Several years ago, I went backpacking in Europe with some friends. Toward the end of our trip, we all split up to check out different cities and countries.

Six weeks on your own gets lonely. Eating alone, walking alone, seeing the cool sights alone. I met up with other backpackers at hostels and took some tours with them, but in the end, it was just me traveling the world. It teaches you something, and I’m glad I did it.

One of many new experiences was attending a movie by myself. Thanks to train schedules, I was stuck an extra day in a French city I’d already seen. I found a hole-in-the-wall movie theater showing American movies in English with French subtitles.Cost: 2 Euro.

Oh the joy! I escaped the hot sun in the cool, dark theater and wrapped myself in the comfort of hearing my own language and seeing familiar faces in Shrek 2 and Harry Potter. I forgot where and who I was, drowning my isolation in the movies. It’s something I’ll never forget.

I recently overheard a girl exclaiming how ridiculous it would be to go to the movies by yourself, and I smiled. I’ve done it, and it was fantastic.

Since returning, I have never gone to the movies alone. Here, it’s a social activity, and I don’t often want to shell out $12-15 for a movie anyway. But I feel like it’s something you should not be afraid to do.

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I recently watched Vicky, Christina Barcelona. If you haven’t seen it and are interested in the topic, check it out.

Official movie site movie_cover

The movie follows two best friends on their trip to Spain. Each has a different idea about what love is and each reacts differently when presented with the chance for love – or something like it – in Spain.

Vicky, who is engaged, is the more steady, know-what-I-want type of girl while Christina doesn’t know what she wants.

Vicky is tempted by someone and cheats on her fiancée one night. After that, her perspective shifts. Maybe it’s just cold feet, but she begins to question what she wants. When the movie ends, she still feels confused, even though she’s now married.

How terrible for her to be so screwed up even though she knew what she wanted all along.

15barcelona-600Christina on the other hand, is screwed up from the start. She’s constantly searching, trying to figure out what love is and how to find it, not even knowing really what she’s looking for. But along the way she finds adventure and passion.

Is ignorance truly bliss?

The movie sparked a good conversation between Kevin and me.

For most women, sleeping with a man tends to give us thoughts of love. I think that’s where Vicky went wrong. She confused her feelings after sex for something else.

On the other hand, temptation is more temping when you’re not getting what you want from your relationship. Her fiancée is her best friend and lover, but was there some passion missing that she wanted?

From what I’ve seen of happily married couples, including my parents, the reality of a 50-year daily grind is going to wear on you sometimes. Sometimes you’re really going to be angry at that person; you may even think you hate him or her.

But if you get married knowing that will happen, prepared for the bad times along with the good, and can talk about it, then it seems to work. Again, this is from what I’ve seen of successful marriages. Communication seems to be the key. (Married/divorced people feel free to weigh in on this.)

For me, the fact that Kevin and I could talk about all this – love, what it means, what the reality of marriage means and the idea of cheating – well, that’s what I’ve always wanted.

And if I’m ignorant, so be it, because I’m blissful.

NYT Review of the movie

I love spending time with my guy, but let’s face it, there are some places you just shouldn’t drag your boyfriend. Yet, I see women do this all the time. My vote is that if you’re married, all bets are off, but I STILL wouldn’t drag the poor man to the No. 1 on my list.

4. Gynecologist. Ladies, unless you’re having a baby or some sort of surgery, leave the boy at home. He’s only interested in all that when it’s spread open for him, not some doctor.

3. Bikini wax. See No. 5. Even if you’re trying to show him how easy it is and encourage him to get that unsightly back manhairremoval_tnshair ripped off at the roots, dragging him into a female-filled salon is not the answer. And watching your face wrinkle up in pain is going to give him flashbacks next time he’s checking out your new down under ‘do.

2. Marathon malling. I can’t imagine why you’d take him instead of your best girlfriend to hit up the big Macy’s sale and blow hundreds of bucks on shoes, but I’ve seen women do this. I shrug my shoulders. Either the guy is crazy in love or a doormat. Either way, not my problem, but I still tell that girl to spare the man when you’re trying to find just the right summer bikini.

1. The new Sex and the City movie. I saw the first one opening night and I was amazed that a few non-gay men accompanied their girls to the movie. I LOVE guy movies and I’ll go see anyone of them with my boyfriend. I’ll be sure to drag him to the occasional chick flick just to be fair. But seriously? SATC? That’s just mean. Cosmos and yet another Carrie dilemma are going to send him over the edge.

Any other suggestions?

I know not every female is a fan of Sex and the City, but I CANNOT stand by and not complain about the news that came out yesterday that Katie Holmes was asked to be in the new SATC movie.

WHAT??? Ick. I apologize if you love her, but I find her distracting and her acting skills lacking.

That is all. Kvetch amongst yourselves.