Oh boy. I toyed with not reporting this dream, but I suspect it will be more amusing seeing it written out--when I woke up this morning I was just tired and disgusted with my subconscious for the night's selection.
Anyway. I don't remember the first part of the dream, but I had learned that a boy who was a few years behind me in elementary school had a big crush on me. In real life he was probably 2 years behind me; in this dream, I was my actual age (although, I think, unmarried) but he was only about 15.
There was some church event that I was supposed to be going to, at my parents' church. Actually, it wasn't in the church, but in a room in the elementary school building--my old elementary school building, although it didn't look anything like my actual old school. I arrived with my mother, and for some reason I had it in my head that I needed to indulge this schoolboy crush by sitting somewhere near the boy and his friends. It turned out that my mother didn't need much maneuvering to get us to sit right in front of the row with him, his mother (!) and his friends. He started playing with my hair, which was a little annoying, but I told myself it was part and parcel of indulging his crush. Then my mother decided to move up a couple of rows, to my annoyance. I somehow found a logical and unobtrusive way to end up seated between him and his friends.
Being seated in the middle of a group of 15-year-olds really drove it home that there was a huge age gap. He seemed thrilled, and kept trying to paw me in both odd and inappropriate places, and I was getting annoyed and starting to feel like I had gone far enough with my charitable action and I should be able to hang it up now. The other boys seemed impressed that he had bagged an Older Woman, and I wondered if there had been some bet as to whether or not he would be able to get me to go out with him.
In addition to being hemmed in by youngsters and pawed at, the program was really boring. At one point I looked up at the ceiling and, inspired by the fact that I had spent my elementary-school years there, said, "I'm so glad I'm not in elementary school anymore". Then I realized I was speaking to an audience of entering high-school freshman. I tried to quickly throw in something about high school being much better and completely different from elementary school, so as not to damage their little egos. At the same time I felt very foolish about the not-in-elementary-school-anymore comment, wondering if--horrors--I might be trying to impress them and at the same time appear young enough to be in their age group. [Seriously, when you're over 30 you can be happy to be out of college, or even still happy to be out of adolescence--but out of elementary school? That's something you progress past at age 16 at the latest.]
By this time I was thoroughly disgusted with myself and the situation and wondering why I had even thought I needed to go on a pity date with a minor--and then I wondered, even more alarmed, if that technically made me a pedophile.
I got up to leave and tried to distract myself with some flyers at the entrance. One of them had a black background and looked like someone's idea of a sophisticated layout. It was a p.r.-ish flyer for a nebulous company/service headed by a girl I knew from college. I wasn't sure whether she was peddling publicity services or group travel services. [Yes, even when I'm not on a group trip, group travel still rears its ugly head in my dreams.] There were some stock-looking photos of young, attractive people happily on some kind of cruise, and a phrase that said, "Be seen naked...leaning into the naked sea", with emphasis on naked. I understood the leaning part to refer to the cruise, and to imply something like exultantly leaning off a ship railing a la Titanic, and I wondered who on earth she thought that was going to appeal to as advertising, other than exhibitionists. Then I re-read it and realized that it actually said, "Be seen in black dresses", which was also puzzling but in a different way. Now I was really freaked out about possibly being some kind of perverse maniac.
And now you see why I woke up in a bad mood.
*I now realize that this dream was probably inspired by someone telling me he had actually narrowly escaped a "cougar" when he was younger (cougar as in rapacious older woman, not as in feline).