Contrary to the popular oldie-but-goodie song, it doesn’t always take two to make a thing go right.
There’s a stigma in our culture that doing things alone means you lack social skills and, quite frankly, are a loser.
Yet, so many people tend to do many things just with themselves.
A friend sent me a text this weekend asking if it was lame for him to consider going to a movie theater alone. After some good natured heckling, I explained to him that if he wants to see the flick, he should go to it alone.
His friends were busy and he had nothing better to do, and really wanted to see “Taken 2.” He seemed to debate it for a bit — and rightfully so.
Because of some perceived notion, we tend to think of some activities as two-player games. Going to the movies ranks high on that list, as does dinner, nightlife and other events.
It’s a tough situation to be in. Admittedly, I have debated (even recently) going to a movie by myself. I tend to really enjoy animated films (Disney, especially) and really want to see “Finding Nemo 3D.” I know next to none of my friends truly appreciate Disney films for anything more than a childhood flick.
But I see the deeper meaning in them and become engrossed in the plot. Disney films are to me what those high-action, shoot-em-up-drama films are to others. Except, I walk away with much less violence and a happier sense of self. But I digress.
I haven’t gone to see the film yet — mostly because the thought of sitting in a theater alone frightens me.
“What will others think,” “what will I think” and “do people really go to a movie alone,” are some of the thoughts I’ve had when debating going to see the movie.
Oh, and if you haven’t thought about it already, “Finding Nemo 3D” is, of course, rated G, so a multitude of children could (and likely would) be there. “Would their parents think I’m a creep,” seems to be the biggest one.
My friend, who went to see “Taken 2” alone, boldly said that me seeing “Finding Nemo 3D” alone would be creepy. Thanks for the vote of confidence, pal.
I’m not certain what there is to be ashamed of if you’re considering going to the movie theater alone, though? Most times I’ve gone to a theater with friends, there have been issues: either someone is late or there is disagreement over what to see, the uncertainty of where to sit and whether or not you should stay for the credits. Those are issues that tend to bring down the experience. When you’re alone, there’s nobody to second guess you but yourself.
Everybody’s movie tastes differ. I tend to enjoy better movies with deeper plots. But many of my friends enjoy those throw-away junk flicks like “The Hangover” and whatever else are out there. I’m not wasting $10 on a crap movie with one-liners and a beefed up cast just to get people in the
I had a friend once who, despite his poor taste in movies, almost always would agree to see the flicks I wanted to see. He sat through “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” in 3D and many others. The flicks I chose might not have been his first choice, but he did have an interest in many of them. And, we both sat through some pretty terrible movies over the years — “Shutter Island” quickly comes to mind.
That friendship no longer is an option for my movie-going experience, so I’m forced at it alone if I want to go.
But I can’t get over the hurdle, which surprises me since I do so many other activities alone.
I don’t think twice about going to dinner by myself — even to a sit-down joint. Sure there’s no conversation, but I’m able to eat in peace while still being part of society. And it’s fun to make up stories about the couples sitting around you.
I prefer going to history centers and museums by myself. For several years, I had a membership to the Heinz History Center, and I’d spend several hours at a time alone, roaming the halls and exhibits. Others show interest in local history, but I devour it, reading plaques and materials, and studying artifacts for longer periods of time than anybody I’ve gone to the History Center with.
When I lived elsewhere, I went to the beach alone pretty frequently, grabbing a book from the library and my iPod. I’d pack a lunch or some snacks and just hang out for several hours alone.
I’ve gone to minor league and major league baseball games alone. And I’ve even gone to live theater alone (which is odd since I refuse to go to a movie alone). Though, I went alone to the live theater event, I did sit near people I knew.
I’ll readily admit that the stigma in going alone focuses on what others will think when they see me sitting there with a bag of lightly buttered popcorn and a large pop with nobody to share with.
Nobody would know my story for being there alone, yet I’d feel all of them judging me.
On the other hand, I quite often think about how many dates and nights with friends tend to start at a movie theater. But it is the one place where you’d think being alone was socially acceptable since you do very little communicating with whomever you’re there with. Talking with your friends is frowned upon, and the physical theater is not set up to even welcome any social distractions.
Other than snide remarks about actors on the screen or the girl in front who just won’t stop texting, you don’t really bond with someone until after the movie has ended.
So the whole movie-watching experience is done alone.
The more I think about it, I am going to see “Finding Nemo 3D” alone.
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