50 Thoughts: On the Importance of Guilty Pleasures

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest something that everyone believes but no one wants to admit.

“Urban Cowboy” is one of the best movies ever.

I’ve got more than a handful of guilty pleasures, and that John Travolta/Debra Winger masterpiece is one of them.

A guilty pleasure, as defined by Wikipedia, is “something, such as a film, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard, or is seen as unusual or weird. For example, a person may secretly like a movie knowing that the movie is poorly made and generally seen as “not good.”

I think it’s the window to your soul.

Sure, we can all appreciate, enjoy, even love things and places that are thought to be socially acceptable. You know — “Game of Thrones” and avocados and the Grand Canyon and The Beatles — things of that nature.

But it’s the favorites you keep close to the vest that tell more about you than your love for high-brow Netflix and HBO.

Think about it — let one slip in certain company, and the joy you experience when someone says “You too?” is like nothing else — an instant bond with another person that appreciates the same cheesey things you do. These kinds of admissions are not just ice breakers. It’s validation that it is in fact, OK to watch “Under Siege” every time it plays on TBS. Or to lecture your kids on the greatness of ’80s music and television. (I am still aghast at the “Magnum, PI” reboot. HOW.DARE.THEY.)

My guilty pleasures span the spectrum — if I could plan a day full of nothing but these, I’d start with Ding Dongs for breakfast, Wang Chung on the stereo, and “Knight Rider” on TV. I’d break out my VC Andrews collection and revel in the Dollanganger melodrama that is “Flowers in the Attic.”

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about your “bad” choices — loving Boys 2 Men and Melrose Place is what makes you, you. And trust me — there’s more of “you” out there than you think. Let that freak flag fly!

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister

Day 35: Girl Power Book Recommendation:Girls

Day 36: The Kids are All Right Book Recommendation: Ohio

Day 37: Banned Books Week Book Recommendation: the Banned Books list

Day 38: An Open Letter to Congress Book Recommendation: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Today’s recommendation: Lordy, I wish Amy Sohn would write something new. I adored “The Actress” in all its cheesetastic glory.

I blather about books. If you’d like my reviews to hit your in-box, you can sign up here. I also promise a spam-free experience —too busy reading to write and email you every day (hahaha except for right now, but we’re getting closer to the end). I am also on Facebook, trolling for friends. Because we all need more friends. More, more, more.

Filed under: mumbo jumbo

Leave a comment