Why do we associate guilt with pleasure? And why do we feel guilty for something that is fun and easy and non-intellectual? Why can’t we just enjoy something?
I was at a meeting and we were talking about our favorite authors and someone said, well, my guilty pleasure is so and so, she’s fun and easy to read and the books make me laugh.She rationalized for everyone else why her favorite author wasn’t Proust or Dostoyevsky. To be fair I work for a large library system so, we know books. And apparently snobbery, because heaven forbid you like someone who’s a page turner!
But I felt for her for some reason (and frankly the person she considered a guilty pleasure most people would just consider a good read) and since many of the authors I enjoy might be considered…not classics, I too went with a “guilty pleasure” and spoke of my love of romance, queue the gasping, although no one did because we’re all so good at “no judgment” judgment.That sounded judgmental!
I saw her guilty pleasure and upped the stakes to some pretty sexy romance! Ha! Take that! But I still called it my “guilty pleasure.” Which got me thinking about how often we deny our pleasures, wants, and needs. Or we call them Guilty Pleasures, owning up to our sin(s): see, I know it’s not “good” for me and I’m owning up to it. Mea Culpa.
Why can’t it simply be a pleasure? Why the guilt?
Just we’re clear: If you’re pleasure is hurtful to others or harmful to yourself, that’s a different story. I’m speaking about the littler things–the things that don’t interfere with our day to day or anyone’s lives.
I enjoy this. Fun books are FUN. Fun TV is FUN. Fun food is FUN. And, as we know, fun is good. Pleasure is good. It’s okay to want to read a fun book, watch a fun show, or eat fun food, if you enjoy it, then enjoy it–don’t apologize for your pleasure.
What do you enjoy that you’ve always thought of as a guilty pleasure?