My most common recurring dream is the one where I suddenly realize I’m on the schedule to work at the video store this weekend and I have to find my uniform. I have this dream regularly — at least a couple times a week — and I usually wake up stressed out and needing to repeatedly assure myself that I don’t work there anymore. I’ve had quite a few jobs in my time, and I haven’t worked at the video store in nearly 15 years, but for some reason that particular work experience seems to dominate my subconscious. Sure, it was the best job ever — I basically just watched movies by myself for four years straight while the porn addicts perused the back room — but that was forever ago. Why can’t my mind let it go?

Then C-Minus and I were chatting the other day, and she revealed that she has the same recurring dream about her stint at the Applebees: she suddenly realizes she has to waitress this weekend and needs to locate her uniform. She wakes up thanking her lucky stars that it’s all just a dream and that she won’t need to go back to the endless refilling of Diet-Pepsies anytime soon. It is a curious thing, to both have the same recurring dream, especially since it was my most favoritest job ever and her least favoritest. What was the common connection?

But then suddenly we had a simultaneous epiphany: I never actually quit the video store — I just told them not to put me on the schedule for a while and then never called them again — and she had never really quit the Applebees — she just took herself off the schedule until the computer auto-terminated her. So the hypothesis is that this isn’t about being obsessed with the best or the worst job ever. This is about lack of closure.

And the dream has really been plaguing me lately. It’s become even more regular, and it even invaded my dreams while I was across the planet in New Zealand, where my subconscious should have been focused on more Middle-Earthy things.

So I’ve decided to put an end to it. And the only way I can think to do that is to officially quit the video store. Unfortunately, my particular mom-and-pop video store chain went belly-up over a decade ago, but I did find an address for an Adventures in Video on Google, which I think might be enough to fool my subconcious and to finally satisfy my need for closure. So I’ve drafted a letter:

To Whom it May Concern:

This is my formal notification that I am resigning from Adventures in Video as Shift Supervisor. September 16th, 1997 will be my last day of employment.

I genuinely appreciate the opportunities I have been given here, and wish you much success in the future.

Dan Miller

Signed, sealed and delivered. It may confuse the hell out of whoever receives it, but it also might stop the madness on my end. As you can see, I even found my old uniform, so as to quash that part of the dream into pieces as well. It will be an interesting experiment, and I encourage C-Minus to do the same.

My second most common recurring dream is the one where I realize that I haven’t graduated from college, that I have one class left, and that I have forgotten to attend it for the entire semester. My recent epiphany about dreams and lack of closure has led me to believe that this dream is probably due to the fact that I skipped out on all the pomp and circumstance of my graduation ceremony and never even had a party. So if this Adventures in Video Termination Letter solution pans out, I might just have to stage a mock graduation or at least throw a party in honor of my graduated self in the near future. Maybe I’ll even hang my diploma on the wall. You gotta attack these things from all sides.

I’m still unsure of how to stop the dream where my teeth become loose, crumble and fall out. Unless I just go ahead and get them all pulled and replace them with some dentures. Perhaps I’ll wait for the results of this experiment before committing to that, though.


  1. #1 by Court on May 8, 2010 - 5:00 pm

    I had a very similar dream recently, but only just the one time (so far).

    I was getting a ride to my high school, and as I walked in late, I tried to figure out which period it was. I guessed it was 2nd, but then it occurred to me that I had no idea what or where my 2nd period class actually was. THEN it occurred to me that I didn’t know what ANY of my classes were, but since I apparently hadn’t been to any of them so far, I must have straight F’s.

    Near the end of the dream, I remembered I’d been out of high school for 10 years, and that’s when I woke up. My only explanation is that it might have something to do with my 10-year reunion coming up in a couple months.

    I’ve had the teeth-falling-out dream too! Man, what is the DEAL with that one?

  2. #2 by C- on May 8, 2010 - 8:47 pm

    I don’t have my stinky salsa caked uniform anymore, but I’m sure I can dig up a blinking Bacardi Limon pin to wear while I write my letter. Or maybe I’ll just head on over to the Ridgedale Applebee’s and walk up to the first manager I see and tell him/her that I’m so outta there. That’ll show ‘em.

