48: Man of My Dreams

48: Man of My Dreams

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Man of My Dreams

In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.

~Janos Arany

When I first got to college, I tried to be someone I wasn’t. I’d never dated in high school, and the only guys who had expressed interest in me were hoping for an easy hook-up (which I angrily declined). The conclusion I drew was that there must have been something wrong with me personally. I was, you see, a pretty huge nerd. (I still am, in fact.) Any free time I had that didn’t involve reading fantasy novels was absorbed by playing videogames. But boys don’t like nerdy girls, right?

So I ignored my personality, my actual wants and desires, and became what I thought a college girl should be like. And it did get me dates. With losers. I finally turned to my last resort: online dating.

On my profile, I started to be a little more honest with myself. I listed some of the books I liked, said I was hoping to find someone who could make me laugh, and even admitted to being a “nerd” (though I said this with the hopes of sounding like a flirty and fun nerd as opposed to the type of nerd who literally spent the last sixteen hours playing World of Warcraft).

A few weeks passed, and I had gotten a date or two (with losers), when I got a message from “SilverMan.” It said simply: “If you’re looking for a nerd who can make you laugh, I’d appreciate it if you gave me a shot,” followed by his phone number.

I looked at his picture and recognized him from my psychology class. I’d noticed him the first day of lectures, in fact. He’d come in a little after me and was kind of hard to miss.

He was tall and lean, wearing blue jeans and a nice, button-down shirt. His eyes were so piercing he could probably see through brick walls, and they were accented nicely by his high cheekbones, regal nose, and just exactly the right amount of facial hair. If you had asked me about him at any other stage of my life, I probably would have swooned. But there was just something about him, and I never could pinpoint what, that just seemed a little nerdy. Maybe it was his attentiveness in class and willingness to ask questions. Maybe it was because he frequently printed extra copies of his notes to share with others in the class. There was just something about him that made me categorize him as a nerd.

And college girls don’t like nerds, right?

I read his message over twice, ignoring the strange tingling excitement running through my chest. “Oh, great,” I said aloud to my empty apartment, “it’s that nerd from my psychology class.” I promptly deleted my account.

That night, I had a dream about him:

I was in our usual psychology classroom. Class had either just gotten out or had not yet started. Faceless students milled around making conversation I didn’t try to hear. “SilverMan” stood beside me, smiling. He said something that made me laugh. I felt warm and comfortable. Accepted. It felt like being a toddler after playing in a bath with a soft towel wrapped around me in a hug. We chatted about nothings and flirted shamelessly. Toward the end of the dream, I remember taking his hand.

I woke blearily to the sound of my alarm, the dream still vivid in my mind. My heart felt like it had tripped down a flight of stairs.

“Huh,” I said, blinking at the sunlight that had forced its way through my thin blinds.

Try as I might to ignore it, the dream clung to my conscious mind. Its implications were obvious, but I spent almost half the day trying to talk myself out of it.

“This doesn’t happen in real life,” I insisted quietly as I finished my make-up.

Tromping down the stairs, I muttered, “I’m not going to have a dream about him, then fall madly in love with him and get married and live happily ever after.”

“That sounds like the premise of a bad romance novel,” I told myself after breakfast.

“Besides,” I thought while walking to class, “my account’s been deleted. I probably won’t have access to his number anymore anyway.”

I studiously avoided him in psychology and rushed home after my classes were finished.

By dinnertime, I’d exhausted all my excuses and still couldn’t get the dream out of my head.

“Fine!” I said at last, prying open my laptop. “If his number is still there, I’ll send him a text. I could use the dating experience anyway. But it probably won’t even be there anymore.”

I got online and reactivated my account. Most of my messages had been erased. Only three were still in my inbox. One of which was from SilverMan. So I sent him a text.

We’ll be celebrating our seven-year wedding anniversary this December.

~Mary T. Whipple

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