When did you feel like a grown up for the very first time?
Sure, there are universal moments of feeling like you'd arrived in full adulthood, like earning your driver's license or registering to vote.
And there are heartbreaking moments such as when a parent passes away when you realize you're now an adult. That's especially true when most of your aunts and uncles have passed, too, and suddenly you realize younow are in the oldest generation of your family.
But there are some more lighthearted instances when you feel like a grown up. One of those happened for me last Saturday when - are you ready for it? - I went to a movie all by myself. Solo. Friend-free.
It was a milestone for me, even at my advanced age. It was even a bit, well, exhilarating because I attended the film with not one shred of self-consciousness.
Add to that that Ms. Control Freak (that's me) did this act of adulthood spontaneously. With a tendency to plan and overplan every detail of my life, this was a rare moment of "why not" for me.
Last Saturday was a gloriously beautiful day and despite icy sidewalks, I took a short walk in the springlike air. With no other plans made, suddenly doing something felt right. So through my Internet Movie Data Base app on my iPhone, showtimes were unveiled.
"The Artist" at 1:25 p.m.? Why, yes, that sounded great.
A true embarrassing confession, however: The overplanning part of me was really at rest as I drove myself to the wrong theater complex. Oops. There was still a smidgen of the real me involved, however, as my arrival was so early to the theater there was plenty to time to drive to the other part of town to get to the real site of the movie's showing.
Even with the blunder, I was the first person to take a seat in the theater. Might it be an exclusive showing? Nope. Soon two women arrived, followed by two more women, then a mother-son pair and then a young couple.
Was I going to be the only lone ranger?
Not at all. Before long, a lovely older woman with a walker came in solo. Then just before the feature started, another older woman alone came in with a huge bucket of popcorn and an enormous soda pop.
As the movie started, I soon forgot about being solo and reveled in the joy that is "The Artist," a black-and-white, mostly silent, film. It was incredibly entertaining, with Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bero turning in wonderful wordless portrayals of silent movie stars.
And Uggie the dog, in my humble opinion, was a key part of making the film especially lovable.
Driving home in the bright sunshine afforded by attending a matinee, I wondered what had held me back all these years from solo theater experiences. Am I that insecure? Overly social? Or am I just a knucklehead?
Whatever the reason for my hesitation in the past, in the future this grown up will happily plan solo movie excursions now and then. Of course, film outings with good friends will be part of my life as well.
Conquering that lifelong aversion was a liberating moment. Wonder what fear I can overcome next?
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.