A few months ago I wrote about doing things by yourself as opposed to doing things in a group. My position was that it is perfectly fine to want to be alone sometimes and you really didn’t need anyone to accompany you anywhere. Some people really didn’t want to do certain things by themselves, dinner and travel being the most popular “group” activities. As I’ve both traveled and eaten alone, I felt pretty confident in saying that I would be comfortable being by myself at any event if I so chose.
And then I went to a museum exhibit with a friend.
Oddly, I had gotten a ticket for this exhibit solo. Then my friend S texted- “want to hang on Wednesday” and I said “You know- going to The Shed at 11- come with?” And a solo outing became an afternoon for two.
As we stared at this very bizarre exhibit that neither of us really understood what we were looking at or what the artist was thinking, my friend S remarked: “I found your blog about being by yourself very interesting.” S is a great person in a group, but she truly values her alone time. She is independent and really just does what she wants when she wants and is as content by herself as she is with her Husband. She is fearless in just doing what she wants, whether or not she has someone to go with.
So imagine my surprise when she said: “I don’t think I could go to a big concert by myself. There’s just something about that experience that I think you need to be with someone.”
I couldn’t believe there was something she wouldn’t do by herself.
And then I thought about myself.
I’ve been to plays alone: both on and off Broadway. Movies, obviously- I probably go to as many alone as I do with others. I’ve been to classical and jazz and ethnic music concerts by myself: at libraries and parks for free as well as paid venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. But what about something at Madison Square Garden?
Would I see U2 by myself?
And there it was- the chink in my armor. I am probably never going to see Beyoncé dance live without someone by my side. I will not be screaming BRUUUCE when “Born to Run” is played if I’m by myself.
No lone rock concerts for me.
So what is it about this form of music that makes me want to be with friends?
Obviously I listen to this music by myself. I shower sing to them. I put them on when I’m working out. So what is it about the live rock concert experience that makes me want to share?
What marks an experience that makes it better when shared with a friend? Why are there certain things that are just “better” when done as a group?