    I hope your letter brings you peace. Does it scare you, what types of dreams might replace your AIV ones? Driving a car on a steep icey bridge while not being able to open your eyes? Hmmm…

  3. #3 by Cole on May 9, 2010 - 6:55 pm

    The teeth dream is meant to be dream control. If you’re having a particularly bad dream, focus on your teeth. If they crumble or fall out and then immediately grow back, you’re dreaming. Once you realize you are dreaming, you can focus on what’s going on in the dream and control the environment of your mind.

  4. #4 by Babar on May 10, 2010 - 4:54 pm

    Regarding your teeth… maybe you could write a letter to your dentist to say that it is over with him, and then have a big party to celebrate this breaking-off.

  5. #5 by Jeff on May 10, 2010 - 5:40 pm


    Love the post. You should feel great that the uniform still fits after 15 years.

    You sure you didn’t work at H&H bagels and were on strike for 15 years like Kramer?

    Keep it up.

  6. #6 by Amy on May 11, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    My most recurring workplace dream is also the video store I worked 15+ years ago! And I never really quit either. Just graduated high school, came back and worked college breaks and then just didn’t anymore. Hmmm…keep us posted about the result of your experiment. (Oh, and can you also name any movie from the VHS cover art?)

  7. #7 by dan on May 11, 2010 - 12:22 pm

    I can easily name movies by box art, and probably also tell you the year of release, the director, the screenwriter, the main stars, and whether or not the obese lady down the street with the white Shi Tzu would like it – as long as it was released before 1997.

  8. #8 by dan on May 11, 2010 - 12:23 pm

    I wish my mind was that complicated, but I honestly think my dream about teeth is genuinely about my fear of losing my teeth. Because that would be really gross.

  9. #9 by dan on May 11, 2010 - 12:23 pm

    Um, I hadn’t thought of that. Do people HAVE to have annoying recurring dreams? I just thought I could eventually get rid of them all.

  10. #10 by yetanotherdan on May 11, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    I too have the anxiety dream about college where I haven’t attended all semester and I either have a huge final to study for or a huge term paper to write. I’m not sure it’ll ever go completely away because my mom still has the college anxiety dreams and she graduated college in ’65.

  11. #11 by Evil Klown on May 12, 2010 - 1:39 pm

    I have found that, to get rid of recurring dreams, you have to realize you are dreaming while still in the dream. Once you do this a time or two, the dream stops happening.

  12. #12 by Galicia on May 12, 2010 - 3:06 pm

    Love the post.
    In Mexico dreaming about your teeth falling out means you will soon get a large amount of money. Not that I believe it myself, personally I think it means you need to see a dentist, but the money thing sure sounds great.

  13. #13 by jeff on May 13, 2010 - 11:56 am

    and send back that 13-y.o. sweatshirt.

  14. #14 by Raven1025 on May 13, 2010 - 9:27 pm

    I have both of those dreams. Except, I did officially quit the video store (my boss gave me a pack of Guiness as a going away gift). Also, I did go through commencement and had a wee celebration. So, I don’t know why I have crazy video store and last semester at college dreams. Is it possible to not have enough closure?

  15. #15 by T-Bone on May 16, 2010 - 12:06 am

    I have the crumbling tooth dream fairly often sometimes I even check my teeth when I wake up…… Creepy!

  16. #16 by Stacy on May 24, 2010 - 10:25 pm

    Weird, my reoccuring dream always involves me posing as a adventures in video employee wearing your old AIV shirt. I go into AIV buy some lion king cards *of course* and give them your written two week notice for you… I am so glad I read this we finally have a crazy, dream interconnected circular closure

  17. #17 by Mark on September 21, 2011 - 8:59 pm

    Dan, I was a general manager for Adventures in Video for 10 years. I worked from May 1988 – Sept 1998. I do remember the Brooklyn Center store and Georgia the Manager. I never have any recurring dreams about that place as I quit when they sold out to a chain from CA. Hope your plan works!!!

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