Every June when Awesome Company starts up summer hours, I think about all the fun things I am going to do on Friday afternoons. I work the extra hour Monday through Thursday, so I get done at 11:30 on Friday. That gives me almost an entire day to do things by myself. Yay me!
Except, inevitably, I find myself looking around the house all morning as I work, thinking about the mess and how I should clean it. Or thinking about the groceries we need. Or thinking about how the kids would love to go swimming. And then I don’t do any of the fun things I planned. The past few years, I have occasionally spent the day shopping or reading in the park, but that’s because I worked in the office and didn’t have top look at the mess all morning. This year, I was given the option of working from home on Fridays, which is a blessing and a curse.
Anyway, this past Friday, I finally said fuck it – fuck the mess, fuck the groceries – and went to a movie. Can I say that – to me at least – going to the movies all by myself is probably the most heavenly, wonderful thing in the entire world? And that’s saying something because I have experienced a) chocolate, b) sex, and c) mind altering drugs. While I think part of it is just who I am – my psychological makeup – I think a good bit of my love for solitude comes from being an only child. I grew up with no siblings that I had to share my space or time with, and busy – though attentive – parents.
Years of practice at being by myself as a child made me into an adult who loves nothing more than an empty house, a or a quiet room and a good book, or a barely sold theater and an entertaining movie. OK, and maybe some booze.
So on Friday, I talked to my mom who said that she was going to pick the kids up after day care and take them shopping, and decided that since I didn’t have to rush anywhere, I was going to run some errands and then see a movie afterwards. Yay – a lazy, carefree day alone. I didn’t care what I saw – I figured I’d get there and choose whatever was showing next. It was about the going to the movie more than the movie itself. Anyway, the next thing showing was Swing Vote, so that’s what I saw. I liked the movie a lot. And I discovered something about myself: I clearly like rednecks. I mean – I have seen Kevin Costner in every movie he’s made and never once have I thought, mmmm. But trash him all up and put him in a trailer? Hoo-boy! Seriously – what the hell?
When the movie was nearing the end, I heard my phone vibrating. I checked to see who it was and it was my mother. I ignored it. The she called again. And again. I still ignored it because I knew it wasn’t an emergency, since the kids weren’t with her yet, nor did she leave a voice mail. Plus the movie would be over in a few minutes and I could call her back. Also – I know my mother and just because she is calling multiple times doesn’t mean that it’s urgent. It just means that she is crazy. She expects to be answered and answered at her convenience. I’m used to this. Starting from when I went away to college, my mom would call. And if I wasn’t there she would call again. And again. And then when she finally did reach me, her greeting was generally an irritated “Where were you?” or a wounded “I’ve been trying to call you!”
It used to irritate me, but I’m pretty much used to it by now and I usually respond with silence and wait for her to tell me what it is she wants. If I react, it will become and issue. If I treat it with the reaction it deserves – none – then she will feel the need to fill the silence and just tell me what she wants already.
Anyway, I was a little frustrated after the movie from a combination of things. The annoying repeat calls for one. And the seat kicker behind me (an adult no less – these people should have their legs ripped off and shoved up their asses). Plus the group of moviegoers who complained loudly at the end of the film and announced that they deserved their money back because “they didn’t tell you who he voted for.” WTF?? It’s not important who he voted for! It’s not the point of the movie, you mental midgets! Seriously – we’re they planning on basing their November vote on the outcome of the movie. If that’s the case: Dear Outraged Moviegoers, He voted Democrat. Trust me. Love, Gina.
As I was saying, I was a bit irritated, so when I got the “where were you”, I answered that I was in a movie. Then we had to go through the deaf thing, which involves a lot of yelling and “where?” and “The movie!” and “whose house?” and “The MOVIES!!” This is always fun. Then once she understand that part, she asks why I am not working. I explain that I am off, just like I have been every summer Friday afternoon for the last 11 years. Next she asks if I took the kids. No – they are at daycare. Then who did I go to the movies with?!?! I love the suspicion. But then I remember the not looking behind a door unless you have hidden there yourself thing and I think “fuck it”.
When I tell her that I went by myself, she responds with a “You went to the movies by yourself???, as if I just told her I was giving out free blow jobs on the corner of Lincoln and Lemington. Then she proceeds to tell me that she is not in fact, taking the kids shopping that night. This, of course, would be my fault, because I somehow didn’t make the instructions for picking them up clear to her. Or some other such nonsense. Translated, this actually means that I wasn’t at her beck and call, then followed up with the cheeky being myself/doing my own thing and not her puppet behavior, thus shattering her fragile mood and now she didn’t feel like going. So suddenly, I went from leisurely afternoon to I have to rush home and get the kids now. In her defense, she offered to pick them up for me, but I wasn’t in the mood to visit when I picked them up from her so I turned her down, ran out of the theater, skipped the delicious iced green tea I was planning on getting, and hurried back home.
Man – I love those lazy, carefree days alone.