A Grown Man & His Cartoons

captain underpants activities, captain underpants movies, quarter life crisis, advice to 20 somethings, millennials feeling lost

*Guest Post* As always, all thoughts, opinions, and experiences of guest posters are uniquely their own. They do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or experiences of The Confused Millennial as a whole. This post contains affiliate links.


I am really excited for today’s guest post from Dan DeHerrera. Maybe it’s the fact he talks about going to the movies, a favorite book series of mine growing up, or being weird, but it pulled at my heart-strings. I think the situations might be different for us, but the feelings and conclusion Dan shares are something we can all relate to. I hope you feel as inspired to live your most authentic life as I do when reading this!


I moved to a new city and was looking for something familiar to do. You know, something to forget about how alone I was. I’m 23 years old, a recent college graduate, and, I’d like to think, fairly articulate. But you know how us millennials can be.

wink quotes

After googling show times, I narrowed it down to two options: Wonder Woman and Captain Underpants. I’d heard the former was pretty good. However, I still wasn’t convinced if it was one of those movies society said you had to like because it would be socially unacceptable not to or if I genuinely thought it would be interesting. Plus, it was another superhero movie.

eye roll

Captain Underpants became the clear choice. I’d loved the books as a kid so I figured the story would be easy to follow. I enjoy a good cartoon, too. I bought my tickets and selected my seat online at one of those fancy movie theaters with the reclining chairs and assigned seating.

To add to the sadness of being alone in a new city and going to a movie by myself, I’m recently single. You have no idea how hard it is to sneak snacks into a theater when you don’t have a purse to put them in! I went to the nearby convenience store and settled with a bag of kettle cooked chips, which I tucked under my arm until I got to the concession stand. From there I ordered my go-to: buttered popcorn (that I’d finish before the movie even started,) and a large soda.

popcorn and soda

While reserving my seat online, I noticed a lot of openings. When I found my chair I made the logical choice and spread out. Popcorn to my left, kettle chips to my right, feeling ready to enjoy my snacks with both hands and minimal distractions, I reclined and began to enjoy the previews. As they continued to roll, families started to pile in, ranging from six and seven, down to parents with one child. I noticed, though, no one was coming in alone.

The lights in the theatre were dim enough to see both the screen and the faces of those filing into the theatre. Everyone does the quick scan of the audience when entering, it’s just as instinctual as blowing on hot chocolate. Realizing that I was there alone, people looked at me like I had a van parked outside with “free candy” painted on the side.

hey little girl, want a candy?

I’m a believer in dating one’s self. That is, taking yourself to dinner, movies, even a quiet walk from time to time. Investing time in yourself is just as important as investing time in others. But what I thought was a harmless bit of me time, quickly turned into a barrage of stern looks.

I’m a believer in dating one’s self. Investing time in yourself is just as important as investing time in others.Click To Tweet

I remind you. I’m 23 years old with a fairly decent sense of style. I did not show up looking like The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

Either the website or I was wrong about the theatre attendance being sparse. Families continued to fill in the open seats. However, it didn’t take long for me to notice my row was almost entirely empty while the others were filled to capacity. Huh?

do i smell

I started hearing chatter — coming from various sections of the theatre — about how weird it was that I was there alone.

“What the hell is that guy doing?”

“It’s so weird.”

“Does he have nothing better to do?”

Well, weird is a subjective word, wouldn’t you say?

I think it’s weird to eat a candied scorpion, but it might be someone’s favorite treat on the other side of the world.

I think it’s weird to watch cars drive around in circles for hours on end, but it’s a favorite pastime of someone else.

Just as some might think it’s weird for a grown man to watch a children’s movie alone, that man could be reliving some of the best childhood memories he’s had.

Sitting silently in that movie theatre, enjoying my chips, popcorn, and soda. I relaxed into my recliner and laughed at the jokes I knew were coming and  the witty characters I’d loved so much as a child. I enjoyed the movie as I knew I would.

It was a lesson in humility.

