Can we stop calling them guilty pleasures?

3 years ago

We all have a few secrets. Some aren’t for sharing. Some are for sharing with a trusted few. And some get spilled on the internet, in spite of the fact that one could lose all credibility and respect.

Secret: I pour over the best and worst (especially the worst) dressed lists after every entertainment awards show. I’ve never missed Project Runway, and I check in with Tom and Lorenzo daily. Until recently I watched Fashion Police with Joan Rivers religiously and even admired her chutzpah (however, her fat shamming crossed the line and we’ve since broken up). And there’s more. I watch Scandal, eagerly anticipating the moment when Olivia Pope will splash coffee on her more-fashionable-than-the-rest-of-us white coat or spill red wine on her cashmere lounging outfit.

Fact: I may be the least fashionable person you know. My interest and occasional obsession in celebrity dress up makes no sense. My idea of private hell includes having to wear a formal gown. Add high heels and you’ll never see me again. I only wear spillproof fabrics.

I also love (seriously love) the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I am a feminist. Yes, I know that doesn’t compute. But I have loved that movie, and every song in it, for most of my life.

While I am giving it all away, I have more Neil Diamond CDs than any other artist.

I am thrilled that TV binge watching is now a “thing” because I am really good at it.

I believe my little not-so-secrets are considered ‘guilty pleasures.’  I’ll bet you have a few, too. And no, I am not referring to doing the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in pen, allowing yourself a small piece of fair trade dark chocolate every three months, or collecting marathon running medals. I am talking about the lowbrow and embarrassing stuff you do when no one is looking, but you’re feeling the need to indulge. If you’re hiding, then it counts.

Putting Junior Mints in your movie popcorn (and the popcorn itself, if you didn’t hold the butter), staying in your pajamas all day (double points if you have morning and afternoon pjs), and gourmet ice cream for one. Toss in a pile of glossy magazines, an arsenal of nail polish, and rescheduling life around the Survivor finale (we just completed Season 28, if you’re watching along with me), and you’re talking my language. Nutella by the spoonful, mixing a little lemonade in your beer (don’t judge), owning more than three pairs of slippers. Are we on the same page here?

But let’s make a deal with each other. Let’s stop calling them guilty pleasures and re-frame them as deserving treats.

A treat that we made it though the day, the week, the year. Or even the commute, the conversation, the project, the meeting, the event, and the ridiculous never-ending list of chores.

And while we’re making our smart and sassy deals, let’s skip the part where we have to earn them.

We have earned them just by making it this far. We have worked and wiggled our way to fifty-something, with a few failures, some disappointment, and more sweat and tears than we care to admit. This life journey stuff is a bumpy path. We’ve been supportive and strong, and we’ll continue to be so.

Sometimes we just have to be silly. And we need to waste a little time. Enjoy a little sparkle, taste a little sweet with our salt, and laugh at a bawdy joke. We need to sing with our outside voices with no apology. We need to give our brain, our better judgement, and our inner critic a break.

So while I may not admit to the world that I own six seven pairs of slippers, and I can tell you what Lupita Nyong’o wore last week, I’ll admit it to you. Perhaps not with pride, but also without guilt.

Now pass the nail polish and let’s get to the fun stuff. By the way, have you tried truffle salt on your popcorn?

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