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...."
I knew about dream logic. I'd kept
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
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
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,