Logic dictates that if you give someone a choice of options, and they are not familiar with the work level of each, they will inevitably choose the hardest one. That is not a scientific fact, but a hypothesis proven true time and time again by my husband. My text to him, as I boarded the bus, read:
What do you want for supper? We have mac'n'cheese*, some kind of pork thing, spaghetti, and pizza on the menu.
What he missed out was the asterisk which took the meal from KD or one-pot-stove-top-mac'n'cheese to a relatively healthy version involving cottage cheese, whole wheat noodles and squash. Oh, and a whole lotta work.
I scalded my fingers on freshly roasted butternut squash. It spilled all over the counter and onto the floor.
I mashed the squash and mixed in the pasta, cheese and milk and poured it into the inevitably too small casserole dish and, of course, stepped in the pile of squash on the floor (it is very aptly named).
Again, I swore.
I shredded some cheddar to top it off, but took off more skin than cheese, and, as I applied pressure to the wound, I stepped on the pile of squash on the floor.
And for the third time I swore.
My husband is a smart man -- considered top of his class, even offered his choice of the top two internships to round out his program -- but even he couldn't navigate these stormy waters. After the second dose of swearing, he came out to see what was wrong, or if he could help, and I bit his head off.
After the last set of swearing, I waited not so patiently in front of the stove, waiting for him to come out to see how things were, getting angrier by the second, muttering under my breath: "whose going to help me make this mac'n'cheese*? Not he? Then who will eat this mac'n'cheese*? Not he!"
It seems the angrier I get, the more of a martyr I make myself. Accept help? But then I can't spend the next three days patting myself on the back for doing it alone, and guilting others for not having helped along the way.
Now the original Little Red Hen wasn't so much the self-promoting martyr, if I remember correctly. However, it has been some time since I gave any fairy tales a read. However, more recently to memory comes the Stinky Cheese Man and his fairly stupid tales, including the Little Red Hen who complains through the entire book that no one will help bake bread... and oh, that she doesn't get to tell her story in this book, too.
I fear the day that my niece (or, even worse, the day my own not-yet-conceived children) realize that more often than not, my martyrdom is akin to the character of parody and not that of the slightly more morally righteous original. I feel, however, that as long as I know the difference and which side of that paradigm I am treading on, I should be able to get along all right.
And maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't hurt to learn to say "yes" when someone does offer to help make the