So I’ve long been a proponent of “dating yourself.” Like, you know, taking yourself out on dates to reinvest in your relationship with yourself? Okay, that sounds a bit bizarre and selfish and self-indulgent. Why not go with somebody else? Why do it alone? Well….
Aren’t you worth it? Why don’t you deserve to enjoy a solo lunch, or movie, or museum trip? Especially a museum trip, because if you live in a city with a lot of museums (like New York!), you know that there’s usually* only one very specific situation in which you actually visit any of those museums:
- someone from out of town is visiting you, and
- the weather is bad.
So when was the last time you went to a museum by yourself? Maybe you do. Maybe you do this all the time!
You say “But Meghan, isn’t the best part of visiting a museum the part where you discuss the art with your friends?”
Sure, sure, that’s fun. Don’t get me wrong: I love visiting museums with people. Y’know. Standing in front of a painting or sculpture in silence, then nudging my compatriot and cracking a joke like, “That’s what she said.” Museum humor. Sharing the joy of art is AWESOME.
When you go to a museum by yourself, you can be a shitty museum goer! You can skip the Monet Waterlillies room entirely just because it’s fully of loudly honking tourists taking obnoxious selfies in front of it like the impressionist masterpiece is an underemployed actor dressed as Elmo in Times Square. GROSS!
You can sneak into a lecture room unnoticed and catch the tail end of a lecture on female modern artists in the 20th Century!
You can stop and stare at the Jackson Pollock, following the individual lines in the paint until you get dizzy and need to sit down in front of a video of modern dancers interacting with a sculpture!
Going to a museum alone can be just as fun as going with other people. Going by yourself can be a treat! If there’s an exhibit you want to see but nobody else does, just go! Enrich your life with culture if you have the opportunity. You can always gush about the experience to your friends later, and then bring them with you next time.
So in conclusion, I think everybody should take up the practice of going to museums by themselves. I think of it as self-care! With all the free museums around, spending your free afternoon strolling an air-conditioned museum, absorbing loads of beautiful and interesting art. And when it comes to art? I’m a huge fan.