27 August 2007

My Maiden Voyage

I did something this weekend I’ve never done before.

I went to the movies.

By myself.

On — gasp — Saturday night.

Not a matinee — the 7:35 p.m. show.

Really, this shouldn’t be a big deal for me. I’m a sociable hermit. While I love going out with friends and meeting newbies, I like my weekends quiet. I spend much of my Mondays through Fridays talktalktalking to people about their creative ideas and communication needs, my butt parked in conference rooms a good fifteen hours each week. By Friday evening I’m ready for quiet. Just me, myself, I.


Cue it up, boys: Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I


To be honest, I’ve hit that age where I get grumpy if I have plans Friday night AND Saturday night. I need a day to recharge. I love weekends when I have nothing going on.

And that’s the weekend I had planned: nothing but books and takeout Thai and naps. The floor around my bed was littered with literature, the fridge was chilling a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, Top Spice had filled my to-go bag.

But then, come 6 p.m. Saturday, I was restless. My cable was out and the repairman wasn’t due until Sunday, so I couldn’t lose myself in romantic comedies or a “Closer” marathon. The books, while good, weren’t keeping my attention, and the cats weren’t in a conversational mood. It was too late to make plans with a friend … so I decided to see a movie by myself.

I’ve gone to the movies solo many, many times — but never on a date night. I was always afraid of appearing lonely and sad, possibly homeless. After a deep e-mail conversation with one of my favorite girls and one Bastard of a sweet guy, I decided to take the plunge.

I drove to my favorite theater — the one that serves wine and real butter on popcorn, the one that plays artier flicks and documentaries. I bought a ticket, got my pinot grigio and buttered popcorn, and grabbed a seat in Theater 3.

Alone. Smack dab in the center.


What did I see? The Ten — irreverent skits based on the Ten Commandments. Excellent cast, including adorable Top-fiver Paul Rudd … many members of The State comedy troupe ... Cup Hair Hall of Famer Oliver Platt as an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator … and Rob Corddry in a romantic prison role. Justin Theroux made the Top Five list thanks to his portrayal of Jesus H. Christ, but I enjoyed the narrator of that skit even more. Oh, and you guys may like the chicks: Famke Janssen, Wynona Ryder, Gretchen Mol, and Jessica Alba. Go. See. Laugh. Come back with your upped/downed thumb.

I didn’t pretend to be waiting for a friend. I sat down, pulled out my Sherman Alexie (if I’m waiting, I must be reading), and waited for the previews. I munched and sipped and laughed throughout the movie.

Nobody pointed. Nobody snickered. Nobody really noticed.

And I enjoyed myself.

* * * * * *

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42 Comments:

At 8/27/2007 06:45:00 PM, Blogger jewgirl said...

I'm so proud of you!!! You're an inspiration, doll face.

 
At 8/27/2007 06:47:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Thanks to you, girlie. Let's have a giggly hugfest!

 
At 8/27/2007 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Crusher said...

No, he's not.

 
At 8/27/2007 07:37:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

He is in my fantasy world.


Oh, wait ...


He just said the sweetest thing. And he blushed.

 
At 8/27/2007 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Mountjoy said...

"Flying solo" to the movies is a leap, but not a quantum one. The really hard one is the "dining solo".

I used to encamp to the dining room wehn away on business trips, but the novelty quickly wears off, and room service is a much more attractive option.

(I thought you might have broken into Eric Carmen's "All by myself" after Me, Myself, I. Then The Bee Gee's "Alone". Or Heart... )

 
At 8/27/2007 07:48:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I dine on my own, Mountjoy — in fact, I dined solo last night. Haven't hit a restaurant solo on a Friday or Saturday, though.

 
At 8/27/2007 08:25:00 PM, Blogger jkirlin - your lowly and humble photographic servant said...

No having to share the popcorn and no inane discussion about the movie after...hmmm..tempting.

Dining alone? Maybe in a diner.

 
At 8/27/2007 08:58:00 PM, Anonymous Glassmeow said...

& not having to pretend you're NOT swooning over your favorite matinee idol so your date doesn't get all insecure is nice too!

 
At 8/27/2007 08:59:00 PM, Blogger chelene said...

Good for you, Beth. I've done Friday night solo at the movies. It felt weird the first time but no one paid me any mind.

And sigh...Paul Rudd. So, so cute.

 
At 8/27/2007 09:31:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

Yay Beth!!! Virtual high five! I go to movies myself quite often. Well because it's right down the street, really. Although I enjoy going with MTG, I do like going on my own too. The theater I frequent has a full bar in the front and DOES NOT ALLOW CHILDREN. My favorite point. And you can get a full meal with the movie too, of course the same stuff like popcorn with real butter, but their chicken parmesan sandwich and a nice fresh from a tapped keg, Shiner Bock beer.....OMG...I'm drooling already. Hmmmm....I wonder what their showing tonight. Wait it's Monday, free anime night at the Alamo Draft House. I think I have plans now. ^_^

 
At 8/27/2007 09:40:00 PM, Blogger haahnster said...

