July 16, 2009

One ticket please...

I had an interesting discussion with a friend just about 30 seconds ago which is what sparked this post in the first place. So, she expressed a desire to see the new HP movie. And the reason she hadn't seen it yet was because she didn't have any company. I suggested she go alone and well, she dismissed the idea, opting instead to die. :D. But this is just an opening line for a very interesting discussion. Are you one of those people who can't eat/go to a movie/shop alone?

I am not. Sure, I'd prefer to go to a movie with someone, but I can name a handful of movies that I've been to by myself... mainly because I have a unlimited movie pass (for which I pay monthly) and partially because no one was available to accompany me at a time that suited me best. But I have done it nonetheless. Similarly I have actually lunched alone a few times, mostly in college when my lunchtimes don't match anyone else's. But I've done it all the same. And with no pretenses. I have never used books/notes/ipods to be a pretend companion with me. I just enjoy looking at people around me and eating. Sure, some probably thought I was a loser. But here's where my don't-care attitude benefits me. For everyone who thought I was a loser, there might've been someone else who thought it was cool that I was secure enough to eat by myself with no props. At least with eating alone, I can understand the discomfort. Perhaps it is a little unsettling. You do feel like an invisible spotlight is around you. Everyone knows you are alone and wonders why you have no friends. That's what you think. But here's the thing - very few people give a damn... and that actually works out to your advantage! But as far as a movie is concerned, I am very comfortable going all by myself. After all it is dark and no one is looking at you... everyone is there only for one reason - to see a movie, during which even if you went with a companion and discussed in loud whispers, the only extra thing you get is dirty looks. Sure it's totally great going with a friend or a group of them, but it's hardly that horrible to go alone. In fact here are some tips to surviving a movie alone (all totally dumb) -
1. Go there just in time - Well obviously if you don't want to be thought of as being alone, you can just get into the cinema hall at the last minute when everyone's gushing in and no one knows if you're joining someone or not.
2. Skip the snacks - Well, people tend to notice you only if you are loudly cracking on pop-corn or guzzling down pepsi. If you don't want to be noticed, the easiest way is to not give anyone a reason to.
3. Sit between groups of people - When people are in loud groups, they don't care who's with them or not. Ergo, they don't care about you.

Well, that concludes my simplistic guide to lone movie-watching. I hope the friend is reading. Just coz no one else joins you, doesn't mean you can't have a good time alone. And well, if you miss a friend to "discuss" the movie with, that's what cell phones and free nights n weekends are for. Go girl!

25 comments:

sivakumar said...

The way you analyse things, wow. Bravo..

Siva

Jaya said...

Merci Siva :D

Footloose said...

- I love shopping alone and tend to sneak off to spend hours at mall without telling anyone.
- I have eaten alone but only twice, at grad school, with music for company.
-I could NEVER go to a movie alone. I tend to get dramatic when I watch movies alone and I cry at happy bits and sniffle at sad bits so I would imagine everyone thinking I'm this heartbroken loser who got stood up. Or something :D

Vidhya said...

I have never watched a movie alone at a theater..hmm Maybe somethign to do..
But heres the thing about eating alone..When I was in Colorado alone I realized I had never had a meal alone. And that I didn't necessarily like the thought of it..So I promptly went ahead and had several proper meals alone..One was in this aweeeesome restaurant which had a great view of the city ..And I was like one of the 2 or three people there ( it was weeknight)..great wine great view and great company (myself)..I can truly say it was one of the best dinners I had..

Krish said...

i've gone to movies alone too.. like u've pointed out.. it's not so bad nor a big deal. But then again... eating alone makes me feel bad for myself so i don't do it. Very nice post.

Gandalf said...

For some reason I don't like doing any of that alone... On the other hand, i wish my gf wud shop alone.

moonstruck said...

I love shopping alone too! Footloose i m wid ya in tat. BTW this post is very nice in that it analyzes a very common situation. Bravo!

Radhika said...

I like going with my girlfriends for shopping. It lets me get other points of view and opinions. I hate eating alone and I can never go to a cinema by myself also. Like everyone has said, very very nice post, Jaya.

chandni said...

I totally think the "friend" should go for it. It's only a movie! I love shopping alone too!

Ram said...

I actually think movie is okay, atleast the lights go out quickly and you can pretend to be tremendously excited about the commercials or previews..

I possibly couldn't go to a restaurant alone! The wait for the food is equal to "crucio"! Even if it is a buffet, that is just too hard! A smart phone is one's best friend out there, you can pretend to text something while you are actually furiously writing a diary on how horrible it is! Of course you could also exit pretending to answer a call and then come in some 15 minutes later when your food should have arrived or be close..

Jaya said...

Footloose-> I like shopping alone too... It makes me feel unhurried and at ease. And in fact it's one of those mindless lone-times when I am in a sea of people but yet all alone. Eating alone is something I've gradually gotten used to... and nowadays it never strikes me as a big deal. On the other hand, I hear ya on the sniffing at movies thing. Thankfully, I am not that emotional in entirety (yet).

Vidhya-> Similar experience for me when I went to Chilis in vermont all by myself when i was there for an interview. Some awesome margerita, a fabulous burger and a brilliant view all kept me company (apart from the music of course) and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As for the movie, I haven't seen a movie all alone unless I really wanted to see it and yet no one could join me.. But it isn't so bad and you don't really come out scarred or anything. You can try it if you want - no life experience or anything... just for the heck of it.

