Macy Gray packs booze in her bag to go to the movies: have you done this?

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The Cut has one of their “How I Get It Done” interviews with singer Macy Gray, 52. I’ve told you so many times that I love that series. I like thinking about schedules, productivity and habits as I like getting stuff done but on my own terms. Macy is open about the fact that she’s stressed out by how much she’s doing professionally. She’s opening a restaurant and hair salon and is working on a new album. Her de-stress method is so relatable though – she goes to the movies with a little booze in her bag.

On managing stress:
Lately I’ve been stressed out constantly. I’m not managing it well at all. Stress for me feels like the look on your face when you stub your toe. It’s painful, like you can’t wait to figure it all out so you can get that look off your face.

You can plan to death, but life does what it wants. You don’t know what’s going to go right, what’s going to go wrong. You just deal with it. You just keep going until you see what’s going to happen. Just don’t stop. Because if you stop, you’ve got nothing.

On handling criticism:
I take everything personally. I don’t say anything, but I’m actually pretty sensitive. When I see something that mentions my name, I’m really nervous about reading it. I don’t read all of my reviews. My record label always sends me the responses from my Instagram, but I don’t really read them because I don’t know what they’re going to say. It really affects my day if someone puts me down as far as my music is concerned, or my looks.

On how she relaxes:
Usually I like to put a little alcohol in my bag and just go to a movie. That usually smooths me out pretty well.

[From The Cut]

When I used to drink I would do this too, of course I brought booze to a lot of places with me but I had a legit issue with it. Now I always sneak a water bottle in my purse, because they never give you enough free water, but I don’t feel bad because I get a large popcorn. Sometimes I bring soda I’m not going to lie. Going to the movies is a nice break from reality and I love just sitting in the dark and getting lost in a good story. I could so relate to what she said about how you just have to keep moving too. Whenever I’m feeling bad I make plans and write them down and I feel better. As she said the plans don’t always work, but they make me feel better. If you have a list of things you’re working on you’re not as stuck in your head. Also, I’m sorry that she has a hard time with criticism. That’s got to be so much worse when you’re a famous person and are getting it constantly. I still remember how hard she worked on Dancing With The Stars in 2009. She’s very tall and wasn’t a natural dancer and it must have been difficult for her.

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71 Responses to “Macy Gray packs booze in her bag to go to the movies: have you done this?”

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  1. minx says:

    Yes. Yes, I have.

    • Shirleygailgal says:

      me, too. Sometimes I just want to feel naughty. I’ve had sambuka or baileys at the movies. It’s rarely hard liquor, and I’ve never taken wine. I have definitely taken water….usually tap water in a personal container. After the cost of the movie, the concession stand for me is the popcorn!

    • Nina says:

      I do this all the time with my friend Sue! We bring wine and cups and sometimes straws and we sit in the front row where there are rails to put our feet on and who in the world is going to yell at a couple of 60-something women? Thanks for something funny to write after this horrible week!

    • Aang says:

      Me too. I bring beer. It pairs well with popcorn and milk duds.

  2. HK9 says:

    I haven’t but next time I go to the movies, I just might!! :-)

    • TIFFANY says:

      Ya should. When I see the prices for a shot glass of house white wine I almost trip over myself in line.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I haven’t, either, but I’m not really a drinker. I have taken snacks, though. I don’t know what snack bar prices are like in America, but here, they’re tantamount to extortion. I’m not taking out a mortgage to buy a bag of popcorn.

    • Mac says:

      If I drank booze during a movie I would be sound asleep well before the end.

  3. Lua says:

    Yuuup! And I pack fresh fruit! Gotta balance that booze with something healthy 😉

  4. Nikki* says:

    I pack popcorn in a large ziplock baggie, and sometimes waters. I should start bringing booze!

  5. Lightpurple says:

    Smuggling alcohol into places in a sign that things aren’t good. Many theaters have bars or there are bars nearby. No need to smuggle it in.

    • SamC says:

      I few it as more a cost saving measure. Going to the movies is already an investment, and buying drinks at theaters that sell them is pretty pricey, more so than a bar or restaurant, at least in my experience.

      • Scollins says:

        Same. I enjoy saving money. I guess you could say it’s a casual hobby. One if 4 my sisters gets annoyed with me when I talk a good deal. Snot. I swear I don’t overdue it, she’s just snobby that way, and I love her to death.

    • Ali says:

      My first thought was “and you might be an alcoholic if…”
      Obviously not everyone but if the movie itself isn’t enough of an escape there might but something more going on.

