Party of One: My Movie Date with Me

If you think back about six months, you’ll recall that in January, I made some splendid plans for this year.  Some of them have gone swimmingly, and some of them, like my resolution to learn to bake a pie in March sank like a rock.  (For the record, I’m still planning to do it sometime this year–just not in March…clearly.)  In May, my goal was to attend a movie by myself, so on May 31, I took myself, and only myself, off to see “A Bigger Splash.”

Not me, obvs.

Not me, obvs.

Up until this point, I had never been to the movies by myself.  High school me, and even college me, would have been mortified to even contemplate it.  “Everyone will assume I have no friends!” was basically the thought behind it.  As if I am so fucking interesting that everyone, ever-y-where is going to spend two seconds thinking about what I may or may not be doing by myself or otherwise.  However, this fear has persisted to a certain extent into adulthood.  I don’t like to appear to be the odd-woman-out.  I don’t like to be wrong, I don’t like to appear ridiculous, and I don’t like to appear friendless.  If any of these things occur (and they frequently do as I am a highly flawed person with a weird combination of middling self-esteem and a somewhat inflated ego), they can send me on a days long shame spiral–one that can usually only be cured by behaving almost completely perfectly for about seven days straight.  I’m…nuts.  I know.

So, the idea behind going to the movies by myself was to on some level confront this fear of appearing outside the norm.  To walk up to the ticket window and proudly proclaim, “I will take one ticket, and I do not care what you think!  I am a confident and charismatic individual who has chosen, CHOSEN, to see this particular film alone.  Because I do not need the constant crush of humanity to make me feel safe!  I am Spartacus!”  Or something along those lines…  In reality I just walked up and politely asked for one ticket to the movie.  It’s one thing to go to a movie by yourself–it’s another to make an ass of yourself in the ticket line.  That’s not a bridge I’m willing to cross yet.  (Or ever.)

I chose to see “A Bigger Splash” because, well, I wanted to.  It’s a little indie, emotional thriller type thing–dark and tense and broody, but beautifully shot.  It stars Tilda Swinton (who is never not interesting to watch) and Ralph Fiennes and Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson and a lot of other beautiful people.  It’s not a movie Jon would ever want to watch with me, which makes it one I normally wouldn’t get to see in the theaters.  I did go back and forth with myself about whether or not I was copping out by going to see a movie that would, most likely, attract a very small theater audience, especially on a Tuesday night, but in the end, I realized this actually made me stand out more.  I was one of five people in the entire theater–the other four made up two couples.  (I also threatened to go see X-Men Apocalypse, but that was mostly just to mess with Jon…)

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Overall experience?  I LOVED it.  This, darlings, is ME time.  This is alone time.  This made me feel as relaxed as having gone for a long run without the awfulness of having to actually run.  I didn’t have to worry about whether or not the kids were being good for the sitter because they (and they was just the Gabs because Maddie was in Florida with her grandparents) were with their dad.  I didn’t have to worry about looking nice or whatever because it was just me.  I didn’t have to worry about whether other people liked the movie I’d chosen, if they were bored, if I laughed at the wrong parts, if I cried too much (not much laughing or crying with this one, but you follow) because it was just. me.  The only real concern I had was whether I was eating my popcorn too loudly, but that was mostly because there were again, only five of us in the whole damn room, and Jon has made me paranoid that I’m a loud chewer.

I would do this again in a heartbeat.  I will do this again, soon.  Just me, some popcorn and soda all to myself, and I.