Often, I venture to the movies alone. I liberated myself a few years ago, and have gone solo to movie theaters on a regular basis ever since. My favorite place to watch movies is a little theater in Shirlington. There's no real good reason I love that place so much. It doesn't have stadium seating, the theaters are small, and the screens are low, it's pretty old, and the audiences are sparse. But hey, I do like to put my feet on the backs of the seats in front of me, and usually the audience consists only of a few housewives, a few elderly couples, and me. [Insert here predicted comments about a.) how I can't wait to be a housewife or 1/2 of an elderly couple and b.) how I don't have a "real job" and thus go to the movies in the middle of the day]
Friday, I had some time in the late afternoon and decided to go astray to a theater I never go to. It's inside a mall; I thought shopping and perhaps I would take in a matinee.
There should be no question what I wanted to see: Disney's new animated film "The Princess and the Frog". I thirsted for the feel good, high moral, musical cartoon.
At 1:22pm on Friday afternoon I walked into the theater and found a different scene then which I am accustomed: there were a bunch of moms and kids and then, the best shock of all.. peppered through out the seats were fellow solo movie-goers, but they were men! Now, mind you, this theater/mall is situated among various government agencies and many large, national, non-profit organizations. At least three of the men were still in suits. One of them was wearing some pretty thuggish street clothes and had a pierced ear or at least he should have. But mostly, they were middle aged business men sneaking out in the middle of their lunch breaks to watch "The Princess & the Frog". They were alone and they were ashamed.
I couldn't get over it. I mean, sure, it makes sense- when else would they be able to go watch that movie? Like any self-respecting straight man with out kids, they were forced to sneak around to watch the new Disney movie. How would they ever explain this to their girlfriends? What would their dude friends say? Really, there is no other way for them. This was their only opportunity.
But, their secret is not so secret anymore: I know, and now you know. The thing is: it's OK. As a matter of fact, I am proud of them... both for going and for keeping it a secret.