My weird is someone’s normal, or vice versa, someone’s weird is my normal. Remember that as you run into new situations or people in your life. Is your judgment warranted or are you the one being weird? For those made to feel like doing something for yourself, for your soul, makes you weird or less than, remember, hold your head high, recline in your comfy chair, enjoy your snacks, and watch your movie.

movie theater popcorn

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  • Miss ALK

    What beautiful thoughts in today’s post! I am a recent grad myself (living in a new state) and I feel like I could relate to a lot of this post. Ironically I’ve also been going to the movies more since my company gets free tickets!

    xoxo A

  • Dan, I think it is awesome that you go to the movies alone! Especially cartoon movies. To me, that makes you SO much more of a man that you talk about it and shout it out proudly. I get it, too. I like to actually go to concerts alone. I get so much crap from people, especially people that only half know me. It fills me up. It is inspirational and such a important time I spend alone with myself xx

  • I think this guy is awesome because I’ve always loved cartoons! Maybe not the super hero kind, but stuff like Calvin and Hobbes, etc. I love that you go to children’s movies alone. I would be too scared to do this. You remind me of someone who just really loves life and lives it despite what others may or may not think.

  • I love that you went to the movies alone! When I moved to New York City in Winter and it was really really cold, there was nothing else to do than taking dance and yoga classes and going to the cinema by myself. Yes, I might have gotten some strange looks and yes I felt uncomfortable at first but now I am really happy I did all of that because it made me really comfortable in who I am. Plus it is easy for me to be alon now and enjoy my own company! You go, Dan!

  • LOVED this. It’s kinda sad that people would be weirded out by someone alone at the movies! Why do we always need to be surrounded by a posse to do anything?

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    What a great post! It is sad how many people are quick to show judgement. It is important to have “me time”!

  • Props to you for hitting the movies alone! Sorry people looked at you like you were a creep.

    http://www.andthenwetried.com

  • Hey Dan, it’s so sad how we as a society can be so judgemental towards one another. And i think it was incredibly brave of you to “date yourself” like you did! I wish i was that courageous!
    Lindsay | http://www.faithfullyme.co.uk

  • This was such an interesting post and well-written, thank you Dan! Investing in yourself and spending time by yourself is so important. If others think that is “weird” then so be it, but if it makes you feel good – go for it! I would totally go to a movie by myself too 🙂

  • Amanda Faber

    I love doing stuff on my own. You should be proud of yourself!

  • Neely

    Yes doing stuff on your own is the best! I love going to movies alone!

  • Kate

    I think taking the lead and feeling confident in doing things alone is a sign of strong character. Good for you!

  • It’s so true that we have to keep the right perspective about people’s hobbies and passions. Sometimes we can take that to far, but more often, we don’t realize that we are just as “weird” and everyone has things that they enjoy doing that we just won’t understand and that’s okay!

  • Anna Hubbard

    Okay, I loved this post! It’s definitely important to remember that everyone has their own preferences and we shouldn’t judge them for it! I personally LOVE going to movies on my own!

  • Such a shame people were so judge-y about attending a movie alone. I don’t think that’s weird at all! It might seem weird to them, but good for you for not letting them bother you!

  • I literally ALWAYS go to the movies by myself. Like no sharing snacks and you don’t have to fight for the armrest. What could be better than that?!

  • What a great guest post! Definitely a lesson in both humility and how we shouldn’t judge others!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

  • Sydney Power

    I ave made a pact with myself to go to the movie more while I am at school. I love the movies and I am just not caring about going alone!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    I tend to shy away from doing stuff alone! But this post is changing my tune!

  • Sami Mast

    I never thought about it that way because I too love to go to the movies alone! But now that I think about it I’ve gotten a few strange looks! But I figure I’m having too much of a good time by myself to let other people dictate my choices!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

  • Taylor Smith

    I love doing stuff by myself. I’ve been known to go out to dinner and to the movies all by myself!

  • I’ve never been to a movie alone. I just don’t think I’m made for it! I’m that person who has to have feedback and interaction during a movie and unless the stranger next to me wants to be my friend I think I would be struggling…LOL I did see both of these movies though and loved them!

  • I’m reminded of one of my all-time favorite quotes by one of my all-time favorite authors, Rainer Maria Rilke, “It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.” Highly recommend his writing!

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