My Guilty Pleasures


Back in the days before that snazzy invention, the Kindle, I read A Moveable Feast by Hemingway, dozens of times.  I literally spent hours and hours, sitting in the sun, with my nose in that book, completely swept away.

Funny thing, though:  I’ve never actually read it.

You see, I have a dirty little secret:   I adore trashy romance novels.  During the summer months when I wander outside to sit on a beach or under a tree to read my pulp fiction, I have been determined to hide this shame.  So when I found an old copy of A Moveable Feast with the cover entirely detached,  I knew I had found the perfect solution to my dilemma.  Wrapped around those bodice ripping beach books, the Moveable Feast cover was the perfect cloak of secrecy.  Nobody would be the wiser.  You see A Moveable Feast is one of those books people know about, consider a literary classic, but has anyone actually read it?  I think not.   So I knew I wouldn’t have to discuss it.  I could just wrap that handy cover around whatever scrumptious trash I was reading and know that people would walk by, take note of the classic I was reading and give me a wide berth.  And surely they would think, “my goodness what an intelligent and no nonsense woman”.

Ahhhh those guilty pleasures in life.

But hold on a second.   When you stop to really think about it, what kind of craziness is this?  What insanity has us taking something as wonderful as Pleasure and attaching guilt to it?  Pleasure is one of the highest vibrations we can experience.  Akin to bliss, joy and happiness, Pleasure is one of those amazing gifts that we should embrace in this human experience.

Guilt on the other hand, is not.  Guilt is shrouded in shame, which is one of the lowest vibrations we as humans can experience.  Shame takes away our strength. Literally.

 In Power vs Force, Dr. David R. Hawkins describes how he used kinesiology (“muscle testing”) to investigate consciousness. He basically created a scale mapping the human experience of emotions and determined whether each state of consciousness would enhance or deplete our strength.  Muscle strength is rated between 1 and 1000 with the high end being those things like joy, happiness and Pleasure.

And at the other end?  You guessed it:  SHAME.  GUILT.  Those nasty self-recriminations that let the air out of our proverbial balloons and leave us deflated and dragging on the ground instead of floating in the air, as we could be.

Shame on you, Shame!  You should feel terribly guilty about this!

Armed with this new knowledge I am making it my intention to experience the Pleasures in my life without guilt or shame.  I am going to sing along loud and proud with my John Denver CD.  I am going to openly watch the Bachelor with my daughter, and probably trash talk the participants.  I am going to eat salt and vinegar chips dipped in dill pickle dip without apology.  And I am going to read my trashy romance novels right out in the open for all to see.

Because, as my American husband wisely points out:  There’s nothing trashy about romance.

15 thoughts on “My Guilty Pleasures”

  1. SO MUCH THIS! I read for fun. Sometimes “fun” is Shakespeare, sometimes it’s The Hunger Games, usually it’s somewhere in between. Being at the Shakespeare end doesn’t make me any better a person than being at the Hunger Games end.

  2. I was moved by visualizing you reading your romances under literary cover and loved you claiming and owning your pleasure for all to read. My no longer guilty pleasure is People magazine while I get into the longest line at the grocery store.

  3. Yeah for pleasures! I’m for letting go of the guilt of what we like to read. For me, life is hectic and real enough, so give me light, engaging and fun things to read. PS I love singing to John Denver – his CD is our go-to one on any long car trips.

    1. John Denver is perfect for road trips. When my family moved back to our home town, my daughter and I drove behind my husband who was driving the big truck full of stuff. As our old familiar mountains came into view, she and I were singing Rocky Mountain High at the top of our lungs and crying our eyes out. It was a hot mess 🙂 But perfect in every way.

  4. At first I was all excited that someone else is a Hemingway nerd; but no, Romance Novels? Guilty? No way…when I was in college and my second major was English, I used to read a romance novel just to wallow in the bodice ripper-y. My God, woman is not made to Only read Great Literature! Bring on the Romance! 🙂

  5. It is nice to meet someone else who read Power vs. Force. I’ve read it twice and refer to it often and when I mention it I usually get the response, “Huh?”
    I notice the struggle I went through letting myself have pleasure. I felt if I enjoyed something too much lightning would probably strike me.
    I am grateful for this wonderful spiritual journey that is showing me how to be filled with peace, passion, and pleasure. 🙂 <3

  6. I gotta tell you – I actually read A Moveable Feast. It’s a pretty good book about a bunch of artists traipsing about Europe. But I also like really trashy television shows ( like Millionaire Matchmaker) AND singing to John Denver. So there lots of pieces of me, high and low brow alike. I agree with you that we should be free to let it all hang out. After all, I don’t want people to think I’m a snob just because I read the classics 🙂

    1. Hee hee.. as an English Major I have spent lots of time with the Classics, and I truly appreciate well written literature and timeless stories. But sometimes a person just needs the guaranteed happy ending, you know?

  7. Love this!! I’ve read several Hemingway books and yep, can’t remember reading that particular title. I used to hide candy wrappers in the middle of my trash so my completely healthy eating friends would not see them. I used to hide the Cheetos that I’d eat. On this two + year journey of mine I’ve been reading books I find for cheap at thrift stores and libraries and free bookcases, and have mostly gone for the romance, chick lit ones. I love them…light, easy to read, engaging. Over the holidays I watched one Holiday romance sappy movie after another! Yay for entertainment!!!

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