"OH MY GOD, I HAD THE CRAZIEST DREAM LAST NIGHT!"
That's pretty much the opening line to my worst nightmare. It's the beginning of the most excruciating two to five minutes of my day as I sit there patiently with teeth gritted, trying to courteously make it through whomsoever feels the need to describe to me the dream they had last night.
These dreams relayed back to me are usually about their dead aunt riding a unicorn naked, or how they were living in a cave with a bunch of bears dressed up like a Big Mac, or how they had a threesome with Madonna and Frankenstein.
Why do people think that others want to hear about their dreams? We all have them. Doesn't that cancel out each other's interest in them? It's different when one tries to painfully relay the entire narrative of a movie, including spoilers. At least with a movie you can go back and watch what they were hopelessly trying to recount.
But relaying dreams is like trying to use sign language on the blind. This painful ritual happens to almost everyone every morning of all our lives. We get it -- dreams are bizarre. Big deal. Maybe it's nature's way of injecting a little excitement to all our boring, redundant lives.
And why is the dream always described back to me in such great detail? Most of the time, when I wake up from a dream, I can barely remember it even though I might've been fending off a dragon, hang gliding with Batman, or making out with Ali Larter -- all things that would definitely be memorable life moments if they happened in the waking world.
Still, when I meet up with the "dreamer" I have to go through the rigmarole of how they became powdered milk sprinkled on whip cream, or how they punched out their best friend in front of a priest because they both wanted to ride on his invisible jet plane, or how they were walking through tunnels in a hospital holding hands with an orangutan. In other words, it just sounds like nonsense.
It's probably worse when you come across one of these people who "suffer" from recurring dreams. Then you must endure the story over and over again like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, except you're dragged onto someone else's merry go-round.
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A friend of mine has recurring dreams that turn into nightmares where everyone she knows dies. This can become very scary and stressful for everyone involved until you shake off impracticality in favour of logic and realize that no matter how many times she dreams of all her friends dead, in the waking world they keep on living. And maybe all her hysterics are for nothing when/if she realizes that over and over again it's still just a dream.
Then there are those other kind of dreams -- the real world aspirational ones. These are those practical dreams for their future, like wanting to go to medical school or opening one's own business. There's a possibility they might come true if one works hard enough, usually, though, the "doctor" becomes "dental assistant" and the "business owner" becomes "Yogen Fruz franchisee" when passed through a reality filter.
But when these waking world dreams start to hover around fame and show business, the results can be comedic/tragic. Sure, you can accuse me of following my dreams because I play rock music for a living, but it was done with no original intention to seek fame, only to satisfy an urge to get on stage and play and make noise. Anything more was and still is seen as a perk rather than a precondition. I was totally happy playing in front of my friends, but then more people I didn't know started showing up to the gigs, so whatcha gonna do?
Simply, dreams are not real. Dreams don't count. If you tell me you won the lottery in your dream, you still didn't win the lottery. If you tell me you screwed Courtney Cox or Jon Hamm in your dream, you still didn't screw Courtney Cox or Jon Hamm.
But my nightmare is real. I live a recurring dream in the waking world -- meeting people who need to tell me what they dreamt the night before. Yawn. ZZZzzz.