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Great Onely Activities, Excerpt 777: Sitting in the Dark September 8, 2008

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, We like. . ..
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I just got home from going to see the newest Woody Allen movie, Cristina Vicky Barcelona (or is it Vicky Cristina Barcelona?!)… And I went ALONE.

Back when I didn’t know how to be single and happy but very much wanted to be (i.e. immediately after the end of a six-year relationship which just about crushed me), I began planning my escape from St. Louis, the end of my life there, in the form of a 2000-mile road-trip, alone with my doggie, to visit my parents in California. It was springtime, I was through watching all the break-up movies I could get my hands on, and I had even had a random fling with a pilot (which cheered me up considerably), who I met on my way back from DC after a quick weekend trip to visit friends (Hi Christina!).

I was feeling happier and (obviously) more adventurous (thanks, Sam the pilot!). I almost felt mentally prepared for the trip. But I hadn’t done much on my own, and one evening I was in the mood to go see a movie (can’t remember which one, but I wanted to go, badly). I called all my friends – everyone was busy. But damn it, I wanted to go. I almost decided to stay home.

Then — epiphany! — I realized I could go… ALONE.

It was wonderful — sitting alone in the dark movie theatre, I didn’t feel any obligation to pay attention to a companion’s reactions, no one was there to interrupt the fantasy with a whisper or a poke in the ribs. And I didn’t have to share the fucking popcorn!

I’ve spoken with friends since then who have acted nonplussed that I found this experience so revealing — many have done it before, some even think it’s the best way to see a movie. But for me, that first time — a trivial event in the whole scheme of things, certainly — signified a leap in thinking.

What the hell did I have to be afraid of, buying a ticket “for one,” settling into a seat “alone,” and going home with “only” myself to digest the experience? A great deal, apparently — shifts in perspective ARE scary! But worth it, if only for the fact that they allow for us to embark on more satisfying journeys in the long run (plus it’s much easier to sneak into a second movie for free! if one feels so inclined, that is…!).

— L


1. Shannon - September 8, 2008

The first time I did this was because I was recovering from surgery (appendectomy) and coudln’t drive anywhere and the movie theatre was right down my street. It was a billion degrees outside and I didn’t have aircon – Movies it is.
That very first time I saw some action flick (I am big on action flicks. They are actually my favourite movies. Modernised versions of classics (shakespeare, austen) come next. Rom Coms come somewhere after having my fingernails pulled out my pliers.) and an old maths teacher of mine was in there. He was alone too and we were the only two people in the cinema. It was so good to watch a movie in complete silence!!

Now if there is a movie I particularly want to see I will just go alone. None of my girlfriends like action movies and I don’t know enough guys who would not try to sleep with me afterwards (or during, for that matter) to go with anyone else. Alone it is.

Also recommended for being alone – Dining out – no one steals your desert off your plate. The Pub – you can have a quiet drink and read your book without having to try and make conversation AT REALLY HIGH DECIBELS because everyone else around you is doing the same thing. Art Gallery / Museum – because that way you can stare at the ones you like for as long as you want without someone going “come on, it’s just a bunch of paint… lets go look at something else.”

2. Shannon - September 8, 2008

PS: I was watching Neighbours (Australian soapie) tonight and one of the lead female characters- who has been avoiding the advances of one of the hot male characters because she doesn’t want to have a relationship, instead wants to focus on her son and not confuse him with makeup/breakup shit- dove straight into this guys face for some serious tongue lashing because during a fight he said he loved her.

It drives me insane that for months the producers have made this character a really strong willed female, impervious to advances by men because she is happy with her friends and her son for company, but one mention of the L word and she falls into bed (literally) with this guy.
Role models in mainstream media are becoming non-existent for onelies. I need to stop watching TV.

3. onely - September 10, 2008

Shannon — interesting points! I am going to dedicate a whole post to your second comment. For now, I’ll just say that I’m glad to hear that you’re a onely movie-watching warrior! And I am much impressed by the dining alone. You might want to check out a post that Bella DePaulo (our fave social psychologist!) wrote on her blog, Living Single, about dining alone (this is part 1; there’s also a part 2): http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/200804/if-you-dine-alone-what-will-people-think-you-part-1-see-if-you-can-predict

— L

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