A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.

By Nina Pajak

So, I know I was all “I hate resolutions!” and “I resolve to stop resolving to try to better myself because it’s pointless and depressing and blah blah blah anger!”

But, I did a thing anyway. And I suppose it could be noted in the “self-improvement” category. Also the “overcoming fears” category, and the “slowly rejoining society as a semi-functioning member” column.

I went to the movies.


Yeah, that’s right. In spite of germophobia, bedbug-phobia and phobias not otherwise specified, I saw a movie. At a movie theater.

I haven’t seen the inside of a movie theater in nearly three years, all because I was convinced of their inherent potential for infestation and proliferation of the BB problem.

So one would think that my first time back at the ticket booth would have me itching and scratching at phantom bites and dumping out the contents of my purse and prophylactically baking my clothing. But I didn’t.

Instead of leaving the theater with a head full of bugs, I left with a heart full of love.

I saw Les Miz. I am a full-on, unapologetic, proud, loud Les Miz geek. And there was no way I wasn’t going to see that movie when it came out.

I’d been worrying about this for over a year, when I first got wind of the movie’s production. I knew all along I wouldn’t be able to miss out and wait for the Netflix release. I knew this would have to be my deadline for overcoming one of the most staunchly observed aspects of my most plaguing phobia. But I didn’t prepare. I didn’t belabor it. It sort of ate away at the back of my mind for months until the day came, a plan was made, and I just went.

A few of my friends took note of my willingness to enter a theater, and wanted me to talk about it. “This is a big deal!” they said. “Yeah,” I said, “it is.” But I didn’t want to overthink it, lest I think myself into chickening out.

The terms were this: I went with my brother, who shares my movie theater concerns. We contrived to go out in the suburbs (less populous) to an early Sunday matinee (fresh seats) a week after the movie came out (small crowd). And it. Was. Magical.

The movie, we both thought, was superb. It was all I could do not to burst into song between choking sobs. But more than that, we both had a revelation. Going to the movies is . . . fun. It was awesome. We had such a great time. We ate popcorn and whispered through the trailers. We felt feelings. We were transported. What’s not to love?

I don’t remember ever being particularly enamored of going to the movies back in my movie-going days. But now that I’ve lived through years of self-deprivation only to rediscover this once-verboten activity, I’m in love. It’s great, this movies thing! Who knew? I want to go back.

I mean, I want to go back to an early Sunday matinee in the suburbs to a showing of a movie everyone has pretty much already seen. But, baby steps.

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