Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Princess and the Pea

Could there be a pea somewhere in my new mattress? I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since it came into my life on January 2. How did I know that the latest and greatest mattress incarnation would keep me awake at night? I tried lots of mattresses in the store for a long time before I selected the one I bought. For lying around it was great; for sleeping it’s not so good.

Every night I wake up wondering if my new mattress is caving in. That plushy stuff is hard to get used to, especially after sleeping on the old traditional mattresses for a jillion years. After all, that’s why I got rid of my old one; there were dents and caved in spots in it.

The mattress came with a money-back guarantee. Problem is that the store mandates that you wait 60 days before that process can begin. Their data shows that people start adjusting to their new mattresses after 40 nights or so. After 60 days, the store figures the customer won't ever be satisfied.

I'm one of those customers. Last night I slept in the guest room on an inexpensive mattress that has been used fewer than 100 times in the last 15 years. I slept like a rock—or maybe a princess. I guess that's where I'll be sleeping until March 2!

Now this is a true story. And in case you’ve forgotten Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the Princess and the Pea, I’m including it here.

There was once a prince, and he wanted a princess, but then she must be a real Princess. He traveled right around the world to find one, but there was always something wrong. There were plenty of princesses, but whether they were real princesses he had great difficulty in discovering; there was always something which was not quite right about them. So at last he had come home again, and he was very sad because he wanted a real princess so badly.

One evening there was a terrible storm; it thundered and lightninged and the rain poured down in torrents; indeed it was a fearful night. In the middle of the storm somebody knocked at the town gate, and the old King himself sent to open it.

It was a princess who stood outside, but she was in a terrible state from the rain and the storm. The water streamed out of her hair and her clothes; it ran in at the top of her shoes and out at the heel, but she said that she was a real princess.

'Well we shall soon see if that is true,' thought the old Queen, but she said nothing. She went into the bedroom, took all the bed clothes off and laid a pea on the bedstead: then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on top of the pea, and then twenty feather beds on top of the mattresses. This was where the princess was to sleep that night. In the morning they asked her how she slept.

'Oh terribly bad!' said the princess. 'I have hardly closed my eyes the whole night! Heaven knows what was in the bed. I seemed to be lying upon some hard thing, and my whole body is black and blue this morning. It is terrible!'

They saw at once that she must be a real princess when she had felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin.

So the prince took her to be his wife, for now he was sure that he had found a real princess, and the pea was put into the Museum, where it may still be seen if no one has stolen it.

Now this is a true story.

1 comment:

  1. Now, Mary Gordon, if you start sleeping on the guest bed, you defeat the intent of the 60-day rule, doncha know.

    I wanted to let you know that I'm passing on to you the "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade" Award. Or, in your case, When Life Gives You a Pea, Make Pea Soup" Award. I hope you'll pass it on to 10 other deserving blogs!