Perhaps I’m relying too much on pop culture for my information, but I think my naked nightmares are different than those of most people. If we look to movies and sitcoms, most naked dreams follow a pretty standard formula:
– Dreamer is performing a specific task. It’s likely to be something normal like eating lunch in a school cafeteria. It might also be something more stressful like giving a speech in front of a large audience or performing in a play.
– Lunchroom diners or theater fans begin whispering, snickering, pointing.
– Dreamer suspects she is the cause of said snicker/whisper/pointing and becomes confused.
– Snicker/whisper/pointing erupts into full blown laughter.
– Dreamer, trying to make sense of the situation looks down and realizes she is completely naked.
– Dreamer unsuccessfully attempts to cover private parts with a cafeteria tray, cardboard tree or other stage prop.
– Dreamer runs from crowd.
– Dreamer awakens in a cold sweat.
My research (google) shows that this type of dream could be a manifestation of feelings of rejection or shame. Or, anxiety over being accountable for something and the fear of failure.
(Note: Andrea’s naked nightmare is likely linked to her fear of being expelled for lying about her residency in order to attend West Beverly where she is a rising star in teen journalism.)
So, I’m frequently afflicted with the naked nightmare, but it consistently follows a different pattern. And I’m convinced that my version is way worse.
– Things start out normal enough. I’m usually doing something pretty routine or I’m at a social gathering. I’m usually with people I know only on an acquaintance level.
– From here things immediately deviate from the naked dream trope, as I am the first to notice my nudity.
– And it’s not the full, head-to-toe nudity of TV and film. I am usually partially clothed but missing one key wardrobe component. Like, jeans but zero clothes from the waist up. Or, just a shirt and it’s not like one of those oversized tunics that could provide partial butt coverage.
– Isn’t there something about partial nudity that is WAY weirder and more uncomfortable than full nudity? (See video below).
– Ok, back to my dream.
– So, there I am solely aware of my partial nudity, when, without fail, I think
“This is cool, right?”
Like, I’m pretty sure that the social norms around public nudity have been dissolved and everyone is going to be totally fine with me being pants-less.
– So, I go back to whatever I was doing – buying groceries or pouring seltzer into a Solo cup – and slowly I begin to doubt myself. I look around at my fully clothed peers (none of whom have said or done anything to indicate that they’ve noticed my pants-less state) and think
“Maybe this isn’t cool.”
– I wrack my brain for times when others have been pants-less at the grocery store and nothing comes to mind. I realize I’m the first of my peers to try to make nudity in everyday life a legitimate thing.
– A mixture of panic and shame creeps in. I think
“Why can’t I just be normal at a party? Why did I have to try to be different and call attention to myself?”
– I’m pretty sure that people start to notice, but no one points and laughs. They kind of just avoid eye contact. No one’s enjoying this. Everyone’s embarrassed.
– I make an awkward escape. I don’t just cover my parts and run. I’m still trying to pretend that everything’s cool. I mosey towards the door, waving goodbye to everyone.
– I wake up mortified.
Ok, folks. Let’s play a game.
Question: What the hell does this recurring dream mean?