Not Guilty Pleasures

I like to say that I don’t have any guilty pleasures.  From time to time I’ll even correct someone, asking why they should feel guilty about enjoying the things they love.  It goes something like this:

Friend:  You know, watching that show Dating Naked is one of my guilty pleasures.

Me:  You mean, one of your pleasures.  Why feel guilty about something you love?  Plus, that is a great show.  (I mean, it really is great, isn’t it?  You can reach out and touch the awkwardness.  And who knew so many 25-year-old virgins watched VH-1?)

But the thing is, with all of the above-quoted bravado, I really do feel a bit sheepish about admitting some of my favorite things.  I keep them to myself and really only talk about the “cool” things I do.  Which may be why this blog is sparse of late. . . Anyway, when I do reveal some of my less cool activities, I protest the “guilty” label but find myself blushing a bit or doing that awkward smiling thing where you really aren’t happy but your face is stuck in smile-mode and then suddenly you realize that your face is SO TIRED OF SMILING that it feels as if your eye-balls might pop out of their sockets.  So probably I still feel guilty about it.  However, I’m faking it until I actually achieve my desired level of enlightenment.  Like a pro.

This week, I’m right in the midst of one of my NOT GUILTY pleasures:  reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.

I know, I know, it’s 850 pages of ridiculous time-traveling historical fiction that is mostly a romance novel.  And yes, it is true, there aren’t any dragons so it’s nowhere near as good as Game of Thrones.  [I did spy a 18th-century version of the Loch Ness monster in there, but it wasn’t scary, so I accept this criticism.]  But sometimes, when you spend so many hours walking the path of giant spreadsheets and the technical application of specialized jargon written by congressional staffers and interpreted by regulation and applied and defined by administrative boards, it’s nice to have a little magic in the evening.  Even if it is completely ridiculous and even if the romance parts stopped being interesting a few hundred pages ago.

And so, I just wanted to tell you:  I’ve worked two eight-hour shifts and mopped the kitchen and cooked dinner for my husband several times but also, I’ve had the first Outlander book in my possession since about 6 p.m. on Sunday and I’m already 567 pages in.  It feels good to tell the truth.


So, do you believe in guilty pleasures?  And have you read the Outlander books?  Am I completely insane?



  1. Tammy Perlmutter

    My guilty pleasures are mostly music-related. I have a Spotify playlist called My Guilty Pleaure playlist. A friend mocks me about it and it’s become a bit of a game. Other guilty pleasures would include loving The Gilmore Girls, Drew Barrymore movies, and Will & Grace. Oh, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We hide our collection so nobody sees it.

  2. kate schell

    I feel no guilt whatsoever for loving Cake Boss, even though it is a show about frosting and East Coast accents. Delectable.

    (That said, I have spent a significant portion of the past eight years fiercely judging people who enjoy Twilight; maybe I should stop guilting people for their boring, poorly written, stupid, sexist pleasures.)

  3. Nikki

    I’m way too excited Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix and hoping it happens before my baby comes in a few weeks so I can enjoy the show while on maternity leave! Oh and Downton Abbey! Um, I love way too much sci-fi and historical fiction (there is no way I’ve seen enougj movies of Jane Austen books), and I’m sure there’s more.

    Tell me more about Outlander. I’ve been hearing things since the show started, but have heard nothing previously.

    And for Kate – I love Harry Potter and will judge those who love twilight regardless! The paleness is just too much, as is the romantic mess (at least from what I’ve been told, I’ve never read or watched it and I already know too much!).

    • Mary Beth

      The protagonist accidentally goes back in time and falls in love and they think she’s a witch, etc. the first five hundred pages are exciting but the rest has been underwhelming this far. But I keep waiting for something else insane to happen. The TV show is pretty good in my opinion.

      Gilmore Girls for maternity leave! A gift from the heavens! :)

      And I did read twilight, but mostly so I could hate on it. My favorite part is when the half-vampire half-human baby eats its way out of Kristen Stewart’s womb. Hilarious.

  4. Pingback: Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 09.13.2014 | Pink-Briefcase

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