Not-So-Guilty Pleasures


There’s nothing wrong with a bit of self-indulgence. From time to time it’s nice to give in to the little things that are so simple but bring so much enjoyment to our lives. Sometimes they’re things that you don’t want to mention to your friends or family, because you’re worried that it might be a little bit embarrassing. It is common to refer to these small, private indulgences as “guilty pleasures”. Recently, however, I have been assessing my arsenal of secret treats, and I have come to the conclusion that there’s no reason to feel guilty about any of them, because if you enjoy doing something and it doesn’t hurt anyone, really there’s no harm it it. Just to prove that I’m a woman of my word, and that I really don’t feel guilty about any of the things I like, I’m going to share with you a few of the little items and activities I partake of when I think no one is looking. My hope is that this will give others the courage to come forward and admit to their own secret pleasures, and thereby we can all liberate ourselves with the truth. Or perhaps we’ll all just be embarrassed together. We’ll see.

ABBA. There, I said it. When I’m alone and my mood needs a boost, there is nothing like the Swedish fab four to get me singing along with feet tapping and head bobbing. I used to be worried that such an admission would prompt reactions of raised eyebrows and stunned silence, but since I have started openly telling people this, I’ve been shocked at how many “me too!” responses it has inspired. It seems I’m not the only one stuck in the 1980s — not by a long shot.

Coloring books. I know, I know. I can’t explain it. There’s just something about a fresh, new coloring book and a Crayola 64-box that does it for me every time. If I had room in my schedule, I’d color for hours on end. I’m not good at drawing or painting, and I don’t particularly like creating visual art, but give me a coloring book and I’ll be more than happy to make you something truly, truly juvenile.

Eating ice cream straight out of the tub. And no, I’m not talking about those little petite containers of fancy designer ice cream; I’m talking about the big honking family-sized bucket of Blue Bell Rocky Road. Just give me a spoon and I’m good to go. Mind you, of course I don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting… that would just be ridiculously excessive. I do have some restraint, you know. Ahem.

Spending an entire day in my pajamas. If you call my house at any time of day on a Sunday, even in the evening, there’s a huge probability that the person you’re speaking to on the other end is in her pajamas. No, it’s not for a costume party — that’s just my little way of celebrating the fact that I have a lovely day with nothing to do and nowhere to go.

The Simpsons. No, it’s not the height of comedic excellence, nor is it even the highest quality animation on television. Often the jokes are crude, repetitive, or just downright childish. It’s the sort of thing you would think a reasonably intelligent person would get tired of after a while. Nevertheless, there is little on TV that makes me more excited than the idea of a multi-hour Simpsons marathon, preferably with the inclusion of the aforementioned ice cream and pajamas.

So now you know how I roll. These are my top skeletons, fresh out of the dusty closet that I don’t have time to clean because I’m too busy coloring. These things used to be items of great shame and embarrassment for me, but then I started to think, why? What does it hurt if I enjoy Scandinavian pop? Who really cares if I never quite make it into day clothes on a Sunday? If any of these items have struck a chord with you or reminded you of your own private indulgences, I encourage you to come forward and comment — share your story so that we all may learn the joy of doing those activities that you have discovered are great fun. And by being proud instead of ashamed of all the things we like to do, the word “guilt” no longer applies, and our guilty pleasures graduate to being simply “pleasures”.

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