Dear Professor,


I had the strangest dream this morning.  I woke up early and then went back to sleep, and this dream was quite vivid.  During the dream I was worrying about an annual luau barbecue we host each summer.  It was the day of the event, and the time for guests to begin arriving was rapidly approaching… but I had nothing ready.  No food, no beverages, no decorations.  In the dream I felt drunk, or heavily drugged, and was unable to get organized for the party even as I watched the time slip by.  It was as if I kept losing track of time and then realizing “oops!” and yet I couldn’t get started.   At one point during the dream I had a big shock:  I was frantically digging through the kitchen trying to get started on the party preparations, and opened the drawer where we keep our hand towels… and my husband’s head was laying in the drawer, sideways and decapitated.  It was not gory, exactly, but obviously extremely disturbing!  I believe this is when I woke up and decided to quit snoozing and go make coffee.  What do you think of the bad-hostess-meets-horror-flick dream here?


KVK


My Dear KVK,


 The Professor believes that your subconscious contemplations about hostess-ing this summer luau of yours may be causing you to literally feel “in over your head” (or, more pointedly, your husband’s head).  You mention that this is an annual event, and thus The Professor can only surmise that expectations run high amongst guests who are no doubt looking forward to donning their leis and gorging themselves into a stupor on tonga punch and laulau.  A party is of course a type of performance.  Whether or not you are consciously aware of it or not, you are most likely feeling no small amount of performance anxiety, as illustrated by your inability to function effectively in the dream.  Lack of organization, losing track of time, feeling inebriated – these are all qualities of classic performance anxiety dreams.  As to the discovery of your husband’s head in the drawer, The Professor has three possible interpretations.  First, the literal and extreme: You may feel that your husband has “lost his head” over this event.  It is also possible that you feel he has provided you with support in the past and that he is not doing so now.  The head represents rationality, stability, and the intellect.  To lose the head means you feel on some level a lack of these things; for your husband to lose his head and for you to discover it while making last minute anxious preparations for a party may indicate that you are not experiencing the rational support you need and desire (either in this situation or perhaps in a more general sense).  The final – and perhaps most likely – possibility is that your subconscious began to feel so agitated by the anxiety of the dream that it tossed in a horror movie trope to wake you up.  Whichever of these possibilities rings most true, The Professor believes that you will find some relief in expressing any anxiety you are feeling about your upcoming event to your husband and in asking for assistance with the preparations.  Speaking of which, The Professor is incredibly skilled at picking up small scraps of pork from the floor post-feast, should you have need of such services.  But I digress.


I remain your faithful servant and dream interpreter extraordinaire,