Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Favorite Guilty Pleasure, Complete With Philosophical Rambling

Diane, owner of the Artful Quilters Web Ring (of which I am a brand new member - thanks, Diane!), asked the members of the ring the question "What is your favorite guilty pleasure?" I thought about it and several things came to mind and were discarded. They are things that certainly bring me pleasure, and that many people would probably believe I SHOULD feel guilty about...things like sugary or fatty food, trashy novels, "fluffy" movies, cheezy TV shows, a love of footwear, etc., etc. But the fact is, I don't feel particularly guilty about any of those things. I like myself. I like my life. I feel no particular desire to live on tofu and sprouts on rice cakes, or to read tomes of philosophy in the original Greek, or to watch documentaries on the life cycle of the fruit fly, or artistic movies with subtitles, or to listen to Gregorian chants. If someone really loves any or all of those things, then Yay, You! You go, Girl! (or boy, or man, or woman, or quadruped!) Me, I'm more of a fried chicken and coconut cream pie sort of woman. A red-shoe-wearing, romantic-comedy-musical-watching, Amazing Race-loving, trashy-novel-reading, "Wicked"-sound-track sort of woman. I eat leftover birthday cake for breakfast. I wear earrings every day and most of them are dangly and sparkly. I wear quirky, colorful socks. I sing silly songs. I make up rude and funny sayings from the initials on car license plates. I laugh a lot. I'm sure my attitude sometimes means that people won't take me very seriously. Hold on a minute while I pencil in a time to feel bad about that. How about 12:01 to 12:17 AM next Thursday? But here's the thing. If God told me I would die tomorrow if I don't change my ways, or that I could make big changes and live to be 100, I'd say "Ok, God, thanks for letting me know. See ya tomorrow!" I would get on the phone and call my family and all my friends. I would tell them what was happening, and ask any of them who could to get their asses to my house as fast as possible. I'd have a party. There'd be lots of food and drink for everyone, and I'd eat one entire coconut cream pie all by myself. I'd hug everyone and tell them I love them, and send them away with piles of fabric, and beads, and books, and all sorts of other things to remember me by. I'd regret causing pain to anyone I'd be leaving behind who loves me, but I wouldn't regret how I've lived my life. I'd rather live 43 years than exist 100 years. So just about the time I'm thinking of all this and thinking well, that's it then...I don't have any guilty pleasures, it hit me. I do! I DO have a guilty pleasure! I'm sure it'll seem like a let-down after all the life-and-death stuff above, but here it is. My guilty pleasure is a Starbucks Caramel Frapuccino. They're about a bazillion empty calories, which isn't the part that bothers me the most, but I'll mention it. They are hideously expensive. I mean, come on....approx. $4 for a coffee slushy?? Sheesh! And it's Starbucks, which is one of those companies like McDonald's or Wal-Mart that is spreading so fast and so far that it's taking on "plague on the earth" status in my mind. I could learn to make one at home. But do I? No. I march in, get in line, all the while thinking (and occasionally even muttering) about money and plagues, and march right up and say "Grande Caramel Frap, No Whip", and hand over the money, and watch and wait while someone else does it for me. Some small part of me, where there's a semi-dormant Trendoid gene gets a cheap little thrill at ordering in StarbucksSpeak and walking away with my treat. No ingredients to get out or put away. No blender to clean. No thought required. No effort required, other than the brief effort it takes to tell my conscience to shut up about money and plagues and empty calories, and just order, dammit. And it tastes soooooo good.