Third Time’s a Charm

When I was a young teenager, there was this boy I loved named Leland.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of him to share, but he looked a lot like a younger version of Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and he was actually the sweetest gut I ever dated.

Anyway, Leland and I never “officially” broke up.  (So, I guess technically, we’re still dating.  I hope his wife doesn’t mind.  LOL!)  But as we went our separate ways, I always held a special place in my heart for him.  When I heard he later got into drugs, I knew it was good thing we didn’t end up together, but I still had a soft spot for him and who he used to be.

Over the years, I didn’t particularly go out of my way to think about Leland, but I did notice something:  When I dreamed about him one night, I always dreamed about him the following night.  And when I dreamed about him two nights in a row, I always randomly ran into him sometime during the third day.  And the odd thing was I never ran into him any other time.

This had gone on for a number of years, and I was glad because I always knew that on day three, I should do my hair and makeup extra good because I just knew that would be the day.  (You know how it is when you run into an ex…  You always want to make them regret not choosing you for their one and only.)

Anyway, one day when my son was small, I had the dream both nights, so I knew on day three, I’d see Leland.  I had to take my grandma on several errands that day, and I’d already told her we’d run into him later.  (She’d seen my dreams in action enough to know it would truly happen, so she was looking forward to seeing him as well.)  We drove all over town doing this and that all day and part of the evening, but we never saw him.

By the time I got home and made dinner for my kids, I felt disappointed.  I wasn’t sure if I was more disappointed because I didn’t see Leland that day or because it was the first time my “dream coincidence” failed me.  (And by the way, I don’t believe in coincidences.)

Later that night, my son, Jeremy, had a bad asthma attack.  I got him out of bed and rushed him to the emergency room.  His doctor came and gave him a breathing treatment and some steroids, and after a couple of hours, he sent us back home.  But as we were leaving, guess who was just arriving in the E.R.?  Yes, you guessed it…  It was Leland!  He had a cut on his forehead and needed stitches.  (Technically, I think it was after midnight, so it might’ve been considered day four, but since I’d never been to bed myself, it was still really only day three to me.)  After that, I went back to seeing him during the day of day three every time I had two dreams about him.

Tell me:  Do you listen to your dreams?  Do you think dreams mean anything or are they just psychological dumping grounds?  Do you dream in color?

This One’s for Stefani

It’s no secret that my favorite band of all time is Bon Jovi.  From the time they first started out of the gate in 1984, I was hooked.  A few years later when I was a teenager, I had the awesome opportunity to meet them at a softball game they played against a local radio station.  I was asked by Alec, the bass player at the time, to go back to the hotel and party with the band.  Like an idiot, I was in love with the man that would eventually become my abusive ex-husband, and I didn’t want to risk losing him, so I didn’t go.   (I still kick myself over that stupid choice to this day.)

Bon Jovi’s Autographs

A couple of years after that, I was pregnant with my daughter Stefani.  The lovely boyfriend who was her father, wanted nothing to do with me or our child from about five minutes after I told him I was pregnant.  (Let’s note here that like a fool, I still married him a couple of years later. I still kick myself over that stupid choice to this day as well.)  He left me for a fifteen-year old girl and actually got her pregnant while I was pregnant with his daughter.  (This was not the first nor the last time that he felt it his duty to procreate the earth while he was with me while I stupidly stayed faithful to him for years upon years.  But I digress.)

Anyway, three and a half weeks before Stefani was born, Bon Jovi was coming to my town.  This time, they were the headliner, and their opening act was Skid Row.  I liked Skid Row, but I LOVED Bon Jovi.  A friend worked at the venue where they were to perform and offered me tickets, but I didn’t think that being pregnant, it would be such a good idea to go.

Also, while I was pregnant, as I mentioned in my earlier post, because I was so sick, I had to quit working until two weeks after Stefani was born.  And because her dad left me, I had no choice but to live with my Grandma again.  But Grandma was a very proud and old-fashioned woman, not to mention controlling.  As such, I wasn’t allowed to leave the house during the day so that neighbors wouldn’t see that I was pregnant and know that I was unmarried.  I wasn’t allowed to wear maternity clothes for the same reason.  And she had a ready made story made up about me being married and my husband working out of town or some other such nonsense in case anyone happened to see me and question her.  I’m sure she clearly envisioned the day someone would walk up to her and say, “So, Toby, I hear your granddaughter is a whore who gave birth to a bastard child.  What were you thinking when you raised her to be so horrible?”  (Yes, really.  That was the epitome of my childhood, hence my book What Would the Neighbors Think?)  (Of course, she never had any idea that her rigid rules are what likely caused me to “get out of hand” as well as cling to the first guy who came along and said he loved me despite how badly he treated me, as I was just looking for some freedom.  But again, I digress.)