I was always afraid of appearing lonely and sad, possibly homeless.

Hilarious line, Beth!

 
At 8/27/2007 09:51:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

I feel that if the happy couples are noticing you instead of focusing on going home and coupling happily, then they're the weirdos. I like going to Friday afternoon screenings before schools get out in huge theaters with 1,000 seats, 12 of which are filled. It makes me feel like I'm living out The Omega Man, which is awesome.

And of late, I've been turning down invitations on Friday if I'm busy Saturday for the same reasons: you may be awesome, but you're no me.

 
At 8/27/2007 09:58:00 PM, Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I'm no stranger to seeing films alone on date night, but *that* definitely sounds like something I'd like to watch. Wonder if it's showing around here...

[And for the record, the last film I saw alone, for whatever reason I really did feel like everyone was staring at the "sad, lonely girl." Weird feeling. Watching a movie alone never really seemed strange to me until then.]

 
At 8/27/2007 11:58:00 PM, Blogger Moxie said...

I don't think I've been brave enough to go solo on Friday/Saturday nights, whether it's dining out or movies. I will do both during the week or in daylight, though. I've read some good reviews of The Ten - might have to check that out.

Right now I'm eagerly awaiting Netflix's shipment of Heroes Season 1. The buzz was so loud I couldn't take it anymore. Plus I love me some superheroes.

How are you enjoying Mad Men, by the way? That Jon Hamm is so yummy.

 
At 8/28/2007 12:31:00 AM, Blogger Jacy said...

Wow. It is a sign of a truly civilized country if you can get a glass of wine in a movie theatre. So envious.

 
At 8/28/2007 08:15:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

The movie sounds interesting Beth, glad you ventured out and made it back.

Doesn't the Carlton serve wine and pretense downtown Jacy?

 
At 8/28/2007 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for the movie heads-up. Sounds like something I'd like.

 
At 8/28/2007 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I think Pee Wee Herman likes to go to movies alone.

 
At 8/28/2007 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

JKIRLIN: You know, that’s a great way to think of it! I ate every last kernel in that bag, too.

GLASSMEOW: The Beloved Ex got used to my swoons and moans whenever we saw one of my celluloid loves on the screen. But it was nice to swoon freely Saturday night. Paul Rudd? Justin Theroux? Moan heaven.

CHELENE: Don’t you love Paul Rudd? He’s adorable — and funny. Ever see him on “The Daily Show”?

ARTFUL DODGER: I need to catch a flick at your joint. I get so irritated at folks who bring young children to 10 p.m. shows. How was anime night?

 
At 8/28/2007 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

HAAHNSTER: That’s my favorite line in the post, too. Glad someone else enjoyed it!

PISTOLS AT DAWN: You may be awesome, but you’re no me just might become my new slogan. We are so Donnie/Marie, aren’t we, Pistols?

THIRD WORST POET: Go see it; it’s silly and irreverent. So sorry you got the stares last time. Maybe you were just too damn hot-looking that night?

MOXIE: Swooning over Jon Hamm! My kind of man. I also love the graphics in the opening.

 
At 8/28/2007 10:28:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

JACY: I’d say semi-civilized. It was pinot grigio — but it was a small bottle with a screw cap. Yeah, I know that’s the rage in the California vineyards these days, but I’m still a cork girl.

DALE: I love wine and pretense!

CHRIS: You’d really enjoy it, Chris. Get thee to a theater.

KEITH KENNEDY: Oh, great; now folks are gonna think I was PeeWee’ing my Herman …

 
At 8/28/2007 11:03:00 AM, Blogger coffeypot said...

You didn't have as much fun as I did going to the movies by myself. But you do know what the movie was about. I don’t know what my movie was about or even the name of the movie. And I don’t’ think I could take wine and popcorn at the same time. I think it says something in the Bible about having diet coke with popcorn, wine with weddings. Proud of your courage, though.

 
At 8/28/2007 11:09:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

I feel for you Beth. My days off are Friday and Saturday night and no one I know wants to see the same movies as me.

 
At 8/28/2007 11:17:00 AM, Blogger Nadine said...

I went to see Star Wars: Episode 2 by myself. It was great. The theater was vitually empty.

I think I may take up solo-movie-going because I hate when the other person forces me to miss the previews or falls asleep or sulks throughout the ckick flick.

 
At 8/28/2007 02:05:00 PM, Blogger blueblanket said...

I keep hearing good things about The Ten -- hopefully it'll show around here soon!

 
At 8/28/2007 03:55:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I love going to the movies alone.

Although, had I seen you there I would have pointed and snickered.

