I walk slowly to my seat in the back row with some form of chocolate candy in my hand or maybe an ice cream bar. I sit down with a sense of anticipation that is slightly more than subtle. The lights turn down and I am ready to be liberated for about two hours more or less. I am ready to be overwhelmed by art. The screen is gigantic, the sound is excessively loud and I am in my comfort zone. For I am, once again, in the movie theater by myself.
I see movies by myself so often at this point that it almost feels weird to see a movie with someone else. When I do there’s always that awkward moment afterwards when I have to talk to the person about what I’ve seen as opposed to just thinking about it for hours and hours. And even way before I get to that point I usually have to explain why it is that I like what I like. Why I’m never into Hollywood Blockbusters. Why I like independent movies, foreign movies, documentaries and musicals. Why I want to see Lala Land instead of the new Will Smith movie. Why do I want to see Fences in the theater again especially since I’ve seen the play twice and read it as well. Why do I enjoy seeing movies in Foreign languages that I will never know how to speak. Over the past 30 plus years I have realized that I am very weird. And ever since I graduated from college I have stopped trying to play my weirdness down in order to fit in with other people. Fuck other people. I do things by myself because I love myself and I deserve it. If strange things bring me joy, then so be it. I don’t need anyone to use their mockery or fake interest in an effort to tag along with me. Let me sit down in the very back row gorging on a Toblerone with my feet up all by my god damn self. Let me have my space: please! I promise I’ll be a more sociable person as soon as the end credits roll up.
And then there is the price. In terms of dating if I have to pay $12.00 to get into a movie I really don’t want to pay someone else’s way. Especially not a date. As far as I’m concerned United Artists killed chivalry when they raised the price of a movie ticket to over $8.00. Then once you add the exorbitant price of popcorn and a drink, I’m cool. As a matter of fact, I’m hella cool. I’m not treating you. No disrespect but I would rather sit in my dark lit up place concerned only with the development of plot and an actor’s ability to pull off an accent, not with my finances.
So, when you’re with your crew or your boo and you see me in the back of the theater by myself with my beanie cap down low, don’t feel sorry for me—just understand that I am taking care of myself and self-care is a must.