Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Improper Poll: (Don’t) Give Me a Hand

I recently read an article on weird dreams and what they mean. Nowadays I tend to have nightmares about things like my air conditioning going out. Which did, in fact, come true. And yes, it was a nightmare!

But it got me thinking about my Weirdest Dream Ever. It was a toss-up between several, but this is the most recent. I dreamed I’d moved to Boulder, Colorado and wanted to have a party to meet people. My neighbor suggested that if I wanted to be really cool, I should serve as an hors d’oeuvre the latest delicacy: human body parts. I thought that was gross, but I also happen to think some kinds of sushi are gross, so I called the contact she gave me. He told me he had a nice shipment of hands coming in. I asked him how one prepares human body parts, and he told me it would come precooked and everything. Hooray for convenience food!

Fast-forward to party day. I went to pick up my hors d’oeuvre. The Body Part Guy proudly pronounced my prize “a real nice one” and pulled back a piece of foil, and there, on a plate, was a slightly roasted man’s hand. To this day I can’t type this without shuddering. It was a decapitated hand with fingernails and little hairs and everything, and I was so horrified that I awoke with a gasp and couldn’t get that picture out of my head.

I eventually realized the dream was meant to be what it was: a hefty little wake-up shove from my subconscious mind…in this case about some parenting issues. It’s easy to get lazy as a single parent. Parenting is hard work even when there are two of you. With one, you really are forced to work twice as hard to do a good job, yet there’s no one to back you up. And the great paradox of single parenting: if you make a mistake, it’s your fault for trying.

What I realized was that I was allowing my teenaged son to do something only because some other parents I knew allowed it, but that didn’t make it right. (I can’t remember now what it was. Nothing major, but child-rearing is never a truly minor thing, is it?) That dream was the equivalent of my subconscious mind asking me if I would jump off a cliff just because some other parents were doing it. And would I serve human body parts as food if that were the latest craze, too?

I tell you, single parenting…bites. Because you could always use an extra…hand. Ack! Do you have a really weird dream you’d be willing to share?


  1. When I first started writing I was convinced I was going to be famous and would be on the Charlie Rose show. One night I dreamed I was on Charlie's show. And he asked me out to a fancy restaurant for dinner. I had nothing fancy to wear so he sent something to my room. It was really low cut, but I figured I was bigtime now so I'd better learn to dress like a celebrity. When I arrived for our dinner, everyone in the place stared at me and I was convinced it was because they recognized me from the show. Then Charlie, like a gentleman, opened his suit coat and held it around me. I had the dress on backwards. Now that's a dream that doesn't take an expert to figure out.

  2. Wow, I loved how you realized your dream was telling you something because I do that all the time (know my dreams tell me something - sometimes it takes me a while to figure out), but when they are as eye-opening as the one you had, it does make you think harder. Gosh, I'd have to dig out my dream journal, nothing is popping in my head right now after reading yours! Glad you got a hand-le on it. :-) And yes, being a single parent is tough. I know from experience!

  3. Do you know how happy your posts make me, because I always belly laugh?
    I dreamed the other night that I was in my former brother-in-law's home alone and I discovered a whale in the living room, rotting. I could not smell it, thank goodness, but it was splitting open spewing its contents when my ex husband and his family walked in. Nobody would talk to me, they all kept giving me dirty looks, blaming me for the whale problem because I was in their home, but no one asked me to leave. No explanation for that one, that I can figure out.

  4. I dreamt I had a hippopotamus the other night. What does THAT mean?? (Lose weight, probably . . . *sigh*)

  5. And here I thought you were heading for, "Give a hand, get a hand." Hats off for the single parenting, most of my friends are single parents, one way or another.

    Strange dreams... let's just say I bought a nook on them and still doesn't cover mine. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  6. Unfortunately (or fortunately, in some cases) I don't ever remember my dreams. I had a sleep study done once, and I experience so much REM sleep, they said I sleep the sleep of a 16-year old. (I told them I'd prefer the body of a teenager; they laughed.)

    However, maybe this evening I will dream of some delectable roasted hand--on toast points.

  7. Lou, I love it! I think we all could relate a bit to that one...at least the part about being undressed in public. Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn, that's it exactly. I couldn't ignore that one!

    Linda, your comments make me belly-laugh. Especially that rotten, gut-spewing whale--hee hee!!! No elephants in the room for you!

    Pretty funny about all the large animals, Jabblog. I think it's like Lynn said--we can't ignore them?

    Jules, you are such a trip in waking life that I just can't even imagine...just watch that smoke doesn't come out of that nook is all I can say!

    Sioux, I like the classy touch that those toast points add! I see you are a gourmet. I'm curious about how a 16-year-old's sleep differs from ours...? Do you fall asleep at your desk and drool on your arm like some 16-year-olds I've had to yell at?

  8. I have what I call epic dreams. They seem to go on all night long and have a huge list of characters. They are always so interesting at the time, but the next day?? Of course, they are gone!

    My favorite dreams are my "space dreams" in which I am flying/floating in outerspace. The best thing about these dreams, other than being weightless (HA! THAT'S a joke!!) is that the air around me is the perfect temperature.

    My must frustrating dreams are about playing golf and having to tee off from a tabletop, and hit the ball through a series of doorways at night!!

  9. That space thing sounds fun, Judie! But I'll pass on the indoor golfing. Especially considering my aim.

  10. Haha...the first thing I thought of was, "What a cool horror story that would make!" LOL

    Thanks for the laugh. I try to write down my dreams, and I almost never figure them out. Last night it was tornadoes. They came in multiples, huge and relentless. It was terrifying, and I still can't figure out what it all meant. That I'm overwhelmed at the moment, and likely to be swept away if I don't step back, maybe. Good grief...that may just be it. (Gee, Tams, thanks for the breakthrough!)

  11. Tammy, the space thing is really THE BEST! I think I must be completely relaxed and sleeping soundly, and that is such a gift!!


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