      • Ashlyn says:

        My husband and I do this every now and then. We aren’t huge drinkers, but sometimes we have a date night and bring alcohol to mix with those big pop drinks they serve at the theatre. I would compare it to having beer at a sporting event or something of that nature. We don’t do this every time we see a movie, and never drink enough to actually get drunk or disrupt anyone, so for us it’s a bit of harmless fun.

    • Julie says:

      Wow that’s an irresponsibly huge assumption to make. You don’t want to pay $12 a glass for some over-priced wine so you bring your own alcohol? Must be an alcoholic according to you. Alcoholism is a serious disease, all addiction is. Like other posters, my theater does serve alcohol and it’s super fun! But once and a while (last time was when I saw A Quiet Place) I find it to be a fun, cheeky thing to sneak in some snacks and a drink.

      I’m from the Midwest and addiction is a huge problem out here. It’s destroyed many good people and many good families. I don’t take lightly to the term “alcoholic” being thrown around so easily, especially when you phrase it so dismissively.

      • Shirleygailgal says:

        Thanks, Julie! I’m not an alcoholic cause I’m terrified as it runs in my family. But sometimes it’s fun to feel ‘naughty’ and that’s why I do it. And maybe about once every 5 years or so…Captain America was the last time I did it, and I had a blast. I remember horrifying a new guy when I brought a flask to Independence Day. LOL

      • Lua says:

        Thank you, Julie. People are so damn quick to make light of disease on this site. Not wanting to spend $15 on a shot of Bailey’s in your coffee at a movie does not make you an alcoholic. It makes you smart with your money 😉

    • MC2 says:

      Yea, Macy is not hurting for cash, so saying this is just a case of needing to be frugal is not the ticket here.
      I’m not sure why saying certain behaviors trigger the idea that “someone MIGHT be an alcoholic if…”, is a horrible thing that you should be struck down for & admonished to never utter the dirty word again. Calling someone an alcoholic (in a derogatory way) is not something you should ever say to someone personally, but it’s not a horrid insult either. Being an alcoholic is not the end of the world, means nothing about you personally & it’s not a put down- it means you have a pretty common issue that comes with a set of behaviors that needs help & it can get better.
      As an alcoholic myself, the label is not a ding & it saved my life. Once I accepted that my BEHAVIORS were that of an alcoholic, I then actually started changing my behaviors & I am blessed to not have that devil on my back anymore. It should be taken more lightly & it’s not something that we should be ashamed to say about behaviors, with compassion of course. Smuggling alcohol into places is not a healthy, typical behavior & maybe someone should pause on that thought, so that they can actually make changes. Shame is the breeding ground for stuff like this & there’s no shame in saying these types of behaviors might point to a greater issue going on, that can & will get better, if someone chooses to see it for what it is.

      • Julie says:

        I appreciate your statement, it was thoughtful and clarifying. I did not mean to offend the struggle of addiction, it is a human condition that needs compassion. I take issue with the original poster, I personally read it as a sneer and was offended on behalf of the people in my life affected. But your point of view is causing me to reevaluate that emotional response. I appreciate it; thank you for taking the time to share and educate me

      • Grant says:

        I really appreciated this exchange this morning. The internet can (sometimes) be so toxic.

      • Jake says:

        As a fellow alcoholic, I co-sign this message 100%. No need to place shame on it, but also no need to avoid pointing out if someone may benefit from exploring their relationship with alcohol a bit more.

  6. Jess says:

    Back in my twenties my ex and I went to movies with another couple all the time and we always brought beer. Then we moved to Austin and they had the Alamo draft house so we didn’t need to. And now I can get a glass of wine at my local theater. I love that. The wine and the reserved, reclining seats has made me love going to the theater again (and the popcorn; of course).

    • Giddy says:

      Your fellow Austinite here, and isn’t Alamo Drafthouse great? The wine and their absolute ban on talking, cell phones etc. makes me a loyal patron. One of my favorite things is a voicemail they have played for years before the feature:

    • Laura says:

      Slightly OT, but I live in Omaha and our local Alamo Drafthouse is in seriously hot water right now for accidentally serving people cleaning fluid in their drinks. Three people had to go to the hospital. I went there a few times, but never again. Too scary.

  7. Originaltessa says:

    I did as a teen. Rock gut vodka poured into a cherry icee. Haven’t done it in 20 years though.

