Worlds Collide

It’s always easy to trace what’s going on in my dreams back to what’s going on in my life. In graduate school, when I was studying for my qualifying exams and one of my subject areas was epistolary literature, I dreamt that one of my questions arrived in the form of a ransom note, cut-out magazine letters glued haphazardly onto a piece of paper. I even had a nightmare for a friend before her orals, dreaming that she was asked to tapdance for our most intimidating professor.

So a recent dream was pretty easy to decipher.

The seeds:

a) I’ve been watching a bit too much Project Runway;

2) I went downtown (a rare event) to get some pants hemmed at a tiny shop up a precipitously steep flight of stairs;

c) We’re starting to look at kindergartens for Ben.

This last is not without a fair amount of anxiety. There are 70 public schools in San Francisco, and places in them are assigned, sort of, by lottery. The “sort of” is because while you can list 7 schools on your application, and the school district tries to put kids in their neighborhood schools, the district also tries to achieve socioeconomic and racial diversity in the schools. To accomplish this, the district asks that you list the mother’s educational level on the application.

So, I’m thinking we’re not getting into the neighborhood school.

The dream:
Tim Gunn, the fabulous Project Runway host and fashion mentor, led me on a tour of the grimiest downtown hotels as I tried to find a suitable spot for Ben. We hiked up and down miles of grubby staircases, looking at dark rooms full of cots and bunkbeds, places that would look cozy to Oliver Twist, and all I could think was, “How will we haul his Elmo bedrail up these steep stairs?” And Tim Gunn looked hard at me and said, “Well, just make it work!”

If only it were so simple.


  1. Libby says:

    I have those kinds of dreams, too, like the one before my master’s exams when I was at a party cleaning off pictures that were hanging on a wall, and one of my professors told me I had to work harder to see the images. Um, yeah. Or when (same exams) a professor gave me a map of Dublin to explain why I’d failed the 20th-century British exam. But yours made me laugh out loud. Good luck with the kindergarten stuff!

  2. Violeta says:

    Who doesn’t love Tim Gunn? I have to admit that every time I watch Project Runway I get a tiny tiny bit bitter that there’s no equivalent reality tv show contest for writers.
    I’m sorry that the kinderdarten thing’s so tough. I can’t relate because there are only 3 schools to pick from in our (1 public, 2 parochial) but I hope you find a good fit for Ben!