So I got my days confused and thought it was a photo day when it’s actually a blog post day, so you get both. Lucky you!
This week, I’m working at a local theater’s production of Once Upon a Mattress. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a comic retelling of “The Princess and the Pea,” and it originally starred Carol Burnett. I’ve had the soundtrack for years, but have never had the opportunity to see the show, so it should be exciting!
I never quite understood the pea test as a signifier of royalty. I get the premise, of course, but there are so many things that could go wrong, resulting in an invalid result. Maybe the subject is awake all night due to guilt and fear because she’s not a real princess. Maybe a real princess doesn’t wish to be rude by saying “Your guest bed is super lumpy; what’s up with that?” Also, if your potential wife is kept up by a pea under a whole bunch of mattresses and feather beds, you might want to take the practicality of that into account before actually marrying her. If she’s highly sensitive emotionally or morally, fine; you probably want at least one of that sort of person in the royal court. If she’s that physically sensitive, however, that could be a sign of a serious health problem.
On second thought, perhaps this is less of a fairy tale, and more a realistic account of how hemophilia entered the bloodline of 19th century European royalty. Let this be a lesson to you, you heads of hereditary power: strange women who show up on your doorstep and bruise at errant legumes in the bedding might not be the best candidates for continuing the family line!