Everyone has real life anxiety dreams. And the truth of the matter is that at some point, everyone goes through one of these ridiculous experiences in real life. Like tucking your dress into your underwear. Done that. Or accidentally getting confused for a terrorist in the airport. Happened to my dad (long story). I imagine, that some of you might, like me, have a very healthy fear of being seduced by an attractive British man when you are traveling in Thailand, and he’s so attractive it’s almost weird that he’s so into you, but you just breeze past that because it’s Thailand and he’s hot and you don’t even think twice about taking magical mushrooms on the beach with him and then when you are going back to England it turns out that the same attractive Englishman hid massive quantities of illegal contraband in your suitcase and then you wind up in a Thai prison singing Madonna songs! Which is also the plot of Bridget Jones’ Diary 2: The Edge of Reason but that just means it’s an even realer anxiety dream. That happens!
A few months ago I had my first real life anxiety dream come true.
When I was working on a studio lot I used to go to the gym before work every day. Now before you think I think I’m some badass, athletic girl who, like, “lifts” and stuff, know that I’m not. Also, I love pizza. Not really related, but I feel like that generally gives a good explanation of my outlook on life. You see, my number one reason for going to the gym before work is to avoid traffic.
So it was a Thursday night and when I was getting out of my car at the end of the day and I made the executive decision to leave my gym bag in my car. I thought to myself, “why bother lugging that satchel all the way upstairs when I’ve already got everything I need for tomorrow’s gym trip right here!?” Also, in the weird logic of my mind, living the gym bag in the car was like, already halfway to the gym, and so I was definitely going to be much more likely to stick with my commitment to my morning work out. (Remember — pizza lover).
The next morning, in the zombie-like state I exist in anytime before 9am, I drove to the gym, grabbed the bag out of my car, did my work-out (which consisted of twenty minutes of watching bad morning TV on the elliptical machine and then ten minutes of lying on a yoga mat “stretching”), followed by a quick shower and a return to my gym bag to take out whatever glorious outfit I had prepared for that morning.
I have a lot of fun with my clothes. That might sound weird but I really like to wear clothes and make outfits and secretly deep down I just pretend that every day I get dressed is a day I am dressing in costume. So for this particular day, I had planned a nice, preppy outfit to cap off my week. (There’s nothing that makes me feel better about myself than really pulling off a good outfit on a Friday. I like to go out with a bang). I had prepared the following: brown riding boots, dark navy skinny jeans, a blue striped oxford button-down, a navy blue crewneck pullover, and brown belt to match the boots.
I started to get dressed and then all of a sudden I had on all the clothes I had prepared for this outfit and was ready to put my boots on except first I need to put on my pants and then there were no pants, THERE WERE NO PANTS. Everything else was in my gym bag. Everything but my pants.
I had a moment of panic which led to some sweating which led to more sweating (nothing makes me sweat more than when I start thinking about how I am sweating in the first place). And then I decided I could handle this situation and all I needed to do was to momentarily throw on my shorts and my flip-flops and run down to my car — because, surely, SURELY!, in my car, I would have some solution to this problem.
You see, like any good LA-living young professional fashion-conscious girl I keep piles of clothes (and other things) in my car at all times. For example, I have a really nice Barbour coat that has lived in the backseat of my car since last March. You NEVER know when you might need to go horseback riding in the British countryside. Some of the other things I keep in my car are as follows:
- a sleeping bag
- three scarves
- a white blazer with shoulder-pads
- LL Bean duckboots
- Two umbrellas (one of them was a Victoria’s Secret freebie)
- a sleeping pad
- a television wall mount
- Two McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, both for boys
- A tub of Aquaphor
- 23 reusable grocery bags
- one off-white TOMS shoe (the right one)
- two cardigans, both blue
- two nearly identical Denim chambray shirts
- A hair straightener
- a tennis ball
- a tennis raquet
- An unopened packet of SillyBandz
- The aforementioned Barbour coat
- a flashlight
- four pairs of sunglasses
- a packet of sweet and sour sauce
- one fleece pullover
- Brown Khaki shorts with neon stripes on the side
So while I could play tennis in full rain gear in the dark and then comfortably sleep on a mattress with a pillow made from grocery bags, I could not wear pants. I had no pants. In fact the only pant-like item I had were the shorts. The short, dark brown khaki shorts with the neon orange stripes on the side.
My options were: to just get over myself and wear the shorts with the rest of the outfit and go on throughout my day, I mean, I am lucky I had a pants-alternative in the first place, or tell my boss I had massive diarrhea and I would be spending the morning at home recovering from my life-threatening bowel movements.
Faced with my destiny, and in an attempt to suppress my love for excessive melodrama, I made the logical choice —I donned my brown riding boots, my blue striped oxford button down, my navy blue crew neck pullover, my brown belt to match the boots and then my dark brown khaki colored shorts with a neon orange stripe on either side. In other words, I dressed like a German boy hunting for his Oktoberfest supper. The only things I was missing were Leiderhosen and suspenders, which might actually be the same thing, I’m not sure.
And then, the big moment came, I went to my office, prepared for my co-workers to freak out and mock my outfit, as they had been known to do.
And while there were a few giggles, a sigh of “Oh, Annie!” here-and-there, at the end of the day, no one cared. My real life anxiety dream of forgetting pants had actually become real life and it wasn’t even a big deal! Sure, I’m lucky that I was working in a writers office on a TV show at the time, where the majority of people wear a version of sweatpants to work, but my paranoia about wearing a crazy outfit and looking like a fool and having to walk around a TV studio lot in what I thought was a very ugly and strange outfit wasn’t nearly the anxiety-causing, scandal-producing experience I was sure it would be. Also, I’m pretty sure everyone is always too concerned with what’s going on inside their brains than whether or not some girl is dressed like a German boy in galoshes.
The moral of the story? Those crazy fears we all have might come true — but they’re never going to be as bad as we think. And as long as you keep a lot of stuff in your car, then at the very least you’ll always be almost prepared for, well, almost anything! Just don’t panic. Panic leads to sweating. And sweating just leads to more sweating…
Don’t Panic image via Tumblr