The Dream King or Why My Husband Will Pass on the Christmas Ham

The Dream King or Why My Husband Will Pass on the Christmas Ham
Thursday, December, 10, 2009

When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband announced one morning, "I had the weirdest dream." Whenever I say that to him, he comes back with something sarcastic like, "I thought last night's dream was the weirdest." But Fred never remembers his dreams, so what could I say? I listened.

In the dream, Fred was in the back seat of a car. Our friend, Laurel, the driver, handed him a large slab of meat. Salivating, about to take a bite, Fred suddenly realized that this was no pork chop. It was uncooked pig. He looked again and realized it wasn't just any pig, but a cute, potbellied one with long eyelashes, and it was batting those eyelashes at him. Fred stopped just short of putting Baby Wilbur in his mouth. Heart pounding, he woke up.

"So whaddya think it means?" he asked, totally clueless!

"You mean you really don't know?" I tossed back. "You're really so cut off from your dream logic that even when it presents itself to you in the most obvious way...."

"Guess so."

I knew about dream logic. I'd kept dream journals since the age of 12. I'd logged in countless hours in musty church basements at dream groups, wearing yin yang earrings and burning incense with other like-minded introverts. We had the shtick down. Sensitively, we'd grope towards a mutual understanding of one another's shadow selves and archetypes. We never analyzed each other's dreams; we shared them. If someone presented a dream of being a mass murderer, we'd say, "if it were my dream, I'd be feeling a little crazy." We tried never to judge. 

At the end of our meetings, when we squeezed hands and recapped memorable dream images, I did feel something akin to group unity; but what I truly wanted was selfish. I waited for nothing less than to have my own self-transforming dream, the Big One, which would establish me forever as the Dream Queen.

Only now Fred had received the Big Dream instead of me. And he didn't even get it. 
"If you think you know what it means," Fred said, "just tell me."

So I had to lay it all out: how our friend Laurel, the driver, is a vegetarian; how as long as Fred could objectify a pig as "meat," he could eat it, but as soon as he saw it as a living mammal, similar even to his own baby-to-be, the eyelashes and whatnot, he couldn't go through with it.
"Do you get it now? It's a call to vegetarianism."

And Fred got it just like that. With no squeezing of hands, or vowing to honor his dream, after thirty-seven meat-eating years he became a vegetarian. He's still one 7.5 years later. 

And me? I learned this lesson vicariously: Big Dreams don't come to those who wait. They come to those who are ready to do. 
krsosno Skirtsetter Karen Sosnoski is a Mother, Writer, and Documentary Filmmaker based in Alexandria, VA....

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