  8. Cassandra says:

    Once 😂
    They were showing all three Lord of the Rings extended edition films and it was cheaper for me to smuggle in something than go to concessions all day

  9. ChillyWilly says:

    When I was in high school we snuck a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine into a theater. My drunk ass proceeded to drop it and it (very loudly) rolled all the way down to the other end of the theater.

  10. KBeth says:

    Zero judgment, lol.

  11. Joanna says:

    No, but I’ve put soda and candy in my big purse 😊

  12. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    Not since I was 18, but I always smuggle in water…I’m not paying $7 for a quart of water, no way.

    Besides, drinking at films, sporting events, performances, etc means you have to get up to use the loo more, and you end up missing more content. 🤔

    • lucy2 says:

      I always try to bring water too. I’ll buy popcorn occasionally, but I’m not paying their prices for water.
      I’m not much of a drinker, but if I had some wine and the big comfy seats the theater near me has now…I’d be asleep before the previews ended.

  13. Spicecake38 says:

    Booze sometimes makes me hyper and I couldn’t sit still if I did this,plus I would have to pee one hundred times,lol!

  14. Lensblury says:

    I went to a concert of hers and she was wasted beyond functioning. She’d enter the stage just to stumble off and leave again, and enter, and leave, and enter again. She probably sang four minutes in total. The rest was saved by her band and backup singers. That concert was a long time ago, but it seems to me she might (still) have issues with alcohol if that’s her go-to thing to deal with stress. I still kinda like her and hope it’s not becoming a burden to her. Sometimes all this extra stress isn’t worth it.

  15. Chloe says:

    My local movie theater serves alcohol, so I’ll buy my first beer and bring the second one (though really I only ever drank the second one during Marvel movies because they’re all 5 hours long lol). It makes me feel like I’m only half “cheating” the system.

  16. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    In college and for certain movies — Purple Rain, Dazed and Confused, The Crow, midnight Rocky Horrors, Pink Floyd, Heavy Metal… Long time ago lol.

  17. Noodle says:

    Our theater checks bags. My days of smuggling candy are over…

  18. Catherine says:

    One bottle of wine fits into a nalgene hiking water bottle, just saying!

  19. The Recluse says:

    Yeah, bringing your own stuff into theaters is illegal where I live….

  20. Michelle says:

    I have smuggled candy, water, popcorn, booze, and even Chick Fila including a sweet tea into movie theatres. The theatre’s prices are outrageous and they don’t have the items I may want to snack on. All my friends have done it. #noshame

  21. smee says:

    Chilled can-o-wine (Cupcake sauv blanc). The crap they serve is overpriced and not nearly as good (at least where I live). Throw in a bag of nuts….wear some comfy clothes…it’s almost like home!

  22. Kate says:

    Her comment about stress reminds me – I recently went to a stress management thing at work and they said stress happens when something you care about is at stake. It doesn’t matter how big or small it has the same physiological effects on your body, and it’s unavoidable. So you have to learn how to move through it if you don’t want your health to suffer since it’s impossible to live a stress-free life. Just thought that was an interesting take on it because our natural reaction is to avoid it or dread it or think there is some perfect way of living that will reduce all our stress, but that’s not realistic.

  23. Thaisajs says:

    I take my 7-year-old to the movies so I sadly don’t bring booze with me (although some of these kid movies really make me want to). I do, however, always sneak in candy for her as well as a little water bottle, as she can’t drink the enormous 20 oz bottles they sell there for $7 or whatever. Considering it costs almost $30 for tickets where I live and I still drop $20 on popcorn — large for me (because the remains of one bucket + a free refill gives us snacks for a week) and a kid-size popcorn for my daughter — I don’t feel guilty about bringing in a little something from home.

  24. Nancypants says:

    Sure when I’m not on the wagon.
    I sometimes keep a half pint of vodka in a pretty make-up bag in my purse just in case but I also keep a sleeping bag, water, food, t.p., lighters, Presto log, etc. in my SUV just in case. That’s how I roll.

    Now, the theaters get nothing from ticket sales, well, almost nothing.
    They get their money from the concession stand, so, I smuggle candy and sometimes a bottle of water but I buy their popcorn and take it to the popcorn stand and add my own butter because their fake butter makes me barf.
    I reuse those little cups w/ lids you get with a salad or something for the butter and I might smuggle a bottle of soda because our theaters use city water and it tastes like a$$.

    I also take mini bottles in a Ziploc bag on the airplanes. It’s legal but don’t pour in front of the attendant. Hey, if they didn’t charge $7. for a shot of Tito’s, I’d buy their booze.

