I Don’t Want Papa Murphy’s!

“What is more principled than giving up some part of your position to advance the greater good?” -Arnold Schwarzenegger


What happens when you and your pizza-eating partner in crime don’t see pie to pie?

Some Fridays in the Luther household getting the stars aligned for the perfect pizza night can be a little tricky. Especially when the wifey wants gourmet veggie and I’m all about the grease laden pepperoni.

Well, this is a tale about a boy (me) who wanted a pepperoni slice the-size-of-his-head and a girl (Tess) who wanted a take n’ bake thin-crust with all the veggies and how we met in the middle and found happiness despite our differences.

It all started one Friday afternoon when a usually cherished topic of conversation turned into a heated debate. Tess had a deep desire for a Papa Murphy’s Gourmet Veggie, and I wanted, well anything, but, Papa Murphy’s.

I was sold on Chicago tavern-style pizza. I wanted something thin and party-cut in squares and loaded with cheese and pepperoni. And for that, Dahmens at Hawks Landing is the answer.

Now, I’ve got nothing against Papa Murphy’s, it’s great for a cozy night in and I love how they chop their veggies in small chunks (it’s one of the few places where my go-to is a pizza loaded with toppings), but that Friday I knew for certain, it simply would not do.

That left us in a pizza-night pickle.

I was tempted to slam my parmesan-shaker down and demand that we get the pizza my way! But, years of marriage experience have taught me that is no way to start the weekend.

On the contrary, I could always just give-in…but that’s a hard bite to swallow, especially when you look forward to Friday-night pizza as much as I do.

The best course of action?

Take a step back, open up our lines of communication and get to the root of the problem.

What were the “pizza-particulars” that were driving us in different directions anyway?

To uncover that mystery we had to do some digging. We needed to cross-examine each other and use questions to uncover our severed connection.

Step #1 when problem solving is to shut up and listen; that’s where the magic happens. So, it was time to put my pizza passion to the side and open my ears.

For starters, why did she want Papa Murphy’s? And why did I detest the idea?

Did Tess want Papa Murphy’s because she likes the experience of making it at home as a family? She likes it leftover? She wasn’t in the mood for red sauce (gourmet veggie comes on creamy garlic base)? Or did a thin crust veggie pizza just sound yummy to her?

It turned out that one of her ruling desires was a cracker thin crust (who can blame her) and pizza that would hold up leftover. I could work with that.

When we probed my mozzarella-covered motivations it was revealed that I too wanted thin crust, but I wanted traditional pizza flavors; red sauce, pepperoni, stretchy mozzarella.

By unearthing our real motivations, we could start to work towards common ground.

Now we had a common denominator, we both wanted thin. From there we could build the Friday night pizza eating experience we were both after. And thanks to the ease of building custom half and half pizzas on Papa Murphy’s website, we built a pizza that suited both out needs.

Tess got her Gourmet Veggie and I was won over with crispy thin-crust layered with pepperoni and extra cheese . A win-win.

The Luther pizza night negotiations showed me that beneath the surface, our interests are often more inline than we may think. Though the world seems polarized right now, we should remember to listen, attempt to see through other’s eyes and make an effort to meet in the middle.

What I’m eating: Papa Murphy’s half gourmet veggie, half pepperoni extra cheese.

What I’m reading: Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story -Arnold Schwarzenegger 

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