Monday Musing: Socially Solo
May 2, 2016
|Me at the Hughes House in the rain.|
If you read most of my posts you’ll notice I go to quite a few events, but what you may not realize is I go to 90% of these events alone. I also attend advance movie screenings which I don’t write about unless it was something special (special guests, a few movie premieres, etc.) Attending events solo doesn’t even register with me most of the time, because I have something I want to do so I go do it. My work schedule allows me to attend events which most of my acquaintances cannot, and I’m not of a mind to avoid an event just because I don’t have someone to go with me.
Recently, I’ve noticed a few friends on Facebook say things like “I’m going to be single forever” or “I want to go out, but don’t have anyone to join me.” These people are my age, and I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to go out alone. I’ll admit there are a few types of events I don’t attend because I’d rather go with someone or meet up with a group even if I don’t know them personally. These events are generally parties or sporting events.
Honestly, I think it’s a bit sad that someone would keep themselves from going places or doing things just because they don’t have someone to go with them. There are some serious benefits to going solo whether it’s a taking a solo vacation or going to a movie.
This can be a scary prospect depending on your destination, but taking a vacation alone allows for spontaneity which isn’t as easy when you are with someone else. Traveling solo means you can see the sites you want to see when you want to see them.
I took a solo road trip along the coast from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon around this time last year. I spent most of my trip camping in free campsites, which are generally very rural (i.e. no facilities or cell service). It could be a little scary at night when you hear the critters roaming around outside your tent in the middle of the night, but they will really leave you alone as long as you hid food/coolers well and took other precautions. These places are also the most beautiful because they are still in their natural state. Road trips are great fun with others, but there is added adventure by being able to stop at that shop along the road or change your route on a whim without having to consult with your companions.
Let’s be honest, if you are going to spend the ridiculous ticket prices to see a movie, you’re going to want to actually watch it. Going to a movie with friends can be fun, but you are all sitting there without talking (at least, you shouldn’t be talking) during the movie. You can also sit where you want and see what you want. I have friends who only like to sit in the front three rows and others who only sit in the back two rows.
I go to a lot of free advance screenings, and most of the passes are automatically for two people. I’ll sometimes post something to my Facebook page to see if anyone would like to attend, but I’ll attend the screening whether or not anyone joins me. I’ve been posting these ‘invites’ less and less over the past year.
I’m a big fan of Goldstar.com for discounted tickets to various events. The reason for the discounts is you’re unable to select your seat, though you will usually know what section(s) the tickets are in. I’ve never had bad seats using Goldstar, and I recently had a huge upgrade in my seat a few weeks ago.
I bought a ticket to see Enver Gjokai in a play called “Future Thinking” which was being performed at the South Coast Reperatory Theatre in Orange County. Goldstar had tickets for sale in Orchestra Left and Right sections, but when I picked up my ticket from Will Call they had placed me in the 3rd row of Orchestra Center. These seats would have been $75 from the official website (and wasn’t available via Goldstar). It was an aisle seat, and, as there were many empty seats in the small theater, it seems that I was upgraded because they had an empty seat in the 3rd row.
I've gone to a few comic conventions,and trying to find seats closer to the stage when you have 2 or more people can be quite difficult. I do find it easy to find a seat very close to the stage when it’s just me. I’ve found this to be the case at Silicon Valley Comic Con, WonderCon, and Stan Lee’s Comikaze.
When I was younger, I was hesitant to go anywhere by myself, movies, eating, whatever. The few times I did do something by myself, I ended up having a great time, but it still took years for me to go out and enjoy solo life. Nowadays, I have friends who comment about how I’m always going places and doing fun stuff. I have a busy social life, and it’s a busy solo social life which I enjoy.
My advice to everyone is to travel, go to a movie, or eat at a restaurant alone. Honestly, no one is staring at you so don’t feel self-conscious. I’ve only had one incident when someone said something to her friend about how she wouldn’t have gone (to the movie) alone. I didn’t pay attention to her, except she kept repeating it getting louder each time. It finally occurred to me that she may have been aiming her comment at me, but I only felt sorry for her to feel like she couldn’t go to a movie by herself.
Going solo can be rewarding in many ways, but as always, be alert be safe, and be yourself! Do you go solo? What have you learned or gained from the experience(s)? Please comment below or send me a tweet (@WeirdLifeofV)
PS: This is the first of many (I hope) posts about a variety of topics which I feel the need to talk about. Let me know if there's anything you would like me to address, and I'll do what I can.