It’s hard to believe given that I now have the attention span of a three-year-old, if that, but I used to read legitimate books. Before L.O.A.D.D. (Late Onset Attention Deficit Disorder) felled me, I actually made it through several of Freud’s definitive works. And I have since been fascinated by dreams.
I believe that the way a person conveys his or her dreams to others reveals a great deal about his or her personality. Some people don’t remember them at all (repressed and possibly homicidal), some people find their own dreams totes embarrassing or too disturbing to admit (self-loathing and possibly homicidal), and some people obviously embellish them for dramatic purposes (narcissistic and possibly homicidal).
One can also extract much comedic material from dreams, once the initial horror/creepiness/confusion has passed. When my friend Loren was pregnant with her daughter, she dreamed the baby was born fully healthy but small enough to fit in her pocket, and thus, could be transported all over the city with grace and aplomb. A “stash-n-go” baby, if you will.
My friend B told me that in 6th grade, she dreamed she had a fight with another girl. The fight was so real that B couldn’t bring herself speak to her opponent for a week (they’re Facebook friends now, thank God).
In college, my sister called me to report a dream so unsettling she could hardly admit to having it. But the burden was too big for her to shoulder alone, so she confided in me and one of her roommates.
Jamie: “I had a dream that I hooked up with a dog.”
Me: “So you dreamed about an ugly guy, what’s the big deal?”
Jamie: “No. I mean … [insert whisper] an ACTUAL DOG.”
Me, after a looooong pause: “Uh … yeah. That’s odd. I’m not gonna lie.”
Now, I had the decency to wait a solid 15+ years to blab the contents of that dream here, but her roommate lasted a mere 15 seconds. My sister went downstairs to the living room a few hours later and found a group of Delta Kappa Epsilon brothers watching some 70s game show re-run with her friends.
“I love this show!” she said, as young Dave/Jeff/Josh/Mike/Andy/Jason turned to face her royal deviance head-on.
“Hey Jamie … the password is … CANINE.”
Eek. Guess the Snausage was out of the bag …
I myself am no stranger to freakish dreams, and often remember my nocturnal visions. But until I was in my late 20s, I never once had a famed recurring dream.
At first they were all about my contact lenses, for some reason. I would be struggling to insert ginormous, pizza-sized lenses. Each failed effort meant another smack on the forehead with the oversized contact. Sometimes, Kiki (my roommate, close friend and contact wear-age consultant) would have to roll them across the apartment into the bathroom for me. Sometimes, I’d think they were safely in place and that I could see well enough to drive. Then, while speeding along the Garden State Parkway, I’d realize I was actually legally blind.
Soon, the contacts were out of the picture, but the driving-while-blind theme took center pillow. At least once a week I’m still treated to a private screening of a movie about driving while I can’t see, being completely lost in a place that should be completely familiar (Scotch Plains, Philadelphia, the Upper West Side), or driving and being unable to control the car.
Then came the government-issued dream about the test that will decide my high school or college fate, in a class I didn’t realize I was taking and thus, did not attend all semester. Or the one in which I am about to get on a plane for a very long trip (usually to Tokyo or Shanghai), totally unprepared. I have no suitcase, no carry-on, and no emergency Hershey bar. I also have a middle seat in Coach. Freud and most Google search results agree that these are garden variety anxiety dreams, and that I feel unprepared, judged, regretful and totally lacking in confidence. Shocker!
But for the past year or two, I’ve been plagued by another one whose roots I really don’t understand. The background scenarios vary, but have two things in common. I am usually ill-at-ease wherever I am, and I always end up desperately needing to visit the toilette. Unfortunately for Dream Me, there is a major problem with every facility I find. These major problems include, but are not limited to:
- Broken door, door with no lock, or no door at all
- Above, plus presence of mean girls from high school in immediate vicinity
- Revoltingly filthy stall and/or bathroom
- Revoltingly overflowed toilet and/or sink
- Revoltingly flooded stall and/or bathroom
- Toilet that is too high for someone of my smurf-sized stature to reach
- Toilet that is covered with delightful “souvenirs” left by the previous user
- Toilet that is blocked by seemingly rabid wild dogs (my personal favorite)
No one is really sure what this particular brand of dream means. If anyone would like to offer a psychoanalytic opinion, I welcome the input. My own theory is this: I am weird.