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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

42

I Dream of Britney

In 2008 I started a single topic Tumblr that never went anywhere. It was called I Dream of Britney, and the idea was that readers would submit their celebrity-laden fantasies and nightmares (no one ever posted but me, though). At that point, Tyra Banks was my subconscious’s most frequent famous guest star. Those dreams usually involved some sort of America’s Next Top Model scenario in which she was judging me and finding me insufficiently fierce and overly dumpy.

Though the Tumblr was named for Britney Spears (and she’s apparently a very common dreamscape fixture), I had never had my own dream about her until this past Saturday. My dreams have been unusually vivid and memorable in the past few weeks. I attribute this to the fact that I am nine months pregnant and in this bizarre, liminal phase between my old life and my new one.

This is one of the things no one tells you about pregnancy until you’re actually going through it — how difficult and strange the final days can be. Beyond the obvious physical discomfort of carrying around an entire fully formed little person, you’re perched on this psychological precipice with only a vague idea of when you will be pushed off of it. Also, your vagina is about to get torn up. In other words: You’re not a girl, not yet a woman. 

So, the dream. One of the ways I have been occupying myself on maternity leave is to Google the celebrities born on or around my baby’s due date. Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed about the fact that both my husband and I knew this without having to look it up, but it was confirmed by my web meanderings. Also at some point last week, I saw this picture of Britney with her two moppets and her younger sister, Jamie Lynn. I’ll just leave that there for you all to unpack on your own, but I will say that I never understood why anyone would wear super short jorts and Uggs. If it’s cold enough for Uggs, it is way too hot for short jorts. Does Jamie Lynn have circulation problems? Are her feet extra stanky? Discuss.

Saturday was December 1. I curled up for an afternoon nap and Britney came to me immediately. In the dream, she had decided to give me a candid interview, which was the scoop of a lifetime (any dedicated Brit-watcher knows she hasn’t given a real interview in years. All of her dealings with the press are robotic and hyper managed).

Britney was being her pre-Federline, pre-head shaving, early aughts goofball self. She was joking with me about being a self-proclaimed redneck mom, and being extremely revealing about her drug addled past. She was giving me amazing quotes, but every pen I tried to use to take notes didn’t work. Still, I didn’t want to stop her stream of consciousness gabbing because I was afraid she’d back off.

“I had to quit doing drugs because my kids were getting older,” she told me, clutching my hand across my kitchen table. “The hardest part was I had to fire half my staff. A lot of them were my drug buddies. The saddest thing was when I had to fire my hairdresser, RoRo, because of the meth.” As she wistfully mourned the firing of RoRo, she started to tear up. I clutched her hand back in solidarity. Poor RoRo!

Then my husband walked through the front door and woke me up. I told him what had happened in the dream, and then made the following pronouncement. “I think Britney was telling me that our baby is going to be born on her birthday.” I was half-joking when I said it, and Mike looked at me like I was a total lunatic, but I spent all of Sunday in heightened anticipation. Would our little girl fulfill my Britney prophecy? If she did, would we have to name her Britney? Or Jamie Lynn? Or RoRo?

We were driving home from a friend’s apartment when the clock hit midnight on the 3rd, making it impossible for our baby to share the same birthday as Ms. Spears. I was surprisingly disappointed, but I think it’s mostly because I had convinced myself that my bananas dream was my subconscious self telling me that our girl was on the way, and that we were ready for her. Britney was telling me that giving up one’s old self — meth and all — is doable, even if it means getting rid of some of the things you enjoyed from your past (RoRo + Meth).

I haven’t had any more celebrity dreams since Britney appeared to me over the weekend, and our baby is technically due today, though first pregnancies often go past the 40-week mark. I’m not that thrilled with her potential celebrity birthday sharers – Strom Thurmond?? – but at least I know dream Britney has my back.

Jessica Grose is a writer, editor, and grizzly bear enthusiast. Her debut novel, 'Sad Desk Salad,' is out now and you can buy it here for your holiday reading pleasure. She might name her baby RoRo.

42 Comments / Post A Comment

travelmugs

I came close to buying the blouse Britney is wearing in that linked pic when it was on sale at Anthropologie, and now I'm really glad I didn't.

Reginal T. Squirge

Fastest way to get me to close tab, online or irl: "I just have to tell you about this dream I had!"

Reginal T. Squirge

Or you could start talking about how you think your dead spouse is now a butterfly.

SarahP

@Reginal T. Squirge YUP. The only exceptions to this rule are: 1.) if I was in the dream or 2.) I am related and/or married to the dreamer.

questingbeast

@SarahP I assume that's the reason humans arrange themselves in pairs; so noone else has to listen to their dreams. Evolution!

meetapossum

@Reginal T. Squirge "I don't want to hear about your dream, okay? I hate listening to people's dreams. It's like flipping through a stack of photographs. If I'm not in any of them, and nobody's having sex, I just don't care."

Slutface

I'm reading your book now Jessica!

Slutface

@Slutface p.s. I like it

JGro

@Slutface yay! Thank you for reading!

alexandra

My two best friends in the world were born on December 5th and December 6th. I assure you that they are both wonderful wonderful people to share a birthday with.

Congratulations and best wishes on a safe delivery (:

iceberg

I used to have a recurring dream as a child that I was trapped in a maze with Luke, Leia and Han Solo.

Elsajeni

@iceberg THAT SOUNDS AWESOME. I mean, I assume it was probably less awesome to actually experience, because peril, but... I wouldn't mind being in that maze.

ScavenGypsy

"You’re not a girl, not yet a woman."

Seriously? Did I just read that? That a baby is what transforms a girl into a woman?

