the princess and the pea[s]

January 8, 2005

It seems I inadvertently created a mini drama in my family the other day, thanks to Operation Pea Transport. Last week my brother drove down from spending Christmas in New Hampshire, bringing his college roommate to visit us here in Tennessee. As Alex drove down a few days after I flew back, my Mom loaded him down with a few things to deliver to my grandparents and to me.

One thing I should explain is that Mom habitually prepares a pot of peas and carrots for Mamie every night, and that when I am there for a visit, I am generally the only other person who eats peas. So, at the grocery store recently, a sale on canned peas prompted Mom to stock up. Then, the occasion of Alex’s departure led Mom to send 6 cans of peas to me as well, seeing as how she had a lot of them, she knew I liked them, and she does have a tendency to send random presents periodically. So, Alex and Ryan spent their 2 day drive battling the cans of peas that rolled around the floorboard at will—it did not seem to occur to them to contain the peas somehow.

But, Operation Peas was a success, and the peas made it. Until, that is, Alex gave my grandparents their basket of Northern goodies. Along with it, he left them the peas, not bothering to mention the fact that he intended to give them to me eventually. So, several days ago my grandmother thought to ask Mom why she had wanted them to have so many cans of peas. Confused for a moment, Mom replied that she actually meant for the peas to come to me. With her tendency to thrive on stress, and consequently create little crises regularly, GramBea was horrified that she had my peas.

At the time, Alex and Ryan were playing a game of scrabble with me, and when my phone rang, Alex answered it, since he was expecting a call from a friend. What I heard was: “Hello?” . . . “You’re gonna wop me??”

I looked up from my play and, once he was off the phone, asked Alex what that was about. He explained that GramBea was going to “wop” him because he hadn’t told her that the peas were for me, and that he had tried to assure her that he would make sure the peas reached their intended owner. We laughed and resumed our game. And, yes, he did present me shortly with a bag full of canned peas.

Then, last night, I walked into my grandparents house to retrieve the boys for our evening outing. As soon as GramBea heard me walk in, she came running down the hallway to greet me at the door, waving something in front of her. When she reached me, she shoved a can of peas at me. I took the can and looked at her questioningly. In a barrage of rushed words, she told me that, in her ignorance of the intended owner of the peas, she had actually already opened one of my cans, so I had to take one of hers to replace it. Now that I understood, I laughed and assured her that I had plenty of peas and did not need a replacement can.

So, Alex, Ryan and I began our evening with a good laugh about the need for more of a strategic mission next time, if Operation Pea Transport was to be a success.

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