Guilty Pleasures

So I really don’t where I first saw this meme but I do know it’s been all over the blog world. Most recently I saw it at Emily’s – and Friday seems like a perfect day to discuss a few guilty pleasures.

A. Name 6 guilty pleasures no one would suspect you of having:

1. American cheese. I know. I KNOW! And trust me, I thoroughly enjoy bries, and chevres, and goat cheese…truthfully, so far, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t adore, up to and including the kinds you can now buy stuffed with dried fruit. But American cheese (product) holds a firm and unrelenting place in my heart…nothing melts so beautifully in a grilled cheese sandwich, and oh, the way a small piece of it breaks off when you unwrap it – I love you, American cheese (product). (I think this may be because my parents didn’t allow it in the house when I was growing up)

2. The ability to spend extraordinary amounts of times in bars – smokey, dark bars, with only a few customers and sports on the television, a pool table nearby. I don’t indulge this one the way I once did (I mean, my liver is doing such a lovely job, I don’t want to compromise it) but I love hanging out in dirt-ball bars, drinking bad beer, playing bad pool. They are, say, the swamp to my frog. No need for fancy martinis or a wine list, please – just put on some country music and I am good to go.

3. Like Emily, country music. I LOVE country music, love it all. I was so excited when Stephen King said his book Lisey’s Story should read like a good old-fashioned country song, and while I loved the story, I felt disappointed by that expectation. My novel, MY NOVEL, reads like a good old-fashioned country song, and NOT, like King, because I put actual lyrics into the text. Nope – people are drinking and fighting and having sex, and the sun only shines once in a while and there is even an evangelical character. So there.

4. College basketball – one of my favorite times of the year! In fact, I just came from a meeting where a researcher recommended holding the next retreat on a Saturday in March because there is never anything to do, in March, and the vice president and I looked at each other and said simultaneously, March Madness! Now, let’s talk about my Spartans…

5. Impractical, beautiful shoes. And now I feel really badly about it because more than one pair have some plastic in them, and I just read the report about how bad plastic shoes are for the environment, and recently I’d sacrifice all the shoes from my twenties, the embroidered green heels, the plastic red sandals, the turquoise high-heeled sandals since I finally, at the age of 30 am coming into a style of my own that is (a.) flattering and (b.) grown up but (c.) leaves no room for these ridiculous shoes, but (d.) I’ve really fucked up my carbon footprint by buying all of them and (e.) I feel ridiculous donating them.

6. This is becoming difficult…the whole “nobody would suspect” aspect of this meme…as I am pretty much an open book, and don’t take any sort of illegal drugs or eat in the dark or anything, so I will go with my love of music and concerts, particularly the music and concerts of the following: Sonny Landreth, the Patrick Sweany Band, Marc Broussard and John Hiatt.

B. Name six guilty pleasures you wish you had the courage to indulge:

2. Spending a whole afternoon watching movies or reading. I would love to spend four or five hours on a Saturday or Sunday popping in dvd’s or turning the pages of a wonderful book but every time I try it, it feels weird.  I simply cannot reconcile things I think should be done in the evening (watching a movie or reading a book) with 3:00 in the afternoon.

3. Purchasing a really nice purse. I’m not a huge person for labels or expensive clothing, but I would like one really nice purse in my life. And probably I should buy it now, while I have expendable income, but I am the kind of person who would buy a nice purse and drop in in a mud puddle before I ever got it home. It’s the same reason I would never actually consider buying the Porche I fell in love with, or a white winter coat.

4. Whole days at the beach, slathering on the tanning oil. I work for a cancer hospital. It’s safe to say no ray of sunlight will ever again penetrate my highly spf’ed skin.

5. Down hill skiing. Used to love it. Had an accident. Broke pelvis, arm, collar bone. Miss it terribly but will never, ever, in a million years, go up a ski lift again.

3. Six Guilty Pleasures you once considered guilty but now have made peace with:

1. Eating. My parents were on all kinds of diets growing up, veering wildly from vegetarian to low-fat to low-carb. Even now, there is always something they eat that they say they shouldn’t. Food has the capacity to make them very, very unhappy and I grew up associating the act of eating with a ton of anxiety, instead of joy. My physician actually directly blames them for my soy allergy, given the seven years of of soy milk, tofu, and fake meat they fed us – a direct overexposure caused my allergy. Little kids should, if they can, eat real food, and real fat and I am so, so thankful I have finally learned how to feed myself before bringing children into this world and passing my neuroses onto them. I still have set backs…for instance, this week I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and then THOUGHT about it for almost a day, but I am mostly healed. And now, I eat – I eat bread and potatoes and a little meat and a lot of fish and loads of fruit and veggies and cheese and every once in a while I have dessert and I am happy.

