at the Beach
"Patsy, hurry up and
get packed. I don't want to get caught up in traffic." I heard my
Aunt Jan yell. I had just finished the second grade, and was staying
at my aunt's house for a couple of weeks while mom and dad were
taking a vacation of their own. They said that I wouldn't be happy
doing the grown up things they would be doing and that I would have
more fun spending some time with my cousins Jessica and Jeremy.
Jessica was already
13 and looking forward to going into high school at the end of the
summer. She was older than me, and didn't she know it! She seemed
to know everything. At least she thought she did. Jeremy was 11,
and even though I thought he was kind of cute, he was also very
much of a pest. I don't know what mom was thinking of dropping me
off with these two and thinking that I could possibly have fun with
My aunt was worse than
my mom when it came to some things. She got on my case immediately
if I left my clothes on the floor and said that I'd pick them up
later, or didn't brush my teeth EXACTLY when she told me to. Oh
well, it wasn't all that bad. My aunt did take us out for ice cream
and pizza and other cool stuff. Today she was taking us to the beach.
Coming from a state
that is 500 miles away from any ocean (except maybe the Arctic Ocean),
the beach was a special treat for me. The only problem is that I
had to put up with my two "goodie-goodie" cousins. Oh what sweet
things they were! According to Aunt Jan, they could do no wrong.
Of course they had to be "goodie-goodie;" if I had a mom like Aunt
Jan, I'd be a robot kid too. These poor kids just didn't know how
to have fun.
There was, however,
an up side to all of this. They were so polite, I was able to get
away with murder. I would tease them secretly, and when they'd raise
their voice to complain, my aunt would yell at them to stop. I loved
playing this game.
I crammed into the back
seat of my aunt's car along with Jeremy and a bunch of beach stuff.
The ride was hot, and it seemed to take forever.
"Auntie, how come you
don't have air conditioning in this car?" I asked.
"Well, it doesn't get
this hot very often here, and I don't normally need it." She replied.
"Well, you sure could
use it today. Don't be so cheap. Splurge a little." I shot back.
A couple of minutes
later I asked, "When are we getting to this beach?"
"In about another 45
"45 MINUTES! Where the
hell is this place?" I replied.
"Patsy! Watch your mouth,
please." My aunt said in mild shock. I'll bet her precious sweeties
never said anything like "hell."
"Yeah, I'll watch it.
I got nothing else to do for the next 45 minutes." I muttered. I
looked over at my cousin who was staring at me in disbelief. I stuck
my tongue out at him.
"Oooh, there's a Burger
King, let's stop. They got a new toy with their special and I want
it." I said bouncing up and down.
"We can't stop. It's
on the other side of the highway. Besides we just had breakfast,
you can't be hungry."
"Don't tell me what
I am or am not. I want to stop." I pouted.
"We can't stop. We'll
eat when we get to the beach." My aunt said through gritted teeth.
"Yeah, but they won't
have a Burger King and I won't get my toy."
"Give it a rest, PATRICIA!"
Oh-oh a full proper name. I pushed a button, and I figured it would
be a good time to back off for a while.
We completed the trip
with my asking when we would get there only three more times, and
complaining about the car only twice more.
"I want you to put your
clothes and your money in the lock ... Patsy come here!" My aunt
was droning on and on on some lecture about putting our clothes
and money in a stupid locker. Heck, I only had a few dollars in
my pocket, and besides this was the beach. I already had my blouse
and pants off and tossed in the corner and was running for the water
when my aunt called me back. What a stick in the mud!
"Ok, auntie," I sighed,
"Here, take my clothes." I shoved them into her hands and started
to run off again.
"Patsy, come back."
"What now?" I yelled
back. Jeeze, this woman can take all the fun out of being a kid.
"You are not to go into
the water until I tell you. I want you to wait for your cousins.
The three of you will go in together. It's called the 'buddy system.'
Nobody is to be in the water alone."
I rolled my eyes back,
and sighed, "I'm not a baby, you know."
"This has nothing to
do with age," she retorted, "It's simply the safe thing to do."
"It's simply the boring
thing to do." I parroted back.
"Look here," she said
sternly, "I am responsible for you. I want to make sure you don't
get hurt. You will NOT go in the water alone. Have I made myself
clear?" She delivered the last sentence one measured word at a time.
I hit another button. Time to change the tune.
"O-Kay, Aunt Jan," I
said somewhat meekly.
Not that I would ever
admit it, but I actually had fun with the two fuddy-duddies in the
water. We splashed each other, and Jeremy carried me in the deep
water on his shoulders. We were really into it when my aunt called
us to come in.
My two cousins simply
turned and waded for shore. Not me. "Aw, come on auntie, let us
stay in!" I insisted.
"You've been out there
long enough. Time to come in and take a rest!" She countered.
"I'm not tired." I yelled
"I don't care. I'm tired
of watching you. I need a break too."
"I don't wanna come
in." I demanded.
"You can't stay out
there alone." She replied.
"I ain't alone. There
are all kinds of people in the water." I figured if the President
can quibble over the word "alone," so could I.
"Get in here now." She
said firmly. Hmmm, the buttons are coming closer and close together.
I came ashore and sat
in the wet sand, pouting.
Jessica spread out her
towel to "work on her suntan" as she put it. I'm no dummy. She spread
out her towel well away from her mom, and near a couple of teenaged
boys, it wasn't rays she was so interested in catching; it was the
Jeremy decided that
sandcastle building was his thing. "Come on, Patsy, you want to
help me build?"
