Going to the movies is a social activity – at least, that’s what I’ve always thought and practiced. Whenever I see a movie, I always have at least one other human being with me, be it mother, father, sister, friend, friend of a friend, or friend of a friend of a brother of a friend. That’s what has felt natural, enjoying a silver screen experience with someone else. The more the merrier.
But not today.
Today, I broke my solo-moviegoer virginity and saw Django Unchained. By myself.
Now, before you roll your eyes, purse your lips, and exit this perceived inanity, humor me. It does sound kind of stupid because plenty of people go to see movies by themselves. It’s a normal activity. (That sentence reminded me of Paranormal Activity and its sequels upon sequels. They create a vacuum, but I digress). However, part of me has always been afraid of it – afraid of being alone. “Autophobic” as the intellectual hoity-toitees call it. It’s like that sinking feeling of sitting alone at the lunch table in high school. You can feel the judgment and ridicule from your ever so popular peers boring holes into your already colander-like self-esteem. It’s funny, though, because I know I have a double standard about this. When I see people by themselves in a theater, I don’t find myself pitying them by any means. Why should I? If it looks like a loner, sits like a loner, chews popcorn like a loner…
Maybe they aren’t loners.
I’m not a particularly extroverted, outgoing kind of gal, but I’m no humanity-hating hermit either. I enjoy spending time with friends, but sometimes, I haz need for “me time.” I’m not the only person on the planet with this kind of temperament. So it is a normal activity – it is self-gratifying. Even though a movie theater is a public venue, you don’t have to impress anyone. The room is dark and everyone is focused on the big screen (or they’re canoodling with their partner). No one is paying attention to you. There’s no need to worry about whether or not the person/people you’re going with are enjoying the movie. You can just enjoy the movie.
So today I learned that moviegoing can definitely be a solo sport – not just for loners and members of Homo Awkwardiensis, but also for well-adjusted individuals who need some time for themselves once in a while.
And plus, no one wanted to see it with me.
But I’m not a loner. I swear.