Friday, April 18, 2003

Fine art of solo movie viewing

Last Saturday, I was troubled by a few things and was finding it hard to focus on anything. Ordinarily I might have found a close friend to spend some time with, but wasn’t feeling particularly talkative, so I decided that the best thing to do was escape to the movies. It was perfect movie weather, a grey rainy day, so I went to a local theatre and found something to see.

I’ve noticed that some people have a hard time going to the movies by themselves. This seems to fall into a self-conscious category that keeps those same people from feeling comfortable changing in a locker room. I know it can be tough, but it’s worth working past this.

So back to the theatre, it really doesn’t matter what you see. The only rule is that you have to pick something that you want to see. Yes, since you are seeing the movie by yourself, you don’t have to negotiate which movie you get to see. Or if there is a movie you saw once and just have to see again, here is your opportunity to do so without anyone else busting your chops about wanting to see that stupid movie twice. I should also mention that you can get whatever snacks you want. Popcorn with butter or without, candy no one likes but you, or if you are feeling particularly decadent, go and sneak in food from outside. My mom, a big movie watcher would drive other people crazy when she would sneak in chicken wings from Roy Rodgers. In the days before you could get a meal at the movies, bringing in fast food, Chinese food or if you are really good, pizza was great. You get to eat what you want and while throwing off the other patrons trying to figure out what that great smell is.

Okay, so you’ve picked your movie and you’ve gotten your snacks. Now you get to pick the seat you want. If it happens to be a full theater, there are always single seats available without having to sit in the first two rows. Once you get comfortable you might have enough time to get in some people watching. Without a companion to distract you, you can listen to all the conversations around you without distractions. It’s like the pre-show entertainment.

At some point the lights will go down. When the movie sucks you in you can just go with the flow. No one is going to talk to you or nudge you to pass the Jujube’s and distract you from the dialogue. And after the movie is over as you make your way home, you can think about the movie, the characters without having someone distract you with questions about running errands or what to do next.

Sure, sure, there are equally strong arguments for going to the movies with someone but there is nothing that beats this special sort of escapist treat than going to the movies by yourself.

What’s your favorite thing to do by yourself?

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