That Time I Went To The Movies Alone

But why?
Doesn't she have any friends?

Isn't it weird that seeing a movie in a theater is considered a social interaction when you can't even talk to the person you're with? But it is. When I was a kid, going to the movies as a family wasn't something we did very often, because even in the '80s, it was expensive for all five of us. But I remember seeing some of my favorites in the theater with them: Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Titanic. As a teenager, it was one of the few activities you could do without parents around. I remember getting huge groups of friends together in ninth grade to see The Good Son, Free Willy, Forrest Gump, Speed, and The Santa Clause. In high school it was the usual weekend date. My boyfriend and I would sneak into R-rated movies like Scream, The Craft, Sleepers, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Boogie Nights. Then in college, when there wasn't a party going on, the movie theater was where it was at. We saw all the late '90s classics: The Wedding Singer, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Bring It On, Romy and Michele's, Can't Hardly Wait, Varsity Blues, Jawbreaker, 10 Things I Hate About You, Go, Almost Famous, Final Destination, etc.

When I moved in with Jacob, we went to dinner and a movie every single Wednesday night. It was our standing date. Some may say it was boring and predictable, but I loved it. (Plus, we did other stuff on the weekends.) It lasted about four years, then babies happened. Since we still want a life and love to see comedians, concerts, games, and musicals, we have to save the babysitter for more exciting outings and movies became something I did more with my friends. So yeah, I could have asked any of them to go to a movie with me and I'm sure I would have found someone to make weekend plans with. But my free birthday ticket from our independent theater was expiring and Jacob took the kids to swimming lessons, so I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go by myself.

When I was younger I used to think people at the theater alone didn't have any friends and was sooo embarrassed for them. When I got a little older, I felt sorry for people I saw out alone. I just assumed they didn't have anyone in their lives to spend time with and it made me sad. When Jacob used to work out of state, he'd often go out to eat alone. He was a young guy who didn't want to cook or hang out with the co-workers he saw all day, every day. When he'd call me at night and mention he ate on a bar stool of some local restaurant, it made me feel sorry for him. He never cared, so it shouldn't have bothered me either.

Now, as an adult, seeing someone out alone doesn't even faze me. And as a mom, I TOTALLY get it. I'm always craving alone time! I'm comfortable with myself, I know I have friends and family who care about me and that I could have made plans with any of them if I made an effort. But I was feeling like a loner and was kind of excited to just pick up and go. I caught an advanced screening of American Sniper* which was almost sold out, and seeing everyone coupled up didn't make me feel bad. I even got a (sympathetic?) smile from another solo moviegoer. I still prefer going with someone, because there really is a social aspect to seeing a movie. It would have been nice to have someone there to freak out with during the tense scenes and to discuss it with afterwards. But I definitely won't rule out going alone in the future.

*Full review coming soon. It was good and a little intense, but I cannot get over the fact that they used dolls instead of human babies in two short scenes. The first scene, with his son, may be hard for some to tell, but I noticed right off the bat. The second time around, with his daughter, was so completely obvious and even comical. Why did Clint Eastwood think that would fly?! It's unfortunate because it really took me out of the movie for a while.

Have you ever been to a move by yourself?


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I prefer to go to the movies alone. MFD doesn't get it. I'm like hello it's not like we can talk anyway! I go in, sit down, watch the movie, and leave!

Jodi said...

I go alone all the time!! It is easier sometimes then finding someone to go and coordinating a time and theatre!!

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I have! I thought it would be weird, but it's not. I actually kind of like it. I want to see this. I also really want to see Boyhood and Birdman.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I don't go to the movies often but a couple of years ago, I went to see The Hunger Games by myself. It was glorious. I did it again a few months ago when I treated myself to Gone Girl. I plan on making it a regular thing, especially since I can go on a weekday, in the middle of the afternoon and have to contend with almost no one else.

I really want to see this movie. Also Foxcatcher.

Allison said...

I've never gone to the movies by myself, just because I've never been a big movies person (I do take myself out to eat very often and enjoy the company tremendously ;)
I'm actually going with Anthony to see American Sniper tonight, and I've been a little concerned about how intense it'll be/if I can handle a movie like that. So I'm legitimately relieved you said it's not too, too bad.
I've been enjoying going to the movies more and more, so maybe next up I'll take myself! :) Great post, girl, as per usual.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I have never gone to a movie alone in fact I rarely get to go to the movies anyway

socialinthe253.com said...

I go to movies by myself all the time. I actually love the alone time... I'm actually thinking about seeing American Sniper solo!

Susan S. said...

I go to the movies all by myself all the time. Scratch that- used to. Pre-baby. But I have always felt comfortable doing things like movies or restaurants alone. In fact, I kind of like it! But not more than going with somebody, because I do like talking about the movie after.

jessiepjones said...

I think it's awesome to do something for yourself, by yourself. We've got to take care of us and recharge wherever we can!

Kimberlee VDW said...

I go to the movies alone all the time lol I don't think it should have such a stigma. A) like you said, you can't even talk to the person lol that's why I think it's a horrible first date idea. B) sometimes people aren't available or they don't want to see it. You shouldn't have to wait on someone else to do something you want to do #singlegirlmindset haha but good for you!

Karen M. Peterson said...

I LOVE going to the movies alone. I do it all the time. The only thing I don't love about it is not having anyone to talk about it with afterward.

And seriously! I forgot about the dolls, but yes! That was SO RIDICULOUS!

Gwen said...

I'm a big fan of going to the movies alone and I don't even have kids. I haven't seen American Sniper yet, but that's one that I don't know if I'd see alone because it looks so intense!