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In Your Dreams

Revealing Walk on an Ugly Street Bares a Concern for Her Looks

November 16, 1998|CYNTHIA RICHMOND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Dear Cynthia: I am walking down a rather ugly street in Hollywood. I am barefoot. In fact, all I am wearing is a towel! I am embarrassed, but even more so because my hair is only towel-dried and is still quite damp. It looks like a tangled haystack on my head. I keep one hand on the towel, and with the other I try to cover my face and head. I go into a souvenir store and get a shirt, but nothing for my hair because people start to point at me and I have to leave.

I see my car. I start to get in it, but then I see my little dog running down the street looking for me, so I go back outside to get him. I am still embarrassed because people are staring at me.

That's when I woke up.

LAURIE

Sherman Oaks

Dear Reader: If you actually did walk the streets of Hollywood in nothing but a towel, it is likely that no one would even raise an eyebrow! But in your dream you clearly are feeling vulnerable and out of place. Hollywood is associated with show biz and glamour, but also with illusion and facade. The "rather ugly" part of Hollywood where you find yourself is certainly an undesirable place to be alone and in need. You are very concerned about how you look, and you don't like the attention you receive. Yet you are not so vain that your discomfort keeps you from rescuing your pet.

In real life, as in Hollywood, appearances can be deceiving. Hair, makeup and wardrobe can change a person's look completely. Therefore, they are not nearly as important as the true self, the part of you that, even though totally embarrassed, risked another public display to save her little dog.

You have the right stuff! If you feel valued more for your appearance than for your heart and compassion, reconsider what is truly important.

*

Dear Cynthia: I have been divorced since 1993. In my dream, I came home after work to find my husband taking one of my favorite dresses out of the closet. He placed it on the floor with others. I asked him why, but before he could respond, a man I don't know came out of another room with a vase of ours. He paid my husband some money for it (not very much), and as he left, other people came out of other rooms with things they wanted to buy. My husband sold a piece of Christmas china for 50 cents. I got very angry and made everyone leave. By the looks on their faces, I could tell that the people didn't realize he was selling our things without my knowledge.

I hope you can offer some insight into this dream.

MARSHA

Glendale

Dear Reader: Clothing represents the roles we play in life. Seeing your husband putting your favorite dress on the floor indicates that you enjoyed being a wife, and that he took that enjoyment away from you. He betrayed you by "selling" the items with which you made your marriage nest--and he undervalued them, as evidenced by the prices he charged for items special to you.

The Christmas china represents traditions and rituals, special events and celebrations that help define family life for you. At times such as Christmas, you may resent the divorce more than ever.

Because we are approaching the holiday season, create some new traditions of your own. Focus on what you are creating, rather than on the way things used to be or on what you don't have now because of the divorce. When we focus on past hurt, we remain the victim. Even if you are entitled to feel like a victim, it doesn't feel very good. Reclaim your life, and create a magical and beautiful holiday season for you and those you love.

*

Behavioral therapist Cynthia Richmond's column appears every other Monday. To contact her, write to In Your Dreams, Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053; send a fax to (213) 237-0732; or e-mail her at cynthrich@aol.com Please include your hometown and a daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 100 words and cannot be returned.

In Your Dreams should be read for entertainment purposes only.

Cynthia Richmond explains children's dreams on our Kids' Reading Room page every Wednesday.

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