Krish-> Thanks for backing me up on the claim. I hope the "friend" tries it too. Eating alone isn't bad.. but since you feel bad, it's best avoided.

Gandalf-> Hahahaha... I wonder how she's still with you (you being all pompous n all) - jk.. u r truly funny and your comments make my day.

Jaya said...

Moonstruck-> I think shopping alone is a girl thing... so many of us girls have concurred on it. Thanks for the compliments on the blog though and keep visiting and commenting.

Radhika-> Thanks!! Yes going with girlfriends is a different kind if fun in the shopping perspective. It's always better to have a second opinion particularly in clothes or something.

Chandni-> The friend is going to try it is what I last heard. :D Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Bala -> Hahahahahaha. ROTFL. No no, trust me it's not so bad... especially if there's a view to gawk at or if there's some TV to watch. Actually if you are conscious of the fact that you are alone, it shows in uyour body language and you become fidgety and uncomfortable and in turn makes the others notice you even more. So I would suggest trying it and not resorting to the 'props' I've mentioned which include the Blackberry. Just be yourself, relax and enjoy. Believe me, no one cares if you are eating by yourself or not. It's not a big deal these days. thanks for the lengthy comment as always. :)

Shiva kumar Shankar said...

I have gone to movies alone, but only as a last resort. Would definitely prefer company though (guess almost all will). One I can readily recollect is the Pirates of Caribbean-2.

As for eating, I generally eat alone, given the fact that I am a very late eater.

Though I eat at my desk, and watch Kounds-Senthil or Vivek comedies while doing so! Great stress buster in middle of the day :D

GreenGrl said...

:) When In a movie or in front of the TV virtually I am alone ...
Can't seem to log if ppl are around...

Jaya said...

Shiva -> yeah, glad you've gone though no one joined you. I mean, what's the big deal.. everyone's times can't match at all times and at some time or the other you find that you are the only one wanting to go at one particular time. So it makes sense to go for it. As for eating alone at your desk, that doesn't count. Practically everyone must've done that at some point or the other. We're talking about eating alone in public, when everyone knows you are alone. :P. Thanks for the comment n keep visiting!

GreenGrl -> Watching TV alone at home is hardly the same thing as joining a million strangers at a cinema hall! Everyone who lives alone always sees them alone. I also know what happens when we watch movies with you. You have to ask what's going to happen next, I have to give you a crappy make-believe plot.. and VR and VV had to get annoyed. Man, fun days those! Thanks for the comment n keep visiting!

The Muse ... said...

I have done so on numerous occasions.
Specially in grad school days - sometimes a break was more important than anything - don't wait for other people to make time to come with you - watch the movie - chill out and get back to work - this routine has helped me chill many a time :).

Jaya said...

The Muse-> Thanks for voicing up as always. yes, during grad school it's a big stress buster and especially if you have on campus theatre where if you don't have any one to go with, you still end up seeing it with others you might know. Lol. Thanks for sharing n keep visiting!

boomingvoiceofgod said...

This being about movies, I've tons to say. Kindly bear with me.

I'd actually prefer to go to the movies alone. Initially, it was by compulsion since I do marathons and noone else seemed to have the ability to sit beyond 2 movies back-to-back, and even that with considerable difficulty and persuasion. But quickly I grew to like it (Stockholm syndrome?), cos watching movies is as private and intense an experience for me as reading books - do it alone and discuss at length later. As noted by Footloose, you tend to immerse yourself more into the movie, without worries about keeping your emotions in check out of fear of being the butt of jokes for the rest of the week :p Or having someone spoil a particularly involving scene by making a wisecrack and forcefully laughing it off to fight their own tears, lest they compromise their "cool" image. Moreover, movie tastes vary widely and in a big group, one person will inevitably be handed the burden of guilt over having "dragged us all the way to watch this!? You said it's supposed to be awesome!" :D Other benefits include not having to arrive at the theater an hour early to get good seats together. You can go 5 mins late also in slip into an empty "in-between" seat in prime spots. And frankly, I don't think anyone gives a damn about someone being alone, under cover of darkness or not. A little egocentric don't you think? We are not *that* important. If Brad Pitt walks into a theater alone, yes. If I do, LOL.

I am done :)

Jaya said...

Boomingvoiceofgod-> wow.. that was booming alright and I am glad you voiced aplenty since it seems to be up your alleys - movies. However I'd be interested in knowing your opinion for eating alone. Any thoughts? Thanks for the visit and comment.. keep coming back!

Deepak said...

I have never been to the movies by myself, maybe because the movie itself doesn't matter to me. I like the "going to the movie" part: buying tickets, hanging outside before the movie starts and talk about it on the way out. But now after having our 2nd baby, I would even watch a chick-flick alone, if it means I get 2 glorious hours for myself!

Jaya said...

Deepak - Lol. Your wife doesn't read what you write too often, does she? :D. I can imagine that having 2 kids must make chick-flicks seem the idea snooze time :).

Anonymous said...

Jaya you are too good as always keep it up

Jaya said...

Anon -> Thanks so much... And i'd love to know who you are. :)

Tina said...

Hi J, I too like shopping by myself. Though, I do enjoy shopping with the girls too.
I have never been to a movie by myself, but recently attended a symphony on my own. Was supposed to be accompanied by some friends who canceled last minute. I was dressed up and didn't see any reason in giving up on something I was looking forward to all week. Besides, why waste free tickets and a good hair day, right?

Jaya said...

Tina-> Amen... especially with our curly hairs - good hair days are a must-not-waste! Well said :) Thanks for visiting n commenting :)

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