Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Rules > Your Rules

I had an interesting sequence of events last week that opened my eyes to the formula that is the subject of this post.

A week ago Sunday I had an interesting debate with Rob over movie etiquette. In his eyes one can't go to a movie by themselves. I thought this weird because a movie is a solitary experience and bringing along a group of friends, in my eyes, is just a recipie for having others around you constantly saying, "shhh!"

This debate raged on for a good hour as I could not understand it. Rob informed me that at the last movie he had attended someone came in alone and all those around Rob were whisperng, "Wow, what a weirdo. Who goes to a movie alone?" I don't know if I fully believe those comments to that extent because I have been to many movies by myself and never once had people looking at me or whispering about me (that I know of.)

Later that week while I was traveling in the Southwest part of Missouri I was craving The Olive Garden's manicotti. I mean seriously craving it to the point that I could smell it, taste it, and the only thing that would satisfy my hunger would be to devour it. There was one slight porblem though, I don't go to sit down restaraunts alone.

Sit down restaraunts are a social setting. It takes a brave soul to go into one alone and I am not that brave soul. Certainly, in my mind, people wonder, "Who goes to a sit down restaraunt alone?"

I debated and debated and a couple times I walked to my car and looked across the street to The Olive Garden but I retreated each time. Going to a restaraunt that isn't fast food is just not permitted.

Let's introduce my math statement now. The title of this entry is, "My Rules > Your Rules" and this is 100% accurate as my rules are greater than yours. In fact, your rules may seem silly to me because anyone can go to a movie by one's self, but I wouldn't dare enter a restaurant by myself.

To come to my rule conclusions I use simple logic. A movie is a dark place and talking is frowned upon. I have never seen a movie that I felt a shared experience with those around me. I have heard people say this, that a movie is a shared experience and perhaps being on the autism spectrum prevents this for me. Nonetheless the movie is fair game to go alone.

A restaurant is a social environment. If I go alone I see it as proving to the world that I am an isolationist. I am not so I don't want to make this statement. I did once go to the Olive Garden alone and the hostess sat me in the middle of the room. The geographical center! My eyes had no respite from the peering eyes of those wondering if my date had canceled, or if I simply was a loner. It was the most stressed filled meal I ever had and one I will never attempt again!

I think for someone not on the spectrum there could be a sense of understanding between each person's rules. I, along with other people on the spectrum I'm sure, have a hard time understanding your logic or reasoning. I tried and tried and tried to get Rob to understand that going to a movie solo is something that indicates nothing about one's social status, but he disagreed adamantly furthering my intensity of debate. You see, my rules are the right rules so why would anyone want to be wrong. My rules state being wrong is, well, wrong and who would want to be wrong?


  1. To each his own. As for Olive Garden, can't you get it to go?

  2. Once again Aaron you have given me something to ponder. I agree with your logic! (Sorry Rob) I know you do not like exceptions to the rules but in this case I think that there may be exceptions, at least to my thinking. It will be interesting to hear what your other readers think as well, and I challenge them to also give their feedback to the topic.

    I am thinking that it may depend on the type of movie. Perhaps one wouldn't feel comfortable going to a romantic love story alone but would be very content at going to see something along the lines of Star Wars by themselves. I also agree that one should not go to a sit down restaurant alone during dinner but the lunch hour alone may be appropriate. I'm not telling you what to think, (see I read "Dont tell me what to think" LOL) but perhaps giving you something in return to ponder. What do you think?

  3. I could get Olive Garden to go, but then the breadsticks get cold and the salad just isn't the same and I like the routine of breadsticks followed by salad, followed by the marvelous manicotti. In the end though I guess beggars can't be choosers and I end up looking at the Olive Garden, but not stopping.

    I never considered the type of movie, but that makes perfect sense. I did, before I understood the concept of the sit down restaurant, would eat at the Olive Garden when I worked at a video duplicator. I'd get there early at open so no one else was there, and a lot of time I'd have a co-worker with me. Perhaps I may, and I stress "may" in that I am just slightly open to it, may try lunch at the Olive Garden sometime in the near furute. Perhaps that would be a good thing to do during the Sunglasses Experiment. In any evnt you baited me just enough without telling me what to do that I looked at your logic, liked you logic, and "may" try it :)

  4. I think in the end it is "To each his own." Everyone feels that thier rules are the right ones and if everyone would just listen to us all would be fine. But the world would be very boring and predictable.

  5. Would bringing a book or magazine into the restaurant help? Might be a good distraction.

  6. I think a book would make a good distraction, but I would still have to walk through the restaurant by myself and I would fret over the looks I would get on that short trek to my table or booth.

  7. I am glad to see more people responding to your blogs Aaron. I did not realize that I was logged in as my son Rob when I responded but it's me! lol Have a great day

  8. Aaron, I do agree with you and the restaurant perspective. However when I go to see a movie, why can't that be treated as a social environment as well? It takes time to get to the theatre, you have to wait in line or wait for the show to start, there are ads before previews and such. But going to movie to me means to have a fun time with friends. Sure I would agree during the movie talking is highly frowned upon, however before and immediately following the movie I usually end up talking about the movie questions, where the conversation finally moves along to something else. To me that is part of the movie experience, and that is why I find Rob's view to have a valid point.

  9. wow! you are amazing :)

    I don't have an Autism spectrum disorder and I too have been to the movies by my self I don't see the big deal?

    I have also been to a sit down restaurant alone and didn't have a problem with it but every one is different.
    If I had the choice I would go in a group (I'm a very social person) to both but sometimes the people you want to go with are unavailable so I go alone.

    Both my son and daughter have Aspergers so I understand how hard this can be for you.

    I read with great interest in hope you just may be a window to the future :)

  10. Hi. Well I used to go to restaurants on my own sometimes. I don't like it now, so today I only go to a restaurant when invited out for a meal.

    But I remember the first time I decided to go to the Little Chef alone as 17 and I loved the experience of independence.

    Like your blog. I'm now documentnig my social experience as an Asperger at

  11. I have to respectfully disagree. I go to a restaurant a lot of times by myself- particularly during my school days. Maybe I don't really care as much what people think, but such places still do business with me. One example- I went to an Olive Garden by myself the day I was taking my OT licensing exam. I ordered my food and enjoyed it for an hour while being in my own little world. Sure, part of it can be because I could care less about what others thought of me at that moment (as I got the exam to take a few hours later). But, part of it was that I believe I have every right to receive good service and good food like everyone else does- whether they come in a big group or by themselves.

  12. I Hate to do anything by myself! If it's a movie they better not talk though. And if it's a restaurant I better have my back to the people. Otherwise I think they are watching me eat...and I'm not sure if I'm accidentally being a pig..