Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Dreamed a Dream...

Don't worry, I'm not going to describe my dreams here. I'm not that person. I might, if prompted, recall a dream in person from time to time...obviously on the keen lookout for social cues, like body language and eye contact that screams, "STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR DREAM, NO ONE CARES." But since that's harder to convey on a blog (check out the comments section!), I'll avoid.

These past few mornings, I've been struggling. First, with trying to shake that disorienting and sickening feeling from a particularly disturbing and realistic nightmare, but mostly with the responsibility that befalls anyone who dreams about someone they know: do you tell that person?

Of course, there's a gray area. What was the content of the dream? Was it funny? Would it be funny to them? Are there extra implications for announcing that the person popped into your subconscious? Then, there's all the extra baggage with dreams. What do they really mean? What is your brain trying to tell you about your life? Are you foretelling the future? Do you want to have sex with me? Blech.

I'm sure, in almost all situations, it's best to let it go. Nothing is really gained from reaching out to someone to say, "Hey! You were in my dream last night! We rode out a tiny tornado in an old Volkswagon van together, then you found a centipede in your mouth but you weren't upset about it, and then a penguin with one leg and a British accent appeared and guided us to safety....hope you're having a good day!" Nope. Nothing gained but a weird look or noticeable silence in Gchat.

But that doesn't mean you won't do it. You will. Becuase it feels like you had some kind of shared experience with the other person, and you need to follow up and check in, but here's the thing - YOU DIDN'T - unless you're having some kind of weird twin dreams, and if that's the case, I suppose there's the argument to share every dream you have ever. In 99.9% (not a real science percentage) of dreams, you are alone with your disturbing and effed up thoughts, projecting people you know or don't know in settings that really symbolize some crazy shit you're dealing with. Alone.

Then, there are the sexy dreams. In most circumstances, I would really hope you don't tell the other person. It's almost as awkward as actually having sex with them. Sometimes, if you're particularly socially retarded, you just can't help yourself. It comes out as a slightly crazed, extra winky, "You were in my dream last night...", followed by some eyebrow action (if you're a cartoon character). I've been on the receiving end of such a's worse. You don't know the details, you don't want to know the details, you're just left with that, hanging in the air like a particularly unflattering pair of panties on a clothesline.

The very worst is if your stupid brain can't completely distinguish whether or not it maybe actually did happen. I recently had a dream (OR WAS IT) in which a friend I haven't spoken to in awhile told me she was pregnant. I had decided to let this one go and not let her in on my subconscious because it definitely fell into the whole "what if dreams tell the future" category. And while that's mostly ridiculous, you don't want to freak out your "I can take the pill at any time of the day and it still counts" friend. But then...THEN! I started to wonder. Was it a dream? Or was it REAL LIFE? Uh-oh. Suddenly, I needed to scour Facebook for hints of preggernouncements. And take my pill. I do enough awkward social tip-toeing when I'm awake. She's not pregnant. I eventually asked. It didn't go well.

I guess it's all in the gray area. It's up to personal discretion and tactful delivery. Always casual. Or? Keep it to yourself.
Unless it's extra heartwarming or ridiculously hilarious...that person is probably better off not knowing what they were up to in your head in the middle of the night. You don't even really want to know.

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