Tuesday, December 11, 2012
WHAT IF? CHAPTER 20
She kissed Mildred on the lips and held that position for several long minutes.
Mildred sighed and stood up. She put her arms around Lin Lu and said “I suppose proper manners would dictate that I return your gift.”
She then kissed Lin Lu for longer than the first kiss. Mildred moaned when she felt Lin Lu’s tongue probing her mouth. When the kiss ended, they hugged for several more minutes. Mildred unconsciously let her hands run down the soft material of Lin Lu’s dress to her bottom. Then suddenly conscious at what she was doing, she caressed the soft cheeks through the dress and slip underneath.
“Naughty girl” she said and spanked Lin Lu’s bottom. “You’re not wearing a girdle.”
“That’s not all I’m not wearing, my dear” Lin Lu whispered into Mildred’s ear as she continued her assault of the latter’s mouth with her tongue.
“Lin, my dear, as much as I want to take this to the next level, I can’t. I love my husband very much and I would never betray him. Furthermore, I’m not sure I could keep such a beautiful affair quiet. So again, for Amos’ sake, I have to be satisfied with us being kissing cousins. Okay?”
Mildred kissed Lin Lu again, briefly and pulled away from her.
“Cousins are known to get together often” Lin Lu said and winked.
Another Five Years Later:
The man in the pulpit this Sunday morning did resemble the Reverend Amos Reynolds somewhat. Same size, same name, same…ah, well there was little else the same as the man that gave such a harsh sermon not so long ago. Instead of the heavy, black wool robe, this person wore a lightweight, light blue satin robe. The thick black hair that was styled in a high pompadour style now had streaks of blond highlights and was styled in a neat French twist. The hands he often waved around to emphasize a point now glinted from the clear nail polish. A close up look would show the curled eyelashes with just a touch of mascara. The biggest change was the way this new guy smiled so much. The other guy always had a dour expression. The congregation reflected the same changes. Bright, colorful clothing replaced the out of style dark clothes of before, even with some of the men. Of course, the ladies still wore hats but they too looked elegant and cheerful. Glancing from pew to pew would reveal how many men had let their hair grow longer and more than a few had obviously had their hair set the night before. And the congregation smiled and looked happy and sang the hymns with more gusto than ever before. The role of women in the church, previously limited to preparing and serving pot luck suppers and pancake breakfasts had changed most dramatically. They now served communion and read scripture lessons from the pulpit. One Sunday a month, a woman even delivered the sermon. Anyone who had attended the ham and beans supper last evening would not have been surprised to see men serving the food, all wearing pretty aprons and wearing the requisite hair nets. Even the pastor helped out, outshining all the others with his ruffled lace trim pink apron, his latest present from his mother-in-law. And instead of the so called invisible hair nets the other men wore, Amos wore a bright pink net around his curls. The apron and net were worn at Mildred’s orders and at Amos’ objection, though secretly he loved them. The church name and denomination had changed too. After some nasty battles with headquarters, the congregation had voted to withdraw from the Southern Baptist Conference and become an independent church. It was now called The Church of Love and Joy and had added over a hundred new members, though, on balance, sixty-five members had left due to the changes. Most shocking of all was the fact the church now had two lesbian members, Lin Lu and Rose.
After finishing his very uplifting, happy sermon, Amos looked around and marveled at the positive changes. He loved seeing members hug one another at the end of the service and how they laughed as they exited the church and greeted him warmly. He knew that Mildred could claim far more credit for all the changes but she was too modest to say anything and deferred to her husband, at least in public, though he knew that he was doing much more housework than ever before while she performed “the work of the lord”. Was it only five years since the infamous lightning strike and his subsequent conversion? He smiled, remembering those two months living with Agnes and Leon. They had been so kind and helpful getting him to “see the light”, along with Mildred’s constant “encouragement” as she called it. Amos would have called it nagging, but not to her face.
The evening after Mildred’s visit with Lin Lu, the two couples sat in the living room to watch the news, this time after both Leon and Amos cleared the table and washed the dishes after dinner while the women chatted amongst themselves.
“And keep your aprons on” Mildred called back over her shoulder as she left the kitchen. “We might have some other things for you boys to do this evening.”
The “boys” frowned at each other while the ladies laughed.
fetched his basket of curlers and began setting his wife’s hair. Leon
“Pay attention” Mildred mouthed to Amos.
“So, what would you two say about me cutting my hair and trying something new?” Mildred asked.
“Oh Mildred, I think that would be wonderful, though I do have to warn you that it might have to involve setting your hair every night and sleeping in curlers. What do you think,
?” she asked her husband as he held a roller tight against Agnes’ head and secured it with a plastic pick. Leon
With a blushing face over being asked about such a feminine matter, he answered nonetheless.
