January 15, 2011 in City

Dream catcher snags many wishes large and small

By The Spokesman-Review

What do people really want?

The question was answered in hundreds of different ways on New Year’s Eve at First Night Spokane, on a giant “dream catcher” set up at the Spokane Convention Center. People wrote out their wishes, hung them on the dream catcher and launched their hopes into the new year.

I have hundreds of those wishes in front of me right now and it turns out they can be divided into several basic categories, beginning with funny-whimsical-cute (keeping in mind that some of these come from children):

• “That the Star Wars people come to life.”

• “Someone to build me a time machine.”

• “To go to Sonic World” (an imaginary video game world).

• “I wish we could fly.”

Some kids had more achievable wishes:

• “To ride a bike without training wheels.”

• “Learn to read.”

• “To get a real kitty.”

• “To get a puppy.”

• And slightly less achievable, “I want my puppy to stay little.”

Some dreams, from older kids or adults, were almost as fanciful, including:

• “For the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl next year.”

• “I want everything free in 2011.”

• “Get abs by June 23.”

• “A smaller body.”

• (In fervent handwriting) “Make my wife ‘romantically enthusiastic’ again.”

Except he, uhh, actually used a far more vivid word than “romantically enthusiastic.”

And one of my favorites:

• “I’d like to have a rockin’ body and be an award-winning director. Boo-yah!”

Dozens of people wished for generic “peace,” “love” and “prosperity.” One wish, in youthful handwriting, captured that idealism perfectly:

• “Make all the poor people in the world richer.”

Yet he (or she) couldn’t resist adding that he also wanted “a Robosapien V2,” a toy robot that lists at $200.

Most people stayed away from politics, although one person wrote, “Never vote 4 a liberal” and another, presumably from a different side of the aisle, wrote, “Health insurance for all.”

One of the most popular categories was the self-improvement dream. Some were inspired by the Great Recession:

• “To pay off our credit card and put another $2,500 in savings by this time next year.”

• “To sell our house successfully in a timely manner.”

• “I wish Mary would win the Lotto.”

• “Start performing, start a band and make it to ‘America’s Got Talent.’ ”

• “To get snowboard gear, learn new tricks, start college and build credit.”

• “Enter five paintings into art shows (first, I need to paint them, too!)”

• “To become a Lilac Queen and better Christian.”

Probably the biggest category of all was the love-and-marriage category, which included these wishes:

• “For a girlfriend.”

• “To meet a guy who actually is a nice person and truly cares about me.”

• “To fix the friendship I ruined.”

• “To make (name deleted) the one and only Mrs. in my life.”

• “To get pregnant.”

• “To stay married.”

And finally this short and direct one:

• “To make it legal.”

And then there’s the final category. Let’s call it the poignant and heartbreaking category:

• “That my son could walk unassisted.”

• “That my family would still be friends and would stop fighting.”

• “To never know the pain of methadone withdrawal.”

• “To get a job so we don’t become homeless.”

• “To have my own house for my family.”

• “For all the animals to be OK.”

• “No more ADHD.”

• “I don’t want to be sick anymore and I hope that my husband, that died in April, is in heaven.”

• “That we don’t have a divors” (in a child’s misspelling).

• “To remain cancer-free.”

• “That our neighbor stops going to the ER.”

• “That my husband, father to our two small children, doesn’t deploy.”

• “That my husband comes back safely from Iraq and retire from the Army Reserves.”

• “To get my kids back, get into school and have a strong family relationship.”

• “Not get deported.”

• “For my brother to be clean, drug-free and come home to his family.”

• “That when I leave my house, everything will be OK.”

I didn’t get a chance to hang up my own message on the dream catcher, but if I could, here’s what it would be: That this final batch of wishes could come true.

Some of the other ones? Well, let’s put it this way. That boo-yah person needs to choose either “a rockin’ body” or “to be an award-winning director.” From what I’ve seen on awards shows, you can’t have both.

Reach Jim Kershner at jimk@spokesman.com or (509) 459-5493.

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