So, a few days before Bon Jovi came to town, I had a dream that I got to meet Jon Bon Jovi again and that I was in a tour bus partying with him as well as a couple of members of Def Leppard who I used to like before Bon Jovi came out, (but unlike Bon Jovi, I was over Def Leppard).  It was a nice dream, but I didn’t think much more about it.

The day of the concert, two of my friends called me and asked me again if I wanted to go to the concert.  Of course I wanted to, but I just didn’t think it was a good idea, so I told them no.  Then they suggested that we go and hang out behind the venue.  We could still hear the show and perhaps we could see the bands arrive and go in the back.  That sounded like a lot more fun than all the puking I’d been doing for the previous eight months, so that’s what we did.  I wore my black spandex, a black t-shirt, and black boots, and my hair was sufficiently “big.”  (It was the eighties.)  Because I was so sickly during my pregnancy, I was “nothing but baby,” and from the back, one couldn’t even tell I was pregnant.  I was excited!

As we hung around the back door, there were about fifteen other girls and a couple of guys hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the bands.  An hour or so after we got there, a limousine pulled up and drove through the back door.  As it slowly drove past us, I was closest to the door.  The window went down, and Jon Bon Jovi pointed at me out the window and grinned.  (Which I’m sure was only because I was so pregnant , but I didn’t care why — I was thrilled!)

I was on Cloud Nine!  My head turned as I continued to watch the limo drive past.  But the next thing I knew, someone gently grabbed my baby belly and said, “Is this mine?”

I didn’t even think.  I turned and smacked the guy across the face.  Hard.  At that moment, all of the other girls there scowled at ran toward me, and one of the guards had to push them back!  It wasn’t until that moment that I realized that the person I slapped was none other than Sebastian Bach, the lead singer of Skid Row!  (Yes, really!)

Sebastian Bach

My two friends turned to me and simultaneously said, “You just slapped Sebastian Bach!”  Then one said, “He thought you were pregnant with his baby!”  (Yes, I knew he was only kidding, but it was still flattering just the same.) By then, all the members of Skid Row walked past us through the back door, and they stared me down as they passed (I’m sure because any other girl would’ve welcomed the opportunity to interact with Sebastian!)

I felt so stupid!  Once again, that was a kick-myself moment that I wish I could go back in time and do differently!

Def Leppard’s Rick Allen

The other girls kept glaring at me and whispering about me, which made me very uncomfortable.  So, my friends and I went to Skid Row’s bus and talked the bus driver into letting us on.  (I’m sure my being pregnant helped.)  There was a cool sticker in the front just past the driver, that said “Get Bach!” (as in Get Back!)  The driver talked with us for a couple of minutes then we had to get off the bus, but it was fun just being there.  And when we stepped off, we walked over to a different bus only to find none other than Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard!  He was there as a guest.  We got his autograph and talked to him for quite a while, and he was super nice.   (And again, I think my being pregnant helped keep him talking for so long.)

So, though my dream prediction was a bit skewed, it was still a fun time, sans the slapping of Mr. Bach.  It was definitely freaky that Rick Allen was there after I randomly dreamed that I’d party with Def Leppard!  And to this day, since Stefani’s father is such a piece of work, she and I always joke that Sebastian Bach is her “real” father.

Time to talk:  What’s your favorite song by either Bon Jovi, Skid Row, or Def Leppard?  Would you go to a concert while pregnant?  Would you ever worry so much about what your neighbors thought that you’d make your daughter pretend she wasn’t pregnant?

Just a Friendly Reminder

Yesterday, I told you about the law firm where I worked where I accurately predicted the reasons for Jeri’s absences for an entire week, and I mentioned that Jan* already knew how spot-on my gut feelings could be.

While I worked at that same office, I frequently got feelings, either good or bad, when I signed up new clients.  One particular client we had seemed to be sweet, but I just had a very bad feeling about her.  My boss always got angry when I told him such things because he didn’t want to hear anything negative about the people he represented, but with this particular client, I couldn’t let it go.

This woman had come to us because her parents died due to a faulty appliance which started a fire, and she was suing the manufacturer.  Almost a year passed, and every time I had to see or talk to her, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that she was evil.  (And, yes, I realize what a strong word “evil” is, yet that’s what it felt like.)

