Flying Solo, Part 1

Part of the big let-down for Nigel and Aidan not making their flight to LA on Christmas was that their dad had purchased tickets for them to see Avatar that night. He canceled those tickets and definitely planned to take them at some point during their visit, of course. However, knowing that it’s a three-hour movie, I questioned whether Nigel would be able to sit through all of it – he usually doesn’t make it all the way through movies in the theater. He often needs a break from the sensory bombardment of a movie theater and has to take a few walks during the film.

But something tells me that he’ll sit through all of this one. I know because I saw it tonight, and I was enraptured. I got off work early to go see a late afternoon show, and it was sold out on a Tuesday. So I purchased a ticket for the 7 PM show and came back later. I, meaning myself. Flying solo. I am uber-introvert, going to movies alone and enjoying it. (I’ve taken myself out to dinner before, too.) I show up at the theater an hour early to get a good seat, and there is already a huge line. Even so, I am able to sit near the center, about three-fourths of the way back, which is my favorite area. I sit down next to a guy in his twenties with a scruffy goatee and watch as the theater fills to capacity. Moments later, I realize that not only is he scruffy, he stinks. I am accosted by the low-grade, but unmistakable, scent of permeating old sweat. As soon as I make this distasteful realization, another guy in his twenties with a full beard sits in the empty seat on the other side of me. They appear to not know each other, but they both are clearly hygienically challenged. The bearded one stinks too.

Are you kidding me? I yell in my head. What are the freaking odds? This is what I get for going to the movies alone! I get boxed in by two guys who are taking some time off from bathing. My olfactory sense is completely assaulted, and I momentarily consider leaving. How am I going to enjoy the movie while constantly inhaling these noxious fumes? But I tell myself that feces and vomit would be far worse and decide to employ shallow breathing and “tune out” the BO surrounding me.

And, no, nothing magical happened during the movie with regard to the stench. I wasn’t so enraptured by the movie that I didn’t stop every ten minutes or so and still notice the air around me. But it was tolerable, if only because I enjoyed the movie so much. Without going into a whole commentary about its humanitarian/environmentalist theme, I will say that it really affected me. What struck me the most is how we, as a whole, are perilously close to losing our sense of connectedness. I drove home crying, and it wasn’t because I’d been smelling old sweat for three hours.

I got home too late to call the boys. For some reason, I desperately want to talk to them about this movie, get their take on it. It’s obvious – missing them, I yearn to connect with them. But then I realize that I don’t need the phone to be connected to them. I can feel it at my core – the constant connectedness I have with them. It is always there. I know that they are well and having fun with their dad,¬†while I enjoy some time alone. And I’m breathing more deeply now, too.

14 thoughts on “Flying Solo, Part 1

  1. Jess Wilson

    What are the odds indeed. Love that you took yourself to the movies. Love even more that you know you’re connected to the boys – no matter where they may be.


  2. dynamite girl

    I want to see the movie but for now movie theaters don;t work for us. I could go alone but Dylan is to old for a babysitter and to ASD to not have one. So I think I am left waiting for the DVD version. I can’t believe you didn’t get up and move. Smells really bother me.

  3. corrie

    I probably would’ve had to get up and go to the bathroom and find a different seat upon return.

    I look forward to having a break from my children, but end up being “depressed” the first day or two. I just sleep a lot and do nothing productive, which is all I thought about before they left.

    Since my teen has cellphone text, I can always reach him and he’s good about sending pictures back.

  4. Niika

    This story with the diagram of the sinus cavity struck me as poignantly funny. I was laughing at first especially about the two hygenically challenged men but sad about how our society has really gotten away from basic civility and consideration. I am glad that you enjoyed the movie despite it all and hopefully with have lively conversations with the boys about it.

  5. M

    i’m also a big fan of going to the movies alone, one of my favorite things.

    i’ve never understood why people go to movies on dates…you’re sitting next to someone you’d like to know better, but staring straight ahead, having no conversation.

    it’s just a nice feeling, sitting alone in that big, dark room…strolling out slowly, going somewhere for a drink, to sit and steep in all of the post-movie thoughts.

  6. fighting for my children(aka furious)

    i used 2 take myself out 2 dinner 2,Sorry u had 2 share ur nite w/stinky n stinkier

  7. pixiemama

    Hygenically challenged. Ha!
    Glad you got to see the movie without interruption. Wonder if you would have enjoyed it even more had your brain enjoyed a little oxygen.

    Enjoy your alone time, Mama.


  8. Kim

    I haven’t even seen the ads for this movie but I think I’ll have to check it out now! Love that you took yourself to the movies!

  9. Meg

    I love seeing movies by myself, too! But the smells? I don’t think I could have made it through a 3 hour movie with those. You continually demonstrate your strength in so many ways, LOL!

  10. Cinda

    Ahhh, life. Isn’t it amazing? Time to refuel and prepare for the next phase! I am excited to see the film. I hate to admit this but I am a movie theater seat snob. I can work with anyone off the streets but, dang, I want someone next to me that doesn’t smell, cough, lean on me, text, sniff/snort, whisper, laugh too loudly, etc. etc. I hate that I carry this into the theater with me and, honestly, if the person beside me was obviously disabled I would be tolerant. What a hypocrit I am. But, still! I want some peace to enjoy!! Great post, thank you!

  11. Macrina

    how long can you hold your breath? Cody and I saw the movie in 3D while Nolan was at daycare, it was great! But it frustrated me that the military commander guy was such a stereotype; if I were in the military I might be offended. But I guess villains usually are stereotypical.

  12. Paulene Angela

    My cousin in Oz has seen this movie twice !! must be good. Would love to see it in 3D.

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