An afternoon out

I made a decision this weekend that I wouldn't spend the coming week sitting at home over-checking the job boards and my email to see if I could make any progress in my job hunt. I decided that nothing was ever going to move forward if I sat around the house feeling annoyed about the whole thing and that I might as well get out and enjoy my new life here in New Haven while I had the free time. Kind of like that saying "a watched pot never boils," you know? I totally do that, by the way. Watch the pot. So yesterday I decided to put my newly adopted attitude to work, and as it was Monday and most of the museums were closed, I opted for pure entertainment and went to see an early afternoon showing of "27 Dresses." I chose that movie because, first of all, I knew J wouldn't be upset that he missed it. And because I was in the mood for an easy-to-watch romantic comedy that wouldn't bum me out. I mean, I'm really anxious to see "Atonement," too, but I read that book and know what happens and I don't need that kind of drama that early in the week.

I rarely go to the movies by myself - I've done it maybe twice - but that's not because I don't want to. On the contrary, I think going to the movies by oneself is one of the premier human experiences, and I'm only exaggerating a little bit. First, you get to choose whatever movie you want and no one complains which is nice because - and I'm just saying - had I chosen "27 dresses" when me and a certain other person were going to the movies, my suggestion may have been met with something along the lines of, "Um, seriously? Are you serious?"

You also get to arrive at the movie theater whenever you want and you can get your own bag of popcorn that you don't have to share with anybody, with anybody at all, and then there is perhaps my favorite thing about going to the movies by yourself - no one asks you what you thought of the movie when it's over. I realize this is a completely legitimate question to ask once you've seen a movie with another person, but I've never liked the associated pressure. Maybe I'm just slow when it comes to film watching but it usually takes me that night and well into the next day before I'm prepared to make any intelligent remarks about the movie I just saw. I'm never ready seconds after the credits have rolled. The only time I wanted to talk about a movie right after it ended was when I saw "The Blair Witch Project" in college and we all headed to a bar afterwards to talk about how unbelievably scary it was and to remind ourselves that it totally was not real - it was fiction - while having several calming beers.

Anyway, when I got to the movie theater yesterday afternoon it was like all my favorite going-to-the-movies-alone dreams had come true times ten. The theater was big and clean and nearly empty and everyone working there just seemed really happy that there was anyone going to see a movie that afternoon at all, and therefore were cheerful and full of jokes and really lingered over telling me to "enjoy the movie," like, you know, they very sincerely meant it.

The thing is, it's not that I dislike going to the movies with people, not at all. Especially J who is the perfect movie date. We generally agree on what we want to go see, and we both like to get there in time for the previews because if you don't, it's not really worth it. We like to order popcorn and share a soda and we tend to get sick of the popcorn at about the same time since we plowed through so much of it before the staff even dimmed the lights.

But I've got to say, when I settled down in my seat, which was located in the perfect viewing location, not too close to or far away from the screen, and I looked at the mere three or so other viewers who'd ventured out that afternoon, and I relaxed with my popcorn, ready to like or dislike this movie that no one was going to ask me about when it was over (I liked it a lot), I really did feel that I was doing something special with my day. That seeing this romantic comedy was somehow so superior to sitting at home waiting for a job to come along, and that, surely, I would be rewarded somehow for my mildly adventurous nature. That if the employers should come calling, they'd be directed to my voicemail and they'd realize that I do have important things to do with my time and that maybe, just maybe, I'd get back to them when I had a free moment.