Guilty pleasures

... the phrase that makes me feel naughty even before I have even indulged! 

In order to infuse guilt with pleasure, we have to buy into a "should": a social, religious, cultural or personally-held value that tells us what's right, best, expected. To have no guilty pleasures is to exist outside constraints and norms, lolling in a pure-id bubblebath: "Of two evils, I always pick the one I've never tried before", as Mae West said.

But adherence to certain conventions guarantees the frisson of such pleasure. And, when I do indulge, it's such delicious fun, even more than April Fool's jokes!

When so bad is so good

Tucking into what Dr. Phil calls "a party in your mouth", that orgy of empty but addictive calories: that's probably the #1 guilty pleasure of health-conscious women. 

I could provide a long list of my food contenders, but (after much consideration) present my Top Three, which I can even enjoy together:



Chocolate is not a guilty pleasure ever since my family doctor told me it was good for me in reasonable quantities. (Nothing like an authority figure to strip the guilt from a guilty pleasure.)

So, the third item on the list: movie popcorn, popped in palm oil, slathered in butter, liberally salted. And $7 for a small tub, which would feed an entire family in some parts of the world for a week. 





Man oh man!

This is embarrassing to admit, but I can watch the opening scene of "Magic Mike"— with Matthew McConaughey taunting the house full of women—on a loop.




Don't you already have one of those?

I own enough sweaters, so ordering yet another cashmere v-neck is definitely guilt-inducing, especially in a non-practical colour like Mojito Green, which reminds me of Mojitos, a happy substitute for that Margarita. (Actually Mojtos are not even close to that colour, but what do the French know about Cuban cocktails?)




Endangered guilty pleasure



There is about nothing as enjoyable to me as the bumper car ride, a vanishing amusement like those playground merry-go-rounds that you hung from, your skull skimming the pavement. The sparking wires, the careening acceleration, the sheer joy of delivering a neck-snapping t-bone to a shrieking ten-year-old who was asking for it!

They aren't making any more of these, so, if you like occasionally displacing your aggression into harmlessly wild fun, find the nearest bumper car ride and set yourself free while you still can.


I have asked friends to contribute; some replies were "the cigarette I no longer smoke, except...", "soap operas", and "bacon double cheeseburgers".  

What are yours? I will completely understand if you wish to provide your comment anonymously.

34 comments

Anonymous said...

I seem to like lots of lipstick and lots of shoes. Chocolate on a daily basis, dark. The occasional St. Germaine cocktail, probably not often enough! Looking forward to reading about other contributions.
Karen

Anonymous said...

I'm in that id bubblebath, realizing that the guilty folks are always going to have more of thrill than me. :D

Susan said...

My most often indulged guilty pleasure is to stay in my bathrobe all day long on a Saturday and do absolutely nothing but read. I do this at our farm, most often in winter in front of a fire in the fireplace.

Anonymous said...

Braunschweiger on Rye!

frugalscholar said...

Reading Architectural Digest in my messy house

Kristien62 said...

Hamburgers with sautéed onions and peppers. My cholesterol does not thank me for that little addiction. Makeup, especially lipstick, which seems to be a universal favorite. And silly sitcoms, ala The Crazy Ones. That one convinces my husband that my brain has turned to mush.

Janice Riggs said...

Ben & Jerry's Half Baked ice cream... sigh...

une femme said...

Oh, bumper cars!! It's been so long....bacon is still a guilty pleasure, as is the occasional "wee dram" of single malt. Lucky magazine. Cheese.

Unknown said...

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

lagatta à montréal said...

frugal, I'll see your Architectural Digest perused among clutter and up you to Côté Paris, Côté Sud etc.

http://www.cotemaison.fr/kiosque/kiosqueparis.asp

French deco porn.

That plate of frites has had me wanting proper frites since 7 a.m. Good thing Frites Alors no longer has its Belgian frites stand at Jean-Talon Market!

Other than that, mostly cheese and wine, which aren't bad per se, but too much is.

I rarely like "popular culture", and dislike cinema popcorn because of the chemical taste. Garlic bread with lots of garlic and butter, now we're talking.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

French fries....and sleeping in. Not necessarily in that order!

Anonymous said...

I love my Bompard sweaters and when I clicked through from your link had to giggle at the english description "for working girls", hee.

Mardel said...

Bumper cars definitely! But I'd have to admit that my three top guilty pleasures would be the same three that top your list: margarita, french fries, and movie popcorn -- all empty calories and far to loaded with sugars and carbs for every day but all the better to relish as an occasional treat. I love all three and by limiting them to treats I relish them all the more when I do allow the indulgence.

I long ago accepted that bacon, burgers, chocolate, wine and whiskey where nothing to feel guilty over, and they tend not to have the pull toward overindulgence that those top three do for me.

There are others I'm sure, but I am more relaxed about an extra sweater, the desire to stay in bed once in a while, etc. Without any indulgence, how drab life would be.

Anonymous said...

Buttery biscuit covered with cream and jam, preferably with fig chocolate jam.

Anonymous said...

spending too much time online looking at food porn, clothes porn, house porn... actual porn...

(definitely anonymous)

Araminta said...

