*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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.