A few days ago, our friend Jenni at Crushable wrote that she’d gone to see a movie alone. She remarked:
Someone asked me which seat next to me was open (spoiler alert: they both were!).
“Oh she’s here alone!”
Like, thank you for telling everyone I’m alone at the movies. As if this entire experience hadn’t already convinced me to go home and give all my money to eHarmony, the look of pity and shame from my fellow movie goes was enough to make me sign up right then and there.
I had to cut off there, because I needed to go see a movie alone. Again. Like always. Because I go to see a movie alone every single week. I’ve now seen that thing about Wallis and Edward three times, and The Iron Lady twice, but the fact that I’m compulsive and only love dramas set in old timey Britain is not the point. The point is that seeing movies alone is the best! In fact, doing alone a lot of stuff you’re supposed to do socially is the best. Here’s why. Also, it’s entirely possible that I am just a cold-hearted bitch with no friends, so keep that in mind throughout:
Seeing movies alone is great.
1) Other people are always talking, just gibber jabbering like drunk parrots. Movies are a time for quiet reflection. They’re the best escape from the outside world you’ve got if you’re the kind of person who is too anxious to meditate. They’re the perfect combination of doing nothing and doing something. Do you know what shatters that pleasant meditative state immediately? Someone saying “oh, wait, is she a bad guy now? Because she’s talking to that Russian dude?” “Let’s be quiet, and we will find out together.” You’re not allowed to say that. People think you’re a bitch if you say that.
2) I like to smuggle in a homemade cookie in my purse into the movie theater. Partly because it makes me feel like I am some sort of super-spy who chats with all the Russian dudes, and partly because all of the food they give you in movie theaters is ridiculously large and borderline inedible. I like to eat the cookie by myself, because I brought it for me. When people go with you to the movies, you pull out that cookie and they always ask to share, and you can’t say “no, this is my food, for me. For my belly. NOM NOM NOM AM COOKIE MONSTER.” Sharing with accquaintances is the worst, especially when their “trade” is over-salted stale popcorn. When people do this, it makes me want to bring human entrails in my purse, like Hannibal Lecter would. That’s a really dark place to be at halfway through the previews.
3) I want to pick my own seat. I want it to be an aisle seat three rows down from the top row. I like that seat because it means I have more leg room, and I don’t have to walk over anyone if I want to go the bathroom. Also, I don’t like having to tilt my head back to see the movie, because it gives me a crick in my neck. You want a middle seat five rows away from the screen? I hate you, and think you are dumb, now. Sorry it had to come to this, former friend.
4) I don’t want to have to spend the last 10 minutes of the movie formulating an opinion/witticism about it to share with anyone. Immediately after a movie, I just want to cling to my “not worrying about the real world” haze for as many minutes as I can. I don’t want to begin the dissection process for a good hour. But if you go to the movies with someone, the first words out their mouths will almost always be “what did you think?” and you will have to reply “bon-mot I just stole from Dorothy Parker.” That’s how I play it, anyway. And Dorothy Parker only has so many to steal (so after you see 144 movies with a person, you’re done).
Eating alone is the best.
I have lunch by myself nearly everyday. Like going to the movies, it’s a good time to reflect and unwind. And read a book – a thing you can do only in well lit, very bad movies!
1) You can eat whatever you want without judgement. Sometimes you just want dessert. Sometimes you just want an entire plate of brussel sprouts. Sure, you should be able to eat whatever you want without people commenting on it, but that never happens. If you order a cupcake with lunch there will always be someone who says “hahaha, no calories in that!” Honestly, we’re at a point where if you order a salad with the dressing mixed in, and you eat in a group, someone will say “you know, salads seem healthy, but you have to be careful about the dressing.” No. No, you don’t. Flee judgement, eat cupcakes.
2) Actually, that was my main reason. But, you know, eating alone takes care of that incredibly effectively.
3) It’s a great built in time to read. You know those people who “never have time to read?” This is that time. This is a perfect half hour for that. If you have trouble keeping the pages on a book open while you’re eating, trying laying your phone across them. If you have trouble finding books you enjoy, just read The Hunger Games, because everyone in the entire world likes that series, including me.
Drinking alone is the best.
Look, before we begin, we are talking about moderate drinking, here. You get one glass of whiskey. Maybe two. Do not drink until you are going to need your stomach pumped, because you’ll be alone in an apartment, by yourself. This is a terrible idea for obvious reasons. But provided you are able to stop – alone is a great time to drink. Here’s why:
1) It’s cheaper. It is so much cheaper. Especially if you live in the land of the $20 cocktail. You can get entire bottle of pretty good whiskey (Dewar’s double aged, perfectly drinkable!) for $36. If you were out in Manhattan this would get you two drinks. A bottle vs. 2 glasses. This is the economic difference between drinking out and drinking at home. Alternatively, if you don’t hate absolutely everyone, you can just invite people over to your place for drinks. “Stop by around 9,” you’ll say, “I’ve got some Bolly on ice.” This has the added benefit of allowing you to control the music so it’s not too loud, which means you can just play Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday at a moderate volume! The only downside is that every time I’ve done this, everyone – men, women, not children, you don’t drink with children – have thought I was trying to seduce them. I don’t know what to do about that. Play polka music, maybe? That feels right.
2) Very few terrible things are likely to happen. You’re home. You’re not going to drive drunk. You’re not going to share an incredibly inappropriate joke with your boss because it “feels right.” You’re not going to sleep with someone you would not normally have coffee with. Because you’re at home. Alone. The worst thing that will happen is that you will laugh loudly at some stupid television shows. Actually, that’s not true. You could drunk dial someone. Fine, delete their numbers first. Then resume kicking back and watching television.
3) It’s a pretty good time to do creative stuff. After, say, two drinks, you’re going to be less likely to doubt whether or not you can write the next great American novel. Because OF COURSE YOU CAN! It’s going to be all about polka music! Play that music at top volume, neighbors love that stuff.