Monday Listicles: Guilty Pleasures

Guilty pleasures is this week’s Monday listicle topic–although, as Erica points out in her post, pleasures cannot themselves feel guilty. Erica likes “guilt-filled pleasures,” but I’m thinking it might be time to separate the two.

Is it particularly American to derive guilt out of pleasure or did Freud invent that particular relationship?  Should we blame the Puritans? The Jews? Catholics? It’s a long list… Add to that list of guilty parties the fact that I’m a mother, which, as Ado at the Momalog pointed out, means feeling twangs of guilt on a regular basis over just about everything.  Plus I’m an academic, which means that there are always, always students who want more attention, papers that need to be graded, articles that need to be written, lectures that need to be prepared…it’s a guilt-inducing profession.

Or maybe it’s just me in my own little vortex of guilt.  Who knows.

Therefore and forthwith, I am creating this list in rebellion against my own guilty impulses (yes, I know Erica, impulses can’t feel guilt. But the sentence doesn’t read as well if I write “guilt-filled impulses”).  What follows is a list, in no particular order, of pleasures.

1. Television. Glossy detective shows like “Burn Notice,” and “Leverage.” Singing along with “Glee,” caught up in the drama of “The Good Wife,” salivating at all the varieties of Top Chef… Love ’em.

2. Cookies. Pretty much any kind of cookie, with a general tilt towards the buttery, vanilla-y kind, not the chocolate kind.

3. Cheese. If left on my own, cheese is pretty much my favorite meal. The first time I went to Holland and my hostess pulled out the breakfast cheese-and-bread, I thought I’d gone to heaven.

4. VIggo Mortensen, in Aragorn mode. Although Viggo as the man who sells blouses,  in “Walk on the Moon,” isn’t half bad. Every woman I know who saw that movie wanted Diane Lane to leave home and go sell blouses with Viggo for the rest of her life.

5. Sunshine. Yes, yes, skin cancer, I know, blah blah blah. I have moisturizer with tons of SPF; I wear sunscreen at the beach. But let’s face it, the damage was done in high school and college, when we used to “lay out,” as we called it, in the hot summer sun, slathering ourselves with baby oil for optimum rays. In about ten years I’m going to look like the beef-jerky ladies who populate golf courses in Florida: wizened and swathed in Lily Pulitzer.  And you know what? I don’t care.

6. Dancing around to really loud music. Obviously this pleasure is best enjoyed alone, lest I scare the small children and Husband who share my apartment.

7. Jewelry. I love things that sparkle. Not diamonds, necessarily (although as I age, I’m thinking that diamonds are really always appropriate). My cousin designs beautiful jewelry and if you’re ever in Santa Fe, you should look her up.  I think jewelry should reflect the vision of the artisan (and the wearer) and not some mass-produced idea of “bling.”

8. Having someone clean my apartment. Oh how quickly have I given over to the joy of having a cleaning lady. I feel guilty, yes, it’s true, but walking into the apartment in the late afternoon after F. has worked her magic? Big pleasure.

9. Fiction. I love a good novel…and I love rereading, too. There are some books that I quite literally get homesick for–a passage or phrase will pop into my head and won’t go away until I re-read the entire thing. Sometimes it’s a high-minded re-read (Moby Dick, anything by Willa Cather).  Sometimes it’s…well, let’s just say that vampires, mockingjays, and other such creatures are not unfamiliar to me.

10. Gin-and-tonics. Really, it’s the perfect drink. Classic. Like a Chanel suit that you can drink. And that you can get two of without bankrupting yourself. If I were ever to find myself in a Chanel suit (which I won’t) and have my fingers wrapped around a chilled G&T at the same time? It might be almost as good as going to sell blouses with Viggo.


I’m doing a little “double-dipping” and adding this post over at Erica’s Lovelinks for this week. Click on over and visit…read the other posts there, then come back Thursday to vote!

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18 Responses to Monday Listicles: Guilty Pleasures

  1. Erica M October 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Aw, man, I can’t believe I left my cleaning crew off my list. I am so broke, but that is a bill I pay like it’s the electric.

