This weekend I was lucky enough to see the Kaiser Chiefs. The weird bit - I watched their entire show on my absolute loansome. Part of me feels like I need to justify this revelation by telling you it was an accidental 'on my own' experience. It got me thinking. Why do we feel that doing things on our own makes us a bit of a weirdo?
I got the chance to join my husband Liam on his work do. It was an afternoon at Newmarket Races, which I wasn't too bothered about. I went for the music. So when the sixth race was finally over, and the Kaiser Chiefs came on the big screen without warning I needed to act fast. The girl I was talking to at the time seemed pretty keen to make her way to the stage, so I legged it with her, and her boyfriend, briefly telling Liam what I was up to. When we finally made it to a decent spot, pretty close to the front, I stopped to think about Liam.
Two songs later, the girl tapped me on the shoulder and told me her boyfriend wanted to go back. I went with my gut instinct and decided not to give up my spot.
For a few minutes I was nervous. A quick look around told me no one was sharing this experience with themselves! Around me were cuddling couples, (why cuddle to the Kaiser Chiefs?), groups of friends singing loudly to each other, and a Mum and her teenage daughter. Mum even tried to cover daughter's ears when the lyrics were swear words. How sweet!
Did anyone around me wonder what a girl like me was doing watching the Kaiser Chiefs on my own. A girl like me? Who did I think I was?! I got over that one when it became obvious that no one cared. They were all too busy living their life. Right now life evolved around the stage. There were moments of worry too. What if I got hurt? What if the space turned into an unexpected mosh pit? I love the song, 'I predict a riot,' but those kind of lyrics followed by 'The angry mob' could turn a crowd! And then there were our favourite songs, with fleeting moments when I wished we were side by side to share the moment. Songs like 'Ruby' and 'Na na na na naa' didn't seem quite the same without the man I see live music with.
But then something clicked. That whole experience was mine, all mine. So when I put my ticket stub in my box of treasured memories, it will remind me of the day that I wasn't a weirdo on my own.
It will remind me of the day that I got comfortable doing 'public' things on my own. (Public things being things you do in public that 'should' be done with at least one other person). I love being on my own at home but I never before contemplated doing public things on my own.
So next time I'm on my own, considering what to do with myself, I may just consider activities other than those perceived to be OK to do on your own. I mean, some people shop on their own. That is my preference. It is acceptable to walk the dog and to exercise on your own. But now I have had this accidental experience, I am ready to consider going to the cinema or a restaurant on my own. What about a holiday? Do you still think that's weird?