#493) Piano Lessons

My new step mother was an expert piano player. She had other things that I didn’t like, agree with, and argued about, but this shouldn’t have been one of them. I wish (as a high school senior when she married into my family) that I had seen her strengths for what they were, instead of focusing on her faults.
She tried to teach me the basics of reading music and playing the beautiful black baby grand piano that moved into our house when she did. But I wouldn’t practice, so it all came to naught. I really wish that I’d been a better pupil; I’d love to be able to both read this strange new language, and translate those undecipherable marks into making the melodic music from that incredible instrument.
She didn’t know me, or how to deal with my headstrong ways. Looking back on it now, I wish that this was how my second piano lesson and what followed had transpired.
“Sit down and show me what you’ve learned since last time.”
I sit, but can’t play the practice scales because I hadn’t put in any time on them.
“Stand up, Jeanie.”
“What? Why?”
“You need to get in the habit of doing what I say, young lady.” She pulls me to my feet by seizing me under the armpits of my school uniform. I’m bewildered by the forcefulness employed, so it barely registers that she is now pushing me over the keyboard and flipping my pleated skirt up, out of the way. My mind focuses immediately with the first impact of the metal ruler that my stepmother had in hand.
“Ow! Stop!”
“I will not!” and nine more burning welts are administered to my tush through the seat of my underpants.
“Damn it, that hurts!”
“Watch your language,” and four more are added for this offense.
We are now standing toe-to-toe, looking eye-to-eye, both breathing heavily. I embody pure, teen-aged defiance, she embodies rules and order (enforced with an ominous ruler).
“Now you are to sit back down, practice concertedly for a full hour. I am going into the backyard to garden so I won’t have to listen to these baby steps. In an hour I’ll be back in to listen to your progress. Don’t disappoint me, Jeanie…” and before I can formulate any back-talk, she is gone from the room.
I sit, it stings, so I stand right back up. I pull my panties to the side and try to look over my shoulder to see how badly my poor butt is bruised. I’m not too successful. How dare that bitch do that to me! I’m a fucking senior in high school, not a child! But I’m too afraid to defy her outright, so I sit, and squirm, and try to focus on what I should have already learned. It is even more difficult to concentrate (with my pained posterior) than it was before. So I try, but not very hard. I’m amazed that an hour has flown by when I hear my stepmother come back inside.
As she takes off her brimmed hat and gardening gloves, she glowers at me. “I’m ready to be impressed…”
I try the dexterity piece. I’m a tiny bit better than I was.
“Not too impressive, Jeanie,” she bites off the words. I look back and see that she has that damned ruler in-hand again. “Stand up.”
I slowly obey, looking back at her with a new-found respect.
“Pull your panties down.”
“Please! No!”
I feel the ruler on the seat of my undies. “You are in the habit of saying that to me, and that’s going to cease!” I feel that blazing ruler some more. “Now pull your panties down and bend over to answer for your lack of diligence!”
I know that if I obey my rebellious mind and run to my bedroom, I’ll have to answer to my father, and under her spell, as he has been since they met, I’ll probably get twice the beating. So with trembling hands, I do as I’m told.
God! That bitch really gave it to me! I thought I might get ten licks or so. I tried to keep count in my head. I lost count after the blinding pain of the fifteenth swat landed, and mom just kept walloping. She only stopped when I broke down and sobbed from the indignation and hurt.
“You do not have to practice for more than an hour each day,” she then lectured. “You can choose to practice more, if you want to do so. But you must practice for that one hour daily without fail, or you will feel my wrath via this ruler. Understood?” I nodded. “Then you may go to your room and get started on your homework…”
I did try to practice voluntarily for a bit after dinner, hoping to impress her and show my dad what a wonderful daughter he had.
The next day after school, my stepmom was waiting by the piano when I came through the door. The ruler was on the piano bench, right next to where I’d have to sit my sore bottom. I put my bookbag down and went to the piano.
Aren’t you forgetting something?”
I looked over at her.
“Take your school skirt and underwear off first. That way, if you earn the ruler, I won’t have to wait to teach you the lesson.”
Hating her, I did a I was told. I actually performed better, didn’t feel that ruler. That isn’t to suggest that it was smooth sailing from then on. Some days I really got a blistering, some days just a few guiding licks, and on a few blessed days, my bottom stayed seated comfortably on that hard bench throughout the lesson.
Two weeks later, when I came through the door from school, three female friends of my stepmom were sitting in the living room. I’d never met them, they hadn’t been friends of my real mother’s. I did recognize one lady as the mother of Julie Jones, one of the cool clique in my class.
“Jeanie, I’d like you to show my friends your progress on the piano,” my stepmother said.
As I walked to the baby grand, I looked around for that dreaded ruler. I didn’t see it. I sat on the bench, half expecting the tyrant to order me to stand and bare my butt, but she didn’t. I started to play. Maybe this would be okay, I thought. Then I heard my stepmother’s voice stage-whisper to her friends, “It’s amazing what a little corporal punish can accomplish. Jeanie is an excellent music student… with the aid of the ruler…” My concentration was broken, my fingers messed-up. I looked over at my stepmom, horror stricken. “Overall, that was very nice,” she complimented as she poured her guests more tea. “You can postpone today’s practice until after dinner, Jeanie, thank you!” And her friends gave me a round of polite applause. I couldn’t concentrate on my Math homework up in my room; my mind was filled with the thought that Mrs. Jones was sure to tell her cool daughter that I still got spanked at home. Tomorrow would be hell in school…!

10 responses to “#493) Piano Lessons”

  1. Corporal punishment from my mother was a yard stick, my Dad’s was the doubled belt. I wasn’t a pain junkie then so the yard stick was my choice. Trouble was they always broke, then it was Dad’s turn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A defiant teenage girl learns a lesson when her perfectly pert bottom is blistered, hot and bothered then pressed against that cold hard piano bench for an hour of practice. No one noticed the mischievous teenage boy peeking through the window, or did they?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a good story that a story about that same imaginary story from mom,’s point of view would be enlightening and could add some unexpected twists that Jeanie was unaware of like her 3 friends also got the ruler while you watched and when mom sees you enjoying it….. If you ever feel inspired to take this on I promise to write a congulatory comment….
    Thanks for this post! I really liked it!This comment was one long sentence . My 11th grade teacher would probably have been tempted to punctuate my behind liberally.:(

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did learn piano and even took exams. I wasn’t that bad at it actually but the woman who taught me would rap one’s fingers with a short stick if you played too many wrong notes in your practice piece! I would have preferred them on my bottom!
    Sophie x

    Liked by 1 person

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