“I think you should go for it, Mildred. You do have beautiful hair and I think you would look much younger and more ‘with it’ with shorter hair. Perhaps a shoulder length bob that you could wear with a curly flip or with a smooth page boy. And you could wear a variety of up-do’s as well, which would show off your pretty neck. Oops, sorry, hope I have not been to personal.”
“Not at all
, I very much appreciate your comments. Strange as it seems at my age but I’ve never set my hair. Is it hard to learn?” Leon
“No, not at all, and I’d be happy to teach you, though it is much easier if you have someone do it for you. I’d be glad to do it for you while you’re here but you’ll have to learn sometime.”
“Well, maybe I can find someone to do just that before we leave” she said and looked pointedly at Amos, who also blushed.
“Gee, wonder who she’s talking about dear”
asked Agnes, adding one more roller to the straight line of them from Agnes’ forehead to the back of her head. Leon
“Don’t have a clue, dear. I’d be glad to do it too but it wouldn’t help once they returned to their own home. Now who else might she be referring to?” Agnes asked as she, and Leon and Mildred all turned and stared at Amos.
“Aw, come on guys, I’m a pastor, not a damn hairdresser. Oops, sorry for my language, and no offence to you, Leon.”
“None taken, Amos, but like you said last evening, how wonderful it was to see a couple in love. Seems to me you were referring to me setting Agnes’ hair. Right, Amos?”
“That’s the way I see it too,
” Mildred said. You do love me, don’t you Amos?” Leon
“Yes dear, you know I do. I love you with all my heart and soul.”
“So does that include your nimble fingers too?”
All but Amos laughed as they watched him twist in his seat.
“I suppose you’re referring to my nimble fingers setting your hair.”
“Gee, dear, you were always one to catch on so quickly. Yes, I’d love to have you set my hair, Amos. And I’ll bet you could get your good friend Leon to give you a few lessons.”
“Oh damn, now what have I got myself into” a defeated Amos said.
“For one thing, after two swears in five minutes, I think my naughty hubby will be tasting a new bar of Ivory tonight” Mildred said.
Agnes giggled and said to
“See honey, you’re not the only one that gets his mouth washed with soap.” Leon
“I’m afraid I won’t be around for the next few evenings to entertain you ladies”
announced with a touch of sarcasm. “I have to go to Leon for a very important trial. Hope you can handle things while I’m gone, dear.” Chicago
“Oh, it won’t be easy but I’ve had to suffer through your trips before. At least I have two good friends to keep me company this time” Agnes replied.
“And these two friends will be more than happy to help you in any way we can, right Amos?”
“Yes dear” Amos answered, sensing that Mildred had a plan in mind for her promise.
Sure enough, the next day Amos was called upon to “help in any way”.
Leon had got off early to catch his plane to . As he did in his own home, Amos had got the coffee percolating and was frying eggs and bacon for breakfast. When it was ready Mildred called to Agnes to come to eat. Chicago
“Just need a minute to get a wash going” Agnes said and then appeared in the kitchen with a basket of laundry to take to the basement.
“Oh my gosh Agnes, you look terrible” Mildred said and placed her hand on Agnes’ forehead. “And you’re burning up. What’s the matter, hon?”
“Combination of things, I’m afraid. I’ve had the sniffles for a couple of days and this morning it’s turned into a full blown cold. And to top it off, I got my period six days early. Oh, sorry Pastor, I shouldn’t mention something like that in front of you. Sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry about, dear. Amos is a big boy now and knows all about a woman’s menstrual cycle, don’t you Amos?”
“Yes dear” he answered shyly, looking down at the pan. And well he should know. Mildred’s mother had taught him all about the “curse” back when he began dating her daughter. She first of all had him go all by himself to the local Rexall store to purchase a big box of Kotex sanitary napkins. Amos was totally humiliated by this experience. Back then, it was unheard of for a man to buy something like this and the clerk was shocked when he placed it on the checkout counter. Then they did not have a bag big enough for this giant sized box and so he had to walk two blocks with the damn thing tucked under his arm in full view. The distinctive lavender color was noticed by several women, most of whom giggled as he passed by. One older woman stopped and stared and gave out a loud “Well, I never!” And that was not the worst. Once back in the house, Amos was given a very detailed account of how these napkins were used and all that went along with having a period.
“I expect that once you are married that you will assist my daughter every month during this experience” she commanded. And he had.
“You’re in no condition to do any laundry today, my dear. Put that basket down and I’ll take care of it later. You should go back to bed. Come on, I’ll tuck you in” Mildred said and led Agnes by the hand to her bedroom.
