Thursday, October 09, 2008

Last night: The Paris-Kapalua topless red eye train to nowhere

So, you know how sometimes "your friend" starts telling you all about this dream she had last night? And to her, it is SOOO fascinating, but really, it isn't, and as she drones on, you stop blinking, and then you start daydreaming that you are all alone doing your laundry or anything more interesting than listening to this bizarre fiction of her subconscious?

I mean, NOBODY wants to hear it. Well, nobody but Carl Jung. And Freud. Okay, fine, and Perls and Adler. But the rest of us? No.  

Oh. And by "your friend" I meant, me. 

Cause that's what I'm going to inflict on you today. My dream from last night.

It's my blog, I can bore you if I want to.

So it all started with a dinner reservation in Paris. Which is a good start. But then, I needed to go back to our hotel room and change. (Since I'm not going to bore you with trivial details, I won't tell you I needed to change because I was topless. That I'd heard about all the topless ladies on the French Riviera and decided hey, when in Rome, right?  Well, I don't know about the Roman dress code, it is probably pretty conservative, considering the Pope lives there; but it turns out that in Paris, you wear tops, generally. So there I am, standing in front of Fouquet's, wearing a short pleated kilt, knee socks, and trying to cover my chest with my arms and hands. It was more modest than you might think. My arms are ape-long, my hands are extra-crazy-large, and on my chest, there isn't so much to cover. Anymore.)

I decide to take the Metro to the hotel, but when I get on, I find that it is an express train out of town. I panic. Someone gives me a t-shirt that says "Kiss my grits," and a cell phone, but I can't seem to figure out how to text anybody in french. So I sit on the train for hours, hoping it will make a giant loop and take me back to where I began. Finally, I hear the conductor say the next stop is Kapalua. Which is on Maui. In Hawaii. 

I am hungry. Some nice Polynesian lady gives me poi. It was gross. I wanted my fancy Frenchy dinner. Then I remember that at home it is Thursday, and I forgot to hire a babysitter for Thursday. So my kids are all alone at home. So I am getting more and more stressed out, but still, I stay on the train.

I wake from this dream and start making kids' lunches for school. I am very tired of making sack lunches. Kids must be tired of eating them. I would actually rather clean toilets than make lunches. Then Sam rips the entire backside out of his Scooby-doo underpants while playing Legos (no idea how this happened, or why he is playing Legos when he should be getting ready for school), and wants to know if he should put them in the regular trash or the recycling. TRASH, OKAY! USED UNDERPANTS SHOULD NOT BE RECYCLED! IS NOT SANITARY!

So, I'm still thinking about my dream, and wishing I hadn't bought those three bags of Pecan Sandies Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Almonds, even thought they were super cheap. Even if someone wants to pay me $20 to take them home, I should just say no. Cause I eat them, for breakfast, while I blog about my crazy subconscious. MMM, tasty. But must stop eating. Might be going to New York next month. Need to save up calories for Carnegie Deli.

So, back to the dream. What does it mean? What might the experts say? 
Freud believed that dreams were often dangerous and repressed wishes and fantasies that the patient’s subconscious was trying to repress for the sanity of the patient.
So I secretly want to be topless? My conscious mind does not. It is a huge fan of underwire bras, actually. Or maybe I secretly want to be in Paris? Er, is no secret. Or maybe I secretly wish I was back on the Granada Hills High School Drill team, so I could wear that kilt? No, is nightmare, not secret dream.
Jung disagreed with Siggy. He believed the patient dreamed in order for the subconscious to actively communicate with the conscious mind with helpful archetypes of universal struggles all people need to deal with.
I think my dream dealt with two universal human struggles 
1. Do I vacation in Paris or Maui?, and 
2. What do I wear so I don't look like a tourist?
Alfred Adler agreed with Freud and Jung that dreams were the unconscious way to deal with things we feel powerless over in daily life, and that dreams were driven by our troubles in life, but not a war between the conscious and the subconscious. Dreams should be interpreted to incorporate the findings into helping the person actively deal with the issues during waking hours.
So what is my subconscious trying to fix in my waking life with this dream? In the interest of science, I will disclose that I often have dreams where I am in my favorite places, but can't seem to do anything.  Many times I am lost in London, trying to get to a West End show on the Tube. I end up very frustrated. I have been very busy this week. Maybe it was a little "stop and smell the roses" note from my unconscious mind. Could be. But why, then, was I topless? Is a mystery.
Frederick Perls, the Father of Gestalt therapy, wasn't big on dream symbols, but rather pragmatically sought to integrate rejected parts of the person’s whole which are expressed in dreams.
So according to Gestalt, my inner Parisian exhibitionist isn't getting enough air time. 

He's got a point, there. She is totally repressed. 

Oh, and BTW, I am well-qualified to interpret dreams because I took a psychology class at Pierce College (San Fernando Valley) during my senior year of high school (mostly so I could leave school early every day and get In-n-Out with my friends). I remember I turned in the etiquette paper I'd written in 5th grade. I called it "Psychology of Social Etiquette", and I got an A+. I'm not making up that plus, either. An actual plus, in college, on a paper I'd written at age 10. And I'm not saying my 5th grade paper was college-level. I'm saying maybe the JC system needs to raise the bar a bit. Seriously.

So what do you think? To which theory of dream analysis do you subscribe? Do you have any crazy dreams? This is your chance to share, cause your real-life friends don't want to hear it. 

But I do. I want to hear it.


nevadanista said...

