Monday, February 8, 2010

chubby and manly?

I hate to displace the great dream below, but if I don't I'm going to forget this. I've had three depressing low-self-esteem dreams lately, three nights in a row.

All I really remember from this one is suddenly realizing that my posterior was WAY bigger than I had been thinking it was. This didn't really fundamentally shake my self-concept, it was just really weird and very surprising. My first thought was, "well, I guess I didn't need to be worried about having a lack in that area", and my second thought was, "oh, I guess I should start exercising more". I also wondered what other aspects of my self-image were totally inaccurate.

This was the worst one, and I was discombobulated by this one for a while after waking. It was in the course of a much longer dream in which I was in Italy on an extended vacation with my parents, sister, and grandmother. We were staying in a huge rented villa. It was a very old building with a lot of weird rooms and strange layouts resulting from hundreds of years of add-ons and modifications. There was also some very unattractive carpeting and paint (think a church basement/fellowship hall with carpet that was cheap thirty years ago).

At some point I was attending a wedding in a nearby church. I don't know who this wedding was for, but the curious thing is how I was dressed. Normally in a dream like this I would have gone through an agonizing search through a weird assortment of very detailed clothes, but I don't remember a getting-dressed sequence in this one. I do remember what I was wearing: an oversized sports jersey (hockey?) tucked into a rose-colored below-the-knee early 90s pleated skirt and topped off with a squarish navy blue cardigan (??!). I had my hair straight and parted on the side, and I remember being satisfied with how I looked [although, at the same time, my always-awake editorial review board was strenuously objecting to the outfit].

I entered the church and wasn't sure which side I should sit on, not recognizing any of the guests. I had just chosen a spot when an older man stationed on the opposite side of the church said--loudly--"young man!" I looked around to see who he was addressing, and he repeated it. Somehow I realized that I was the "young man" in question, and I tried to make him understand that I was not a young man. He was not to be dissuaded, and getting more and more worked up. He said, "young man, don't argue with me!", and went on to bluster that my lack of a tie was inappropriate and that I was going to have to leave until I could produce a tie.

Needless to say, it was extremely humiliating and destabilizing. I think everyone else there pretended that nothing was happening as I beat my retreat.

Later on in the dream, I had an exchange with Lindsay Lohan, who seemed very depressed and a little needy. We talked about how cruel the "entertainment media" was to publish pictures of "Stars without Makeup" and dissect celebrities' appearances when they didn't look any worse than your average person on the street. I got tired of the conversation pretty quickly, but I felt bad for her and couldn't figure out how to extricate myself without hurting her feelings.

The third dream involved a couple of my real-life friends. We were eating in a restaurant somewhere, and one of them (who in real life is the most tactful person you could ever hope to meet) commented on how much I was eating. She said, "yes, I've always been amazed at how much you can eat and how often. I could never eat that much. I guess that's why you're chubby with a belly." This was said with a perfectly straight face, as if it couldn't possibly be offensive to me, so I figured I had better respond in kind, as if it were just a normal discussion about anything else.


Leah said...

This one made me giggle, especially the getting-dressed-sequence.

I hope that I wasn't the tactless commenter at the restaurant.

strovska said...

ha! no, you weren't, you were the one who didn't comment. anyway, in this alternative dream world, apparently very tactful people could still make open comments about one's weight without being impolite.

sprinkles said...

I've had dreams before that make me feel bad about myself when I wake up. Usually I'm much thinner in my dreams though.

I've been kind of mistaken for a boy before. I was 13 and in an elevator. My long hair was tucked under my jacket. Some man got on the elevator and commented about how pretty my friends were and then he looked at me. He said, "Are you a boy or a girl?" I pulled out my hair from under my jacket and he said, "Oh, I guess you're a girl!" That was quite embarassing to me!

I would imaging that Lindsay Lohan would be quite depressed and needy. I've met celebrities in my dreams and we're always friends, no one has ever been rude to me yet in a dream state.

I kind of had to laugh a little bit about your insulting friend. Sadly, I know people who would think nothing of saying this to your face in real life.

strovska said...

yes, i'm also usually much skinnier/younger/prettier in my dreams than in real life, so i was particularly alarmed by this series of dreams!

and your story reminded me that my sister was once mistaken by a boy for a whole week--but the one mistaking her was a particularly clueless 12-year-old. she thought it was kind of funny.