First of all…I really had no idea what the term “guilty pleasure” was until Ally mentioned it awhile ago in a totally different context. I didn’t want her to think that I was out of touch or uncool…or… (God Forbid) OLD, so I didn’t ask and just nodded my head as if I was following everything she was saying.
And then it came up as a topic for She Thinks.
Rather than take a chance on writing an entire post based on my ASSUMPTION of what it meant… I called her to see if I was correct.
“It sounds dirty” I said. “You know…like porn.”
“No Mom, it’s not porn.” (You know the tone)
“Oh good, I thought that would be really embarrassing.”
And then…a pause.
“Well…it still might be.”
“A guilty pleasure” she went on to explain, “is something that you really like to do, but under normal circumstances (i.e. NOT writing about it in a blog for everyone to see) you would be kind of embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone else about it.”
“And mom…that doesn’t mean it’s about sex!”
(we told everyone in last week’s post that we don’t talk to each other about sex)
”So for Gods’ sake…keep it clean!”
Great. My kid feels she has to tell me to keep it clean.
So I racked my brain trying to think of something that I really like to do but kind of feel ashamed for doing and have never shared with anyone else (and isn’t about sex).
Baking? No. That’s just something I suck at doing, even though I torture myself by trying to do it every once in awhile.
Cleaning my closets? No…that would fall under the category of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior…certainly not a guilty pleasure.
Oh wait…I think I have it.
I’m actually quite embarrassed to admit it, and it’s harder to admit than you might think…but…
I LOVE to watch “Gene Simmons and the Family Jewels.”
In the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.
OK…it’s not just in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.
I DVR it. So I can watch it whenever I want.
But now I’m really embarrassed and totally ashamed to have told anyone about it.
So I guess it is a true guilty pleasure. (And it wasn’t about sex…YES!)
I define “guilty pleasures” as those things that you don’t want to admit that you love. I think it should also be something that you’re not necessarily supposed to enjoy.
(And no, Mom, it’s not about sex.)
Like trashy TV. You’re not supposed to like it. You feel dirty just watching it. But ohmygod you can’t stop watching.
I have a few guilty pleasures.
The first is something that I’ve written about before: young adult fiction.
Some of the books I read are silly. Or just plain stupid. But I just can’t quit them.
I read other stuff, too, but the vast majority of my library is pretty humiliating.
(And may I just offer some advice to anyone else who reads embarrassing titles, whether it’s YA or trashy romance or what have you? Get an e-reader. That way, nobody can tell that you’re obsessively reading a book with a cover like this:)
(Seriously, it looks like a soft core porno with a dude who looks like Justin Bieber.)
Another guilty pleasure I have is for a certain ridiculous TV show that defies all logic.
Oh, what to say about Jersey Shore?
Oh. My. God. These people are like really, really disturbing cartoon characters. I don’t know why I like watching them make fools of themselves or why I love when they fight (actually, I’m pretty sure I love the fights because their accents get super thick when they start screaming at each other and it’s awesome).
I don’t know why I find them hilarious and even (dare I say?) endearing. It makes no sense – and it’s embarrassing – but what can I do?
The heart is a mysterious thing, and loves what it loves.
My last guilty pleasure (well, that I’m sharing right now), is Lady Gaga.
I think she’s amazing. I think she’s brilliant. I think she’s crazy and bizarre and a genius.
Actually, she’s so great, I don’t even count her as a “guilty pleasure”. A guilty pleasure should be something that you feel guilty about – not because it’s bad for you – but because you feel like you shouldn’t actually like it.
And I think everyone should like Gaga.
(Actually, everyone should like YA, too.)
(But I’ll admit that Jersey Shore isn’t for everyone.)
I mean, I guess we could if we wanted to.
But I don’t think we want to.
Funny…’cause we can (and do) talk about just about everything else. But sex. It just doesn’t seem to come up in our conversations.
I swear I don’t avoid it. I don’t really talk about sex all that much anyway. It’s nobody’s business. Especially my kid’s.
And, I think that goes for talking to them about my sex life or theirs.
Don’t get me wrong. They’re both adults and I totally hope they’re having sex (really). Wonderful, loving, satisfying sex. But I don’t tell them that.
And I figure they know I’m having sex.
(Why did I just picture them reading this and covering their ears shouting NANANANANA until the inevitable image disappears from their heads?)
But it’s true. Wonderful, loving, satisfying sex. But I don’t tell them that either.
I don’t know why.
Although I NEVER talked to my mom about sex. She was clearly uncomfortable discussing anything about sex, or those “intimate things we may or may not be doing behind closed doors.” Which for her…included everything from shaving her legs (which was a total mystery to me until waaaay into my teenage years)…to those other things she may or may not have been doing behind her closed doors.
I know my parents were totally in love with each other and were openly affectionate in front of me and my brother…but it never seemed…sexual (somehow). And God knows they never talked to us about sex.
But I guess it was implied…in the way they looked longingly into each others eyes, kissed longer than expected, or lingered for what seemed like hours in a hug. But it was never discussed.
Me…I was pretty open about just about everything when my kids were young. I was very comfortable shaving my legs in front of both kids (not wanting it to be a mystery to them)…or even walking naked around my room in front of them. UNTIL I could see it started to make them feel uncomfortable. And then I made sure I had on a robe in their presence (and started to shave my legs in private).
But that’s not SEX. That’s just being human, and comfortable in our human bodies (not always an easy thing – but that’s for another post!).
Sex is different. It’s private. It is one of the most intimate things we can do with another human being. And it’s not something I feel comfortable sharing (either way) as a mother (no matter how much of a friend I become) with my kids.
I just think we should all go about our own business…having as much wonderful, loving, satisfied sex as possible…and keep it to ourselves!
Honestly, I really don’t see the need to. I guess we could talk about it, but I certainly don’t want to.
And I don’t think that she does either.
I think that there’s a very natural aversion to talking to your parents/kids about sex. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so. I don’t think it has anything to do with shame or what’s appropriate or not. There’s probably a super interesting sociological perspective on it, actually, but what it comes down to (for me) is this:
I just don’t need to know about my mom’s sex life (eww), and she doesn’t need to know about mine, thankyouverymuch.
It’s not because either of us is uncomfortable with sex or anything. We’re both sexual (I guess) (also? I just shuddered a little bit, thus proving the whole “natural aversion” thing), we both have sex (I guess) (shudder), we just don’t need to discuss it with each other (thank god).
I don’t think that we’re really missing out on anything. We have a wonderful relationship, and I’m not left wishing for anything more, especially when it comes to this subject.
(I mean, even the Gilmore Girls didn’t really talk about sex.)
This doesn’t mean that my parents never talked to me about sex.
There are some essential facts that need to be covered between kids and parents (regardless of how comfortable the subject might be): like safe sex, the emotional and physical consequences of sex, consensual sex, and, you know, where babies come from. My parents never held back or skirted around these issues.
(I think I knew where babies actually came from before any of my peers.)
(Nope, didn’t make me as popular as you might think.)
But after that? I don’t think any discussion is necessary… at least not for us.
I know that I could probably talk to my mom about sex if I wanted to. Really, I believe that. And maybe we’ll decide to talk about it more at some point in our lives.
But really? For now? And the foreseeable future?
We can just keep things the way they are.