Friday, July 10, 2015

Mind your own guilty pleasures

OK.  So I eat peanut butter out of the jar. 

Sometimes!  Not every time!  I admit to taking my spoon and dipping into the Skippy.  Yum! 

I don’t even sit down.  That’s right.  I stand at the kitchen counter with the pantry door wide open.  After a couple of nibbles, I bring out the apricot preserves and go full-on decadent:  Peanut butter residue in the jelly jar. 

It’s crucial to be able to explain yourself if you’re caught in such instances, so I can rationalize it:  Even though it’s gauche, it constitutes fewer calories than a straight-up, socially acceptable peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Yeah!  Never thought of that, did you?  And, it’s gluten free!  Take that!

You didn’t consider the possible benefits of my guilty pleasure because you were too busy judging me!  Oh yes you were.  No use denying it!  You got all uppity.  You would never eat Jiff out of the jar!  Or, more accurately, you would never fess up to doing it. 

Tell the truth now – you have a secret treat of your own.  Maybe you eat your peas with honey – I’ve done it all my life.  It makes my peas taste funny, but it keeps them on my knife!  Sorry.  My Asperger’s kicked in.

Still, most of us maintain an underground extravagance.  Perhaps you read romance novels under the covers at night and cry every time over lost love – it’s so beautiful!  Or, you can never drive past Krispy Kreme so you dispose of the incriminating wrappers before you get back to the house. 

I knew a woman – a weight loss consultant – who confessed she hid the evidence of her binge ice cream eating in the washing machine.  No one else ever looked there! 

Maybe you Google all your old flames and follow them on Facebook.  What’s that alternate email account for?  Or when your spouse comes into the room, you have to switch channels away from the Kardashians.  Really. 

For me, it’s “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda.”  Well my, my, my.  I like watching this crusty old detective.  Mostly I love seeing the bad guy get what he deserves.

That also explains my indulgence in back-to-back episodes of “ForensicFiles,” the no-nonsense crime solving series proves time and time again that no matter how “highly intelligent” felons are, they cannot account for every insect wing or area specific weed pod or thread or fiber or eyelash!  Haha! 

My husband finds it macabre.  I say it’s no more graphic than Shark Week.

BuzzFeed describes a guilty pleasure as something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it.  The "guilt" involved stems from a fear of others’ discovering one's lowbrow or embarrassing tastes.  Harmless, but awkward.  Borderline mortification.

So yes, I’m fearful.

I imagine my erudite friends would find it difficult to appreciate my weakness for the decidedly lowbrow adult cartoon, “South Park.”  I don’t want them to know I watch it and I certainly cannot recommend it to their genteel selves.  Cartman is so hilariously reprehensible!

They might not understand Kenny – neither do I for that matter, but that’s his appeal.  And how can I explain his gruesome death every episode – those bastards!

Oh yes, if I’m found out, there could be consequences.  So, if South Park ever comes up, I feign ignorance, or shock and revulsion.  I don’t want to be expelled from their book club!

According to that pre-eminent source of cultural wisdom, Wikipedia, “guilt·y pleas·ure” means “something, such as a movie, a television program, a piece of music or fashion, behavior, certain foods – or eating habits – that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.

Say, for example, Elvis.  Elvis is held in low regard.  Pretty sure dying on the toilet did it.  That, and the hair and the bloat and the sweat and the jumpsuits. 

But I cannot forsake the King.  Since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell, down at the end of Lonely Street, at Heartbreak Hotel… with my Teddy Bear and the volume up high when everyone else is out of the house.  Air guitar.  Swivel hips.  Sneer.

Please – don’t tell anyone.  Uh…thank you.  Thank you very much.