Finally my boss threatened to fire me if I didn’t stop badmouthing this client to him.  After that, I kept my opinions to myself for the most part, except I did continue to confide in Jan and tell her what was on my mind.

As it turned out, just as this case was getting ready to go to trial, the client was arrested! It turned out she’d embezzled over $50,000 from her employer some time back, was caught and fired, and was given a certain time period to return the money.  And after further investigation, it turned out that she was who tampered with the appliance in her parents’ house then left them there, knowing a fire would start moments later.  (Of course, when my boss learned this, he was angry that I didn’t insist that he listen to me earlier when I tried to warn him, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, that was just one more instance of Jan seeing my instinct in action.  So several years later, when neither of us worked there for more than a dozen years, I had a dream about her having a “private” health issue, and I called her.  We hadn’t spoken in over a year, and had only spoken about once or twice a year for the past decade.

However, when I told her my dream, she didn’t hesitate to call her doctor and make an appointment right away.  As it turned out, she did have a growth exactly where I told her it would be.  It was caught early, and her doctor was able to laser it off with no residual effects, though her doctor did say that had she not come in when she did, it could’ve easily caused some major complications.

(*Not her actual name)

Time to talk:  Have you ever dreamed of a coworker?  Do you stay friends with coworkers long after you stop working together?  Have you ever just “known” that someone was not a good person?

Are You Scared of the Dentist?

A lot of people have fear of going to the dentist.  But my Throwback Thursday story today involves my fear of someone else going to the dentist.

About six years ago, my birth mother called me one evening.  She said she had a conflict in her schedule and asked me to take my Grandma to the dentist the following morning.  As soon as she asked me, I had a feeling in my bones that it wouldn’t go well.

That night, I had a dream that while in the dentist’s chair, Grandma had a heart attack and three paramedics had to take her to the hospital.  I dreamed they all came and left through a back door  — which was odd because I had gone to that dentist for several years of my life and I never even knew they had a backdoor.  I knew she would be fine in the end, but the experience would frighten her and make it much worse for her, especially while they tried to hook her to a machine.  She was already dealing with early stages of dementia, and I just saw her in my dream being terrified.  I also saw in my dream that I would be at the hospital with her, and we wouldn’t be able to reach anyone to tell them the news.

Besides taking Grandma to the dentist, I also had plans with my friend Angie that day.  Angie’s a nurse, and it was her day off.

When I woke up, I first picked up Angie, then we picked up Grandma.  We took her to the dentist and waited until she was called back, then Angie and I went to lunch.  The dentist’s office said it would be a two hour procedure and they’d call me when they finished.

As Angie and I ordered lunch, my mind was a million miles away.  It was on my dream.  Angie saw I was preoccupied and asked what was wrong.  I told her about my dream and included every little detail.  She laughed and told me it was only a dream and tried to assure me that I had nothing to worry about.  And she tried to convince me that since she was a nurse, she knew Grandma’s procedure was simple, and since Grandma had no prior history of heart problems, I should relax.

We ate lunch, though I was still dwelling on my dream.  We were going to do some shopping, but I couldn’t get my head out of the dentist’s office, so we went back to the dentist and sat in the lobby.  About a half hour later, the dentist called me back to his office to explain Grandma’s procedure.  He told me about her post-op care and said she did fine.

My jaw dropped open, and I said, “Really?  Because I’ve just been having a feeling all morning that she was going to have a heart attack here.”

He chuckled and told me I had nothing to worry about.  He said the assistant was cleaning Grandma up and they’d bring her up front in just a few minutes.

Just then, the receptionist stepped into the room and urgently said, “Doctor, we need you in back right away.”  He smiled and told me to go ahead and sit back in the lobby which I did.

Not two minutes later, the nurse came up front and quietly asked me to come to the back.  She said, “I don’t want to alarm you, but your Grandma is having a heart attack at this very moment.  We’ve called 911, and an ambulance is on the way.  I think she’ll feel better if you’re back there with her.”

When I got to the back, a back door was open, and an ambulance was parking in the back.  They had to open Grandma’s shirt to attach some wires to her chest, and she started freaking out and making the monitors beep even more wildly.  She swatted wildly at the medics trying to get them to stop, and they kept trying to calm her down which only made her more frightened and agitated.

After my morning of feeling panicked, a feeling of calm abruptly washed over me, and suddenly I saw everything as I had in my dream.  I stepped forward and told them, “She’s afraid because she doesn’t know what you’re doing.”  Then I turned to Grandma and calmly explained that they were trying to help her.