    I’ve thought for years and years that Macy had a problem and if you don’t know, an alcoholic can’t go many hours without a drink before withdrawal sets in and that is not pretty.

  25. Misty says:

    Macy Gray gave the worst concert performance I have ever been to and wasted money on.

  26. Suz says:

    Nah. Cuz then you’ll have to keep getting up to pee and miss parts of the movie. I learned this the hard way from boozing BEFORE a movie.

  27. lamaga says:

    Yeaaa as a kinda unconventional alcoholic (I can be in bars and around booze just fine; my issues are linked to mania/depression and meds) I am inclined to suspect this is symptomatic of some ongoing issues. My reasoning is that of all the answers she chose this one. When you couldn’t bear to make it through a movie without alcohol, that shame and or embarrassment tends to kinda prompt you to try to normalize your behavior and to make yourself feel better in a chorus of oh hell yeah, same, girl. That’s just an inkling but my sources are pretty legit.

  28. Lowrider says:

    Yes, I have. I purchase my own snacks too.

  29. MissML says:

    Things I have smuggled into a movie theater:
    Booze (Including champagne and a mimosa set up)
    Starbucks coffee
    A whole pizza

    I’m a 42 year old mother of 3. A 2-3 drinks a week tops kind of person. My husband is alcoholic and I don’t drink around him at all anymore (my choice). Occasionally, My friend and I go to a weekday late morning movie and bring the goods. We are cheap and like to just be silly…never been stopped once carting my large purse in. No regrets.

  30. tealily says:

    Back in the day I did once or twice. These days I sneak in sparkling water but I, too, always buy popcorn.

    Once in high school I snuck in two Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s, one in each pocket.

  31. Lila says:

    Our theater sells booze, so I always keep it as a mental backup if I’m stuck in a boring movie. But so far, no dice.

  32. mash says:

    I have a awesome flask that Mr. Mash bought me and I pour dry rose and drink on our movie date.

    We also will bring snakc from the house and food from the house or from our fav restuarant into the movie….literally DINNER AND A MOVIE XD

  33. Guest with Cat says:

    After experiencing the closing of a very loved and convenient theater in our community, I actually do buy the concessions to help keep the remaining theaters in business. We now actually have to drive out of our way to get to one. We don’t go to the theater very often. I’d say maybe 3 or 4 times a year. We wait for most movies to become available to watch at home. Lol, it never fails that I need to run to the ladies room in the middle of a movie and I hate missing crucial scenes! I love having the option to pause the movie.

    • Amy Too says:

      Movies should just have intermission. It’s not like it’s rare for people to get up and leave during the movie for the bathroom or to get a drink or snack. I would go to more movies if there was intermission.

  34. something says:

    This was my first thought as well. If you can’t get through two or three hours (factoring in travel) without the booze then maybe it’s time to examine why that is.

    This isn’t meant to be judgemental. I’ve liked her music in the past and honestly wish her well. Girl please sort yourself out.

  35. Jessica Belcher says:

    Yes I have!!!! :)

  36. Lurker says:

    I live in Scotland, not only is it accepted, it’s expected. I don’t see the big deal.

  37. Isa says:

    I can’t really say if she’s an alcoholic or not, but would it be so alarming to people if she said she has a glass of wine or two and curls up on the sofa? Or if she went out for drinks?

  38. Laura says:

    Absolutely. We bring in a few shooters, buy a couple small (aka gigantic) sodas, and pour them in.
    When we went to see Lion King last year, we also smoked a bowl in the parking lot before we went in. That’s fun sometimes.

  39. MJ says:

    A little? We usually bring an entire bottle of champers! :)

  40. Vava says:

    I don’t take anything into a theatre. I worked in a theatre during my teenage years and know the concession stand is where they make their profit and so if I want anything to eat or drink that’s where I get it.

  41. keri says:

    if i could smoke weed, i would bring joints

    • Borgqueen says:

      Oil vape pen (from a dispensary (legal) not from the local corner store (illegal)), 2 small wine spritzers and some nuts is in my to go bag for the movies. It’s a party by myself.

  42. LC says:

    I like to have an edible or smoke a joint before going to the movies. I usually bring a big water in my purse because I buy a large popcorn with extra butter and some sort of candy because…you know…munchies!! 🙂

  43. Blueskies says:

    Some of these responses are blowing my mind. A bottle of water and a chocolate bar from the dollar store are about as rebellious as I’ve got. 😂