When I was a little girl, my parents often went away and I stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house. My parents were not firm believers in physical punishment – maybe a smack or two, but that was it. My aunt, on the other hand, believed firmly in sore bottom lessons, and I learned many of them at her hands.
On on particular occasion, about 15 years ago when I was 10, my aunt, uncle, my two cousins and I were out to dinner for my uncle’s birthday. They had ordered some kind of salad that came in a huge bowl with large wooden spoons to serve it with.
I have never been a veggie eater and wasn’t about to touch the salad, when my aunt swiftly plopped some on my plate with the spoons and said: “Eat it.”
I said: “I don’t like salad – I’m not eating it.” She responded loudly enough for everyone at the table to hear. “Well, perhaps you would like your bottom warmed instead, you ungrateful little child?” I snarled back: “Fine – I’ll eat it.”
But I didn’t. Instead, I carefully put piece after piece on the floor. I would have gotten away with it, too, if a cucumber hadn’t hit my aunt’s foot.
She was furious! Without saying a word, she grabbed me by the elbow and removed me from the bench. Then she grabbed the large spoon from the salad and finally excused us from the table.
Everyone around us watched as she dragged me, crying, into the ladies bathroom. A few women even got up from their tables and came in to watch.
When we got inside, my aunt quickly bent me over the counter and lifted my dress. “You keep both of your hands on that counter young lady or we will do this at the table instead!” she ordered. “And spread your legs apart!”
Then I felt her hand firmly on my lower back and my panties being lowered. “No! ” I shouted. “I promise I’ll eat it and I’ll be good! I’m sorry!”
Smack! Too late – I was going to be punished right there, in the bathroom, with about five people watching.
“I warned you before we left to be good, didn’t I? This is what happens when you don’t listen to me!”
Smack, smack, smack! The wooden spoon stung so badly! I could see the women and girls watching me out of the corner of my eye through the mirror. One little girl looked horrified. “Now, instead of eating your dinner, you are in here getting the spoon across your bare bottom in front of strangers! How do you like it?!” (Smack, smack, smack!)
“Please stop – I promise I’ll be good!” I cried through my tears.
“No, I’m not done yet! I want your bottom to be sore enough to remind you to be good every time you sit down. I don’t think you have learned your lesson yet.”
“How many more?” I pleaded. “Five more!” she yelled. “Count them!”
I counted them, and then I was ordered to pull up my panties and fix my dress. As soon as I did, I was escorted back to the table. The whole restaurant knew what happened to me, as they could hear, and saw my humiliated face cringe when I sat down.
My aunt gave the spoon back to our waiter, but to my complete embarrassment, he returned it saying: “The owners would like you to keep this, to use whenever you feel the need. We wish more parents would discipline their children the way you do – we would see a great improvement in manners here, I’m sure.”
I finished my meal in silence, with my two cousins taunting me quietly. Near the end, the older cousin was caught and threatened with my ‘new toy’. My aunt used it later on her, but that’s another story.