Wednesday, March 08, 2006

and now for something slightly different

When did this blog get to be so depressing? So serious? I will now invoke the Python-esque spirit, and call for something completely different. Or at least somewhat different. I give you: dream guilt.

In a rather memorable conversation, I once told my partner that woman is not a light switch. (His response was that, from all the evidence, man is - but that's a blog of a rather different color.) However, when it comes to guilt, you can flick a mama on and off like one.

It's easy to invoke mama guilt. 'Oh, isn't it a bit cold to not be wearing mittens?' 'Oh, dear - you do know that juice causes cavities, right? And that juice is one cause of childhood obesity?' 'You did ----- to/with/against/horrible thing here your child?' (fill in activity as desireed, supply relevant tone of voice). Drive by mommying is all too easy, and water does not always roll off a duck's back. My favorite was a bit of advice from my brother about getting my son to sleep through the night. He actually knew better than to offer the advice - he even prefaced the discussion by apologizing for making the suggestion. But when the opportunity appears, it's almost impossible to resist. Or to run away fast enough.

Dream guilt, however, is a whole new level for me. Here's how it happened:
I dreamt that I was looking at a slice of pie. Generally speaking, I'm not a pie kind of girl, but in this dream I craved the pie. I needed the pie. The pie was going to complete me, make me thin and with the kind of cheekbones I've quietly envied. With this pie, my tummy would magically get the idea. I wanted to eat it. But the pie contained egg. In my dream, I was still myself, nursing my egg allergic baby. If I ate the pie, then the egg protein would turn up in my milk, causing an allergic reaction. I knew this, and still I craved it. Finally, I picked it up and ate it feeling awful all the while.

Oy. I woke up and explained to my partner that clearly, I was needing mouth-happy foods. So I handed him the baby and headed off to the local Bread and Wallet, in search of vegan foods that would be high in philosophical cojones and very very bad for me. One container of vegan shortbread later (no, I don't recommend the experience), my mouth wasn't so much happy as wrestled back into line, and I'd had a long, harsh talk with my subconscious.

The next time my stomach and tastebuds have a list of demands for me, they can damned well deliver it directly and leave my psyche out of it.

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