"No thanks!" I sulked.
Well, if I'm not going
to have fun, neither are they.
I noticed that one of
the boys was standing next to Jessica, talking to her. I walked
up and boldly declared, "Don't ask her to go out with you. Her mom
would never allow it. She's just a little girl and she does everything
her mommy tells her to do."
"Patsy, that's not true."
Jessica said to me. Turning rapidly to the boy she said, "Don't
listen to her. She's just a spoiled little brat."
"Oh yeah, if you're
such a big girl, how come you still play with dolls?" I was true
sort of - well, technically, collecting dolls would be a more accurate
"Hey look," the boy
said, "if you two are going to get into it, I'm outta here."
"No stay," my cousin
said, but it was too late. He was already walking away.
"Nice going, twerp!"
She snarled back.
One cousin down, one
"Oh Jeremy," I said
in my sweetest tones. "Can I help you build?"
"Sure," the unsuspecting
A couple of "Patsy,
don't do thats" later and I had his entire castle in ruins.
"You're a blockhead."
He quipped. I certainly could have come up with a much more colorful
turn, but I wasn't raised by Mary Poppins.
Two for two. Time to
go for the hat trick. I put on my crocodile tears and went sobbing
to my aunt. "Auntie, Jessica and Jeremy are being mean to me. They
don't like me."
"Oh?" she said raising
an eyebrow. I could see that I had her interest. "Tell me more."
"Jessica called me a
twerp, and Jeremy called me a blockhead, and he won't let me play
"Is that so?" She said
in chillingly cold tones. Something in my stomach told me that a
line was crossed, and I was standing on the wrong side. Nothing
to do but go on.
"And all of this was
totally unprovoked on your part, I presume." She asked.
"Oh yes, auntie, I was
a good girl." I said as innocently as my conscience would allow.
The dam broke and her
anger flashed. "The HELL you are! I've watched every one of your
moves since you've gotten to this beach. You've tormented those
two children for the last week. I would have hauled off and hit
you if I were one of them days ago. They've shown you far too much
patience - more than you deserve - and so have I. Enough of this.
You are going to be taught a lesson, and I am going to teach it
to you right now!" Her voice was loud enough to hear all over the
She grabbed me by the
arm and dragged me to the locker room. On the way by she stopped
by the locker and took Jeremy's belt off his pants. Into the women's
room we went. Into the valley of death rode I; or at least it seamed
Her voice echoed off
the cinderblock walls, reverberating with such loudness that anyone
within 20 feet of the door could easily hear her. I am certain my
cousins were out there listening.
"Get those bottoms off."
She barked. The order was so sudden and delivered with such authority,
that I found myself with my bottoms down to my knees before I could
even think about it.
"Now get over here."
Aunt Jan said, pointing to her lap. I laid over it submissively.
She grabbed my wrists and held them up against the wall so I slanted
rather than slumped over her lap.
Her words cut me long
before the belt. "You have been one heck of a naughty girl. You
are the most inconsiderate ... (here she brought the belt down -
CRACK!) ... rude ... CRACK! ... insolent ... CRACK! ... little bitch
... CRACK! ... that had ever been spawned ... CRACK!"
"Oww. Auntie, no." I
"Don't ... CRACK ...
give ... CRACK ... me ... CRACK ... no!"
"Auntie, I'm ... I'm
sor-sor-ry" I sobbed.
"CRACK ... sorry is
to late ... CRACK ... you will learn how to behave ... CRACK ...
if I have to beat it into you."
"No, no auntie. Please
"That's more like it
... CRACK ... Let me hear you say how sorry ... CRACK ... you are."
"CRACK ... what's that
dear? ... CRACK ... I didn't hear you ... CRACK ... say it louder."
"I'M SORRY" I sort of
squeaked and yelled.
"Oh, ... CRACK ... you're
not sorry enough yet ... CRACK ... Tell me why you are sorry ...
I could hardly breathe.
The lump in my throat was killing me, but I managed to blurt out.
"I'm sorry for being a bad girl."
"Better ... CRACK ...
are you ... CRACK ... going to ... CRACK ... bother your ... CRACK
cousins again ...CRACK"
"No auntie, no, I swear
"That's for damned sure,"
She affirmed. "You are nothing but a snotty little kid who has to
be taught her manners. There is plenty more lesson left in this."
She said flicking the belt, "Just in case you forget your place
in the future, missy!"
"Get up!" she commanded.
My ass and legs were
"Now, you've ruined
our day enough. We are going home. I want you to go sit in the car
while I get our stuff and your cousins get dressed."
I stood there sobbing.
"What are you waiting
"Your bottom is red
enough. I will keep these." She grabbed my swim suit bottom. "You'll
just walk to the car without them."
I couldn't stand there
forever. Besides the glare my aunt was giving me was too uncomfortable
to bear. I would have liked to put my hands in front of me to hide
my private parts, but my rear end hurt too much not to rub it.
I stepped out into the
sunshine. Jessica and Jeremy were there, smirking at my predicament.
I am certain they heard every word, and every belt lick. I gave
them a glance over my shoulder, not quite making eye contact, tears
streaking down my cheeks as I walked towards the parking lot.
Have any of you ever
sat with a naked butt on vinyl car seats on a July afternoon with
a well strapped behind?