Don’t feel guilty about your pleasures

I am the unofficial queen of guilty pleasures.

Unofficial because while I have the guilty pleasure thing down pat, I’ve never seen hard numbers on how others waste their days.

I have so many, it’s a wonder I find time to do anything. I like to think that since I consider much of my day full of guilty pleasures, I must have a pretty good life.

One of mine is Super Soul Sunday on the Oprah channel. A lot of people I know hate on people who watch that show. Those episodes are as essential to me as westerns are to my husband. We ignore that about each other, or at least one of us does.

Others  I claim include singing and dancing in my car (carcerts, y’all), the movie Congo, fountain Cokes so large I would be considered three people in New York City, and naps, so many naps – these are my guilty pleasures, at least the ones I will admit to.

Even though my recent discovery of Destination Unknown with Josh Gates reminds me that live local music has been replaced by the Travel Channel on Friday nights, I’m strangely content and not the least bit guilty.

But the very definition of guilty pleasure says it is something that other people judge you for doing, not the guilt you have for actually doing it:

guilt·y pleas·ure


Something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.

example: “everybody has a guilty pleasure—for me, it has to be mid 70s disco”

I copied and pasted this off some website and for full disclosure, the comment about disco is not my own.  Not publicly and not privately.

We all have guilty pleasures. Some we talk about, and some we don’t, both for wildly different reasons. We each have our shame.

Guilty pleasures are important, I think, because they allow us to relax, even for a few minutes, into what we really want to be doing without regard for someone else’s opinion.

In guilty pleasures lie our personal power, at least in some ways. It’s not impulse control issues, it is actually saying ‘yes’ to what makes you happy.

And if we really think about it much of our days are spent in obligation, which isn’t a bad thing but a fact of life.

I’m not ashamed to say, this girls needs breaks. I take naps when I want to and can on the weekends, without apology or shame. This might be one of my favorite guilty pleasures, mostly because I am unconscious for the judgement.

I’m addicted to the movie Congo and a few others. If that movie comes on any time of the day or night, I’m your huckleberry. I can’t not watch it.

Congo, I believe, has a whole one-star rating, and is about gorillas. I would tell you the setting, but you’ll have to watch it. This is maybe my most true guilty pleasure because I do feel kind of guilty about it, like I could be writing, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, sleeping, or spraying organic pesticide on the tomato plants I don’t have.

Actually, I only feel guilty about one of those things, which is why we’re here today.

I polled some friends on Facebook (yet another guilty pleasure) and found that we are more alike, than we are unalike.

My friends gladly shared their guilty pleasures publicly on my Facebook wall, and most centered around food, television and movies, music and pastimes.

Sherree’ and Gaye admit they read bodice-rippers, or what well-heeled people call historical romantic novels, as a palate cleanser between ‘respectable books.’

Gina likes drinking Diet Coke while eating Melano cookies, and also is a fan of Abba.

My friends are addicted to chocolate, peanut butter and fish sandwiches, entire boxes of cookies, Barry Manilow, Nickelback, singing in the car,  YouTube, fishing and provoking people on social media for their own entertainment.

It was like group therapy on a page and nobody cried.

I personally know people who watch Dr. Pimple Popper on YouTube more often than they floss their teeth.

People judge you for all of these things, and yet they have a guilty pleasure somebody else (who also has a guilty pleasure, by the way) is judging them for having. It is a vicious circle.

Embrace your guilty pleasure. Unless it’s bad for you or others, it is part of what makes you wholly human. Admitting those is essential in connecting because it’s a boon to the soul to say, “you, too?”

Like Maya Angelou so beautifully said in her poem Human Family, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

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