When I was a little girl, my father used to read me the story of "The Princess and the Pea" by Hans Christian Anderson. It is the story of a young woman who claims to be a princess. One stormy night she takes shelter in a prince's castle. The prince's mother decides to test if the young woman is really a princess, so she puts a pea in her bed and covers it with 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds. In the morning the princess tells her hosts that she had a dreadful night's sleep, because of something underneath the mattress. Of course, only a real princess would have the sensitivity to feel a pea through such a quantity of bedding. The prince and princess are married, and the pea is placed in the Royal Museum.
I loved the story, and I always used to laugh because I could identify with the princess. Ever since I was a child, I have gone through phases of having difficulty sleeping. I remember once asking my father to go outside and silence a cricket that was keeping me awake, chirping underneath my bedroom window. I was four years old. As a teenager, my mother often made hot milk for me at night, because I tossed and turned until the wee hours.
Yesterday I treated myself to the ultimate in luxury -- a feather mattress topper. I put it on my bed, put on clean sheets and climbed in. Oh . my . goodness. It was like lying on a cloud. I have never felt anything so comfortable. As I was lying there, I thought of the story of the princess and the pea. Even the princess would have difficulty finding anything wrong with this mattress.
Gosh, do you think that means perhaps I'm a princess?