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Champage Wishes and Peanut Butter Dreams

14 Jan

I’ll admit it.  I have a peanut butter problem.  I’ve had it my entire life.  When I was little I started off eating apples and peanut butter.  I would put a huge mound of peanut butter on my plate, and then use the apple slices as a conduit.  I would dip my apple in, taking tiny bites of the flesh adorned with piles of the delicious butter.  Eventually, I just took to licking the peanut butter off, and then reluctantly eating the apple so as not to give myself away.  I then progressed to the tablespoon technique.  I would walk into the kitchen after a tough afternoon of playing outside and, using a spoon that was roughly the size of my mouth, would eat peanut butter like ice cream, savoring every bite.  It wasn’t refreshing.  Instead it left me with what my family always called “baby mouth,” the overwhelming desire to drink a glass of milk to wash the stubborn food down without leaving sticky remnants on my tongue and in my throat.  (“Baby mouth” was also a common diagnosis following the consumption of an especially rich cookie or brownie.)  Unfortunately for me I never enjoyed milk so the non-dairy alternatives my mom kept around, which didn’t exactly do the trick, often had to be a sub-par stand in.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches hold the jelly were my lunch of choice.  Luckily for me I was active — I did gymnastics and was a fan of playing escape games, imagining my swings as horses, aiding me in my flight from an evil school teacher — so the peanut butter never really had a negative impact.

And then I went to college.  I specifically remember one afternoon during my sophomore year, after going for a short run and in the middle of studying for midterms, when I stress ate what had to be 1/3 a jar of Skippy.  I didn’t realize what I was doing until halfway through my Spanish flashcards when I looked down and noticed the giant canyon in my peanut butter.  Whoops.  I tried to rectify the situation by dancing furiously to an entire Eminem album which then left me, post peanut butter binge fest, with a pretty epic stomach ache.  I took a break from the sticky snack for awhile.

Then, during my junior year abroad, I made it a sort of game to try and locate peanut butter in every exotic location I found myself.  I had always thought peanut butter was an international treat but, as it turned out, people regarded the American’s love of peanut butter with much the the same combination of curiosity and disgust that I associate with the consumption of Vegemite.  Also, being an import, a small tub of Skippy or Jiff could easily run you $8 in small town Dahanu, India or city like Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, a price tag that seems off-putting, especially when set in the context of an academic program that preached the benefits of locally produced food and decreased globalization.

My peanut butter habit, although abandoned for a time following my international adventures, came back with a vengeance a few years ago.  I could easily go through a jar in less than the 14 days it should take a person to consume its entirety if based on the advertised serving size.  A tablespoon is really very small, as it turns out.  Or at least, it’s small when it comes to peanut butter.  So, given my slowing metabolism, I decided about a year ago to try and not keep peanut butter in the house most of the time.  Sometimes I cave, “needing it for a recipe,” and then it doesn’t last long, but for the most part I can steer clear.  For the most part, I don’t really miss it.  Except recently.

This past week I have had not one, but two dreams featuring peanut butter.  Two dreams, two nights in a row.  In the first dream I walked into the kitchen, opened the cabinet where my two roommates keep their food, and discovered a jar of Peter Pan.  Yum!  I grabbed a spoon and took a bite, just a little one, hoping my roommate wouldn’t discover the missing butter.  But then I got carried away.  I ate and ate and ate and all of a sudden the jar was half empty!  In a panic, and instead of doing the logical thing of placing that jar in my cabinet and buying a replacement for my roommate, I took the jar into my room and hid it in the back of my underwear drawer.  And then I woke up, insanely thirsty.

In the second dream, I was at a Very Important Meeting with some Very Important People.  The meeting took place in a large office with a huge, rectangular conference table in the middle.  The table was full of people with computers, reviewing boring Power Point presentations (because that is what I imagine happens at meetings, apparently).  I was the only one not looking at a computer.  Instead, I sat at my seat, peanut butter and spoon in hand, snacking away until one of my co-workers said, with  snort, “I’m allergic to peanut butter!  Get it away from me!”  At which point I took my spoon, my peanut butter and myself and moved to the corner, where I quietly ate for the remainder of the meeting.

The end.

Special Guest: Mavis Staples!

30 May

Just a warning, the following post will likely make very little sense.

So the dream theme continues but this time with a twist:  instead of water sports like in the last fun dream, this time I had a dream in which I was ice skating.  The premise of the dream was that I had to write a paper about something — I’m not sure what the topic was but if dream student Rebekah is anything like real student Rebekah then it probably had something to do with access to food, patenting seeds, maybe a little something about the construction of a pipeline and the resulting uptick in the spread of HIV along the trucking route — anyway, after the paper was written I then had to, with a partner, act out the topic and analysis of said topic on ice skates in front of the whole class which, as it turned out, was quite large.  I am not a good ice skater and, unlike my dream sailing prowess I have spoken of before, I am also not a good dream ice skater.  I spent the majority of my dream fretting over falling down and having my partner, equally as shitty in the skating department, slice my fingers off with his blade.  Rewind.

