Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Princess and the Pea

Lori and I were squabbling yesterday about the things people squabble about in relationships...the distribution of chores, the need to feel valued and respected, and the need, sometimes, to be compassionate instead of right. (This may be my weak spot...a little.)

Anyway...somewhere along the line, the Princess and the Pea story came up, and we figured out where we're fundamentally different. We decided to put the question out there to you, our Friends and HomeSkillets.

The Princess, as you'll recall, was such a delicate flower that she had to sleep on twenty mattresses to avoid being kept awake by a single pea under her bed. At some point in the midst of the squabble, we managed to articulate how our strategies for dealing with discomfort are very different. If I were the Princess, I'd crawl under there and dig out that damn pea that had been making my life so goddamned miserable for so long. Lori, on the other hand, would try adding a 21st mattress...maybe that'll cushion that pesky pea.

So when we argue, it's the same thing. I want to get in there, identify that goddamned pea, and get rid of it. It's a pain in the ass now, but at least that's one problem that's off your plate forever.
Lori wants to see first if maybe it's not really the pea...maybe we just need to go out to dinner and let someone else deal with the dishes. Maybe we'll discover then that it wasn't the pea at all, it was the stress-induced insomnia keeping us awake. Add a little extra cushion to the stress, maybe a couple more mattresses, and maybe it won't be so uncomfortable.

Needless to say, we're coming at this from very different perspectives. What say you, Internet? What's your solution to the Princess and the Pea dilemma?


Kwach said...

Or, as we put it when we were laughing about it in the car ... is the problem that goddamn gargantuan pea, or is the princess over-sensitive?

Ev always read that fairy tale as a cautionary tale about dealing with the small problems before thay become big problems. I always read it as a story ridiculing the princess for being so sensitive she could even be annoyed by a pea under a pile of perfectly comfy mattresses. So, the cautionary tale (to me, in my own impressionable youth) was not to be a princess ... it was barely even about the pea.

Carrie said...

I think the solution is to burn the whole fucking house down and move across the country.

But we all deal with things in our own way, right? :)


I think the real problem was the prince and his damn irrational family (i.e.: external expectations, conditioning, manipulation). We're inundated with so much crap all day long that we simply accept and absorb without question that it's often very difficult to separate that from what's going on in our personal relationships (i.e: the princess thinks it's perfectly normal to have to sleep on 20 mattresses just to prove her value??) I could deconstruct this all day long, but that would get boring


This morning when I came into work my assistant immediately came at me with a problem, as she often does. Sometimes I can just give her a solution and go about getting my day going, but today, I ranted and raved.

I went on about how this bothers me about this person and that bothered me about that person and how the whole company, no the whole world was full of dumbasses. After I was done with that little moment, I told her to just go downstairs and fix it, because I didn't want to deal with it. I am sure she was happy to leave the room.

She went downstairs, talked to some people, made some phone calls and realized that it was not that fixable and did what she could, and that was the end of that, for the moment, but it would work out in the end.

A little while later I went through the showroom and past the warehouse and someone said something to the effect: I will be glad when you have surgery and you go back to being you.

The problem was not the issue with my shipment, the problem was me and my dealing with my own problems and in the stress of the situation bleeding them over onto others.

It's not the damn pea...it's never the damn pea. If you remove the pea, their will be a feather coming out of a pillow or something.


Did I just babble?

Anonymous said...

Solution? You've figured it out! Acknowledge the difference and laugh. Each of you give in - let her sleep on 21 (or 22, or 23) mattresses every once in a while, and Lori, let her dig the damn thing out every now and then. There! (brisk whiping of hands); what's the next problem? :-) Robin

Kwach said...

Robin ... it would be spiffy if she could just get rid of the offending pea while I'm at work or something, and we could climb up on the mattresses and sleep, but she expects me to participate in this pea excavation, and she resolutely refuses to just scooch over and ignore it.

Something about "relationship maintenance" ... it all sounds very butch, like it might require hard work and a tool belt.



Anonymous said...

Oh Lori - I'm sure Ev thinks you look damn cute in a tool belt!
:-) Robin

Tim said...

I say one get the pea, the other make Pea Soup. Maybe some nice bread or rolls to go along with it. Everything is better after eating a nice, home-cooked meal.

Suzanne said...

I'm with Urban Pedestrian. The Prince and his family were uppity assholes. On the other hand, if I were the princess, I'd most likely tear all the mattress down to figure out what the fuck was causing my discomfort. My husband is more the Lori - he'd rather throw another cushion on top. He likes pretending that problems will evaporate if you ignore them. They just irritate me more, though.