Apparently deriving some sort of inspiration from the recent Winter Olympics (which I did not watch), the other night I dreamed that I competed in them. I've been taking Nyquil at night in an attempt to subdue the cold I've had for the past 437 days (give or take) and let me just say that I've been having some very strange dreams. My husband refuses to take Nyquil. I have no idea why. I mean, aside from the weird dreams, I've been sleeping GREAT. When I ask him about it, he doesn't seem to be able to articulate why he won't take it. Last night he was coughing so hard that he moved from our bedroom to the couch in the middle of the night. I guess he didn't want to disturb me but I mean to tell you that I was in a near-coma. I think that taking Nyquil is probably the equivalent of drinking a shot of brandy with an aspirin floating in it.
Anyway, about that dream. You're probably wondering in which sport I competed. Swimming. Yes, that's right. I competed in swimming at the Winter Olympics. I didn't have to do anything to qualify for my spot. I just had to fill out a sign-up sheet. Some of the swimming events were already full, so I signed up for the 600 yard event. Yes, I know that swimming distances are not actually calculated in yards, but apparently my sub-conscious does not. I'm guessing that it (my dream brain) selected 600 yards based on my pure hatred for the 600-yard dash when I was a kid. We had to take a physical fitness test at school each year and the 600-yard dash was one of the tests . . . although in my case there was nothing very dash-y about it. I think I usually just jogged around the track for a bit and then walked the rest of the way.
In my dream, I arrived at the event, which was held in a murky pool that had a lot of trees around. There were a few dead leaves floating in the green water. It didn't feel very Olympics-ish. I should also take this opportunity to mention that I can't really swim. I mean, I love to swim and I can swim, but I never took swimming lessons as a kid and never learned any formal strokes or anything like that. When I swim at hotels and stuff, I just kind of paddle my way from one end of the pool to the other, swimming either backward or forward. I've never really been terribly concerned about my lack of swimming skills. You see, I have big boobs and the odds of me drowning are pretty slim. Anyway, back to the dream. As far as I can recall, I didn't actually do any training in order to compete in this event at the Olympics. As I looked out into the pool, which just had two lanes, it occurred to me that I wasn't sure whether the length of the pool was 600 yards or if I'd have to swim across once, do one of those fancy turn-flip things, and then swim back the other way to complete the other half of the race. I decided I'd better watch the next person who swam to find out. She jumped in and swam across, but just as she approached the far end of the pool, she had to dodge a little girl who was already swimming in the pool. The little girl wasn't competing in the Olympics like we were - she was just cooling off on a hot day (in Russia, during the Winter Olympics). So, I think the competitive swimmer was disqualified because she couldn't finish the race. She seemed really frustrated.
Right about then, Tim Gunn walked out, stood on the pool's edge, and made an announcement that one lane was for women and the other was for men and if you used the wrong one you WOULD BE DISQUALIFIED. This made me even more nervous. I sat on the edge of the pool with another athlete. She said, "I'd better take this out before I compete." She then reached up and cut a braided extension out of her hair. It was purple and blue. She set the braid on the ledge of the pool, right between us. It began slithering towards me across the wet concrete. Alarmed, I got up and backed away. And then my alarm went off.
I never got to earn a medal for my country.