After the ambulance left, Angie drove with me to the hospital and stayed for a while until she had to leave and pick up her child from school.  Then I tried repeatedly to call my birth mom as well as other family members, and no one was available.  Every number I called went straight to voicemail… just like in my dream.

So tell me: Are you afraid of the dentist?  Have you ever been in a scary situation, yet had a calming feeling wash over you and known everything was going to turn out to be fine?

Miamibound

Sometimes, my dreams mean nothing.  For example, once I was going to be going to Boston for a week, and I had a repeated dream that I was going to be mugged in a dark alleyway.  I almost cancelled my trip, but decided to go forward with it.  I was never mugged, though I did avoid walking on streets with alleys after dark, so perhaps that was all the dream was meant to warn me to do.

At any rate, I’ve had enough dreams that do come to pass, that I generally make it a point to tell at least one person when I have them so that someone will know I really did dream it before it happened.

Case in point:  When I was a teenager, I had a good friend named Lisa.  We were both young moms, and we both grew up in our grandmas’ houses.  We decided to have a getaway and go to Miami for a girls’ weekend.  We both arranged for our Grandmas to babysit, and we mapped out our activities.

Again, this was in the days before computers and the internet, so when I say we mapped out our trip, we literally used a map and planned our route.  We also contacted a travel agent and got brochures of several things to do while we were there.  Even though we would only be gone for three days, we wanted to make the most of our time away from Mommyhood.

However, as the weekend of our trip approached, I repeatedly had a dream of the two of us being involved in a horrific car accident.  We went to school together and also hung out together quite frequently, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that we would be seen in a car together.  But as the days went by, I saw that our children were not in the backseat as they usually were in real life.  There weren’t even any baby car seats in the back.  I told Lisa about all my dreams, and she just laughed and said it was pre-vacation jitters about leaving the kids.

Finally, the night before our trip, I had the dream yet again, only this time, I saw a sign that said I-95 South… the very highway we would be using to go to Miami.  When Lisa woke up, I told her about that dream, and the color drained from her face.  She didn’t blow me off as she had previously.  We decided then and there to forget the trip altogether.  She went home and picked up her baby, and we took the kids to the park instead.

That night, Lisa and her child spent the night with me, and we watched the news…  And there was a huge accident on Southbound I-95 near Miami.  A semi crossed the lanes, multiple cars piled up, and many people died.  And it happened around the same time of day that we would’ve been there, had we left on time.

Time to talk…  Have you ever changed your plans because of a dream you or someone else had?  Have you ever had a bad feeling about doing something or going somewhere for no good reason?

Why I Don’t Need to Watch the News

As you already know, my grandparents raised me.  When I was small and my birth mother came around, she used to say that I was reincarnated from a Hispanic person because I spoke Spanish before I spoke English (which was odd because we didn’t know any Hispanic people).  I asked for agua instead of water, and my favorite color was rojo.  I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I’d probably be more inclined to think that I died in either a submarine or a sinking ship or perhaps a car overturned in a full ditch, because for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a gripping fear of dying in something enclosed under water, and as the enclosure fills up, I drown.  (Now, that’s not to say that perhaps I wasn’t a Hispanic person who died in such a way.  LOL!  Or perhaps it’s actually a premonition of how I will die.)  The weird thing is I have no fear of water itself.  You could drop me from an airplane into the middle of the Atlantic and I’d be fine.  And I also don’t fear boats.  But I don’t like being in the enclosed cabin of a boat, and flying over water with the doors closed (as if there’s any other way) makes me tense.  Even driving over a bridge, I like to roll down my windows.

So that said, it has absolutely nothing to do with my post today, except that I eventually married a Hispanic man, Mr. Carrera.  When his family visited, they spoke Spanish and more often than not, I just had a “feeling” what they were talking about, and when that happened and I told my mother-in-law, I was generally spot-on.

The rest of my story is again one I’ve shared before when I only first started blogging, so if you remember it, please pardon the rerun.

Well, my ex-husband and I had a horrible union and we were apart more than together.  When we finally separated, we went our separate ways, and that was that.  For the purpose of the rest of this post, my ex-husband’s name is “Bob.”  (That’s not really his name, but I don’t want to infringe on his privacy by revealing his true identity.)

After we were separated, I moved back home with my Grandma.  Shortly thereafter, I had a dream that Bob was in a phone booth outside a McDonald’s with two other people, and he was shot by a stranger who drove by with a gun.  The dream was exceptionally vivid, and I knew the exact intersection where that McDonald’s was located in my town.  It wasn’t an area that I went to very often, but even so, I still saw things clearly.