When she returned she and Amos sat at the kitchen table to eat their breakfast.
“I have a meeting with the Board of Deacons this morning, Amos so you’ll need to pick up here. Then I want you to do this laundry. Our hamper is almost full too so you can add our clothes. I see Agnes has some pretty panties in here so you need to hand wash them along with her nylons and girdles, just like you do mine. I expect to find you busy at the ironing board when I get back.”
“But Mildred, I can’t…” Amos tried to protest.
“Oh yes you can, and you will. You promised to stop being a hypocrite so today is a good time to start. Am I understood?” Mildred said sharply.
“Yes dear” he answered.
He did the dishes and helped Mildred dress then arranged her hair in her signature bun. He walked her to the door but she stopped in the kitchen and lifted the laundry basket and held it out to him.
“Do a good job, dear – or else.”
So Amos gathered up all the laundry for the two families and put a dark load in the washer. While that was going on, he sorted all the hand was items and put them in the large laundry tub to soak. All this he had also learned to do from his mother-in-law, even before she had become his mother-in-law. She had started him just doing Mildred’s things but then she decided there was no reason he should not do her dainties too. Though he would not dare admit it, he came to love doing this task, and it showed. It was bad enough he got excited when he did his fiancé’s lingerie, but it got worse when his mother-in-law’s stuff was added to the pile. Secretly, the ladies laughed at his bulging pants while he carefully washed the clothes in the scented, foamy water. He wanted to disappear the time Mommy walked by and commented “That’s disgusting. I should put you in one of my girdles, you dirty boy.” He knew exactly what she was referring to. Yes, he had been humiliated but at the same time he recalled how he became even more excited at the thought of wearing one of mommy’s girdles, preferably one that hadn’t been washed. What awful thoughts for a young seminarian to have, he thought.
He neatly placed all the hand wash on a wooden rack and placed that near the boiler so they would dry quicker. He had been harshly admonished by Mommy the first time he did this chore and put everything in the dryer. She had threatened him with a spanking if he ever did it again. The first load of wash was finishing and ready to be put in the dryer and a second load started in the washing machine. That gave him a break from the laundry and he went upstairs and made their bed and picked up all the clothes scattered about the room after Mildred’s search for just the right thing to wear to her meeting. He also cleaned their bathroom and left everything clean and shiny. Back downstairs, with his portable radio in his hand, he emptied the dry clothes on the Formica covered table and began folding until it was time to again empty the washing machine and transfer that load to the dryer. He checked the hand wash and found most items to be just damp, perfect for ironing. He set up the equipment and waited for the iron to heat up. It was time to turn on the radio to the classical music station. He loved the peacefulness of ironing clothes to the sound of the wonderful music. It became suddenly unpeaceful.
“Pastor, are you ironing my panties?” a shocked Agnes asked. Amos had not heard her come down the stairs. Was she angry with him for doing such an intimate act, he wondered?
“Ah, yes, ah, I am, ah, well, Mildred told me to, ah, you know, ah, do the laundry for , you know, both families” he stuttered. “I’m sorry if I did something wrong. Should I stop?”
Agnes began to laugh. “Not on your life. I just never expected to see the day when any man ironed my panties, never mind my pastor. Thank you, I’m very grateful. “
She looked around the laundry room and noticed all the work that had been done.
“Did you do all this?”
“Yes, Mildred had to go to a meeting and assigned me to laundry duty. Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Mind? I love it, but do mind doing it? Obviously this isn’t something new for you.”
“Yes, I’ve been doing our laundry since before we were married, and no, I don’t mind. I find it restful.”
Agnes sneezed and coughed.
“Darn, I better get back to bed, this is getting worse. I heard the dryer running and wondered if Mildred had cancelled her meeting, so came down to check. I’m sure glad I did. How many other women have found their pastor in their laundry room washing and ironing their clothes?
never irons my panties, but he will be from now on. I am truly blessed. Thank you, ah…Amos.” Leon
So, I’ve dropped down to a first name basis, as well as being a confirmed laundress, he thought. His exalted superiority was deteriorating rapidly and he knew he had a long way still to go to be truly humble.
My secret is out, thought Amos, and surprisingly, he was happy about it. He got back to the task at hand and whistled as he worked. My, my, what pretty underwear Agnes has, he said to himself as he very carefully guided the warm iron over the satin and lace material. He giggled at the thought of what it would have been like if Agnes had caught him in the pink housedress he normally wore to do his ironing. He decided that that day was not too far away. Even more exciting was the idea that he would be seen with curlers in his hair, as Mildred had threatened. He longed for that day to come.