I was having a conversation with my hair stylist the other day. She wondered whether I had been watching any interesting television shows. I reminded her that I don’t really watch much T.V. However, I always make time for the Housewives series on Bravo. After she stopped laughing, she looked at me and said, “That seems like a strange show for YOU to watch. I would never peg you for someone who would watch that kind of stuff”. I then explained how I enjoyed observing the toxic behaviors on the show and diagnosing the women from my family room couch. I suppose that’s the socially acceptable answer to her question. What’s most likely the real truth? The show is my guilty pleasure— my mindless guilty pleasure.
According to the dictionary, the definition of a guilty pleasure is the following: “Something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilty for enjoying it.” It appears that we fear the reaction from others after sharing our embarrassing lack of taste. This is what truly makes it a GUILTY pleasure.
I must now confess that watching the Housewives isn’t my only guilty pleasure. A couple more come to mind.
I read People and Us magazine on every plane trip.
During the week, I can be caught reading on the Internet and always being up to date on the news. I read Newsweek, the daily paper, Psychology and Entrepreneur Magazines and numerous books for my business. However, if I’m traveling on a plane, my ritual involves stopping in the airport store to buy People and Us magazine. I get pretty excited about reading these and the anticipation builds as I board the plane. I usually read Us first and become amused by the usual “celebrities are just like us! They buy ice cream, they reach for items on shelves etc.”. By the time I begin to peruse People, I’m sated. I am reminded why I don’t read this every week.
I eat a salad and popcorn for dinner.
The other night, my next-door neighbor and her 10-year-old daughter came over while I was eating dinner with my husband. The young girl was going to receive instruction on how to take care of my dog while I was away. It so happens that we were in the middle of dinner— my husband had made me a salad topped with chicken. Also on the table was one of those long tubes of popcorn. As they surveyed my dinner table, I felt compelled to explain how popcorn falls into a food group. Later, my husband mentioned how the little girl was probably envious of what I get to eat for dinner. OK, so I don’t do it that often, but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy it.
I eat a snack in bed every night.
Actually, my favorite snack in bed is a Wendy’s Frosty. Honestly, there’s nothing better. However, you do run the risk of melting ice cream on your sheets. On the healthier side, I often eat blueberries, raspberries or yogurt under the covers. Again, you do run the risk of purple stains, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m not very proud of this behavior but it is thoroughly enjoyable.
I sometimes take a bubble bath in the middle of the day.
There are days where I’m writing and working at my desk until the afternoon. Sometime between 2 or 3, I begin to think about how a hot bubble bath would be the perfect accompaniment to the workday. This seems quite decadent to do in the middle of the workweek AND the afternoon. However, that makes this experience all the more enjoyable. Yes, it’s truly my guilty pleasure.
Guilty pleasures can actually be good for your mental and physical health. I suppose if I ate popcorn and salad every night for dinner, it probably wouldn’t be beneficial to my health. The key is to approach these guilty pleasures with moderation. When indulging on rare occasions, I believe it can be quite good for your psyche.