Not Feeling Guilty Over My Guilty Pleasures
Here’s a conversation I had with a friend recently about Thanksgiving:
Me: Hey, how was your holiday?
Her: Really good. Yours?
Me: Fun. Went back home, spent time with family. What did you do?
Her: It was great. I watched three Hallmark movies in a row.
Me: (sputtering) What??!! You’re kidding me! How can you watch those? They’re so badly written. They’re so horribly acted. They’re so sappy and contrived and … well … just really, really bad.
Her: Oh, I know. But I love them.
And there the conversation stopped. Because really, what else is there to say? She was boldly, without shame, enjoying Hallmark movies and freely admitting to it. As a writer, shouldn’t I be offended? My cat could write better scripts. And the acting in Hallmark movies – fuhgettaboutit. They make reality show stars look like Oscar contenders. I’ve got friends who are actors. Shouldn’t I be offended on their behalfs (behalves?)?
The truth is, I’ve got nothing to come back with. It’s not like I’m sitting around immersed in more highbrow activities like quoting Nietzsche or studying comparative lit. No siree. I watch bad movies a’plenty and I love ’em. They put the guilt in guilty pleasure. But then I thought, why should that be? Perhaps my friend’s attitude is the healthy one. Why not extol the virtues of our guilty pleasures and embrace them for what they are: an escape from the everyday, a release of stress and strain, a spot of fun on a landscape of toil.
So, my friends, tell me your guilty pleasures. Shout them from the rooftops! I’ll even beat you to it and go first. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Watching bad movies, again and again. And when I say bad, I mean bad. Bad as a Hallmark! Here are the movies that, when they’re on TV, I stop flipping channels. I’m happy they’re being shown, even happier when I realize the show has just started.
Staying Alive. Yes, I know it sucks. I am fully and completely aware of that. But here’s what I love: overdone ’80’s makeup and clothes. Watching Cynthia Rhodes and Finola Hughes dance. Watching John Travolta ham it up. Seeing the big splashy overdone and predictible ending. I’ve not a spot, not a single iota of shame when watching this movie. In fact, I love it so much I own the DVD. How’s that for shameless? Put it in your pipe and smoke it.
Showgirls. Yes, I know it sucks even more than Staying Alive. I know that everyone (allegedly) hated it. It was so lampooned when it came out that poor Elizabeth Berkley probably had to take refuge in a rabbit hole from all those Showgirls haters. But you know what? When it’s on, I watch it and I love it. I like the small town girl makes good in the big city storyline, I like the over-the-top costumes, I like the dancing, and I love how Elizabeth Berkley kicks butt at the end of the movie. Oh, and I love how she supposedly eats more calories a day than a sumo wrestler yet manages to remain thin as a strand of hair. It’s awesome.
Burlesque. Christina Aguilera. Cher. People, what else do you need? Aguilera’s voice blows me away every time. Do I care that the whole plot is as realistic as Kim Kardashian’s blown up butt? No I do not.
2. Eating a bucket of popcorn and calling it dinner. It’s divine. I adore popcorn. The smell, the hot salty kernels melting in my mouth, the way I can just keep eating handful after handful as I sit and watch Showgirls. Oh, and the butter. Lots and lots of butter.
3. Changing in to my pj’s the second I walk in the door after work. Question: Is there anything more comfortable to wear on the planet than pj’s? Answer: Absolutely not. So why shouldn’t I wear them as often as possible for as long as possible? Which brings me to:
4. Not changing out of pj’s all day. I need to take a shower. Not taking a shower isn’t a guilty pleasure for me, it’s just gross. But as soon as I’m done with the shower, the pj’s come back on.
This is the short list. There are more I could add, but I want to hear yours. Come on, friends, fess up. Tell us your pleasures, and feel no guilt. And while you’re at it, follow us here at Lady Smut, where we bring you guilt-free pleasure seven days a week.