I really dislike it when someone cheerfully calls something one of their guilty pleasures, they just seem so insincere to me. I mean, if you’re feeling guilty about it it, then at least pretend to show a little remorse, it’s a bit like turning up for your court hearing to tell the jury how sorry you are for your crimes and turning into a musical number with a little twinkling Fred Astaire style dance routine. Equally I don’t like feeling that some people are lumbering themselves with guilt for breaking their diet every once in a while. If you like something then it’s lovely being shamelessly unabashed at it and with taking its consequences as a part of the whole pleasure; if you like chocolate (of course that would be the fist thing that springs to mind… and it’s not just for me) then just like chocolate, its fatty calorificness is part of what makes it glorious so don’t feel like you’ve just murdered someone every time you break off a square… or do if that’s how you happen to get your kicks.

There certainly is a sort of pleasure that you can get out of knowing that something is wrong I suppose and it nice to have that every so often, but I really don’t like to think that way unless you’re actively aware of it and revelling in it. If you’re doing something it’s because you’ve weighed up the positives and negatives of it and you’ve found that chocolate taste s better than jogging. Don’t think though that that it should be a guilty pleasure! A pleasure is a guilty pleasure if you feel guilty about it (slightly tautological I know, but I think it does need saying) and not because of some sort external standard. So, if you’re genuinely getting more pleasure out of something than you are displeasure, then don’t go about saying how guilty you are about doing it.

Of course that’s not to say that you should just go about doing all the things that you want to do just because they’re fun; I might get more pleasure out of murdering, raping and pillaging a small town than I would get pain from any sentence that a jury could dish out, but that definitely doesn’t mean I should grab my best pillaging hat and go. It’s still really really wrong, it’s just that I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. Instead of talking about “guilty pleasures” why not make them “wicked pleasures” or “sinful pleasures” that still gives you all the fun of doing something wrong with none of that distasteful shame that defeats the point of doing something for the joy of being wicked anyway.

I didn’t murder anyone today, but I did sleep in until until it started getting dark outside, knowing full well what time it was. I had lots of things to do, I could really have done with waking up earlier, but I really really really liked the feeling of being horrifically lazy. If I were in the same position again, I’d do the same thing again, it’s not hurting anybody, I’d enjoy it more, there’s no reason for me to feel guilty about it. It’s a nice way of living. There’s no sense in feeling guilty about something you genuinely enjoy doing more than it’s cost and calling something your guilty pleasure without any guilt just make you a sound like a gimp.

Having said all that I do have one guilty pleasure; I know it makes me a horrible hypocrite, but I am notoriously bad at taking my own advice. Of all the things it could be I bet you can’t guess what it is, it’s not chocolate, it’s…..

IKEA FUCKING MEATBALLS!!!!

There’s just something about them that blurs my judgement. I know as I’m eating them that they make me feel awful afterwards, I know that they’ll make me ridiculously thirsty in an hour or two, I know that I’d prefer the taste of lots of other things and I know that it all balances out and makes them totally not worth it. However that doesn’t mean that when we went to IKEA on Friday that I didn’t go up to the counter and order a little mound of wibbling greasy delicious discomfort, or that I didn’t finish my sister’s plate, or that I didn’t make sure that every last little bit of sauce got mopped up by the little chip fragments left on the plates. They are my weakness and undoing and terrible terrible guilty pleasure. Anyway, enough of me wallowing in my shame and onwards to the exciting conclusion!

If you enjoy doing something more than not doing it then do it, no need to feel guilty unless you’re doing something bad to someone else, reach for that extra chocolate bar, squeeze on that extra mayonnaise, throw out that dodgy vegetable oil spread and buy some god-damned butter and feel the joy run through your arteries. (It’s definitely joy and not cholesterol… I’m sure of it.) And if your one of those people who say,

“Ooooh I try to be good, but chocolate has always been one of my guilty pleasures,”

with a smug little smile and gleam of cocoa infused lust in your eyes, then don’t.

Just don’t.

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