It's October and it's starting to get a bit colder outside. The runners are layering up, the halloween decorations are out and indoor activities are looking a little more appealing. Last week, I told my friend that I was thinking about seeing a movie. He looked at me as if I had announced I was having a child and said, "what - alone?"
A few years ago, I probably would have said the same thing. But what kind of way to live is that? Why let friends who don't appreciate the value of Meryl Streep get in the way of you seeing Florence Foster Jenkins?
So, as my autumn gift to you - here are five simples steps to putting your fears of buying a single ticket to rest:
1. Start Small - This isn't the moment to buy a ticket to Fifty Shades Darker. You're already putting yourself outside of your comfort zone by going to a theatre alone. Your job now is to remove as many other worries as possible - including, feeling self-conscious about your movie choice. What types of movies should you avoid? Children's movies (how old are you?), anything that will make you cry and (see note on Fifty Shades Darker) anything with a lot of sex scenes.
2. Do Some Prep Work - If you're going to make this a thing, you might as well go into it prepared. Pick a nice theatre a little outside of your usual neighbourhood. You get to try someplace new and won't have to worry about running into your ex on a date. Also, bring a sweater (why are movie theatres always so cold?!).
3. Navigate the Theatre - The first time I saw a movie alone, there were exactly three mildly uncomfortable moments: buying a ticket, finding a seat and explaining to my roommate that I had just gone to a movie alone. Why not make the process easier on yourself? Buy your ticket online and snag a seat in the fullest part of the theatre. As for your roommate, what they don't know won't hurt them.
4. Get Comfy - In the words of Tom Haverford - treat yo self. Stop worrying about the calories in your popcorn and everything apparently unhealthy about soda. Celebrate the fact that you bought your ticket and made it into the theatre. Plus, for the first time in your movie-going life, you don't have to worry about anyone stealing your popcorn (or so I hope).
5. Take a Look Around - No, really. Do it. Remember that little voice in your head that kept saying everyone will judge you? Pretty sure everyone in the theatre is too engrossed by their popcorn and the movie to notice that you're there alone.
So congratulations - you did it. Maybe by your second solo movie, you'll be at your local theatre, buying your ticket in person and texting all your friends to let them know they're missing out.
And if someone ever decides to judge you? Well, the jokes on them because they'll forever be limited by movies their friends want to see. Destined to watch Woody Allen films on Netflix because their friends are 'too cool'. Meanwhile, you get to wake up every day knowing you can see whatever movie you want in theatres. Now that's freedom.