One lunchtime about fifteen years ago, a family friend uttered a phrase which has firmly entrenched itself into our family lexicon: “Enough of your dreams”. In our family, this phrase is used to indicate that the speaker has had the floor for long enough and should let someone else have a turn. It also has a nice snarky undertone which we enjoy.
It happened like this. I had arranged to meet a working friend for lunch. As it happened, the scheduled day turned out to be a half school day for Susan (age 10), Ellen (age 8) and Amy (age 4), so we met at Chevy’s and I brought the kids. As Amy played with her raw dough from the tortilla machine, Susan launched into a description of a really interesting (to her) dream she had the night before. Naturally, Ellen was eager to share her dream also. I was enjoying my margarita and making little noises as if I was listening, when my friend decided (correctly) that listening to long, rambling descriptions of children’s dreams was maybe not the best use of our time.
“Enough of your dreams,” she declared. I laughed so hard I wasted some of my nice margarita, and the kids were so surprised that they actually stopped talking for, like, a minute.
Despite that excellent advice, I am now going to share two of my dreams. Like many people during this quarantine, I have been having very vivid dreams. I have no reason to get up in the mornings, so I usually sleep pretty late. The last two mornings I have been awakened suddenly right in the middle of dreams, so I remember them very well.
Yesterday I knew that the screen door repair guy was coming, but I didn’t know when, so I figured I’d just sleep in my nicer pajamas and a bra and pop out of bed when he showed up.
Side note, during quarantine we have had to have the plumber over six times, the termite guy three times, and the screen guy twice. Remember before the virus times, when you had to do an elaborate scheduling ballet to find a time when the professional was available and you were at home? Now they just tell me they’re coming on Thursday and assume I will be here. I mean, they’re not wrong, but I always feel compelled to say, “Aren’t you going to ask if I’ll be at home?” and then indulge in despairing laughter.
Yesterday I was sleeping soundly at 9:30 a.m. when the screen guy pulled up in his truck. I was right in the middle of a dream about my middle daughter, Ellen. She has been sheltering with Larry’s middle sister, Beth, in rural New Jersey. Ellen has integrated nicely with the Powell family who have welcomed her warmly. In my dream, we all went to visit the Powells, and Ellen told me that she was enjoying herself so much that she had decided that she was a Powell now. She wouldn’t even hug me.
I was so shook by this dream that I texted Ellen immediately upon waking. She assured me that she still regards herself as a Lang, so that’s good.
Yesterday was Susan’s birthday, and we stayed up very late after cake and presents watching Rookie Blue, Susan’s favorite television show.
This morning I was awakened suddenly by a delivery truck and I was about to be annoyed until I looked at my phone and saw that it was 11 a.m. That’s late even for me; in fact, I think it is a new quarantine record.
I was right in the middle of a dream in which me and Larry and that perpetually sad woman from Four Weddings and a Funeral were living in an apartment in Berlin. We had tickets for Depeche Mode in the evening. I went down to the Späti to get a snack and got very lost.
I have heard people describe anxiety dreams about an exam they didn’t know about, being naked in public, being chased, falling, drowning, missing a plane, etc. But I basically have one anxiety dream with variations: I am lost, I am late, and I can’t find a toilet.
As I was wandering lost in dream Berlin without my mobile phone, a kind stranger offered to let me use his phone, but it was all in German? I didn’t know the address of our apartment and I knew that Larry and Kristin Scott Thomas were going to be SO MAD because I was making them late for Depeche Mode. I hadn’t got to the toilet part yet when the truck woke me up, thank God.
Tonight I think I will try to get to bed a little earlier…