Thursday, March 02, 2006

Women, try this

One Saturday night a couple of years ago (whenever Open Water was released, anybody know?) I decided to go to the movies. Now I’ve been a spinster for a long time, so I’m used to dining alone, going to movies alone, seeing shows alone, etc. and I have no problem with it. But I knew Open Water would be a bit scary and I didn’t want to go alone. I needed someone’s arm to grab if it got too frightening.

I called several friends, but at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, most people had plans or didn’t answer. But I really wanted to go out. Determined to have a date for this movie, I got the wild idea that I would find my companion at the theater. That’s right, I figured there would have to be at least one lone male going to see this movie and I would find him and introduce myself. I didn’t care if the man was 18 or 80. He didn’t have to be cute or even interesting. All I needed was a companion. Yes, I was serious.

So I marched up to the cineplex in Evanston, bought my ticket and entered the theater where my movie was playing. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, to the side of the screen, I surveyed the auditorium. Couples, couples, couples, almost as far as the eye could see. But I was patient. I just knew there was a guy here without a date and he was mine.

Finally I saw him in the very last row. An unassuming-looking white guy, in his thirties, sitting by himself. That was my guy! I headed up the stairs towards him. Yes, shyness did overtake me as I got closer and I had to take a moment to check in with myself: was I crazy, was I really going to do this? Really?

“Hi, is there anyone sitting here?” I asked. Note: the entire row was empty except for him.


“Um, do you mind if I sit with you? I’m afraid this movie is going to be too scary for me, but none of my friends wanted to see it with me,” I hedged the truth so as not to sound completely desperate and lonely.

“Oh, sure. No problem,” he was friendly, although just as I sat down, his friend walked up. Oops! Were they a couple? No, just two single guys out at the movies. Perfect.

He was Tim and his friend was Jacek (I can't remember where he was from) and they were very nice. We watched the movie which wasn’t as frightening as I expected. When it ended I started to say good-night, but they were going to have dinner and invited me along. I wouldn't have to get in a car since they were walking to a place nearby. A movie and dinner -- why not?

So I walked about two blocks with them and we sat down in an agreeable little bistro for a late dinner. It was actually too late for me to eat much, but I sat with them for a while and sipped a club soda. It was fun and I felt very lucky to have stumbled on such a good Saturday night. I’m finding that the longer I’m single, the more I’m willing to try anything. In addition to the huge amounts of work I’ve done to raise my self-esteem, I think just plain old age has improved my confidence. I just feel better about myself the older I get. Of course, my confidence is also bolstered by the fact that men tend to like me, so this little experiment really wasn’t that scary to me. Odd, yes. Scary, no.

Before I left, I exchanged email addresses with Tim and Jacek and thanked them again for being my companions for the evening. I only heard from one of them once, but that’s okay. All I needed was a date for the night and I got two!

Because of stuff like this I’ll never deny being crazy.

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