Friday, August 24, 2007


There are three reasons to go to the movie by yourself in the middle of the day: 1) You are bored and unemployed 2) You are killing time before starting your bartending shift or 3) you are really upset about a canceled trip to India that you thought you would be taking through your job and you need to leave work early and just get away.

So yesterday I left the office at 4pm to catch Stardust at the 34th St. theatre. Going to the movies in the middle of the day alone can be great! Sometimes you are the only one in the theatre and you can pretend that it is your private cinema in you sprawling Beverly Hills mansion. But there is a dark side as well: you are alone, in public, in the dark, and every other person in the theatre is a possible molester.

Things started out a little skeevy right away as I was waiting in line for my popcorn and the mop guy began jabbing my feet with his mop, over and over again. Finally he said "excuse me" and I moved up a little bit towards the counter. He began to mop in big deliberate circles around my legs. Apparently the space I was occupying desperately needed a good mopping. There was no one behind me in line, so I couldn't help but wonder why he didn't just wait for me to be on my way, but who am I to question the inner workings of Movie Theatre Maintenance?

The second problem presented itself as I had my popcorn in hand and realized I needed to use the bathroom. There is nothing grosser then bringing an open food container in to a public, nah ANY, bathroom. But as I was all alone I didn't have a choice. I could feel the stares of disgust as I tiptoed to an open stall. There I came across another serious problem concerning where to put the popcorn down. Certainly not on the floor, and certainly not in my hand..that's crazy! My solution was to open my purse and sit the popcorn atop, balancing it in a way that no bathroom furniture touched any part of my snack (dinner).

Finally I hit the theatre. The marquee was not labeled and the doors were closed. Which raised my "I'm in the wrong place" paranoia to a full 96%. I checked my ticket against the theatre number five times before just taking a deep breath and charging in.

So far so good. Three or four other people where in the theatre and I could tell by the way they looked at me in panic, they were not molesters, but other people afraid of being molested. Good. The power was in my hands.

The movie started and I enjoyed about 45 min of calmness until an unmasked man appeared out of no where and took a seat three chairs from me. Where did this man come from? Did he wander in late? Had he been watching me for the first 45 min just waiting to make his creepy move? I was paralyzed with fear.

And let me be clear: I am not afraid of creeps. I can handle them. What I am afraid of is being embarrassed in a dark movie theatre because I will have to yell out "Hey Creep! You're a creep!!!!! Summon the Movie Theatre guard!" at the first sign of molesting behavior.

Fortunately for me, the man made no move and sat quietly in his seat for the rest of the movie. The movie ended, we filtered out, and all went on with our lives. Mine, unfortunately still included not going to India.

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