Guilty Pleasures

janis joplinzodiakjane austen

duck dynastyapple pie

I wish I loved opera. Or abstract art. Or The Catcher in the Rye. The truth of the matter is, I never hum “Don Giovanni” in the shower. I can’t look at abstract art without noting the folly of not wearing a seatbelt. And one paragraph into J. D. Salinger”s novel, I wanted to slap him and his whiney main character, Holden Caulfield. I am afraid my tastes are downright plebeian.

‘Fess up, now. We all have guilty pleasures, those little diversions we don’t mention to strangers. We enjoy them, despite the fact they are nerdy, uncool, and sometimes downright tacky. They almost never include any of the things we are supposed to enjoy. But since we’re all friends here, I’ll confess my top five.

When it comes to music, I don’t listen to much of anything recorded after 1975. As far as I’m concerned, disco heralded the end of civilization. I wrap myself in oldies and sing along to lyrics seared in my brain. There were a few dicey moments when Austin, a city stuck in the ’60s, decided it no longer needed an oldies radio station. Thanks to Sirius, I’m back on the road in my time machine, radio buttons programmed by decades, ending with the ’70s. And I’ll keep going to those tribute concerts, like Janis Joplin and the Fab Four. Heck! I may never have to catch up.

Although I have never paid to have my horoscope done, I admit I check out the forecasts for me and various friends and family members each morning. It’s not that I actually believe in it or depend on it. I just like to see what it says lies in store for the day. It’s completely coincidental that I pay especial attention to it when my life is in crisis, or I want to see if a friend’s new sugar is compatible or an axe murderer.

When it comes to literature, you’d think as a writer I would have more intellectual tastes. Of the authors I had to read in school, I liked only a handful. I loved Harper Lee, Dorothy Parker, and Oscar Wilde. Stream of consciousness, a la William Faulkner and James Joyce left me frustrated and angry. Mostly I read nonfiction: history, especially World War II, biography, and true crime.

There’s one exception, Jane Austen. I have her complete works on my Kindle, and whenever I’m waiting for something, or when I’ve had a whole day of dealing with the masses of asses that make up too much of today’s society, I retreat into Jane Austen’s world. It had its share of asses, too, but at least they were painstakingly civil.

As for reality television programming, the next time I swallow some deadly poison, I’ll just tune into Honey Boo Boo. Forget ipecac; that show makes me violently nauseous. There is, however, one reality show I like, and it’s definitely a guilty pleasure. I’ve gotten a little hooked on Duck Dynasty. At first I had my doubts, but I watched to humor Bryan, who seemed just about ready to dash off a fan letter. Once I got past the beards, I realized these are well-educated, articulate people who espouse values I can get behind. No women’s work/men’s work sexism here. Men’s work consists of duck hunting and anything else the women will let them do. The truths of life, even delivered with a southern accent, are still valuable and refreshing

And then there is food. Gourmet food is lost on my peasant’s palate. Three bites of thinly-sliced something, drizzled with squiggles of some sauce from a mustard squeeze bottle will never get me through the night or cheer me up, much less make me want to slap my mama.

There was a local company called Pie Fixes Everything. They made miniature pies that contained absolutely no guilt. Unfortunately they went out of business after eight years. If only I’d found them sooner! In their honor, however, I have adopted their company name as my personal credo. If I ever design a family crest, Pie Fixes Everything will be emblazoned on a field of rhubarb and meringue. I’ve been known to drown my sorrows in a Hostess Fruit Pie, so I can’t imagine a more appropriate family motto.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Guilty pleasures. Dish! I can’t wait to hear…

7 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures

  1. Love this! We are a lot alike: Love oldies. Love pie. Not a fan of the literary classics everyone is supposed to love. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I, too, have my guilty pleasures. Two of them, oddly enough, match yours. I am also fascinated by WWII, and am attempting fruitlessly, by reading, to learn every detail about it. I also stopped listening to new music in the seventies, except for one band in the 80s who are the daughters of a friend of mine, but I can surely be excused for that slip. But my third guilty pleasure, which is really disgusting, is my unaccountable love for true crime books. Ann Rule is my favorite author, of course, and I have read hundreds of books. I never tire of the gory details. I have used my brand new Kindle to download a new true crime book as my first book to be kindleized. If that weren’t bad enough, my doctor told me to get more fiber, so I have developed an another unaccountable love–one for Fiber One oats and chocolate oats and chewy bars. I’m not sure that is what the physician had in mind.

    • I love it! Except maybe the fiber bars. I love true crime books, and I even watch the Murder Channel on cable to relax. Bryan says that concerns him deeply. I only watch the ones where the bad guys were caught. Apparently I need closure.

  3. Now I’m interested in Duck Dynasty.

    I’m going to look terrible, but I can think of one of my older sister’s guilty pleasures (though I’m having trouble thinking of my own), hers is her love of watching kids shows. Little kid shows. To name specific ones, Yo Gabba Gabba, Bubbleguppies, Dora the Explorer, and more…Luckily I think it just adds to her amazing-ness.

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