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One

I go to the cinema by myself.

I don’t see the big deal.  Some do.

The Friday before last, I decide I need mindless entertainment and go see Mamma Mia. 

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.

Not quite.

Whilst I wait for the movie to begin, I talk to my sister about one of those family dramas that never transpires but invokes enough emotion it may as well have done.

Where are you?

I’m going to the cinema.

She makes a remark about my movie-going regularity. She’s right. I used to avoid movies, even on the television; switch channels where others would settle and sink into the sofa.  Now it’s become my story fix, coinciding with a disinterest in reading fiction.  I try and see foreign films mostly but now and again mindless Hollywood also gets a look-in. 

At the cinema, I ask for one ticket to Mamma Mia, please.

Only ONE?

Is ‘one’ inaudible to some?

Yes, one.

One of these days I’m going to say. No, two, don’t you see the tall invisible black man, dressed in jeans, crisp white shirt and sexy smile standing devotedly behind me?

You know they’ll crane their necks to see. You know. And it'll tickle my funny bone. You know.


Inside, I pop popcorn like it went out of fashion in the seventies.  I spot a Somali couple take their seats and stifle my giggles with popcorn.  There’s no way he’d be watching Mamma Mia unless it was early days.  Early, early days.  I stuff some more popcorn into my mouth.  Hahaha.

Part of why I’m watching the film is Pierce Brosnan. 

And there he is.  He’s looking weathered but there’s something about him; he’s wearing jeans and a white shirt(yes, it’s a fetish).

Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh

Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?

He starts to sing. My jaw drops.  He’s awful.  Awful.  I laugh and laugh.  Others in the audience find it funny too.  One woman is laughing a full five minutes later.

I pray he won’t bray again. He does. Now I cry with laughter.  Meryl Streep looks like she’s having a blast; he looks constipated.  I put the popcorn down and slap my thigh.  Unintended humour is the best.

The following day, after a rousing massage, I stroll floppily into a patisserie and wait to be seated.  I wait for the moment. 

For one, please.

Just one? She holds up a forefinger.

I break into song:

There's not a soul out there
No one to hear my prayer

Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight
Won't somebody help me chase the shadows away

She seats me and I make small talk with a Japanese family and their designer shopping bags.  They take photos of me with their slim-line camera.  My first impromptu sing-a-song and I already have fans.

I lie.

I say, yes, one and sit and make small talk with a Japanese family who have already forgotten I exist.

Am I to lug a blow-up man doll around to be accepted?  Where do I get one to my ethnic specification?

Hello.  Blow-up Man Dolls R US.  Amanda speaking, how may I help you?

Erm, hi. I’m looking for a man.

You’ve come to the right place! What kind of man did you have in mind?

Tall.

How tall?

6 foot?

Sure. Colour?

Black.

Mocca? Choca? Honey?

Choca, please. I think, yeah, why not, sounds sweet.

Clothing?

Huh?

What do you want him to be wearing?

Jeans (sheepishly)

Make?

Levi’s..

Shirt? T-shirt? Sweater? Jacket?

Shirt, white. Jacket, navy blue.  Slim fitting not too tight; can’t stand too tight on men. Good shoes.

Of course, madam. Whatever you want. Accent?

Does he have to speak?

No.

Mute, please.

Not a problem.  Look-a-like?

Hm, Blair Underwood. Was that his name?

I don't know, madam, what does he look like?

Hot.

Oh, the guy in Blade.

No, that's Wesley Snipes.

I'll look him up, how do you spell Underwood? 'A', 'N'...

'U',' N',' D'..

Me and D what?

Oh, God. Forget it. Just do James Bond.

Good choice! Anything else?

What else can I get?

Hair.

Not bothered.

How about blond? Blond’s popular.

No. Black. Black is the colour of my true love’s hair.

Sorry?

Nothing, forget it.  Do people actually order man dolls?

Why yes.  Our most popular man doll even sings.

Sings?

Sings.

Sings?

Songs.

Sings?

Sings.

What?

Abba mostly.

Noooo.

Yes.

Like what? Waterloo?

Like(sings nasally):

If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try

Take a chance on me
(Come on, give me a break will you?)
Take a chance o..

Click.

