Far out! What a day, a year, a life it is...

So, being that it's that season, the one where we hang out with a glass of wine in one hand and a tiny amount of insubstantial food on a napkin in the other, I have a question.  As we know, we are ALL on a big kick to be interesting, right?  We're all in?  I have a question that I'll get to shortly.

We all have these amazing stories unfold at night, and they're awesome, but I'm not sure if we should tell others about them.  Here's how it goes for me:  I start telling someone, and midway through I realize there's no good way to wrap it up, and they're bored to tears because duh, there is no plot.  They all end the exact same way.  ("And then I woke up.")

"So, I was taking my walrus out for a walk because Target didn't have the gps unit we needed, and anyway, we wanted to go see the eagle web cam.  I guess it wasn't a regular web cam, because we had to climb up this giant tower in the lake to see it.  Anyway, I digress.  The point is, just when we got up there, his feathers started coming in.  Which was really cool, because it meant he could go to school.  Well maybe it wasn't school, but some kind of walrus slash chicken thing."

At this point, if I stop to notice, the people I'm talking to have fake smiles plastered on their mouths, but they're making eye contact with each other, looking alarmed, like, "Should we call someone?"

"The feathers reminded me that the library books were overdue, but the book return was 68 floors under NYC, and there was no elevator, just this sketchy set of ladders and stairs, and it was kind of creepy..."

Anyway.  I've just been wondering why we feel so compelled to tell our dreams, because they're never any fun for the listener.  For me, I think it's this:  I spend most of my waking hours longing for stories, seeking them out, wishing someone would tell me one, subscribing to new podcasts, and pretty much veering off any little track I might have been on if there's even the hint of a story elsewhere - eavesdropping, following people to their homes, etc.  Oh wait, no I don't do that!  That would be so creepy!  But after a day spent as a mildly unsuccessful story hunter, I fall asleep, and it's one amazing story after the next.   (This might explain all the naps, people.  Either that or I'm just lazy.)

So, the question:  is it ever okay to tell your dreams, or is it 100% annoying and boring?  I'm pretty sure I already know the answer.   And while we're on the subject, check this out.  I want one.

I think I should also recommend a podcast, since there wasn't a story here.  How about KCRW's Unfictional.  Radio excellence!


  1. "Should we call someone?"
    I, too, am a story hunter. A few weeks ago I lurked in the stacks at the library in one place, trying to look like I wasn't listening with every fiber of my being to a guy on his phone. He was having the most intense and wonderful conversation with someone. He was saying things like, "Do you know how I know he suffers great anxiety? Because, when he is near me, I can FEEL it in my own BODY! I can feel his heart pounding in my little finger!"
    Oh my god. Can you imagine my excitement right there in the library?
    As to dreams- I think probably one of the reasons humans invented speech was to be able to tell their dreams to others.
    It is a deep need that we have. I would listen to you talk about your dreams any time. I promise. And my eyes would NOT glaze over.

    1. I totally would have followed that guy home! Feeling someone elses heart pounding in his little finger? Sheesh. That was your lucky day!

    2. Has anyone ever tended bar? You can collect some really sad and interesting stories in a bar, especially from the regulars.

  2. The answer to your question is it depends who you're telling them to - it would be completely ok to tell me your dreams, but then I would tell you mine. I just awoke from a stupid, terrible dream, where I lost my brother's bike at a bike store on a rainy night and I wasn't wearing my glasses so I couldn't see a thing. While I was drinking my coffee, trying to wake up, I remembered that in the dream I was driving his truck, not his bike, because I was on the run from zombies, and that's why I couldn't find his bike in the parking lot. If only I had found the keys in my pocket. Maybe more boring than telling a dream is analyzing and what iffing a dream.

    In general, none of my dreams have a plot, just drama and anxiety. There's always something wrong in my dreams. But I would listen to yours, because they are much more interesting than mine. I also like the idea of the SHADOW database, but I'm thinking my data could be evidence for my sanity trial.... especially the Aliens musical....

    I know what you mean about stories though, I love them too. Thank goodness for podcasts and internet articles. I get a lot of good stories from Longreads. Happy story collecting :)

    1. Yes, wouldn't it be cool to look at the data from the Shadow? Seriously, THAT would be fascinating.

      I hope you gathered some good stories today!

  3. Wow. That dream register thingy would scare the bejammers out of me. I'm perfectly happy listening to my sister's technicolor dreams.

    1. Wouldn't it be cool, though, to know if there are trends? Data! We love data!

  4. I feel woefully unprepared to comment on this post, but I won't let that stop me.

    I don't remember my dreams (I suspect I don't get enough sleep, therefore never get into the deepest stage, maybe?) and I can't recall dreams being a topic of conversation except a handful of times. Is that odd?

    1. Oh, Jennio, it's sleep season here. A long winter's nap every evening, and a long snooze in the middle of the day. I would like to recommend it! (You've probably forgotten all the dream talk because it's usually boring? Forgettable?)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. huh? ... what... sorry, as soon as you mentioned the Eagle Webcam I opened another window and started surfing all my favorite webcams... I promise I will finish reading your post {yawn}


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