosen a 'morning' instead of an 'evening' for our discussions, (and this is because it is one of the few times when we are not likely to be interrupted by anything more than a telephone call - which we ignore) we lie in bed and talk about the past week.
I often have to help Starman regain consciousness with a strong cup of Yorkshire tea and a digestive biscuit. Myself? I go for a full shot of caffeine. The communication still has a tendency to be a bit stilted so I need all the caffeine I can get. Even then I hide my face in his chest hair, or under his armpit, or even in the duvet. Anywhere, in fact, where my face can be hidden from daylight. I wonder whether the speaking part will ever get any easier?
It hasn't been too bad this week, I think. Only one or two minor transgressions. But have you noticed how our emotions cause us to rise to the bait at this time of the year?
I was leaving for my final day of school, my foot almost out of the back door. Starman looked at me and said "Have you had any thoughts about the turkey yet?"
Clutching my handbag, my lunchbox, my planner, numerous exercise books taken home for marking, and a collection of textbooks, I halted.
"Not really. I'll get on to it tomorrow."
"Don't forget Christmas is only a week away."
"Oh knickers!" I huffed. "I'd forgotten we break up really late this year. Well, I'll still get on to it tomorrow."
Starman put some toast in the toaster.
"That's okay. I've had one Christmas dinner anyway." He scratched his chin. "Why don't we have beef instead this year?"
I move back into the kitchen.
"You know I've ordered that huge rib joint from the butchers. We're having it Boxing Day."
"Oh I forgot. Pity. Turkey can get a bit boring if you have it too often. And it's such a dry meat."
I missed the twinkle in his eye. I'm tired after a fifteen week term and eighty end of term reports. I've gone from happy, looking-forward-to-the-end-of-term-teacher to bitchy wife in two seconds. Usually it takes me three!
"Since when do I serve up dry turkey?!!! And you know we were going to get a turkey as soon as I'd broken up! If you don't like dry turkey, why did you have the bloody thing the other night?!" My fury knows no bounds.
Starman's face changes. His eyes go steely. "I can hardly speak to you these days and you jump down my throat. I just think it's been left a bit late that's all. There's no need to be like that with me. I was only joking."
I'm too furious to reply. I sweep out of the door and march purposefully to the car. By the time I back out of the cartlodge my eyes are overflowing and I cry all the way to work. In my mind I'm going over what was said and how I could have handled it differently. A hundred different scenarios go through my head. And now I have a whole day to get through whilst feeling miserable and guilt stricken.
By late afternoon when I've arrive home things are back to normal. Peace has returned to the Stariverse.
The turkey hasn't been referred to since. I've still not managed to get hold of one. At this rate we'll have to have a frozen one, and I can't remember the last time that happened. Starman won't be happy.
"Well," I think, "he's the one who works from home. Why couldn't he have gotten the wretched thing?!"
Usually we argue about the tree. Do we have a traditional Christmas tree that we know will drop everywhere? Do we have a Nordman? Do we have a blue spruce? How big? How bushy? With or without roots?
Not this year. For the first time in forever, we didn't argue. Just went straight there and purchased the first one Starman saw! I left the choice to him completely. And it was so lovely. A traditional Christmas tree, no roots, (we have a special container you put water into) ten feet tall and really bushy. It looks and smells great. I have spent a goodly part of the week decorating it. I can't believe we achieved the buying of a tree stress free! It's a miracle!
But now my second transgression...
The tree is very tall. It is my task to decorate the tree. Always. I just love doing it. We have some decorations from when I was five years old! Over the years my mother in law has given us a new, and unusual, decoration every Christmas. It's a tradition.
Starman helped me with the lights. We had to wind them round and round starting at the top. They are a new set and rather too bright for my taste, but the offspring love them.
"Now you be careful with that step ladder." Starman looks at me warningly.
"I will." I reassure him. After all, I've been climbing that step ladder for (I was going to say donkey's years! Well, for a long time anyway!) and I'm quite used to going up and down. I hold tightly with one hand and lean over and carefully arrange each decoration strategically.
I've very nearly finished. There is just one branch, right near the top, that requires something hanging from it that will 'stand out'. I select a large glass bird with lots of sparkles. I lean dangerously out over the tree, almost swinging from the ladder like Tarzan of the jungle. And that is the moment Starman chooses to come into the living room.
"What the hell do you think you are doing woman?!" he yells at me.
He causes me to jump and I panic, and only by the skin of my teeth manage not to fall right into the blessed tree. I stand gasping and holding on to the ladder with both hands.
"You scared me to death!" I yell at him. I'm still shaking too much to even think of climbing down the ladder.
Starman strides towards me radiating anger. He holds the bottom of the ladder and orders me down. "Don't you ever do that again" he warns. "Silly bloody woman. How many times have I told you not to go up that ladder unless I'm around. What would you have done if you'd fallen off? We'd have spent all day in casualty and Christmas would have been completely ruined."
I can see he's actually very unnerved by my actions. I don't court trouble. It just seems to find me.
I hang my head. "Sorry Starman" I say. "It's okay, I've finished now. There're just a few bits and pieces to go on lower down. I'll do those during the week"
"Well, I'm telling you. I don't want to see you up that ladder again. You're too old for that sort of thing."
He's calming down. But I'm seething. I hate references to my age. It's strange how women are either too young or too old for something. We seem to miss out completely on the middle bit.
So, back to our maintenance. I wonder whether Starman will still sit up and lean on the bedhead with me draped tastefully across his lap, or whether I will get to experience a new position. We are meant to be 'trying out' an interesting range of implements this week. Just to see what stings the most, what is easiest to use, what is the noisiest or the most quiet. Just to assess my tolerance level.
So come on guys - what position is right (or typical) for maintenance? And thinking about it, how hard is maintenance compared with erotic spanking? (Don't even think about punishment! My brain can't cope with going there just yet!)
And should I get my arnica cream out in advance?
All answers on a post card.....