It seems there’s a new Muppet Movie about to open up. For those who know me, it’s not a surprise that I’m actually looking forward to watching it when it does come out. But there’s a problem. That’s kind of what this whole post is about.
You see, I’m one of those grown up kids who probably will never grow up. And I’m okay with that. That means that unlike guys who seem to think watching football, Victoria Secret lingerie specials on TV and endless porn is the definition of being an adult, that’s really not me. I’m a lot more comfortable watching Elmo, Scooby Doo, playing World of Warcraft or watching any and all kinds of science fiction on TV. Those are the kinds of things that men are supposed to kind of put behind them when they hit adulthood, right about the time they start thinking about marriage.
Me, however, not so much. I’ve never really given much thought to getting married. Never gave that much thought to actually dating, to be honest. I’m the kind of person who is comfortable living in my own little world, and up until now, this has been okay, as long as this lifestyle doesn’t seem to intrude on anyone else.
Unfortunately, the real world has kind of changed in a way that makes such a lifestyle almost impossible. There is no end to the amount of literature written about how people like me need to “grow up” or “man up”, or whatever stupid slogan they need to use to somehow diminish the fact that I still think legos are cool. And that brings me to the whole idea of what started off this article: The Muppets.
Years ago, I went to watch one of the Shrek movies. I was alone in the theater, because it was the middle of the day, and I chose a time when most of the kids wouldn’t be there (because they’d be at school, or their parents would be at work). Well, at one point, this woman and her kid show up to the movie, and as I’m practically the only other person in the theater (there were actually about four other people in various spots in the theater at the time), her kid wandered to a seat close to where I was, and that woman took one look at me, and immediately ushered her kid as far away from me as possible. It’s not like I’m some serial killer looking kind of guy or anything, but I immediately started to get self-conscious because I could quickly see what was going through her mind: Why is there some strange guy alone at a kid’s movie? It didn’t matter what my real reason for it was, somehow I kept thinking that she was constantly checking up on me to see if I was scouting out other children.
And that’s the mindset of a lot of people whenever a single guy shows up alone to a movie theater, specifically to see a movie that others deem as a “kiddie” movie. In our society, we have people so paranoid about children that they start to perceive that every other person out there has some secret intention to harm them if they can just get away with it. You see this same mentality whenever a porn star goes to read to children at a library, an adult venue comes anywhere near a school, or anything that involves “sex” ends up being in the earshot of someone who might think there are children around. There is such a fear of practically everyone else that otherwise normal people are no longer normal, but they are now suspected child molesters and abductors, and all sorts of other evil entities that I have not yet heard about.
When I told a female friend I was thinking of seeing the new Muppet movie, she said, “you can take my kid to see it”, which would then give me an adequate reason to go to a movie theater (because I would have a child with me). Other than the fact that the offer wasn’t serious, I kept imagining how bad things are when a single male has to “find” kid to drag to a movie just so he can go see a kiddie movie that he’d rather not see with anyone else.
I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine a few years back about this because we surmized that even if two single guys went to a children’s movie, there would still be people looking at them strangely, wondering why two older adults were at a movie theater where kids were present. The idea that people might be there for something innocent, like watching a movie, seems to get in the way of irrational fear, however.
A couple of years back, I used to have a couple of close female friends with whom I would always go to these types of movies, because a single guy was always “okay” at a children’s movie, as long as you were there with a “date”, even if you weren’t dating the woman you were with. I used to drag my friend Kat to movies all the time (or she dragged me…not sure how it really worked out), and if it wasn’t for her, I never would have seen Wall-E, because I probably never would have gone to a movie theater to see it alone. It’s just not worth the stares.
But today, I don’t have a female friend I hang out with like I used to. Back then, while I was doing grad school, it was a lot easier finding a female friend who liked to hang out, who didn’t think you were trying to date her. Nowadays, in the real world, that just hasn’t happened for me. The last woman I asked to a movie wanted dinner to go along with that movie, meaning she expected it to be a “date”, not just two friends hanging out at a movie. And that’s okay, but that’s not the kind of person I want to see the Muppets with.
So, I’ll probably have to wait until it comes to dvd, which usually diminishes the experience of seeing a movie like that in an audience of people who are laughing as Kermit and gang do the kinds of things that only Kermit and the gang would ever do.