There. I said it.
Tonight, I went to the gym for the first time in…a while. We’ll just round up and say “a big, long while.” And it kicked my butt. On my way home, as I’m trying to ignore the sweat soaking into my carseat and the shakiness in my muscles, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten came on the radio.
Here it is if you haven’t heard it:
I had a few feels in those moments: there was the feel of “Glad I turned on this radio station at this time.” There was the feel of tears running down my face, because I can’t listen to the whole thing without choking up. And there was one feel I’m not proud of. It was the feel of “I’m so glad that no one is around – ie my husband, some of my friends, coworkers, etc – to see me listening to this song.” And as soon as I realized the voice in my head saying that, I got really mad.
And you know what? Fuck that feel.
Guilty pleasures are pointless. Guilty pleasures are, by their definition, based on the idea that you owe some explanation for things that give you pleasure. Guilty pleasures make the things that you like, that touch your heart, something that others can scrutinize and judge you on. And we’re not talking about anything huge or that affects others. We’re looking at music and food and books and movies.
You do not have to defend things you like. They are not guilty pleasures. They are just pleasures. And anybody who attacks you or talks down to you about your pleasures is just insecure about themselves.
The next time someone tries to say something disparaging about something you enjoy, take one of the following actions:
a) Walk away. Screw that guy.
b) Tell them all the reasons you like that thing. At length. In detail.
c) Ask them what they like. Not in a snarky away – no matter how much you may want to – but just like, “Oh, okay, Well, what’s a comedy/musician/performance artist you like?” And then talk about how that thing relates to your thing. BOOM. Connection.
Go live life and don’t feel bad about it. I dare you.