 
At 8/28/2007 04:05:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

COFFEYPOT: I'm proud to say, Uncle, that your solo movie adventure did not inspire this one. And you should know by now that I'm a rebel, one who will always have wine with her popcorn.

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: We should synchronize our moviegoing times and cell each other!

NADINE: I can't live without the previews or the chick flicks.

BLUE BLANKET: I think you'll love The Ten.

GRANT MILLER: The fear of Miller mockery is what keeps my feet firmly planted in Atlanta.

 
At 8/28/2007 06:06:00 PM, Blogger blog Portland said...

I used to fly solo to films all the time. Granted, it was mostly porn, but I snuck a couple action flicks in there as well.

 
At 8/28/2007 06:25:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Donnie and Marie are kinda creepy, though, but if we can get a hit TV show out of the deal, I'm in.

 
At 8/28/2007 08:56:00 PM, Blogger anandamide said...

the real question here is what kind of wine goes with popcorn...

 
At 8/28/2007 09:37:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

I'm so used to going places by myself by now. Most of my friends are lame.

Mmmm, Paul Rudd. One of my friends saw him on the street here once, and she said some girl came running across the street, yelling "I love you" at him. She said he was very nice to her, even though she could have been completely crazy.

 
At 8/29/2007 04:52:00 AM, Blogger Scrivener said...

Congrats on the big step, Beth. I don't really mind going to movies by myself, but I do not like to eat dinner out by myself at all.

 
At 8/29/2007 01:54:00 PM, Blogger Zed said...

Hey, congrats on going to the movies alone. I've never worked up the courage to do that--you're a brave woman, Beth. (On the other hand, I have no problem eating dinner by myself as does Scrivener.

P.S. Paul Rudd--yum...

 
At 8/29/2007 06:09:00 PM, Blogger Tanya Espanya said...

I love doing stuff alone or with others, and have done movies and dining alone (and not just at a squat and gobble, but at a restaurant with real dishes and people to wait on me), and the gym.

I also love Paul Rudd.

When you come up here to visit, I'll go to the movies with you.

 
At 8/29/2007 09:14:00 PM, Blogger DaBich said...

With a hubby and two kids hanging around all the time, a little alone time (ME time) is wonderful! Glad you ventured out and even happier that you enjoyed!

 
At 8/29/2007 11:58:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

You're my hero, Beth! It actually sounds like a great night, especially the wine with the popcorn part. Bliss, girl!

 
At 8/30/2007 12:09:00 AM, Blogger New and Used Records said...

I'm with you on quality quiet times on the weekend. I really love it when I don't have to do anything. And, actually, given the choice, I'd probably choose not to spend that time with friends. Oh well, I do enjoy going out too, but really only for music stuff.

I don't go to movies by myself too too often, but sometimes it is nice just to sit in a movie theater by yourself ... especially if the theater is pretty empty.

I have to check out The Ten ... it sounds just delightful.

 
At 8/30/2007 02:19:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

BLOG PORTLAND: Mine solo viewings are less porn/action, more arty/romantic comedy.

PISTOLS AT DAWN: I’m willing to sell my credibility for stardom … as long as I don’t have to fawn over Phil Collins.

ANANDAMIDE: The real butter topping the popcorn perfectly complimented the crisp and chilled pinot grigio.

BECKEYE: Don’t you hate it when your friends grow lame? Paul Rudd seems like such an adorable, fun guy. I heart him.

SCRIVENER: I can’t see you eating alone, but not because you’d feel lonely.

 
At 8/30/2007 02:22:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

ZED: I’ve gone to movies by myself for decades — but never on a Friday or Saturday night. Now that I knocked down that wall, I plan to do it whenever I’m in the mood for a flick.

TANYA ESPANYA: I’ll find a good chick flick for us. But I may want to take Alexander with us. I want to hold that cuteness … but I won’t peek at his penis.

DABICH: Thanks!

BARBARA: Total bliss.

NEW AND USED RECORDS: I think you’d enjoy The Ten.

 
At 8/30/2007 07:35:00 PM, Blogger katrocket said...

OMG! You're movie theater sells WINE???? That's da bomb! In Canada, they make us sneak it thru the doors in a Gatorade bottle.

And yeah, Paul Rudd is a hottie.

 
At 9/04/2007 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Dale and I were just discussing this very topic. I do stuff alone all the time, although I can relate to it feeling a bit more awkward on Fri or Sat night. But I even did that all the time when I was living in DC part time and had no social life at all there.

I am usually too tired by the time the work week ends to do much of anything. I don't know if it's because we're older, or because we work harder. I kind of miss the frenetic energy I had in my early 20s. Oh well, life continues to be interesting with all its turns.

 
At 9/04/2007 06:45:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

KAT ROCKET: Yes, wine! Not a lot of choices, but there was a pinot grigio.

COASTER PUNCHMAN: I like a good balance: a slug weekend, followed by a frenetic weekend. I'm looking forward to slugging this coming weekend.

 

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