Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dreams Just Might Come True

empty boxI had a dream. Not that kind of dream. The kind you have when you’re asleep. Actually I’ve had lots of dreams. Not sure why, but it just seems to be one of the things that I do. I suppose lots of people dream but, and this is just something I’ve been told, not everyone remembers their dreams. As a matter of fact, apparently some people never remember their dreams. But I do. And for those of you who do too, I’m guessing that like me, every once in a while you sit through a rerun. I believe they (and by “they” I mean those who spend their time studying this particular phenomenon) call this a “recurring dream”.  And the funny thing is, these recurring dreams seem to recur not only in one mind but in many minds. Perhaps it’s that “collective consciousness” thing Dr. Jung goes on about, but for whatever the reason, whenever the topic of recurring dreams comes up in conversation, (and come up it does) dimes to dollars more than one person in the crowd has had the same one.

Like the exam dream. The one where you show up to the final exam and realize, at this most inopportune time, that not only have you not prepared yourself adequately for the challenge but you failed to attend any of the classes on which you are being tested. Not even a one. To make matters worse, you didn’t even bring a pen. Or the travel dream. The one where you fly, drive, take the train or bus to some place far from home only to discover that you forgot to pack your bags and there you are in the middle of some strange city or town with nothing but the clothes on your back. If you’re lucky you find out that you brought your credit card, which helps to mitigate the predicament you’re in but, nonetheless there is that initial feeling of, what shall I call it, helplessness that overcomes you. Kind of like when you forgot to study for the exam.  Now I don’t profess to have an explanation for these dreams but I’m sure they have some sort of purpose, some lesson to be learned. Fortunately, and for the most part, these are not the kind of dreams that come true although I suppose in some cases they could.

Then there’s what I like to call, the box dream. You’re smack dab in the middle of a big move. As a matter of fact, the moving van is parked right outside your house, the burly guys (or gals) making their way up the front step. The house is full of boxes but, and this occurs simultaneously with the first knock on the door, much to your chagrin you notice they are all empty. None of your stuff is actually in the boxes and they’re here, right now, to take them away. There’s nothing left to do but panic. Suffice to say, that’s the dream I had last night. Now despite the reference above, I’m no Jungian scholar but I’m not sure it takes one to interpret this dream for me. Because, you see, right now I should be packing. The whole house. All 30 years of it. Putting each and every little thing that I want to keep into one of the many boxes that have been strategically scattered throughout the house. And what am I doing? Obviously, I’m writing the blog.

It’s not like I have a made a commitment to post to this blog on a regular basis. Au contraire. Of late my posts have been rather sporadic and that’s ok with me because I always said I would write when I had something to say. And let’s face it. There’s only so much you can write about being shallow and I’ve been doing this now for three years and then some, so a slow down of sorts is to be expected. But today of all days, with the big move looming and the house in the kind of disarray that belies the fact that nothing constructive is actually happening, I decided this, of all times, was the best time to sit down, yes in my chair, to write the blog. Mostly because right now, it appears to be the best justification I can come up with for my procrastination.

I’m sure you realize this by now but, just in case, as a shallow person I don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about shallow people as a “collective” or about the possibility that we have a shared set of characteristics. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t know any other shallow people. It’s just that, even though I now have 83 followers, or as I prefer to put it “just under a hundred”, not one of them has actually approached me to say, “Hi. I’m a shallow person just like you”. And I hate to be presumptuous. But I’m thinking that if they did, one of the things we would discover during our likely brief encounter is that, just like those shared dreams, we too would have some things in common. And more than likely, one of the things we would have in common would be our propensity to procrastinate. No psychological theories here to fall back on. It’s just a feeling I have and now I’ve said it out loud. Shallow people, on the whole and based primarily on my own experience, have a tendency to procrastinate. Which right now, in my case, is rather problematic because you see, while many people live their lives hoping and striving for their dreams to come true, I am a tad worried that the one I had last night just might. And at this stage of the game (as my Mother likes to say), that would not be a very good thing.

