When I was around 6 I started having this recurring nightmare where my entire family sat on a couch together, Simpsons style, staring out this glass door that led to the back porch. Tweedledee and Tweedledum from the animated Disney version of Alice in Wonderland would dance just behind the glass while we all watched. My whole family would be laughing.

All of that was bad enough. Disney films from that era--whatever that era is--were indistinguishable from horror films of today.

Looking at you, Fantasia.

But what made this a true nightmare was that if I stopped laughing at any point, Tweedledee and Tweedledum would teleport into the house and tickle me until I started laughing again. The tickling was painful because they had sharp fingernails. Once I started (fake) laughing again, they would teleport back to the porch where they would continue dancing.

It was basically a Disney torture dream.

I had this dream weekly.

It's not the only recurring dream from my life. I have had the getting-forced-to-marry-someone dream at least five times a year since I was 18. Since about 2017 Meg and I have gotten married with some regularity in these dreams. AND IT'S AN HONOR.

Truthfully, if Meg and I ever got married and had children together those children would have enough anxiety to power several planets.


I have the must-go-on-another-Mormon-mission-and-for-some-reason-can't-say-no dream every six months or so. Usually in these dreams I'm having to live with 19-year-old boys YES BOYS and I'm trying to explain to them that I can't go out and knock on doors all day up hill both ways in snow up to here because OLD and TIRED and "IT WON'T BE DAWN FOR YOU FOREVER."

The worst recurring dreams are where people I know die. Especially when they're my baby boy Duncan Punkin.

I just asked Skylar if he's ever had a recurring dream and he immediately shouted, without even looking up from his medical school books, "zombies." Then when I asked him to elaborate he just said, "zombies" again, followed by "shhhhh!"

We haven't made eye contact in 12 months.

For years I had the school dreams. The one where I have a final for a class I didn't know I was in is the absolute worst of these. I still have that dream, even though I haven't been in school for nearly a decade now.

Recently I started having a new, very specific, one. I think this one started happening because I'm teaching a law school class on the First Amendment this semester--it's the first time I've ever taught and to be honest, I'm a little nervous because law students are intense. So for the last two weeks nearly every night I have had a dream that I show up to class and pull out my notes but instead of my notes for the class I have accidentally brought printed pages of Anna Karenina so I have to try to give a lecture about the First Amendment using the text of Anna Karenina.

I, of course, bomb. But not as much as you might suspect.

Tell me about your best/worst recurring dream from your life.

~It Just Gets Stranger