Sunday, May 7, 2017
Adventures in Social Anxiety: Chapter 3: The Movie Theater
This has always been the most challenging. Several friends can attest, in the past I flat out left movies that got too crowded, and they were awesome to see the film in another theater with me.
So last night I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2. It was a last minute affair. I scrambled to acquire tickets, figured they would be sold out but as luck would have it, one was open right next to one of my friends.
Problem was, it was at the new AMC Dolby Digital, which is awesome by the way, but it's "loveseats", and this was the odd one out. I mapped out the other seats. There was some empty ones in the neck breaker section way up front.
Worst case scenario if it's a big dude, I'll get one of those and can refund the other. Wouldn't be the first time. Yes, I'm also the butt head that will order both seats and refund one last minute so I get the seat all to my wonderful self. Sorry, not sorry.
I make my way to the theater. Traffics not bad. Yay! (General Driving Chapter soon). I pull into the lot. Oh there's the traffic. Humans all over. My anxieties rising. My visors broke and moves all over the place, and I certainly don't want to hit anyone. Fortunately a car pulled out and I made it right where I wanted.
Dang, it's hot out here. Why did I not change into flip flops? Oh, I that's right I painted my toenails, but am certainly not passable right now...
I make it inside, taking a deep breath as I pass a horde of people. I start pinballing away from the vendors, focused on my phone but paying attention best I can without bringing attention, which is hard because I like to look at the stores (window shop) and observe.
I make it up to the theater after eyeballing the Chinese Noodles. Love that place. Of course I beeline for the open machine to pick my tickets up, but of course it prints some future tickets and not my present ones. Ugh. Okay. Guest Services it is. I sprint up there so I don't think about it. Anxiety is in the red zone now. I struggle to speak. You know. My mumbling. There ya have it.
I'm scared and I know I shouldn't be. I'm 33 years old. Jeeze. I stutter to say I need to pick up some tickets, she sees I have the phone app open with the confirmation and says she can get it off that or I can show them and they can scan, pointing at the ticket takers. I get the ticket to be sure since I know I'll be back and forth. Oh okay. Whew.
I precheckout the theater. I'm nervous as heck. Who's going to be next to me? Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll be some 25 year lady who doesn't care. No, not so I can get the hookup or be weird, I know I'll be more comfortable and feel safer if it's some chick instead of some dude. That last line is key. I was raised by my granny and mom.
Oops. I walked in to early, still after credits scenes. I hover around the lobby. Do I get popcorn? So good, but I don't want to walk around with it for 30 minutes in front of everyone. I pace around on my phone a bit, dodging and keeping distance from people best I can.
Oh hey I'm wearing my Sonic, I'm waiting tee shirt! Maybe someone will get a kick out of it, so I try to take a pic but I get scared. Ugh, I don't want to be that person being seen taking a selfie. I sneak one in hiding around pole, but hurriedly so no one saw, so it wasn't the best picture.
I pace around some more and out of nowhere friend jumps out and startles me. Lol good one. No worries there. I start to feel better as I know someone I know is there. Friend goes and gets popcorn.
I'm really wanting some but if I'm so close to this stranger, my anxiety will be through the roof and won't be able to eat or take a drink for fear of being "watched." Stanger danger. Ridiculous right? They are seeing GotG, surely it's a nerd like me.
I head in and see their spouse. Whew. Starting to feel much better about the situation. We discuss these posts and work. No ones come for the seat next to me. Please, please, please stay this way. Breathe in, breathe out. Cool. Other friends show up. Yay. Alright. I can do this.
Still wanting popcorn. Friend has come back and is generously offering some. Of course I take it, but nervous about it and taking to much, to little, but it's cool and I'm grateful. Unfortunately they show up last minute and luckily it was a skinny dude, and AMC reclining seats do have a bit more space.
Nothing was said, I kind of leaned more over to the other side. Then the movie kicked in. I still wanted popcorn but it would bring to much attention and the theater was full. Had the seat been empty. I'd have gotten some.
Movie was non stop. Tears. Laughter. Joy. Yes. I needed this. Mostly forgot about dude next to me except the one or two slower scenes.
Lights come up and after credits is playing. I hesitate to bring my phone out. Don't want people crying about it and I can multitask the two screens. Plus I do want to talk about the movie and scenes with my friends as I'm sure they do to.
I need to pee real bad. Of course movie let out. I'll wait. Go by a less busy bathroom. Nah. Anxiety is too high. (♡) My friends are parked on one side, I'm in the middle, I start to go the other way but get nervous so I follow them and we split.
If it seems like I am following you like a puppy, there's your answer, sometimes I'm scared to be alone, especially after hanging with people I'm comfortable around, yet sometimes it's all I want. There it is again. Revelations.
To Side Car we go.
Adventures in Social Anxiety Chapter 7 - Gas Stations (slightly longer, but more real in time scenarios, like the first two chapters)
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