The Princess and the (Intricate System of Sleeping) Pea

Have some empathy. This is how it really feels.

Conversation with my wife. It was one of those meaningful dialogues when you find out exactly how your loved one feels about you. You can never have too many of those…

Carrie: I was just thinking about how hard it’s going to be to sleep at the cabin now that we have a king size bed at home.
Me: Yes. That’s what makes it hard to sleep at the cabin. (rolls eyes)
C: Oh, that’s right. I’m sorry. I forgot you’re a real life Princess and the Pea. (rolls eyes back)
Me: Don’t give me that. You know I have trouble sleeping. And you’re all, “It’s so peaceful here.” And I’m all, “Dead silence is not peaceful. Dead silence is an invitation to listen for murderers and wild animals.”
C: (rolls eyes again) Yes, but it would be so much easier if you weren’t so particular about everything. Like, we watch a movie at night so you have some noise.
Me: Yes and let’s review what movies you want to watch and how every movie has at least one very loud scene when people are screaming, laughing, or clapping loudly.
C: Right. Like Notting Hill.
Me: Notting Hill is the worst! The last scene, when they are trying to get to Anna Scott’s press conference and “Gimme Some Lovin'” starts? That might be the loudest scene in the history of movies following scene after scene of quiet mumbling by British people.
C: At least you’re asleep during the quiet mumbling.  (She offers this as a consolation prize to getting no more than an hour and a half sleep at a time.)
Me: But I will take Notting Hill over Shawshank Redemption.
C: I don’t understand how you can. Shawshank is brilliant film-making.
Me: Shawshank starts out with gunfire and murder. Then it transitions to prisoners chanting until one guy cries and then gets beaten to death. Then one of the main characters gets raped. This is the first half hour of the movie. But you wouldn’t know – you’re always asleep by that point.
C: (defensively) It’s a fantastic movie.
Me: Oh yeah? Stay awake for it sometime.
C: Do you know how unnerving it is to wake up because we’re too close to each other and see that you always have your eyes open?  Always!
Me: You’re right. My bad. I should sense that magical moment when you decide to toss the rest of the covers onto me because it is 87 degrees at night and you’re hot.
C: We bought an air conditioner for the bedroom.
Me: Yes, and you guilt trip me every time I ask to turn it on.  Also we bought it two years ago. That left me with nine years of experience sleeping in the hottest heat known to man. I remember one night it was so hot I didn’t even want to breathe. And you were just snoring away over there and I thought, ‘How can the warmest person on planet earth sleep in this?’
C: Because it’s the cabin and it is peaceful.
Me: God when the cool breeze the weatherman had promised me finally came in through the window, I thought I might die from happiness. But before I could feel relief, you told me you were cold.
C: I was cold.
C: Why don’t you ever care about my feelings?
Me: Because at night, at the cabin, with the crickets and the weird rustling sounds under our bedroom (it is a trailer on cinder blocks so creatures move around under our bedroom) and Silence of the Lambs playing on VHS which finally ends with the cannibal escaping and then inevitably shuts off and begins rewinding, it is difficult for me to calm my heart rate far enough to care about your feelings.
C: I do NOT make us watch Silence of the Lambs at the cabin. Just at home.
Me: Right. Liar.
C: Once again, everything has to be just perfect for you to fall asleep.
Me: I’m just telling you that regressing to a queen size bed is the least of my concerns about sleeping at the cabin.
C: My favorite is when the dogs go bonkers because they hear something outside and you have to tell me about it in the morning because I didn’t hear it.
Me: Yeah, that’s my favorite, too.  You’re such a jackass.
C: Yeah, well, just be happy jackasses like to marry princesses or you’d be screwed.
Me: Right. Screwed by having to sleep in my central air conditioning far from nature and televisions I don’t have to watch loud movies on VHS to fall asleep.
C: We wouldn’t have to watch them on VHS if the sound of the DVD spinning in the player didn’t keep you awake. You have brought all of this on yourself.
Me: No. I’m pretty sure it’s my mom’s fault. (Hi, Mom!)

And scene.

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