I was home from work that day because my doctor kept me out for the week with a bad sinus infection, so I slept later than I usually did.  When I woke, I was frazzled and shaky from my dream, to say the least.  It was so real, I was certain that Bob was dead.

I sat up and tried to shake the dream from my head, but it wouldn’t go.  So, I picked up the phone by my bed and called Bob before my feet even hit the floor.

He answered, and I felt an immediate sense of relief.  I told him my dream, then he got angry that I was pulling a stupid joke on him while he was at work.  I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about.  My hands were still shaking from how real my dream was, and I was quite upset.

Bob didn’t hide his disdain and irritation, and he told me to turn on the news.  We yelled at each other, and I hung up on him and didn’t think much more about it.  I got dressed and went to the kitchen where Grandma was reading the newspaper and drinking her coffee.

She asked me what the yelling was about, and I told her.  She then handed me the newspaper.  Apparently, the night before, there were three African-American men, one who was named Bob, inside a phone booth outside of the exact McDonald’s in my dream, and there was a drive-by shooting, and the African-American Bob was shot and killed!

Let’s talk: Have you ever had a feeling so strong you just knew you had to listen to it?  Have you ever ignored your gut feeling and regretted it later?

Second Verse, Same as the First

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m repeating a story that I already told you about a month after I started blogging.  Since then, I’ve picked up a lot more followers, so hopefully most of you won’t be bored with my rerun.  At the time, I wasn’t doing “theme months” yet.  If I would’ve had my themes in place, I’d have saved this story for now.

When I was a teenager, I worked at a convenience store, and I knew a lot of my customers by name because I had to card them for tobacco and alcohol sales.

There was one particular customer named Brad who came in every day after work.  The thing that stood out in my mind about Brad was that he looked like an actor named Lochlyn Munro that was in Lifetime Television movies in the 80s and 90s.

He drove an old blue Mustang, and we usually talked for a minute or two about non-important things each day.  The only things I really knew about him were job-related.

One night, I had a dream about Brad.  In my dream, he was with a tall, blonde girl named Suzanna, but he called her Sue.  They were in a brand new red Celica, and they were headed to a small town in Tennessee named Crab Orchard to see her family.  They stopped at a grocery store along the way, and as they were leaving the parking lot, they were involved in a car accident when someone sped into their car.  They were both very badly injured, Sue was hurt worse than Brad, and the car was totaled.  At the time of my dream, I remembered the name of the store, but it’s been so long ago that I’ve long since misplaced that fact.  But it was obvious in my dream the store was a single-owner store and not part of a franchise.  I’m thinking it started with a Z.  I vividly saw the surrounding area and the layout of the parking lot.

Now, I think it’s probably important to note that at the time, personal computers and the internet were unheard of.  I’d only been through Tennessee once when I was thirteen years old, and the only city names I remember from that trip were Lynchburg and Nashville. I’d never even heard of a place called Crab Orchard, but it kind of reminded me of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

The next day, Brad came into my store when he got off work, and something tugged at me until I was compelled to tell him my dream.  Keep in mind how awkward it would’ve been to say to someone who was little more than a stranger, “Hey, I had a dream about you last night.”  But I did.  He furrowed his brow, and we waited until the other customers left, then I proceeded to tell him every detail of my odd dream.

He looked at me kind of strangely, but didn’t really say anything more.  I thought at the time he must’ve thought I was completely nuts, and I was embarrassed that I’d said anything at all.  Seriously, I felt myself blush long after he left, and I was mentally kicking myself for the remainder of the night.

The next day, I didn’t think anything more about it until that afternoon when a red Celica pulled into the parking lot and a tall blonde girl got out.  I’d never seen her before, yet she looked so familiar.

She came in and stood in the store, not looking at anything to buy as she waited for the other customers to leave.  Then she introduced herself.  She said her name was Suzanna but people called her Sue, and that her boyfriend, Brad, told her about a dream I had about them.  She told me that she just bought her new car last week and she and Brad were planning a trip that very weekend to her hometown of Crab Orchard, Tennessee to see her dad.  She told me the store I mentioned was a store owned by her uncle, and the parking lot layout I described was spot-on!

She had goosebumps the entire time she spoke, then I got goosebumps seeing her reaction and how freaked out she was.  She said when Brad told her, he too had goosebumps, and the color drained from her face when he repeated my dream to her. She said she definitely took my dream as a sign, and because of that, she called her dad immediately and changed her plans.  She then hugged me and thanked me for saving her life!

Talk to me:  Have you ever dreamed about people you’ve never met or places you’ve never been?  Have you ever then later met the stranger of your dreams?