In case anyone’s on the fence about whether grade school traumas stick with people, I’d like to share this incredibly embarrassing little ditty.
I have a reoccurring dream. The exact place and subject matter changes, but the theme remains constant. In this dream, I hang out with my grade school crush, a kid whose name was Winner. That was his actual name. His parents were wildly optimistic.
Winner was the “cool” kid in our huge grade school class of 15 people. I thought he was super funny. It wasn’t until high school that I realized most of his best bits were just repeated from Saturday Night Live skits, which I wasn’t allowed to watch. Buckwheat, James Brown Hot Tub and Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood made so much more sense when I finally saw them performed by Eddie Murphy.
The Winner in my dreams isn’t the real Winner. He doesn’t look like him. He’s an adult and I’ve never seen Winner as an adult. The real Winner and I never had a thing. We were on two totally different planes of existence in grade school. I was a bookish thing, and I’m pretty sure he was banging a girl named Angel at the nearby Catholic school. Seriously. Angel. Come on. I can’t make this stuff up. Winner was probably having sex and I wasn’t allowed to stay up and watch SNL.
That’s another thing that hit me in my twenties. I think I literally sat up in bed and said, “Oh my god, kids were having sex in grade school!” I’m a little slow.
The hottest action between myself and Winner was the two of us sharing a joke behind the teacher’s back, which always sent my pre-pubescent hormones spinning with happiness. And once, he actually danced with me at a grade school dance. I don’t know why or how that happened and it never happened again. It must have been pity the dork day or something.
Anyway, I have these dreams where I’m hanging out with Winner and how he feels about me in my dream is a direct correlation to how I feel about myself in life.
If I dream Winner and I are really good friends and/or dating/in love, I’m feeling confident in my life.
If I dream Winner is giving me the cold shoulder, it’s during a time I’m suffering anxiety for whatever reason. Basically, Winner blowing me off is my equivalent for standard anxiety dreams, like dreaming you’re late for class or your teeth are loose and falling out. My husband has about 150 different anxiety dreams a month, all of them different and ineteresting. Me? I’m stuck with Winner rolling his eyes at me when I try to make a flirty joke.
Winner and I went to the same high school, but really, I never saw him again after eighth grade. High school was much larger, and we were in different groups. So why does Winner haunt my dreams? Why is he the manifestation of all my anxieties?
I have no idea. But I can tell you, keep an eye on your kids in grade school. First, things you think are trivial, may haunt them for life. If they want the cool pair of jeans, get them the cool pair of jeans. For the love of peer pressure, making them wear Lee’s when everyone else is wearing Levi’s is like sending them to school in a clown costume. You might as well call Dateline now and schedule his or her episode.
Second, don’t let them hang around people with names like Angel and Winner. They’re up to no good.
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