The perfect afternoon out
I went to the movies by myself on the weekend. Not a big thing to reveal really. I would much rather have gone with someone, but noone was available and really I couldn't be bothered to go down the list of contacts.
I remember my very first time at a movie by myself. I had been separated from my husband for all of about a month and was working away from home for a couple of weeks. Working in a small town, with little to entertain me, I decided to catch a movie at the local cinema. But the whole experience turned rather traumatic. As I lined up to get my ticket, I felt like the entire town had come to witness it. "Look over there, that newly single woman is trying to secrete her way into the cinema....".
The only way I could alleviate the stress of the whole moment was to pretend I was there with someone. I pulled out my phone and rang a good friend and had them talk me into the cinema. I tried to go in when the lights were sufficiently dimmed so that noone would spot me. No such luck there, and worse still as I looked at my fellow patrons, it seemed to be "couples night" at the movies.
Eventually the lights dimmed and the movie began. I can remember the movie not only by the personal trauma involved in seeing it, but also by virtue of the fact that it was so goddamn awful (for those into details it was "Mickey Blue Eyes". For such a life-changing event, I should have waited for something a little more worth the memory.
Now, many years on, I can safely see a movie solo without the necessary phone calls to get me to my seat. I can in fact enjoy the whole experience without fear of any stigma - well, not much anyway.
So, Sunday brought me to a nearby cinema, unfortunately one of those horrid multiplex type things, but one at which I could get a cheap movie, and a free popcorn. I settled into my seat and surveyed my surrounds, as one does. Now this was a movie safe for a woman to see by herself. No couples clutching one another in desperation. A few gatherings of other women out for an afternoon together. And, more importantly, a healthy quota of many lone women, all seeking a little escapism on a miserable weekend afternoon.
Sometimes it is nice just to enjoy the company of oneself - as much as other people might find me difficult at times and high maintenance - I can always understand myself - lucky I reckon.