Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Going to Movies Alone

Tonight I went to a late night screening of Before Midnight. I never went to movies alone -- until I had A.

When she was younger, she went to lots of birthday parties. And when she got to the age where I could just drop her off at the parties (instead of staying with her), I found that I had some free time. The main thing I would do is watch movies that I couldn't normally watch with her.

From the parent perspective, movies usually fall into three categories.

1. Movies that are too violent, too sexy, or too disturbing to bring kids to
2. Movies geared towards kids with talking animals or animated people
3. Movies that are ok to bring kids to, but they would be bored out of their minds. The poor kid has been dragged along to movies that no kid should be dragged to (A-hem: Young at Heart when she was six).

 Before Midnight falls into category 1, with its frank talk about sex and a certain topless scene. So I took advantage of having had a summer afternoon nap and the willingness of W to stay home with A to run out to my late-night movie.

 In my early 20s, I would never have gone to a movie alone. I would never have eaten out at a restaurant alone. I would have been too self-conscious about people perceiving me as lonely to do anything by myself.

 But tonight, I found it liberating to NOT have to worry if someone else was enjoying the movie as much as I was. I didn't have to share an armrest with anyone. And I finally got to try the powdered popcorn flavoring that A never lets me put on the popcorn we share. [Word to the wise: Don't put too much powder on. Otherwise, you end up inhaling it with every bite. I think I have Nacho Cheese and White Cheddar coating the insides of my lungs now.]

 When you become a parent, especially a single parent, time alone is precious. There is too little time to waste worrying about what others think. Claim that time for yourself instead.

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