Madam? Madam? Do you want ONE?

 

Posted on Sun, July 20, 2008 at 11:09PM by Registered Commenterparadise | Comments17 Comments | References2 References

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Reader Comments (17)

This post had me laughing so hard I almost fell off the chair. I love your sense of humour.

I do a lot of things by myself too: watch movies, go to restaurants, shop, sightsee, museum hop - it's loads of fun and besides, most people are so busy most of the time.

LOL @ the image of you holding a blow-up doll of a man. Which James Bond are you thinking of? Please tell me it's not the new one, Daniel Craig, who really is one very unattractive man.

Anyways, glad that the drama with the shameless carpet cleaners who hide broken wardrobes with open doors is over.

Keep up the good spirits and sing for as long as you want to :)
July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMTAF!
You made me laugh. I have been " a ticket for one" girl for many years simply because I wanted to go watch a movie that I like. I did not want to compromise for other who in my opinion had bad taste. So the end of last year, I started going to the movies with my new boyfriend and in the beginning I enjoyed the shear pain that he had to endure to watch
"girlie" movies with me. Now that I am back to
my "ticket for one" campaign, I have to say there is nothing like freedom.
July 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternativedaughter
AMTAF, which Bond?! Why Pierce of course, so long as he's shaken not singing. The carpet cleaners have not been sorted out, I let them be. In the whole grand scheme of things..what does it matter really. The electric cooker guy was the long-emailed one who finally got somewhere with me. Another loner, good to know. Are you blogging or not?

Native D, nothing like a chick flick to test a guy. Secretly they enjoy it; pretend they've been pressurised into it, what can they do, then enjoy the film in the semi-dark. They also cry from the eye farthest away from you. It's a skill.:) Are YOU blogging?
July 21, 2008 | Registered Commenterparadise
You're halarious, but I like solo things also. Enjoy my own company but definately room for a Mr Charming to come along ;-)
July 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss S
Solo people know all about Mr Charming- they meet him in their dreams, books and the movies. You're doing well, there, the right one is bound to turn up in one of those mediums one of these days:)
July 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterparadise
Paradise, Pierce has something so alluring about him which just improves with age. He's even sexier now than he ever was.

Anywho, I do blog on wordpress, but I had a few problems last year with online stalkers so I have it set to the highest privacy settings possible. If you have a wordpress username, just send it to me and I could add you as a reader. Sorry, to make it so complicated.

To all those dreaming of Mr. Charming - they don't exist. Solo endeavours are the things for the 21st century woman.
July 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMTAF!
^how do I send it to you? Unless you send me your email through my blog.
July 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterparadise
My email is amtaf12@gmail.com or amtaf12@berkeley.edu... Sorry, forgot to add that in my previous comment.
July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMTAF!
AMTAF! now I have your email. Oh but she has mine! Buggar! :)

Paradise, lol.
July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIsseh
didn't take long for said staker to show.^^^ :)
AMTAF, thanks.
July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterparadise
Am I to expect a slew of emails from you Isseh ;)?

Paradise, you're welcome.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAMTAF!
LOL *wipes tears*. I haven't laughed like this in weeks. Boy am I glad you're back writing. There is nothing more fun than seeing a movie alone. My choices always brought whines and grumbles and ruined the experience for me. Pierce Brosnan is just creepy now. Something about vain 50 something men scares the shit out of me.

Keep the stories coming!
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAya
Haha.

That's all I can muster now. Me? A stalker? Phew!

*Shakes head*
July 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIsseh
I LOVED this post...halarious!!!

I'm a pretty big content loner too -- love going to the movies alone. About 5 years ago I started to just go ahead and go alone because I was sick of friends who just wanted to stay at home and do nothing everytime I suggested we go out/do something.

If you can be content with spending a sizable amont of time just with yourself then there is nothing you can't do (at least that's what I tell myself lol). NO really, it's great.
July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLonesome Dreamer
^I have known people who can not bear to be alone. I wonder when they get time to think?

One love. :)
August 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterparadise
Dang! U got me laughing.....i like your style...keep it coming
October 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMystique
^ thanks. I re-read that; made me smile:)
October 26, 2008 | Registered Commenterparadise

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