On my list of things that “never have I ever” done was going to a movie alone. While playing this game with friends, it is often one of my favorite ones to mention because I always find it interesting to see who has in fact adventured to a movie theater alone. This topic always brings about a general discussion as to whether or not one would ever do it if they hadn’t already, and whether it was strange to go and do something alone that is generally thought of as a social activity. I personally had never gone to a movie alone despite having grown up living right behind a movie theater. I’d like to say that the reason for this was because I have so many hoards of friends that I am never in want of a companion to see a movie, but the real reason is that I never had the gull to do it. That is, I didn’t, until this past week. After having made plans with a friend to go and see a movie this past week, I had grown excited in anticipation. You see, going to a movie isn’t just two hours of seeing a new cinematic creation. It’s an experience. There is an air of grandeur in the size of the screen and the buzz of the loud speakers. There is camaraderie amongst strangers who have all chosen despite having vastly different lives, ages, jobs, families etc. that they all wanted to see the same movie. There is respect for the past as the employees wear the crimson vests of old, and dispense popcorn with butter, a treat that has been related to going to the movies for ages. Along with all of these things is the fact that going to the movies is a social experience. It’s a meeting of friends, something that you plan with others.
Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when my friend could no longer make it out to the movies. Yet for the first time in my life, rather than sulk and stay home, I decided that I would go and do it anyway. I would go to the movie theater and see what it was like to tackle the social experience completely and totally alone. Standing in the ticket line I was uncomfortable because there was quite a line and everyone was partnered up with friends. While I waited, engrossed in my own self-consciousness, I quickly became enthralled in the conversation people ahead of me were having. A gruff looking father was in line with his son. He turned around and asked two twenty-something students, who later mentioned that they were from Korea, if they were going to see Dropbox, the movie his son and him were planning on seeing. When they said that they were, a bit hesitatingly because most people mind their own business in line, a bright smile broke across this somewhat intimidating mans face. He exclaimed “Great. Two of the people who were supposed to go to this movie with us can’t come so we have two extra tickets. Consider it my gift to you! I already pre-ordered the tickets so they are all paid for, I just have to pick them up!” The young students were surprised by this man’s generosity and even offered to pay for the tickets. When the man wouldn’t hear of it, they insisted on buying his son some popcorn to show their appreciation. It was nice to see strangers being kind and making each other’s day a bit brighter. Needless to say, this warmed my heart and stopped me from being so fidgety and nervous being by myself.
I quickly bought some popcorn and a freeze (which is a must for me when I go to the movies!) because, like always, I was five minutes late and the movie was just about to start. I rushed into the dark theater and realized that there was no one there except for one couple that had seated themselves in the very last row. I picked the middle seat of the middle row and went to town on the popcorn. I put my feet up on the seat in front of me (sorry movie theater establishment…I’m aware that this is a technical “no-no” but hey, gotta break the rules sometime!), I buried my face in the popcorn tub without regard to the fact that this was absolutely ridiculous. I commented out-loud and laughed uncontrollably because there was no one there to disturb. I even slurped my drink.
The very best part of watching this movie all by myself was this. I was able to get completely into the movie. Time stopped and I felt like I was active in the action of the film. There were no other people around to make me self-conscious. I was not concerned about the opinions of anyone. For two hours of my day in the middle of my week I existed in a completely different realm. Rather than feeling lonely or upset that I didn’t have anyone with me, I enjoyed spending some time with myself, and this was worth losing my favorite, fall back, “never have I ever”.