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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Barack Obama's iPod

The Old Man and I had a party last weekend, a party for adults only - though as Feral Mom pointed out, it wasn't that kind of party. Still, I had imagined something relatively raucous - drunkenness, loud conversation inappropriate for young children, and possibly even some dancing with the rugs rolled back. As it turns out, though, I was a little too pregnant to really lead the way in drunken raucousness and spontaneous dancing. I had my half a glass of wine and enjoyed a series of great conversations, but things stayed pretty mellow. (We did go just past the 1 AM point, thanks to Mr. Feral and a few other stalwarts, and I'm proud of that fact.)

Earlier in the evening, as my Old Man dropped O. off at our friends' house for an evening of kid fun and babysitter-sharing, their seven-year-old, JW, expressed his disgruntlement at the adults wanting to have a party all by ourselves. "Why?" he wanted to know. His dad assured him that he wouldn't be missing anything, that it would just be a bunch of grown-ups sitting around talking about grown-up stuff. "Like unions?" our precocious young friend asked. Yeah, probably. "And Barack Obama?" Ah, JW, you are perceptive beyond your years.

In fact, I half-expected Barack Obama not only to come up at our party but to show up at our party. A couple nights before I'd had a dream that he crashed this very party. It was one of those impossibly vivid pregnant dreams, and it made it seem altogether possible that the lanky Illinois senator and presidential hopeful might walk through the door any minute.

I hoped not, because if my dream was any indication, despite his progressive political values and public charisma, Obama is a terrible party guest. In my dream version of our party, he arrived wearing his iPod and immediately reclined on the living room floor. When I encouraged him to take his iPod off, noting that there was music playing in the room, he brusquely said "No. I want to listen to my music." I was put off by this sentiment, but it didn't dampen my strong urge to make this uninvited guest happy and comfortable at my party.

My dreams all tend to have a primary emotional tone or mood, and that emotion both colors my perception of everything that happens in a given dream and dictates my dream actions, and my dream anxieties if those actions should happen to be thwarted. The primary emotional impulse of this dream was eagerness-to-please. It’s a state of mind I'm familiar with in real life, one that comes out most strongly in situations where I'm offering hospitality. (Thanks to my family's culture of extreme-hospitality-whether-you-want-it-or-not, I can't relax unless a guest in my home has a drink in their hand. "Please! I sometimes feel the impulse to cry out, "Won't you just take a glass of water, for Christ's sake?")

So, however rude and annoying Obama got in his repeated insistence that he would not dislodge the earbuds from his senatorial ears, I felt the strong urge to make him comfortable, happy, and part of the party. "Tell me what kind of music you like." I said, "Maybe we have a CD you'd prefer to the one that's playing." Obama obliged, listing six or eight band names I'd never heard of. If only I could recall some of them, but all I can say is that 1. they sounded like indie rock bands and 2. they were totally unknown to me. I felt foiled.

Then I got another idea. "Let me listen to a couple of songs on your iPod, and I'll see if I have some music that I think you would like, based on what you're listening to." Reluctantly, Obama obliged, handing his earbuds over to me. At this point a surreal, only-in-your-dreams moment occurred and I realized that Obama's iPod was somehow connected to a heavy cable that trailed off into the other room, which made it awkward to manipulate. I managed to get the earbuds in and, to my great astonishment, I recognized the song that was playing. Quite improbably, it was "Race for the Prize," the first track off the Flaming Lips' CD The Soft Bulletin. I got inordinately excited, all of the frustration and anxiety that had built up over Obama's musical intransigence and my inability to please him melting away in a wash of excitement. "The Flaming Lips! We listen to that band! We have this CD!" As I disentangled myself from Obama's iPod and rushed off to put The Soft Bulletin on the CD player, my dream melted into some other scene...

6 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

I love dreams.

And, regarding your last post, I am so glad to hear you're feeling better! That must have been horrid. I can't imagine it. It reminds me of my realization that pregnancy sort of feels claustrophobic sometimes: there is no way out and no cure except through severe pain and sweating and heaving (or a c-section, which wasn't terribly fun either). Like, you're sick-as-a-dog and unable to get better--it's just not RIGHT!!

So are you going to--never mind. I'll ask it in my interview! :)

3:39 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Actually, I find it significant that Obama was listening to "Race for the Prize!" Indeed. May he win the race for the Democratic nomination.

10:41 AM  
Blogger E. said...

The import of "Race for the Prize" didn't even occur to me because I was so bowled over by the idea that Barack Obama was a Flaming Lips fan.

Very interesting... Maybe I'm prescient.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Esereth said...

First of all, let me say THANK YOU for publically drinking wine while pregnant. I hate mother-hood terrorism, where every little thing that could one in a million chance slightly harm a kid is cause for mass hysteria. I had to go over a year with no peanuts because of this, and was chastised for letting my kid taste an orange. ANYWAY. Huzzah to you.

Also, I saw a woman reading Obama's book at the doctor's yesterday. And I JUDGED her. I thought "phphpht. Trendy."

I love your blog.

10:00 AM  
Blogger pablo pinchado said...

cool dream! Thanks for sharing

7:24 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Lets see...One chance in a million to permanently and irreparably damage your innocent, beautiful baby...take the chance? I would hope not. You ought to be ashamed for drinking at all.

Do you smoke as well? Do you look down on people who do smoke in front of their child even though it might not harm the baby? I thought so. It is the same.

12:39 PM  

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