Things have been pretty weighty around Elephants in the Room lately, and I need to spend some time on more lighthearted things for my own peace of mind. Today I would love to talk to you about guilty pleasures.
At my house, when we talk about guilty pleasures we are most often referring to music that we listen to that we consider rather embarrassing. There are songs or albums or sometimes even artists we would rather not admit to liking. In talking about the idea of guilty pleasures, we found out that there were things that we felt guilty about disliking as well. They were our guilty dissatisfactions, I suppose, and we found out we had just as many and they made us feel just as bad. After much discussion, we realized that we were giving others power over who we were. By feeling “guilty” about these things in our lives, we were removing some of the pleasure from the very things we liked or we were refusing a part of ourselves.
It was a small thing to admit, and it may sound unimportant, but allowing ourselves to love what we love and dislike certain things that are culturally thought of as great was a burden lifted from our lives. It was almost as if an inner secret was revealed. There are so many things I can admit to the world now, without a sense of shame, knowing that they have no impact on my intelligence, being unafraid that I will be judged. Sometimes a song is just catchy. Sometimes a movie was just hilarious when you saw it, no matter how juvenile. Sometimes a classic is boring. Here are some of the things I wouldn’t have told you before:
I listen to Mr. Big’s “To Be with You” often. The same is true of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes, featuring Adam Levine. They’re on a playlist called “Feel Better” because it does, along with lots and lots of Kelly Clarkson.
I really hated The Graduate.
When I am in the car alone driving, I listen to show tunes. And I imagine that I am actually in them. And sometimes I’m Shrek.
Just a sampling and I know there are lots more. They are certainly not limited to movies and music, either. (I’d consider myself a foodie, but sometimes nothing is better than a Totino’s pizza. The decadence of enjoying one of the truffles my husband orders for me every christmas, which I will only eat one a day of, and I must be alone in a quiet place to eat it. Getting a pedicure.) I could write all day listing things that I used to be too embarrassed to admit I enjoyed, but they’re not my guilty pleasures anymore. Now they are just things I enjoy, no strings attached. Enjoy yourself. Like what you like. Love what you love. And if you’ve not seen The Dark Knight, take my advice and the advice of roughly 3% of the people who have seen it; don’t bother.