Thursday, May 21, 2015

I like to go to movies by myself

Universal Studios, Gold Circle Films

After a long day at work yesterday with too many minutes spent getting upset about things that don't actually matter — curse those darn days when I forget perspective — I looked up show times for Pitch Perfect 2 at a red light on my way home. (Bad, I know. Don't check showtimes and drive, Erin.)

But hey! There was one starting at 6:30 at the theater five minutes away. And it was 6:30! I'd miss the previews, but show up just in time.

I entered the theater and ordered my ticket and a small popcorn — six popcorn kernels for $9.00 each. What a steal! I made a quick comment to the three teenage boys working the counter about how the minions version of sour patch kids was total bull shit — they're just yellow and blue blobs. They then informed me of all of the different sour candy scams, like the Jurassic Park Mike and Ikes that are literally just Tropical flavored Mike and Ikes. Again, bull shit.

Kevin's my favorite. So much sass.

I asked where the movie was, and one of the kids said, "It's going to be Theater number five on your right."

I went to my left before actually comprehending what he said, turned around and headed in.

The movie had already started, which made sense because I was a few minutes late. I was weird to me how the movie began with the Barden Bellas already at the Acapella World Championships in Copenhagen, but I figured perhaps the premise of the movie took place after college, where Anna Kendrick's character takes on post-collegiate 'capella or something.

Immediately pumped though. Awesome performances. (Won't give any spoilers.) But, wait ... who were these mean German people singing Fall Out Boy? And who was this other girl? I don't remember the little girl from True Grit being in this movie? Maybe I had forgotten a part or two from the first Pitch Perfect.

Or maybe, the movie was going to be made up of flashbacks. Everybody likes a good out-of-order story. They remind me of color-by-number pages where you don't get the picture until you've used all the colors. You fill in the holes until you have the whole picture. What a cool way to do it, I thought to myself. Bravo, Elizabeth Banks.
This color-by-number is so obviously a mariachi puppy.

They then initiated the girl from True Grit into their Barden Bellas, made her go through their rituals, and then the title sequence began.

Only it wasn't the title sequence.

It was the credits.


Yesterday I went to a movie that I thought started at 6:30pm, but it turns out I'd had checked showtimes for the wrong theater. The next showing of Pitch Perfect 2 wasn't until 7:45pm, and I'd watched the end of a 4:50 start. I walked out and joked with those three teens from before about how big of a doofus I am. I guess it happens all the time, they told me. But I think they were just being nice. Fortunately, they let my come back at 7:45 with my half-eaten bag of popcorn to watch the whole movie. Everything was much less confusing the second time around. Everything was in order. The German singers were still mean.


My friend Joe used to laugh about the concept of going to the movies in a big group. It's true that it's not exactly the most social of activities.

"Let's all sit in a dark room and not talk to each other," he'd say sarcastically.

And, for someone like me or him, who find great energy in conversations about both topics that don't matter and topics that matter a lot, going to the movies and not talking doesn't seem like much bonding.

But there are people who find comfort in spending time with people, not necessarily conversation. My boyfriend is one of those people. He feels close with people who he feels like he can be alone with. People he doesn't have to be "on" for.

I've mentioned before how much I like hanging out with myself. I enjoy being the kind of person who can sit at a lunch counter and enjoy a sandwich without having to have someone with me. Without having to stare at my phone.

Which means, that while I don't particularly enjoy going to movies with a big group of friends, I do enjoy going alone.

Since finding this joy, I've noticed how many other people do it, too. Seriously, next time you're at a movie, look around. I'm sure there will be tons of people there by themselves. And it isn't because they're creepy. It's because they like the movies. They like the big screen. They like getting a bag of $18 popcorn and just spending time with themselves. It's therapy.

You have to take yourself out sometimes. You have to love yourself, and to love your own company. Because you're the only person who's going to be with you everywhere you go.

And if, by chance, your favorite kind of alone time also happens to be in a movie theater, remember to always double check the show time. And never while you're driving.