Margaritas at La Louisiane; buying high heeled shoes that I can only wear comfortably for half an hour at a time; acquiring more Folio Society books than my book cases can accomodate; and watching "What Not to Wear" (now sadly over) on TV.

materfamilias said...

I would never have guessed the bumper cars for you! My primary guilty pleasure is the same as Susan's, a day reading from a book or a magazine that's def. NOT on my work reading list, throwing in a bit of puttering, all day long spent in my pyjamas. . . .

Eleanorjane said...

What a brilliant blog topic!

Hmm... what are my real guilty pleasures i.e. things I actually feel guilty about or don't want to admit?

Well, somehow drinking spirits at home feels like a step too far, but I've got some vodka in my soda and lime right now.

I have listened to Franz Ferdinand (and watched clips on YouTube) more than I want to admit over the last couple of weeks. I'm kind of turning into an obsessed fan!

I *love* coming up with a good zingy put down for someone who I don't like or who is acting like an ass. Also, getting the better of someone annoying at work. I have an evil side that is tamed 99% of the time...

Duchesse said...

All: Some of you leadeth me down the path of temptation! (lagatta, just one word: Villeray.)

And one woman's guilty pleasure is another's "meh".

I've enjoyed your responses enormously!

Tiffany said...

What fun. I'm also partial to that dreadful movie popcorn ... And, very embarrassing, I love Pringles :) And fried chicken (my own, not a certain acronym).

Cornelia said...

French fries with homemade mayonnaise and a crisp white wine to wash it all down. :)

Nancy said...

What a wonderful post. Absolute genius topic. I share one guilty pleasure with you - the movie popcorn with butter, and a large diet soda (at the movies) to wash away the calories (LOL). My second would have to be Zitner's Butter Krak coconut Easter eggs which not only have coconut cream inside but have toasted coconut mixed in with the dark chocolate coating and are available only around Easter and I believe, only in my area, near Philadelphia. I have been known to have dozens in my freezer for non-Easter time. The third guilty pleasure is harder to come up with especially in my retired due to disability state but maybe I would have to say fashion/fabric, even though I don't get to wear the kind of clothing I once did. I can't enjoy a gin and Tanqueray anymore because of one of my meds for fibromyalgia so that is out.

Nancy said...

If I got a fourth guilty pleasure, I might add riding on one of the horses that actually moves on a Merry Go Round. I love that, and I did love bumper cards as a child but don't think the old arthritic body could handle one now. If I decide to finally post on my blog, may I refer back to your post?

lagatta à montréal said...

Duchesse, yes I know where Frite Alors! has moved. Perhaps in the summer, with a friend or two, buy an order of frites and enjoy them with a picnic in nearby Jarry Park. Ideally, getting the table in the little pavillon.

Agree with Cornelia about the mayonnaise (Frite Alors! makes their own) and the crisp white wine. Of course!

The Côté magazines online content is available here: http://www.cotemaison.fr/ Though non-French-speakers can justify perusing the deco pron as French lessons. ;-)

Duchesse said...

Nancy; By all means!

All: White wine and fries; fries and mayo- you wild women! I might have to watch "Magic Mike" again, it's easier than going out for fries.

Susan said...

Movie popcorn does nothing for me, but give me a good old fashioned homemade tuna noodle casserole and I can probably eat the whole thing.

Leslie of Seattle said...

First of all, I love this blog, this post and your normally exquisite taste, but "Magic Mike"? Oh, Duchesse! Give me Paul Newman, any day. Him and blueberry pancakes smothered in butter and real maple syrup and I'm a happy girl.

Unknown said...

Bumper cars! One of my favorite memories of my dad is the vision of him coming at me, full speed, with a cigar clenched in his teeth. Thanks!

Guilty pleasures: too much pasta, and red wine.

rubiatonta said...

Hola magazine. Sneaking a spoonful of mayo right out of the jar. Mallomars. (May have to learn how to make a "dupe" since I can't get anything like them here.)

I don't feel at all guilty about watching my Spanish soap. It's one of the things that helped keep me fluent when I was living in the States -- I used to watch it on the Internet!

lagatta à montréal said...

The Spanish gossip magazines are funny with all their "bodas reales" and that infamous plastic-surgery victim La Duquesa de Alba (no, Duchesse, absolutely no connection with you or Le Duc).

Magic Mike doesn't appeal to me either. To each her poison!

Duchesse said...

Leslie of Seattle: I like my guilty-pleasure fantasies to be warm bodies, much as I admire Newman, Mastrioanni,
Grant.

emma said...

My guilty pleasure is when my husband is OOT - I come home from work - don't have to rustle up a real dinner! - pop some popcorn, add some real butter, a dash of soy sauce and curry powder. A glass (or 2) of red wine and a silly DVD like Glee and I'm good.

Northmoon said...

Ice cream is a big one for me - Ben and Jerries, Hagen Daz, or Ed's Homemade (my local source) I buy a tub Friday and eat half of it for dinner!!

My other guilty pleasure would be one more pair of shoes or boots when I already have way more footwear than I need.

smithposts said...

I think fried onion rings and a couple of handfuls of sweet and sour jelly bellies rank at the top of my indulgent list. Bacon ranks just behind these two!!