While looking for a topic to write on, I remembered a few days ago when a friend ask me if it was okay for someone to go to the movies alone. I asked her why she was asking, and she said because she wasn’t sure if going to the movies alone was fine or if it’s considered sad and/or pathetic. I just shrugged, using a considerable amount of willpower to stop my lip from quivering.
I’ve been going to the movies alone for years now.
At first I didn’t really have a choice. I moved to the city for college and didn’t know anyone, but I still liked going to the movies, so I eased myself into the whole experience. That was it. I’ve never really stopped and thought about what other people thought of what I was doing. Until my friend asked. And planted the seed of doubt in my head.
But that doubt was promptly stabbed in the chest by common sense when I realized that fuck society, going to the movies alone is fun.
1. YOU CAN WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT
One of the worst things about going out with other people is choosing what clothes to wear. And don’t give me that, “I never really cared what I look like” crap. I’m sure you spent at least a few moments thinking about which shirt to wear and if your socks match your pants. If you’re going to the movies alone though, and unless you’re planning to flirt with that hot teenager at the snack counter, you can wear whatever you want. You don’t feel like wearing jeans? Cool. You don’t feel like wearing pants in general? That’s good too.
Remember that one time when you had to change six times and stressed on what to wear for two hours before your last movie date? This is not that time. Hallelujah.
2. YOU GET TO PICK THE SNACKS, AND NONE OF THAT WHO’S-PAYING-FOR-THIS AWKWARDNESS
I think it’s true for most people that they act differently around friends compared to how they act when they’re alone, like you order a respectable-looking burger when you’re with friends but order five burgers and totally pig out when you’re alone. The same concept applies here. I don’t know about you but the overpriced snacks at the movies make me feel fancy. In the words of another blogger, “And when you’re the only one picking the snacks, you don’t have to hold back! You can buy the kiddie snack pack or like do something disgusting and order two hot dogs. The only person you’re going to embarrass is yourself, so you might as well live it up.”
When you’re on a movie date, there’s always that awkward moment when you pull out your wallet and hope the other person stops you. Or wonder if she’s totally into the guy-pays-for-everything concept, or if she’s okay with the alternate thing, or if she’s a fiercely independent woman who likes paying for her own stuff. First dates are hard.
3. YOU CAN SEE THE MOVIE YOU WANT TO SEE, WHEN YOU WANT TO SEE IT, WITHOUT THE RESENTMENT, AND WITHOUT THE JUDGMENT FROM YOUR FRIENDS
When going out with your friends to watch a movie, there are a lot of variables in play that you have to take into account. Not everyone in the group wants to watch the same movie, and not everyone is available at a certain time. So there has to be a compromise, and sometimes that compromise does not go your way, hence the resentment.
If you’re going to the movies alone, you can skip all of these. You can choose whatever movie you want, when you want to see it. You don’t need to plot a friend’s demise because they won the coin flip on which movie to watch. And you don’t have to deal with your friends judging you for watching High School Musical 3 five times.
4. YOU CAN ENJOY THE MOVIE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION
I tend to be really quiet while watching a movie. If I’m with someone, I might sneak in a comment or two but otherwise I just revel in the experience. This is really hard when you’re with the type of person who keeps texting while watching a movie, then won’t stop asking you questions once they realize they missed an important part of the plot. If murder was legal, there’d be a lot of dead people, most of them these guys.
You also don’t have to share any of the thousand and one snacks you bought. Those Red Vines? All yours. Those four hotdogs? Enjoy. That super-sized soda? Whoa boy, take it slow. You don’t want to blow your bladder in the middle of the movie.
5. YOU CAN PEOPLE-WATCH.
This is one of the main reasons why I do anything alone. When going to the movies, there’s that sweet window of time in between waiting in line at the ticket booth and watching the first previews when you get to hear and watch girlfriends bicker, kids say totally inappropriate things, parents try to keep said kids in line and failing miserably, first daters make uncomfortable small talk, etc. It’s heaven, really. The best part is, eavesdropping and people-watching demand little to no effort from your end but provide an almost-endless form of entertainment.
I finally got back to my friend (the girl who asked the question that inspired this post, as mentioned at the very start) and told her basically what I told you: People don’t care about you as much as you think. People will not point and laugh if you go to the movies alone. They will not knock that box of chicharon from your hands and demand that you leave the theater. Most of them are too busy dealing with their own lives, chatting with the person next to them, or staring at their phones to avoid awkward conversations.
On a side note, you going to the movies alone is also akin to issuing a challenge for society to change its ways. Staring at a screen should not be something that needs to be done in pairs. The same could be said for eating at a restaurant, playing video games, eating fondue, taking long walks along the beach, riding a Ferris wheel, and — if you’re a girl — going to the bathroom. You don’t need other people to be happy. ‘Alone’ is worlds away from ‘lonely’, and the two of them need to be disassociated with one another.
In the words of a fellow blogger: Enough is enough. It’s time for a revolution of thought.