On a rare day off last week I ventured into town on my own. After an hour of wandering aimlessly around the shops with little success, I thought: “Why don’t I go to the cinema?” It was all going well until I arrived at Cineworld and immediately began looking about myself, just in case anybody I knew was lurking in the shadows and saw me going to the cinema ALL ALONE.
I thought back to a trip to town two weeks before where I’d eaten lunch in a nice cafe by myself, amid couples and groups of friends. I felt unbelievably self-conscious and stared unblinkingly at my phone throughout my meal, convinced that the (gorgeous) waiter felt sorry for me. Why do I feel so weird about doing things alone? I know I have friends – why do I feel the need to prove that to the rest of the world?
After deliberating over it for a little while, I strode up to the box office and purchased a cinema ticket without fuss, despite the overwhelming urge to turn around and roar “I have loads of friends, actually!” at the other patrons. I then bought popcorn AND pick’n'mix and plonked myself down in the middle of a row of seats. If I was going it alone, I was going to be as obnoxious about it as possible.
When I came home and told my housemates about my solo day at the flicks, they responded just as I thought they would – with gazes of pity and cries of dismay. “Why did you go alone?” they said. “You should have TOLD us, we would have come with you!”
While I appreciated the sentiment, I couldn’t agree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going it alone. There’s no pressure, no quibbles over what film to see or where to eat – you can do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it.
After one solo cinema trip, I feel pretty confident that I’ll be going it alone again. Even if it means that the people in the row behind me think I have no friends.
How do you feel about doing things alone? Would you go to the cinema on your own?