I hate those dreams when I'm somewhere I've been longing to be, but something like being topless on a train bound to nowhere screws it all up. I have those too. Although, I don't remember ever wearing kilt in any.

Naked in public dreams are always awkward and never enjoyable. Cheating dreams (in which I am the cheater) are such a relief to wake up from. I'm kind of bummed that I can't ever enjoy a glass of wine in my dreams, because I'm guilt ridden even while sleeping. Doesn't it seem fair that we should at least be able to indulge in our dreams without the dream ending in a confessional? Just let me have some guilt free fun that I I can blame on my sub-conscious please!

To me, dreams are simply our thoughts unedited, uninterrupted, and free from the judgements of our own conscious - so they wander freely wherever they please.

Love your writing btw. You always crack me up!

Kellie Buckner said...

The weirdest dream I ever had was from when I was a really little kid, like elementary school age. I dreamed that my older sister (10 years older) was like a child and wanted to play a video game at a really weird antique mall that only had red lights. The game consisted of a platform which would slowly descend. The point of the game was to have someone put a pizza on the head of the person in the platform and then pull them up out of the hole. If they didn't and the person on the descending platform reached the bottom, then they would die. Literally. I kept trying to get her out, but she didn't want to come out. She thought it was funny. I think it means I, at the age of 10, was more mature than her at the age of 20.

Your dream was funny. I hate it when you're in one place and then all of a sudden you're somewhere else. It always throws me. You'd think I'd realize it's a dream.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I always have that dream! Mine usually is topless or completely nude and I'm looking for something like a potato sack to throw over myself. I'm always totally embarrassed, but it was my choice to be in that state, so don't know why I'm embarrased. Oh, and I'm usually at Disneyland and I'm trying to ride some ride, but something is stopping me (surprisingly not the full on nudity), like only 5 minutes to closing time or something. Why Disneyland, you ask? Perhaps because Disneyland is sentimental for me since we went there all the time growing up, but now that I live across the country, I miss it.

I find that my dreams are often representative of my fears. Like the fear of not getting things done/

I love that you looked up all these theories. Very interesting!

I hope you can come to NYC next month! It's such a cool place and I feel so lucky to live so close. We're going in for a day trip next week to get some family portraits taken at central park.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Well, first of all, Kapalua was my absolute favorite place on Maui (in Hawaii). Yay Kapalua! Second, I was always taught that being without certain articles of clothing in dreams is simply a sign of insecurity. We all feel insecure about different things and it seems that you might have been feeling, er, inadequate in some way. Mostly, though, dreams are weird. There is also the theory that dreams are simply the brain's way of getting recreation--you know, like recess during elementary school.

Anonymous said...

While it is true that listening to others' dreams can be boring, this was not boring. Very amusing.

I have similar anxiety dreams -- ones where I get on the wrong train, ones where I'm trying to find my clothes to put them back on, etc. But Kellie's weird dream reminded me of a super-weird recurring one from my childhood:

We had water in our family's home, about 2 feet deep, and there were large fish swimming around, that we raised as livestock. The way you harvested the meat was to cut a large slab off of the back of the fish. It didn't kill the fish to do so, and eventually that part of the fish would grow back and could be harvested again.

(I dare you to interpret that one.)

I knew someone in college who had a recurring nightmare that she would go down to the basement and there was no light down there and they would walk around on something squishy and eventually realize she was walking on dead bodies. I have to admit I always wondered whether there wasn't some horrible thing she'd repressed that was trying to get free with that dream -- or anyway, something in her life that was subconsciously really troubling her.

(I can't even remember the name of this long-ago acquaintance, but I'm still feeling a little guilty sharing her nightmare. But there's about a million-to-one chance she'd ever run across this. Right? Hope so.)

P.S. I came here from Mormon Mommy Blogs. I've been here before too, but I don't know whether I've commented before. (I just kinda comment wherever and whenever I feel like it.)

Corrie said...

Crazy! I dreamt last night that it snowed. hated that. I've had teeth crumbling dreams and don't know where my next class/locker/test notes are.
Also showing up at a fabulous buffet, loading my plate and wake up before the first bite.
Dreams are wacky.

Frumpy Luv said...

I just can't get passed the "kiss my grits" t-shirt - THAT IS SO FUNNY!!!! And I can't help coveting it. I think I need to get one. I'm going to google now to start my search.

wonder woman said...

I find that most of my dreams (the ones I can remember) are just random details from my day thrown together.

I'd say topless = confident in your body and sounds like it might be kinda fun.

kilt and knee socks = did you think about high school or someone from high school recently?

metro being train out of town = wanderlust. Do you want to go on a vacation, even if it's not exotic?

kiss my grits and cell phone = your HILARIOUS sense of humor & practicality

Kapalua = again, the wanderlust. And haven't you been to Hawaii?

Thursday and no sitter for the kids = you're a mom. Do you need to get a sitter for something coming up?

Stay on the train = maybe it'll take you home, or back to france.

For the record, I have absolutlely NO qualification for dream interpretation. But DH always has these epic dreams that we interpret. It's fun.

Adrian said...

Thanks for sharing. I always think I am the only one who has totally bizarre and disjointed dreams like this. My husband will wake up and say he had a dream that he was skiing, or that he was the mayor or something and I'm like - what else? No flesh eating monkeys? no dancing elephants? your high school principal didn't show up in a tutu? How strange!

I never have the naked dream, but there's usually something about a bathroom. Where I have to go to the bathroom, but there's no walls or doors, or the toilet is in the middle of the library or something. Very disconcerting!

I think it's just your brain watching TV while you sleep and switching channels constantly.