I was, regrettably, in the TKTS line this morning at South Street Seaport. The toweringly tall line-gesturer asked how many people were in my party. When I replied “One”, he loudly broke out into “One is the loneliest number…”, at which time the two women behind me enthusiastically backed him up and I was in a 4-person sandwich of a mocking chorus.
I have long enjoyed seeing plays and movies by myself, and not just out of necessity because I was single for so long. I like to see challenging pieces that not everyone likes to engage in on a Saturday, so instead of missing them, I go by myself. And I don’t have to worry if my companion is liking the experience or not, I get to just focus on the story before me. Seeing performances solo is a wonderful freedom.
This morning’s experience didn’t bother me like it once would have, when I had just started going to movies by myself and still felt very self-conscious about it, or when I was sensitive about my single-ness. But I also couldn’t quite believe that it was happening. And why didn’t the line-gesturer sing at the man in the business suit, in his early forties, who was just ahead of me in line and who was also a party of one?
The two women behind me tried to soften the mocking chorus with an offer that I go with them to Mamma Mia. No thanks, ladies. I have a date with Billie Holiday tonight.