In the beginning of the dream I found myself sitting at a restaurant with a bunch of other people mere hours before the performance of the paper that I had yet to write.  I don’t know what kind of food we were eating, but I do know that I drank one of those mini old school bottles of Coke.  I know this because, upon asking for, and reviewing, the bill, I discovered that all the drinks were missing.  Trying to be a responsible dream patron, I went to the server and asked him about the pricing of the different sodas.  Were they all $1.50? I wondered.  Apparently not.  The server then launched into a whole diatribe about soda pricing, quoting for me the prices of all the other drinks in the drink fridge and omitting information about the relevant beverages which, in the end, turned out to all cost $1.50.  Sigh.  I threw money on the table and rushed off to class…I mean the skating competition…I mean class.  When I arrived, I busted out my computer, determined to finish the paper before I took to the ice.  Then, all of a sudden, I was at the sea shore!  With my computer!  What if sand gets into the keys??  People were swimming and having fun.  I was stressed out.  I decided to take a nap.  I walked inside and I was in a house that looked vaguely familiar to me.  I went in search of a bed.  I looked and looked.  Then, finally, I found a room with bed potential.  I opened the door.  There in the bed was some old dude who I don’t know but who seemed to upset dream me.  He awoke when I opened the door.  He was wearing ice skates and was trying, ungracefully, to ask me about the state of the paper I was working on.  I turned and fled back down the stairs to the sea shore which, oddly enough, was overlooked by a sink that was full of dishes.  I started doing the dishes and, in the process, found a bag of spicy mangoes.  I snuck some into my pocket.

Then…transformed back to class!  Class was cold, because of the skating rink, and I was sitting on a sofa, trying to work on my paper that, at this point, consisted only of an introductory paragraph.  Dream Rebekah thought that writing the paper in larger font would make it look longer and therefore closer to completion.  Real Rebekah would never do such a thing.  I was getting stressed.  Getting antsy.  Then, the lights dimmed.  Everyone looked around.  And who comes in?  Mavis Staples!  She performed a rousing rendition of “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” much to the pleasure of her brother Malcolm X (who is not her brother in real life, people!), also in attendance.  I woke up in the middle of the performance.  No encore for me but I did get out of performing that unfinished paper on ice.

Only in Dreams

18 May

The past few weeks I have had the strangest dreams.  Or, should I say, I have remembered the strangest dreams.  I don’t know if it’s that I have been sleeping more fitfully, waking up at more regular intervals and thereby interrupting the process of my dream and making me remember, or just that my mind is trying to tell me something.  If it’s the latter, I think what it is trying to tell me is that there are some people I am angry at and I have a strange obsession with water sports of all kinds.

I have recently had two dreams in which I told off people who had wronged me, or perhaps people who I perceive to have wronged me.  The first one, the more detailed dream, made a lot of sense.  I have rehearsed in my head the very conversation that occurred in my dream.  Only, when I imagine the conversation I believe he will argue with me about how wrong I am, how I misperceived things, how I didn’t see what I know I saw.  In the dream though, he just sat there calmly while I told him what was what.  Didn’t defend himself, just sat there.  And this is because I’m right and he’s wrong and dream him realizes it.  Which is awesome.  Dream him is so much more agreeable than real him.  This closure that I have wanted to get for so long, that I know would only succeed in making me seem like a crazy person, was achieved in a dream state.  Hopefully that’s all that was needed.  Hopefully I won’t have another dream in which I push him down a flight of stairs because that is another thing I have fantasized about here and there.  Violence, whether in real life or dream life, is not good.  Or so I’m told.  The other dream, however, was sort of out of left field.  The person who I yelled at is someone who I am happy to not have in my life anymore, someone who was more of a detriment to my happiness than anything else.  I tend to operate by the theory that if you have a relationship with someone, any kind of relationship, and more often than not you leave an interaction feeling worse or less happy than you did when you entered it, it’s probably not a relationship you need to be in.  I was never happy after I saw this person.  Ever.  So why the dream closure?  Who knows but it was awesome.  And, the extra great thing about it was that, at least in this one dream, dream Rebekah was exactly the same as real Rebekah!  I told the girl off, and then I went around, in my dream, and told all my dream friends about what had happened.  I even embellished a little to make the story better!  It’s nice to know that in a dream state I exhibit remarkable consistency.

And now on to water sports.  As some of you who know me might know, I love love love the Olympics.  Specifically the summer Olympics.  I have even assembled my ideal women’s gymnastics team.  (I have also discovered that when you tell people you have assembled your ideal women’s gymnastics team they think you are a little bit of a freak so it is best to just keep it to yourself.)  Anyway, a few weeks ago I had a dream that I was in an Olympic sailboat race.  Not only was I in the race, but I won.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are reading the blog of a dream-Olympics gold medal sailor.  And I did it on a Sunfish, no less.  You might ask why, of all the Olympic sports, and considering my obvious obsession with gymnastics, I would have a dream in which I sailed.  I do not have an answer to that question.  I don’t think I have set foot on a sailboat, Sunfish or otherwise, since summer camp in the early 90s.  But let me tell you one thing I know for sure:  winning Olympic gold is awesome.  What’s even more awesome is that when I woke up there was like a 5 second period during which I actually thought I had won Olympic gold in real life.  Those 5 seconds were totally great.  And when I realized I had neither attended the Olympics nor won the event, I wasn’t even let down!  I was just super impressed by my own imagination.  I went from congratulating myself for winning to congratulating myself for being a really good dreamer.  Gold medal caliber, even.

Then, two nights ago I had yet another dream.  In this dream, a friend of mine was pregnant.  Very pregnant.  The weird part of the dream was that in her rather large state she insisted on swimming a 100-lap race.  In open water.  Without goggles.  (And no, it was not part of the Olympics…it was just your regular, every day, run-of-the-mill 100-lap open water race.  For fun.)  I don’t know why she wasn’t wearing goggles.  I don’t know why she was in the race – she isn’t a swimmer in real life.  I also don’t know whether or not she won because a 100-lap race takes a really long time to finish, in a dream or otherwise.  What I do know is that she was doing a damn good job last I saw.  Maybe the dream-baby added to her buoyancy.

Anyway, that’s it for this first and, likely not last, installation of my dream journal.  Going forward I hope for more water sports and less anger.