2. Doing nothing, sometimes. I married a husband who comes from a family that goes and goes and goes, and never gets sick or tired or need down time. Every single member of S.’s family lives in this overloaded kind of way. S. was never allowed to sleep in on Saturdays or spend an afternoon just watching television. I, on the otherhand, could tell my parents I needed a mental health day and they let me stay home from school. They recognized school as valuable for what it was, but never thought I was missing something horrible if I needed to stay home to regroup for a day. It has taken me several years of being with S. to finally recognize the need in myself to have downtime and NOT feel guilty about it.

3. Manicures and pedicures. I have always hated my hands and my feet, and I am the kind of person who, if I try to paint my nails, get the polish on everything but my finger nails. Manicures and pedicures make me happy with my hands and feet. Worth it.

4. Good bedding. Enough said.

5. The amount of items I have readily available for hot drinks. If you come over, I could offer you 8 different kinds of tea (cream? sugar? lemon? bourbon?), cappucino, espresso, hot chocolate…the list goes on. There is nothing I love more than curling up with a hot drink, a warm blanket, and a good book and nothing quite so disappointing as really wishing for some hot chocolate and not having any on hand.

6. Reading blogs instead of magazines. Anymore, I neglect my magazine subscriptions if I’m not caught up on all the blogs I love. I used to feel guilty for it, I mean, I PAID for the magazine subscriptions, but the quality of writing is so much better in the blogging world, and there are significantly fewer ads, and the issues are explored so much more thoroughly – I’ll choose blogs over magazines any day.

Happy weekend, everybody!

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8 Responses to Guilty Pleasures

  1. Emily Barton says:

    Oh, I am so with you on American cheese! Nothing, but nothing makes a better grilled cheese sandwich (preferably on white bread). I’m also with you on almost everything else (especially dropping the really expensive purse in the mud puddle and not buying a white coat. They’re so pretty, though, aren’t they?), but then, why wouldn’t I be, since we know we’re related.

  2. I have totally made peace with eating too. Yay for eating! I grew up around a mother with diet addiction (she still is) and imbibed all her messages about good food and bad food. It’s taking me forever to unlearn all that.

    Also, I second mental health days – I took them at school, at university, at work and now and again I even still manage to take them. Down-time is completely essential to my continuing to live.

  3. Pingback: “Guilty Pleasures” · Skin Cancer Information

  4. yogamum says:

    If Huckabee wins the presidency I might have to take up pot-smoking.

    I want to hang out with you. You sound like so much FUN!!!

  5. Cam says:

    Oh Courtney, I’m so with you on many of these. Are you sure we are not related. I offer into evidence:

    1. Loving that little slice of cheese that breaks away when you unwrap American cheese. When I had to make school lunches for my son, I was convinced that whoever invented this knew that some day some too-busy working mom with no time for breakfast (that’d be me) would know that this piece was what she needed to eat & put the rest on her children’s sandwich!

    2. Until recently I wore the crazy impractical shoes, but, since I rearranged all of the major bones & ligments in my foot last Spring, I can’t imagine wearing such shoes again — unless someone carried me everywhere! My advice: Enjoy fashionable shoes while your feet are young!

    3. Upon my return from vacations in the tropics, on several occassions people have asked me if it rained the entire trip. SPF80 for me!

    4. The white coat — you’ll have to clean it too frequently, but it will be worth ever penny. Own at least one in your lifetime. Like the manicures, it’s worth it.

    5. I’m with you on the no illegal drugs thing. I don’t have to smoke any to be paranoid. So, I’m going to go have the grown-up legal version of a few hits: a nice glass of port. Mellow!

  6. Courtney says:

    Emily – white bread, of course! It’s the only way to eat a proper grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!
    Charlotte – I’m so happy to hear you say that – mental health days are instrumental to my being able to function.
    Yogamum- that is actually a brilliant idea… we will have to do something to obliterate the following four years. Yes, we need to hang out. You need to plan on coming to Emily’s Philly blog get together!
    Cam – you have totally convinced me to buy a white winter coat, if it’s as worth it as you say. And I’m glad I’m not the only one crazy in love with the way that small piece of American cheese breaks off…

  7. Litlove says:

    I loved this – I particularly loved the guilty pleasure you wouldn’t indulge in of telling people at work what you really think. Ha! And my husband comes from one of those families where the members never, ever get sick or run out of battery. What gives? I have to have my little downtimes, thank you.

  8. musingsfromthesofa says:

    Oh, enjoy the beautiful impractical shoes and buy the white coat. I had a white, full length faux fur coat and it was for a while the most beautiful thing I owned. Random strangers would compliment me on it and then stroke it.
    Am also totally with you on the cheese. On white bread, or pre-sliced white rolls.

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