It’s not the big “L”, since we have to reserve something for the Unemployed who live with their parents.
I’ve had many discussions on going out to eat, usually concluding that if you just want to eat, cooking at home is preferable, while eating out alone is a sign of lack of friends and lazyness, since you’re paying for expensive food and atmosphere yet you’re not enjoying the company as you have none. Dragging my friends who are waitresses and hosts into the rhubarb underscores the unanimity of the food service industry: individual eaters are small “l” losers – though that may be reflective of the wasted seat(s) at the table and the poor tip. These – I hesitate to call them facts – tidbits, fit with the relative social approval of single eaters at the bar of a greasy spoon!
As for seeing movies alone, I know several people who do this, and if not proud, will exclaim with exasperation when asked “I saw it alone, ok! I couldn’t get anyone else to go see (Hours
| Freda | Requiem for a Dream)!” I’d knock it down several notches from the loser category, into the “sort of” sphere. Why the difference compared to eating out? First, you can’t exactly talk in a movie, so the social company you see it with, AFAICT, solely exists for the comaprison of experience during the after-movie dinner. Hmm. Secondly, most people can agree on a kind of food – many will even try something entirely new in the gustatory realm, but movies are a two-hour forced experience. You can’t try one kind of scene, decide you don’t like it, and sample the dialogue – all the reels or none! Your friends already have an idea of what most movies are about, thanks to our saturation advertising, and so many movies you may be unable to roust a contingent. Would this be a sad thing if you went to a movie anyway? I’d say you’d be making a bold statement of support for the unsung genre, and many folks agree.
On the third hand, if you went to some movie with buzz, like Two Towers, alone, you may in fact be friendless – but it’s not like people see you, nor do you inconvenence anybody, so what’s the big deal, anyway?