Friday, January 14, 2011

Me, Myself, and I.....

I have a dirty little secret. I like being alone. I mean I really, really like it. I'm just realizing this about myself as I am coming out of nearly six years of NEVER being alone. Both of my kids are in school full time now so I actually have a few hours a day without someone needing their butt wiped, their meal cut up, shoe tied, or nose cleaned. I say a few hours because my husband is still home most of the time that they are gone. So I do still spend most of the morning answering the question, 'What'cha doin?' about a hundred times.

I'm still not used to having any 'time off'. When I go and stroll around the mall, wandering aimlessly nowhere near the pet store or the playground, I feel sort of guilty. But excited at the same time. I can only equate it with my days as a teen when I would take liberties with my curfew. It felt awesome to stay out later but then I would hold my breath as I neared my house, praying that the lights weren't on.

Last week I set out on an innocent errand to drop a deposit at the bank. My husband was at home taking a nap (which he does everyday before work and I can guarantee you he never feels guilty about) and I had about three hours to kill. As I was dropping off my deposit, I noticed people going into the movie theater. I had forgotten that even though my kids had to go back to school some of the other schools were still off, and the movie theater was still showing early afternoon movies which they normally only do on the weekends.

(Wouldn't dinner and a movie be awesome?)

A guilty thought fluttered through my mind. That could be me. Seeing a movie that wasn't animated. Not going to the restroom even once. Sitting wherever I wanted. Not sharing my popcorn and drink.

I couldn't. What kind of a woman sneaks off to a movie by herself in the middle of the day? As I contemplated this, I parked my car in a place where no one would happen by and see it. You would have thought I was having an affair the way I dashed into the theatre. Armed with a small buttered popcorn and small drink, which cost as much as a week of school lunches, I snuck into the theatre. I was still a bit freaked out that I might see someone who knew me. I'm not sure exactly what I thought they would say but I still wanted to avoid such a confrontation.
I realized as I picked the perfect seat that I was completely alone. Not another soul had ventured out on this cold January afternoon to see The Tourist. I was nearly giddy as I had my way with my snacks. It was nearly two hours of bliss. For the first time in a long time, my mind was lost in the movie and not the worries and responsiblities of my life. Well, as lost as it can be while still gripping my cell phone (set on vibrate, of course) in one hand.

I felt refreshed after leaving that day. The movie was okay. Johnny Depp isn't nearly as hot as he used to be. And the theatre kind of smelled like pee. But I had done something for myself and I felt good about it. That's when I realized that I had absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. I'm constantly trying to make my kids, husband, and others happy but I hadn't done it for myself in a long time. Of course I still didn't really mention where I'd spent my day.....

How do you treat yourself? Are you comfortable going to the movies or eating out by yourself?

What I'm reading...just finished The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin



Tracy Loewer said...

Every mother should take some "me time". It does wonders for the soul. I used to go to the movies alone all the time as a kid, but I've only been once as an adult.

My husband used to always ditch me with the (5)kids while he did fun stuff with his siblings while visiting at his parents'. One time, he planned a round of golf (18 holes), so without a word, I got gussied up, took the van, and went into the city for the day (his folks lived 20 minutes out of town). I spent the entire day alone. I went shopping, went to a movie (one that I knew he wanted to see too, hehe) and went to dinner. It was heavenly!

I think I felt guilty for all of 2 seconds, but when I walked in the door later that night (after I knew the kids were in bed), I told him all about the great day I had. He didn't say a word, and in the 7 years since, he has never abandonned me at his parents'. It felt great to have a day alone...and it didn't hurt that he learned a lesson in the process. :)

stephhale said...

That's a great story, Tracy! Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

It's been forever since I've been to a movie, much less one by myself. But I'm with you--I LOVE to be alone. Gotta have that alone time or I get a bit loopy.

The Book Swarm

Me said...

That is so awesome, Steph! I adore going to movies on my own--your post reminds me that I haven't done that in way too long. If it's an action movie I love to site right up front, which no one else ever does (but it's awesome, because you feel like you're in the movie!). I've promised myself I will go see more movies this year. Yay you for sneaking some time for yourself!

nymfaux said...

I'm so glad for you!!!--I LOVE seeing movies--Alone or with friends--And I actually kind of loved the Tourist (guess my movie theater smelled a little better?)

I'm very happy you got some alone time--You deserve it!!!