Monday, October 17, 2011

In My Dreams

I didn't sleep very well Saturday night.

Some of it was an inability to decompress after the speech meet.  My schedule was all thrown off and I was having a hard time dropping out of teacher/chaperone/coach mode.  That and the late-night-fast-food-dinner are what I blame for my succession of bad dreams.

I dreamed I was at a party and saw a truck hit my car.  There were plenty of people around who should have seen it happen and should have helped me get the info of the perpetrators, but I wound up chasing the truck on foot to get the license plate number when all the witnesses turned back to the party.

I woke up stressed and annoyed, flipped to a different side of the bed, and fell into another dream.

This time I was on a bus in some foreign country.  I was sitting against the window with my stuff set out on the seat next to me as I sorted through my purse.  When the bus pulled over for a quick stop, a guy snatched my camera off the seat and took off running.  I jumped up and followed him, trying to get my camera back.  I lost him in a crowd, and when I returned to the bus all of the rest of my stuff was missing and there was another couple in my seat who claimed that they didn't see anything.  Everyone on the bus must have seen where my stuff went, but when I asked them for help they all ignored me.

Over and over again I dreamed of needing help, of being surrounded by people, and of being completely on my own.  I finally got up early Sunday morning and just got ready for the day because I didn't want to deal with any more of those dreams.

I have a new visiting teaching companion, and we met outside one of our assigned people's homes at 10:00 for our monthly appointment.  My companion was dressed in jeans and a sweater and she commented (in the necessary self-degrading way) on my being dressed in Sunday clothes.  I brushed it off, not wanting to explain that I was all dressed up because I had been awake for hours because of nightmares.

I like my companion and the lady we visited.  They know each other well, but neither really knew me so they asked a few getting-to-know-you questions right off the bat.  Which, of course, led to me saying how much I like to travel. 

"Ooh!" they squealed.  "Where have you been that's interesting?"

"Um..." I said. "A lot of places?"

"Name them!' they insisted.  I dutifully listed a few of my recent bigger trips.

"You're so lucky," they sighed.  "You don't get to do that sort of thing when you're married and tied down with a husband and kids.  I'm so jealous!  Good for you!"

It's a comment I get a lot when I meet members of the Church.  It's definitely not meant to be spiteful or patronizing, and yet it always makes me uncomfortable.  I don't like the grass-is-always-greener platitudes.  Our lives are all made up of the duality of choices we've made and things that are out of our control.  I want to be married, and I'm not.  I love to travel, so I do.  It's not so remarkable, but I get so many comments in (pat pat) "Good for you!" tones that it gets hard to keep smiling and make the correct, polite responses.  Of course, the proverbial wound was salted when the Relief Society lesson that afternoon turned out to be all about this April Conference talk.

I realized that I'm overly sensitive to the issue of marriage in the Church.  I wondered whether this entry would be worth writing because it seems like this is a theme I've been stuck on for so long without variation.  This morning, though, I came across this essay at C. Jane Run.  Yes, it's about infertility, but there was so much truth in it about my experience as a Mormon old maid.  And I suspect there's truth in it for other issues too.

There are a lot of comments at church that sting without malicious intentions, barbs that stab right through the chink in your armor.   Most of the time I can take a few deep breaths and turn it off, but it's getting harder and harder to maintain hope and faith when I've gone so long without evidence to back me up.  And it certainly doesn't help when my not-so-subconscious invades my much-needed-sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:00 PM

    “When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”
    ― Oscar Wilde

    (a quote to cheer you up -- from WillYum)