  2. Jackie October 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    I believe we could be good friends. Between sipping gin & tonics, watching insane amonts of good tv, while nibbling on cookies & cheese all while our cleaning ladies fix up. (I gave up a gym membership to keep our monthly cleaning ladies!)
    There is also something so divine about a day in the sun, complete with tanned cheeks. So good, it’s bad or is it so bad it’s good?

  3. The Flying Chalupa October 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Oh my lord, I miss G&T’s so much. Do you think I can get one in the hospital after delivery?

    I agree with every item on this list. Every one. And I don’t even really feel guilty about indulging in them.

  4. Katie E. October 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    I love vampires and mockingjays too 🙂 And dancing to loud music – I force my children to dance with me while my husband laughs at us.

  5. Kiddothings October 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Love TV and having someone clean the house for me too 🙂 You’ll love Malaysia, lots of sunshine over here! 🙂

  6. Bridget October 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Gin & Tonic is my “party time” drink. Mostly because they’re strong and I just suck them down one after another. 2 limes please:)

  7. Stasha October 17, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    I love you list, love cookies and cheese and love all the comments you got. So to summarize, I love it all. Also I believe medical insurance covers bedside G&T, so there is hope for Flying Chalupa.

  8. JDaniel4's Mom October 18, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I would so love to have someone come and clean my house. It would lead to my doing a happy dance to loud music.

  9. Tracy @nystoopmama October 18, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Ohh, I’m ashamed at how much I loved cheese. I tried to go vegan for a week and I went INSANE. Also, I’m with you on the sunshine. Come on, it’s good for you! We need the vitamin D! Although I can’t help but feel like a crappy mom when my daughter sports a tan during the summer despite my gooping her up with fancy sunscreen.

  10. Jamie October 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Cheese…I’ve never met one I didn’t like!! And the cleaning lady!! I had one when I was working but now that I’m home it’s all me… booo!

  11. Mama and the City October 18, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I love sunny days. I prefer to associate sunshine with happiness. As a huge contributor of Vitamin D is a great mood booster. So, I prefer to live happy for short time than a long life cancer free but in depression all medicated. Just sayin’.

  12. Mommy2cents October 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Kudos on slipping in a plug for your cousins jewelry. I’m sure she appreciates it! It really is beautiful!! Oh, and I’m glad to find someone who shares my affinity for cheese. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve been known to just simply melt it on a plate and eat it with my finger! Mmmm…mmm…mmm! Oh crap! I could have totally used that as one of MY guilty pleasures.

    Visiting from livelinks & listicles! Two birds!… Gotta love that!! 🙂

  13. Lisa October 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    I can’t believe I forgot cheese on my list of guilty pleasures. I love cheese. Yummy. Makes me want some now, just thinking about it.

  14. Ado October 19, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Ok we have the same taste in fiction (Will Cather!!) – must pass along to you two great new reads that recently came out: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. Reading them both at the moment and they are fantastic. Also anything by Nicole Krauss.
    That said, loved this post. I too am a fan of sunshine even though it’s so unfashionable these days. (-:

  15. Laura@Catharsis October 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    So much we have in common! Mommy guilt? Check. Student-related guilt? Check. Sun guilt? Check (with some skin cancer to show for it). Cleaning lady guilt? Wait. No. I don’t feel guilty about that. I consider it a NECESSITY now.

  16. Amanda Austin October 20, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Cheese? I die. WE buy blocks of cheese and slice/shred it, and there are times where I could probably eat the whole block in one sitting. I love me some cheese. Stopping by from lovelinks 🙂

  17. Kerry October 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    My favorites are number 6 and number 9… I dance like nobody’s business in my own room with music blasting and the door closed. Plus I have so many books that I literally have no room for them all… and I like it that way! And I’m no stranger to cookies, either…

  18. Carina October 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Cheese, Willa Cather, fiction in general and a few particular tv shows… I’m with you there.

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