That's so weird, because I could have sworn I was reading The Hairpin... in the 21st century. Go figure.

iceberg

@ScavenGypsy It's a Britney song reference. I don't think she meant it as the only path from girl to woman.ETA - I mean, I think she just meant having a child is a transformative experience.

Ophelia

@iceberg That's how I read it, too. Partly broader metaphor, partly tongue-in-cheek.

noodge

@ScavenGypsy

(I didn't catch the reference either and came down here to post about. thanks for doing so already and taking one for the team of people who don't know Britney lyrics :-) )

vunder

@ScavenGypsy Even without getting the lyrics reference, did you miss the part about the "torn up vagina" - obviously, a joke. Seriously.

ScavenGypsy

@Iceberg Ohhhh, hilarious. That makes so much more sense now.

JGro

@ScavenGypsy It was just a Britney lyric joke! I swear I would never in a million years imply that having a baby made you a woman. Yikes, what an awful retrograde thought! It was as @Ophelia says, partly metaphor but mostly tongue-in-cheek

TheBelleWitch

This made me laugh (in a good way). Britney Spears is your spirit animal!

mynamebackwards

my birthday is december 6th (st nicholas day). I can attest that it is a super awesome birthday to have!

Probs

Hahaha. I laughed out loud over (RoRo + meth)

Rozebekistan

@Probs ...Or RoRo? That was the best!

VDRE

"Those dreams usually involved some sort of America’s Next Top Model scenario in which she was judging me and finding me insufficiently fierce and overly dumpy."

I have had this exact dream

Ophelia

Jessica, even if you don't name your kid RoRo, that's a nickname just WAITING to happen.

Susanna

The insaneo-preganancy dreams are supposed to be hormonal. That's also why your dreams go crazy just before your period (progesterone? Is that that one?)

WineRanger

So, is this where I tell you about my dream where I was smoking pot with Brad Pitt and I was surprised to find out that I kind of liked him after all? The best part was that we were hiding from Angelina.

PS I smoke pot about once a year, maybe.

Decca

@WineRanger My best celebrity dream was that I was in the waiting room at the dentist and they gave me a giant picture a Reba McEntire to colour in to pass the time.

WineRanger

@Decca Bwaaahahahahahah!

Brunhilde

@Decca as a child I had recurring nightmares about Reba coming after me with a shotgun.

werewolfbarmitzvah

Pregnancy dreams are bananas! I'm only 9 weeks in, and last night I had a dream that I pooped out an old smoke detector, batteries and all. And in the dream I looked down at the smoke detector in surprise, and the smoke detector looked up at me, and I said, "Well, NO WONDER it was so hard to push that one out!"

(Apologies for any TMI.)

Ophelia

@werewolfbarmitzvah I haven't had any weird ones yet, just hyper-realistic ones, where I'm not 100% sure when I wake up whether they actually happened or not. It's...disconcerting.

lil.orphan.shannie

Whenever I dream of celebrities, I'm always having sex with them. I'm really big into dream threesomes.

HeyThatsMyBike

The best part of this is that I'm pretty sure that if Britney gave a tell-all interview, she'd basically say exactly what she dream-said to you. Except I'm betting RoRo would not be named RoRo. But would probably be named something equally ridiculous!

redheadedtwit

"If it’s cold enough for Uggs, it is way too hot for short jorts. Does Jamie Lynn have circulation problems? Are her feet extra stanky? Discuss."
Do you mean "If it's cold enough for Uggs, it is way too (cold) for short jorts?"
Am I just being dense?

Regina Phalange

So, I just checked the blog, and saw a reference to "that guy from Happy Endings whose face I hate."

Is it Zach Knighton? Because God love him, that seems to be the consensus.

Miss Maszkerádi

I have really odd recurring dreams ABOUT pregnancy. (No idea if they're progesterone-induced as someone upthread mentioned, but now I want to start charting my weirdass dreams.) It starts with me going about a fairly boring day in fairly normal fashion, with this persistent sense that I've forgotten something important. Then I suddenly realize - holy shit, I'm pregnant. Of course I have no idea who the father is and I have no memory of the conception, in the dream I'm usually about twelve years old (apparently my subconscious never left middle school) and nowhere near a relationship. The dream-baby is always really tiny and stillborn and sort of gross. Except last time I had the dream, it was grotesquely deformed (human body, pig snout...), he had the name I actually plan on giving my firstborn son if I ever have one, and lived for five minutes before vanishing/dying. I was totally nonplussed until I realized that my dream-boobs were full of now-useless milk. ....I definitely woke up in a really strange mood that morning.
Cripes, I sound like a psych case, re-reading this. SOMEONE ANALYZE MY CREEPY DREAM, WHAT DOES IT MEAAANNNN

plumb-bob

@Countess Maritza I heard somewhere that pregnancy in dreams represents creative projects in the pipeline, or an urge to be creative, rather than actual babies. Have you repressed your creative side since the age of 12? Middle school will crush the hopes and dreams of most kids :(
After I had a spate of pregnancy dreams lately, I asked plumb-boy if he'd ever dreamt he was pregnant, and he said never. So if the theory is true, what do guys dream about when they're feeling the creative itch, huh?

Inkling

"If it’s cold enough for Uggs, it is way too hot for short jorts. Does Jamie Lynn have circulation problems? Are her feet extra stanky? Discuss."

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE BIG THIGHS AND LONG PANTS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE AND IT'S NONE OF ANYONE'S BUSINESS BECAUSE WE'RE WOMEN WE CAN DRESS OURSELVES.

cmcm

Last night I had a dream that Tyra Banks was my teacher, and she forced us to have a fairly violent and terrifying candy fight in detention.

What's going on with you, Subconscious Mind?

dima boev

hi hi , i born with Britney :)))

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