Last night I decided to go to the movies by myself. This was a hard decision. Actually, it wasn’t. I wanted to see the movie, and no one else wanted to go.
Of course I could have not seen the movie, but in the top five regrets of my life, after ordering a latte when I really wanted an iced coffee and eating a store-bought cupcake when the calories really weren’t worth it, is the time I didn’t see Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.”
It was my last night in Madison, WI, and I had wanted to see “The Tree of Life” all summer. It was an arthouse film, meaning it wasn’t screening many places, and it was right there in Madison! Except no one but me had heard of the movie, and when I showed friends the trailer, no one got excited. (I will give it to them, the movie’s not that exciting when it comes to action. But that point aside…)
I wasn’t about to let regret win again. I was going to the movies by myself. After all, I am a proud single.
Okay, being single has nothing to do with it. I could be in a relationship and my partner not be available or interested (how dare they!). But I can never pass up an opportunity to mention my single pride. I’m like a vegan Paleo Crossfitter.
I did ask several friends if they wanted to accompany me. I group texted my roommates, “I’m going to the movies tonight if either of you are interested. Right now it’s just me, but it doesn’t have to be.”
Apparently they had no apprehension about sending me into the wild alone.
An hour before date night with myself, I was pumped to be going by myself. I am independent. I am strong. I am going to have a good time.
And then I began to question the process. Like, what time do I leave? Generally when you have a partner accompanying you, you can show up any time. You’ll have someone to chat with while ads play before the trailer. Or if you’re running late, you have a partner in crime.
These are not options when you’re flying solo.
I decided to pick myself up 25 minutes before the movie began. Yes, I was going to pick myself up. Should I also cover my ticket? Maybe the popcorn, too? Or should my date (me) get that? Whatever works! I’ll also get the door for myself, don’t worry.
The next quandary was, what do I wear? I was in sweats, but I still had to face people in public, e.g. the cashier. So I decided to dress up. I did omit showering. However, I chewed some gum in case, you know…actually, I don’t know.
Despite strategizing my arrival time, I felt too early with 18 minutes to spare before show time so I sat in my car until 9 PM. (Yes, this was a late date. Maybe I’d get lucky. Wait, I already knew I was bringing myself home! This is what millennials call #winning.)
Finally, I walked inside.
Cashier: “Just one ticket?”
Me: Are you trying to say something?
Cashier: “That will be $6.”
Damn, I’m a cheap date.
The theater turned out to be more crowded than I anticipated. Where would my date and I sit? I chose an empty aisle, but my neck was going to be craned for the film’s duration. After consulting my date, we decided to move seats. We/I had to crawl over other theatergoers to get to an empty corner.
Me: “Pardon us.” (Okay, I didn’t say that. Don’t commit me.)
There were still ten minutes until the movie began. I decided to Snapchat my date. We took a lot of selfies together that probably won’t make it on Facebook. I also Snapped my neighbors, which I captioned, “My best friends came!” And I photographed the girl seated behind me with her mouth in my ear. “There’s my date!” I wrote on that picture.
All in all, this date was a success. Five out of five stars if I’m Roger Ebert. I might not see the same movie if I could redo (I saw “Macbeth,” which was in Old English with Scottish accents and no subtitles, so like, what happened?), but I would definitely take myself out again. Actually, I texted myself after the date telling myself I had a great time and hope we can do it again.
I wonder if I’ll text back.
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