This morning, sleeping late, I dreamed another version of a dream I’ve had several times before: the finding-yourself-topless-in-public dream. This time I was in the backseat of my younger daughter’s car, going to lunch with her and her friend from work, when I glanced down and discovered that I’d overlooked putting on either a bra or a blouse before I left home that morning. This was all highly shocking and distressing to me, though not totally inconceivable, given some of my past fashion lapses.
Nobody else seemed to have noticed, thank goodness, but I worried that it was just a matter of time. We passed a little strip mall (no pun intended), and I suggested that we pop into a clothing store there to check the sales before we ate lunch. Fortunately, my companions agreed, and I tried to cover myself with my big purse as we left the car and went into the store.
Wouldn’t you know it? This was a children’s clothing store--nothing to fit me--and there were lots of moms and kids in there who passed by me as I hid behind a rack of Osh Kosh B’Gosh. My daughter and her friend were taking their time, excited about the good sale prices, but I just wanted to get the heck out of there. Still, though, nobody in the store gave me a second look.
In the dream, I was thinking to my anguished and embarrassed self, “I’ve dreamed about this, but I can’t believe it’s actually happening.” Isn’t that weird? My dream self was aware of having dreamed this experience previously, which only served to make this dream seem all the more real.
I can’t tell you how glad I was when my real-life phone rang and woke me up. The fact that this is apparently a very common dream theme did little to diminish the vestiges of anxiety that lingered until well after breakfast.