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There’s no such thing…

ghostYou’ve heard it before. You’re sitting around, chit chatting with a bunch of friends and before you know it the conversation turns to ghosts. Someone in the group has a story to tell about how their front door mysteriously opens and closes, once a year, at the exact same time as, coincidently, the previous owner “bit the dust”, as people are wont to  say. Then there’s the guy who swears up and down that every morning when he comes down for breakfast he discovers that the front burner on the stove is on and there’s a faint smell of burnt toast lingering in the air, and he never eats toast so there has to be ghost in the house. And a hungry one, at that. This conversation continues on for some time, because who doesn’t have a story to tell about a ghost?  But sure as the sun rises every morning, you know there’s gonna be one voice in the crowd, one Doubting Thomas who, before too long will emphatically declare “there’s no such thing as ghosts”. And while, in this particular case it’s entirely possible that the validity of this statement is open to debate, especially given all of the evidence you’ve just been privy to, I do believe there are circumstances when those who are so bold as to proclaim “there’s no such thing as” (and you can fill in the blank here) are, and I say this with the utmost respect, entirely wrong.  Let me give you an example.

In my line of work people ask a lot of questions. It’s only natural. Some people teach, others learn and on both sides of this equation there are lots of questions asked and answered. Most often, a great deal of thought and consideration is afforded these questions. Teachers, as an example can spend days formulating the kinds of questions that will compel their students to think carefully and deeply about the subject matter. Students, on the other hand, know that the right question can send their teacher off on a tangent that, with any luck, will take a huge bite out of class time thereby preventing any further questions being asked of them. In either case, these are usually what one would call “good” questions. But every once in a while, and this is not unique to the classroom, someone, and you may well have done this yourself, will preface a question they are just about to ask with the rather self-deprecating proclamation “this may be a stupid/silly question but” primarily, it seems to me, to pre-empt the possibility that someone else may be thinking the very same thing. The polite response to this admonition is, of course, “there’s no such thing as a stupid/silly question” which, I am going to tell you now, is unequivocally not true. Because, and I say this with a fair bit of confidence and not simply because I am shallow, there really and truly is. I know this because I am routinely asked stupid/silly questions. Like these.

  1. Do you know who you look like? For starters, while I am not particularly vain, I am prone to looking into a mirror several times each day. Let’s face it. If nothing else, more than likely I’m gonna wash my hands a few times and typically, there’s a mirror above the sink in which I am doing that. Intentional or not, at that point I’m faced with my face so it’s not all that hard to come up with the answer to this question. Without a doubt I bear a rather strong resemblance to my Mother and at least one of my Brothers, which makes sense given that my siblings and I are the progeny of the same, happy couple. Nothing out of the ordinary here and probably the case for many people.  Seems to me like a rather obvious answer to a somewhat silly question.
  2. Has anyone ever told you who you look like? Now I’m the first to admit that I’m no spring chicken which means I’ve been around the block more than once or twice. Barring the answer to that first question I have come to understand that I bear a striking resemblance to to a very popular chanteuse. Seems to be common knowledge at this point. So let’s think about this. If you who are asking me this question, have come to this conclusion all on your very own, why is it that you think perhaps no one else ever has? And if you see fit to actually come up to me, a complete stranger, to ask me this question, don’t you think it is possible that someone else may have done so as well over the very many years I have been on this planet? Fortunately, in most cases people answer this one themselves with “of course they have” relieving me of the rather tedious task of coming up with a witty response to what, now that I’ve explained it, you must conclude from my perspective, is a rather stupid question.
  3. Are you Barbra Streisand? Ok. I get it. You really want to meet a superstar and you don’t want to take any chances at missing out on your opportunity to do so. I will concede that the degree of stupidity of this question could be contextual. Let’s say you and I were to meet at the backstage door of the Dolby Theatre on Oscar night. We’re both dressed to the nines and as you glance over it suddenly strikes you that you may be standing next to the most popular singer, actress and director (not to mention a few other accomplishments), ever. You want to know for sure, so you ask. To tell the truth, this could very well be a legitimate question in this case. However, since I have never been in the above circumstance, I usually get this question in the midst of a somewhat more mundane activity. Like checking out at the Target. Or walking into Costco. Or stopping to go to the bathroom at some truckstop on the I-5. Or standing in line to check into my room at a hotel. Ok, so it’s a Hyatt. She still wouldn’t stand in the line. The answer to the question is, of course, “no”. But hey! You already knew that. Just seems a little silly to me.
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