The Dinosaur Dream
My parents have been giving me grief all evening about my “last night as a teenager.” It has been in some ways quite different from, and in others quite similar, to most of the Wednesday nights of my teenage years: dinner, playing with my cats, watching Mr. Bean, and doing dishes. Its casual nature stands in stark contrast, however, to my first night as a teenager. During my last night as a twelve-year-old, I had a remarkable dream. There was a desperate hunt for fried chicken, an epic battle involving dinosaurs and half of a giraffe, and a few well-placed musical numbers.
I desperately wanted to share this dream with my family members, but the whole day had been rather full. They had blindfolded me and taken me to the Beehive Tea Room, where I had my first cup of jasmine tea, then helped me make fondant surf boards for the penguins on my birthday cake (I was thirteen, ok), and finally, helped me make mac and cheese from scratch. On this auspicious occasion, my parents opened a bottle of champagne; I guess they had one lying around from Christmas celebrations and felt my entrance into my teen years warranted the flair. However, as my siblings and I ranged in age from 11 to 14, my parents had no help finishing the large bottle. It was an ambitious choice on their part, considering the wine they had already consumed while dinner was being made.
We ate dinner, and the conversation never lent itself to the interpretation of my dream, so I waited patiently to mention it while my parents consumed many a flute of bubbly. Finally, the time for cake arrived, and the final glasses of champagne were poured. There was a lull in conversation, and I took the opportunity to introduce the subject of my dream. It was in vain; I was interrupted four or five times, first by parents, then by cats, then by siblings, until finally I raised my voice.
“HEY! Can I PLEASE tell you guys this dream without being interrupted?”
The table was silent, and my dad, visibly tipsy, nodded. “Sorry, sweetie. Go ahead and tell your dream.”
I began, but got no further than the first word when dad threw his champagne over his shoulder, dropping the flute into his lap and saying “lalalalala,” fingers in his ears. The table erupted into giggles. I stamped my tiny teen feet.
“Daddy! What are you doing?”
He picked up the miraculously unbroken glass and explained that he had meant to tease me by sticking his fingers in his ears and pretending to ignore the telling of the dream I had worked so hard and been so patient for, but he had forgotten the step that involved setting his champagne back on the table. From the other end of the room, my mother shook her head slowly.
“You know dear, if you weren’t going to drink that,” she mused, her own glass dangling from two fingers, empty, “I would have had it.”
By that point, my dream had rather lost its punch, but perhaps tomorrow, I shall attempt to tell it again.