One minute we were eating ice cream cones and pizza. The next minute we were hanging out with Owen and Luke Wilson.
“Oh, that’s awesome! Where was it shot?” I asked glancing from the movie producer on my left to Owen Wilson on my right as if this were a totally normal situation.
Last night I stood at Bungalow Santa Monica in a denim Brandy Melville dress with a rip near the hip from squeezing my way into the one-size-fits-all garment clearly meant for 12 year olds. I was too scared to attempt taking it off. One hand held a vodka soda while the other awkwardly held my tricep to hide the remains of melted ice cream that had dripped down my forearm hours earlier.
This less-than-impressive look meant chatting with Mr. Movie Producer while my hot friend wooed the Wilson brothers at their outdoor table. The only saving grace was a pair of cute Michael Kors wedges last worn on a Saturday morning walk of shame.
Walk of Shame
“Mimosa?!” My friends greeted me with open arms as I arrived back at our Airbnb in Venice Beach at noon wearing my crop top and floral shorts from the night before. Convenience mart Korbel was exactly what I needed.
The events of the evening before were almost as unexpected as drinks with favorite actors. Champagne pregaming before Manhattan Beach bars led to what my friends describe as Unfiltered Annie, the girl whose thoughts and actions are one in the same, leading to crazy confessions and bold moves.
The next thing I knew I found myself crying to an Uber driver about how much I love my family as I made my way to meet up with a guy I hadn’t seen in 5 months. Between “My mom is the cutest” and “I don’t deserve my brother,” I was sending texts to him: “I can’t wait to see you.”
He was someone I once had a secret crush on. When I noticed his Facebook RSVP to an event in LA, this piece of information was tucked away in my memory… until the champagne bubbles floated it out of my subconscious and into drunk texts.
What Happened Next?
Simply put, the night turned into an attempt to take the “never” out of “I’ve Never Had Good Sex.”
Similar to my melting ice cream cone, I was a hot mess. While I wish I could divulge every embarrassing detail, I will just say that it was similar to my first yoga class. Throughout the practice I tried apologizing to the instructor for my poor flexibility, lack of experience and accidentally applying scented body lotion. It wasn’t until savasana that I realized this type of nervous rambling doesn’t fly in yoga. You go with the flow and shut up.
In the same way that I’m still no yogi, I’m also still far from good. However, it was fun thanks to an understanding instructor and solid morning cuddle session.
Why This Can Cause Anxiety
“Has he texted you yet? Is he going to meet up with us tonight?” my friends asked upon returning back to Venice Beach. No and no. And I didn’t care. I was still in the post-hookup “I’m so cool” phase in which I delusionally tell myself that I’m Carrie Bradshaw. Yes, this is exactly what a single 28 year old should be doing with her life. Who cares if I hear from him?
Until the mimosa buzz wore off, the oxytocin waned and the anxiety started to set in. Each part of the encounter was romanticized, transforming it from a late night infomercial to a Lifetime Original Movie. And hang on, why hasn’t he texted me? Why did he want to hook up? Did he even want to hook up? What did it mean? When will I see him next? Enter the clinger side of Carrie sans-cigarette.
Why I Didn’t Let It
After a day at the beach I found myself sitting in bed with sand between the sheets. The ocean breeze was blowing the bedroom curtains and the sun was about to set. I pulled a letter out of my handbag from a friend. He wrote it in response to my last letter in which I described a futile attempt at putting the moves on a recent crush. I re-read the following part:
Annie, you are learning to let go of your feelings. Your letter filled me with happiness because that is what I learned from it. Letting yourself feel things in a real and physical way is letting go of them. It is freedom. We lose control of how things are perceived once we commit them… And I spoke hastily before, letting yourself feel is not freedom, it is just the first step. The next step, of course, is letting go of the expectation for particular results or reception.
We have no way of knowing what he was thinking, but it doesn’t matter anyway. We must accept life as it is. This is letting go of expectation. You give because you feel the need to give. In this context, you showed your desire for him because your heart compelled you to do so. You needed to do it to stay centered in yourself… Act without expectation. People will react how they feel regardless of your expectation, so it can only hurt and never benefit you.
Hooking Up Without Expectations
It’s natural for people to want more. More ice cream, more texts or simply a Snapchat with Owen Wilson. After hooking up, I often look to these next steps as validation for what happened. “Okay, if he texts me later then he did mean what he said or did.” By seeking this type of validation, I am not accepting life as it is.
And while it seems like letting go of expectations would precede acceptance, my friend is right that it’s indeed the other way around. Why did I text him? Why did I hook up with him? Because I felt like it. Seeking validation is only questioning my intentions and all expectations are is unnecessary stress. It does feel freeing to simply enjoy what happened and let go of the unknown.
Truthfully, I didn’t eat the chocolate scoop of ice cream. And that’s fine. I don’t need a second scoop to prove that the first one was delicious.