19 March 2011

A bitter argument

In reality, I am trying to get a small food business off the ground. The business is named after my friend and music teacher N; his likeness appears on its labels. Currently I am making preparations for a vending event I am planning to attend this summer.


I am taking a music lesson with N. [His apartment in the dream does not reflect his actual apartment.] Before I leave, he shows me some t-shirts that have been printed up advertising my food business. I had had some items in my shopping cart at an online printing service, including some experimental t-shirt designs which I had not intended to purchase. Apparently N had checked out everything in my cart and now I was stuck with hundreds of dollars' worth of advertising materials in a design I did not want. I am very angry and I say I had not intended to order these items. I leave N's apartment, and a few blocks away meet my boyfriend D. I tell D how mad I am and he convinces me to go back and tell N so. D offers to come with me. D and I go back to N's and I tell him very angrily that it was not up to him to check out my cart. I say that I am trying to get a business started and that he has cost me a lot of money. N becomes angry with me and says "Fuck you." I say "No, fuck you!" and give him the middle finger, and I leave again. [Some more stuff happens here that I don't remember.] Later that day, I meet N again and he apologises for getting mad and telling me "Fuck you." I accept and we reconcile.


The meaning of this dream seems quite clear. I often think that N has some unreasonable expectations, for instance, insisting that lessons be rescheduled rather than simply missed for contingencies such as illness or inclement weather. D supports my opinion, but knows I have a hard time confronting N about this issue. When some circumstance causes me to have to miss a music lesson, I get very stressed at the thought of having to notify N; D always offers to call him for me, but I never accept this offer as it is my problem to handle. At our last meeting I mentioned to N that I thought it should be acceptable to miss a lesson now and then when unforeseeable conflicts arise. When N replied that allowing cancelations in such cases is the beginning of a slippery slope towards students' feeling they can cancel without notice any time they please, I pointed out to him that while that might be a valid objection generally, he has known me for many years and should have confidence in my diligence; I honour all my commitments and cutting me a little slack the few times a year that something comes up is not going to lead to a general deterioration in my attendance. He acknowledged that perhaps some more leniency is warranted in my case and said he would consider that in the future.

In the dream, the argument was much more belligerent than any conversation I ever have had with N. There are many occasions when I think he is being unreasonable but I tone down my opinion or don't voice it at all. In the dream I got the chance to really lash out. Also, in the dream, even though N is the one who has stepped out of line by checking out my shopping cart, it is he who exhibits hostility in the argument first. I get to scream in anger at N while preserving my self-image as "nice" and "reasonable" by yelling "fuck you" only after N has instigated the altercation.

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