How To: Watch a Movie Alone
This is part of a series of How To Guides about living on your own, in a new city, and/or with your parents. Growing up is never hard to do, but it can be funny when you make a lot of mistakes, and force yourself to do things most people find shameful. This is for your own erudition.
Living at home is phenomenal. Nothing beats hanging out with your parents, eating home-cooked meals you didn’t have to make, getting your laundry done, premium cable (!!!!). However, one of the things you first notice missing is your social life. Living in the suburbs (where your parents probably live, if they haven’t already gone off the grid) is not conducive to a vibrant social scene, unless you’re into antiquing or socializing at the grocery store. Then by all means, go crazy! But me, I need some time with people that either a) didn’t have a direct hand in my existence and b) are under the age of 65. I’m pretty easy.
For this reason, I like to go see movies. Unlike most normal 20-somethings, I don’t usually have someone to go with. Or I don’t want to take my 13 year old brother to see ‘The Kids Are Alright’. So what do I do? I go see the movie, by myself. The following are the steps you need to follow in order to get through seeing a movie by yourself without taking a ride on what I like to call the Shame Cycle.
This is the first and most important part. Sharks and movie tellers are the only two known species that can smell fear on a person. Second grade teachers have been rumored to have this ability, but there has been no empirical evidence to confirm the hypothesis. Anyways, you need to walk up to the teller and say, in a loud clear voice, “ONE FOR TOY STORY 3, PLEASE.” If they ask you if you’re meeting anyone, run. They’ve already caught onto you and you’re dead in the water. If not, you’ve passed the first test. All that’s left is to get past the ticket taker, and often times they’re asleep, so it ain’t no thang.
Alternative: Instead of buying a ticket in person, you can also buy one online. However, this means you have planned to see a movie by yourself ahead of time, and if this is the case, you’ve got some deeper issue to work on, buddy.
2. Movie Selection
This is a very important part as well. Pick a “Schindler’s List”, you’ll be crying for hours with no one to comfort you. Pick a “Spy Kids”, you’ll be getting suspicious stares from parents and children alike. Pick a “Notebook”, you’re bound to be alone forever. Pick a “Fool’s Gold” and you might actually go into the world’s first stupidity coma. The point is, selection is key. Not too sad, not too happy, not too many families, not too many friends, not too much action, and just the right amount of Bruce Willis. You don’t want to be reminded you’re all by yourself, but you also don’t want to forget that movie stars need to pay their bills too.
Once you’ve gotten past the vicious hoardes, seating is very important. Just like a school cafeteria, where you seat in a theater will slap you with a label that will remain with you the rest of your life. Wait, that’s not right… but for the sake of the argument, I present some master-theater-goer archetypes.
Tracy Flick: You’re showing that you’re overeager and don’t want to see people’s faces when they see you’re alone. This is for the weak-hearted and the strong-necked
Jennifer Grey: This position is naturally back in the corner. Don’t fall subject to your inner Jennifer Grey. There may be a Patrick Swayze to come and rescue you, but mullets take a long time to get perfect, so don’t hold your breath.
Jake Gylenhaal: This is what happens when you arrive late to slip in unnoticed, but all the seats are taken, so you have to sit in the middle. Just like Jake Gylenhaal did in Brokeback Mountain. Which is not a good movie to see by yourself.
Steven Segal: This is the position of the seasoned veteran. You don’t flinch at your solitude, you relish in it and sit in the very middle. You don’t care that your ponytail looks stupid, by god you’re going to see the movie and you’re going to enjoy yourself!
4. The Escape
As important as all the other steps were, this last one is just as important. Stay too long, you’ll get called out for being a lingerer, and god forbid, get roped into a conversation to discuss the movie (ewwww). Leave to early, and you run into getting judged by the attendant who is wondering why you’re leaving so early BY YOURSELF. Timing is essential, just like in throwing a hand grenade. Both have equally grave consequences.
Hopefully, if you should every find yourself standing in front of a theater pondering seeing a movie by yourself, remember these 4 important parts, and you should be fine. If not, you could always just Netflix it.