Monday, March 26, 2012
Modern-Day Princess (and Prince) and the Pea
Well, in Andersen's fairy tale, there was a prince who wanted to marry a real princess. He traveled the world looking for his princess but had no way of knowing if the young women who claimed to be royalty were indeed his equal. Frustrated and sad, he returned home alone.
Then one night during a terrible storm, there was a knock at the castle (I assume it was a castle) door. Standing there was a sopping wet young woman who claimed she was a princess. She sure didn't look like a princess with her stringy, wet hair and soaking wet clothes.
Okay, thought the old queen. I know just what to do to find out whether this young woman is an imposter or the real deal. The queen went to a guest bedroom (who knows how she decided which one of what must have been dozens), stripped the bed down to the frame, placed a pea on the bottom, and then piled twenty mattresses and twenty elder-down beds (whatever they are) on top. The supposed princess was instructed to relax for the night.
"And how did she sleep?" the old queen asked the next morning.
"Well, not well . . . not well at all."
There was, she said, something hard underneath her all night, and she didn't sleep a wink.
Ah, ha! She must be a princess after all, reasoned the prince and his parents.
"Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin."
The princess and prince were married and, as best we know, they lived happily ever after and never had a mattress issue again.
Well, that's more than I can say for my husband and me. After almost 19 years with the same mattress, we took the plunge and bought a new one. Like Goldilocks who tested three kinds of porridge, three different chairs, and three different beds, we lay on almost every mattress in the store.
"This one's too hard," I said.
"This one's too soft," he said.
"I like the memory foam," I said.
"I hate the memory foam," he said.
And so it went. Back and forth. One mattress after the other. Finally, I laid down the gauntlet.
"Okay, either we make a decision or go someplace else," I said. "We're driving this poor salesman crazy."
"Oh, no," the young man said with limited enthusiasm. "This happens all the time."
My husband reluctantly agreed to try Serta's new memory foam mattress, a compromise between the glorified Tempurpedic and a regular firm mattress with inner springs. We were given up to 90 days to decide whether we wanted to keep it or return it for another mattress of comparable price in the store.
Well, it didn't take long for my husband to convince himself that we'd made a big mistake. He tiptoed out of bed in the middle of the first night with a sore back and slept fitfully the remainder of the night in our old bed that we'd moved to the guest bedroom.
"I'll never sleep in that bed again," he said. "So, we either return it or we're in separate beds forever."
Now, after living with this guy for more than 30 years, I've come to expect such dramatic pronouncements. So, I just nodded and went on with my day. He did sleep in the guest bedroom the next night but crawled into our new Serta on night #3.
"I can punch my fists into it," he said as he pushed his weight into his fists. "Look at the indentation. That can't be good. I need support."
So, back to the mattress store we went. At this point, I didn't care what mattress we settled on. I just wanted a decision. After spending far too much time, we (he) decided to go with a firm Tempurpedic.
Of course, a few days later he announced "I like the Serta!"
I wanted to murder him. Just like my husband to change his mind.
But change his mind he could not. So, out with the Serta and in with the Tempurpedic.
To tell the truth, I'm finding this new mattress a bit too firm, but I'll suffer through, if for nothing else to prove to my husband yet again that I'm the good sport who can roll with the punches - though will never be able to roll with ease on our new mattress.