Guilty Pleasure Marathon 2012

Like most Americans, I dutifully spent Turkey Day in full consumption mode. I ate more turkey and potatoes and stuffing than I had capacity to digest and so, spent the next day combating killer heartburn and indigestion. Feeling like an idiot. I did put the hurt on the TUMS, though, and downed enough H2O that at least I stopped feeling guilty for a day or so about how I don’t drink enough water.

This particular holiday always provokes in me the desire to rant on about overeating and how Thanksgiving has become a hedonistic holiday known for family discord. But what good does bitching do when I’m as guilty of self-indulgence as the next girl?

Plus, who likes a hater on a holiday designed to celebrate family and giving and abundance and community? Nobody. So for the past few year’s I’ve made an effort to ditch the self-righteousness and self-loathing.

In 2008, I started my own Thanksgiving tradition: The Guilty Pleasure Marathon. During the marathon, I give myself permission to indulge. While family and friends sleep off the tryptophan or battle the Black Friday crowds to buy gadgets and half-price slippers or actually run real marathons (way to go, Tracey!), I read “candy” books, watch chick movies, and write in the middle of the night. That’s true hedonism, baby.

This year, the first Guilty Pleasure book I devoured was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which I thought I was going to love. The story’s about a woman (“Amazing Amy”) who goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary. It’s sort of a who-done-it mystery. Flynn’s writing was clever and fast-paced, and her two (male/female) narrative voices were distinct and (at first) believable. I appreciated the story’s humor and plot twists, but by the end the plot and characters seemed silly to me. The story and cast of characters were ultimately forgettable. And while I did like Flynn’s humor, the snarkiness got old. Fun at first, but wearing over the course of the novel. I was disappointed in Guilty Pleasure Book 1.

I spent Thanksgiving with my husband’s family in Sequim, Washington, located on the Olympic Peninsula. For all you Twihards out there, you should recognize the Olympic Peninsula as the site where most of the Twilight action takes place. Not far from Sequim is downtown Port Angeles, which was actually featured in the first movie (at least the Italian restaurant was).

 

All of this is leading up to my Guilty Pleasure Marathon movie: Twilight Breaking Dawn 2. (I bet you thought I went to Lincoln.) Actually, I kinda enjoyed watching all the beautiful people featured in this final Twilight installment. Yes, there were lines that made me groan, especially the one that’s in the trailer: “Now we’re the same temperature.” Oh, gag. My expectations were low, but the film exceeded them. I even got my husband to go with me, and (he may not admit to it) we both enjoyed ourselves.

Guilty Pleasure Book 2 was Ally Condie’s Reached, the final book in her YA Matched Trilogy. I loved Matched and thought the second installment, Crossed, was worth reading. The story takes place in (yes, another) dystopian world in which marriages are arranged by using data to find a person’s “best match.” Of course, data turns out to be not enough in matters of heart. I was in the mood for heart, so I downloaded Reached on my Kindle as I was pulling out of my driveway on the way to Sequim. But not only did Reached lack heart, it was devoid of a pulse. It started slow and overall lacked the energy and romance delivered by the first book. I finished only a day ago and already I barely remember the characters and story. Bummer.

Ultimately, the best part of this year’s Guilty Pleasure Marathon (aside from those brownies I made and hanging out with my family) was immersing myself in my own writing. Not that what I wrote is so stellar. It’s more the energy I have this year about the project I’m working on. Yes, I still worry that I’m the only person in the universe who’d want to read about my main girl, Mary. But most days, that’s okay. That’s enough for me. I’m really starting to see Mary’s character emerge, and I’m excited to know the totality of her story.

So thank you, Guilty Pleasure Marathon 2012. For everything. Thank you, blog readers and my family and friends for accepting me, my guilty pleasures, my low-brow tastes, my new bangs, my indigestion, and all the crazy quirks I can’t get rid of. I’m thankful for being loved. I’m thankful for being able to love.

I’m drunk on guilty pleasures and would kiss and hug you all if you were sitting here.

12 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasure Marathon 2012

    • Caaaaaarieeee! I wish you were sitting here, too! Yes to making November a free-pass month for guilty pleasuring. But it sounds like from your last few entries that you’ve already got a pretty good thing going. That Kip Winger pic is genius. You know I have a Winger shirt, right? I bought it at an actual Winger concert in like 1989. I wear it because people think I’m wearing it ironically.

  1. I love this idea of guilty pleasures, of taking the indulgence outside of the food arena. Your quotations from twilight remind me of our fifty shades of gray baptism and ‘tip the whippers’!
    I’m having my own stint as a competitive eater against a deadline, nauseated, etc, trying to make it more bearable by seeking out foods I think I’d like but wouldn’t normally eat. I’ve discovered a new oxymoron: masochistic gratification. A blog post I need to write soon.
    Hey girl, when are you coming to Soldotna??? It’s almost December already!
    love
    Ela

    • TIP THE WHIPPERS!!! Yes! Ela, I want to see you! Only a few weeks until I arrive. We could meet half-way! Like in Ninilchik or something. I’d REALLY love it if you’d be willing to read some of my fiction and help a bit with details, since most of it takes place in AK and I’ve been gone for so long… I MISS YOU, ELA!!! Can’t wait for your “masochistic gratification” post. Please be good to your beautiful self.

      • Miss you too, Meagan. I’m so excited we’re going to meet up. Let’s play it by ear re location–I go back and forth up to Anch and even Slodots fairly often, could very well time a holiday shopping trip or medical appt or similar.
        I’d love to read your fiction and brainstorm details.
        MasGrat post probably will go up over w/e, or on Monday.
        love
        Ela

        • Can’t wait to see you. How awesome if you came to Soldotna to hang. So weird that I was born and raised in that little town. Well, not that little anymore, I guess. But it’s still small. In so many ways…

          Looking forward to your post.
          Meagan

  2. I also agree that Thanksgiving is a strange holiday, because we indulge our gluttonous selves with face-loads of food, while other people in the world are starving. And then the next day we go out and buy so many things that we don’t need for cheap prices. It seems ironic that we go out and buy these things and eat all this food that is too much for our stomach at a time when we should just be thankful for what we already have. However, I agree with you that it’s okay to indulge ourselves because it’s not a way to be thankful for what we have, but rather a way to be thankful for the things we have the opportunity to do. While there are some starving people who are envious of us, I bet they would also be disappointed if we choose not to undertake this amazing opportunity.

    • I think the best part of Thanksgiving as a holiday is the focus on family. Even if that’s a big stresser. I’m a better person when I stretch myself and work hard to get along with others who challenge me–very often my relatives. All the best to you, Scott, and thanks for the comment! Congrats due on your pending graduation, right?

  3. LOVE the guilty pleasure marathon idea! I partook (I dont’ think “partook” is a real word :P) in Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” as well. It was hard to put down at first, and I was excited about the twists, but then it seemed to fizzle for me as well.

    • I like “partook.” Flynn’s novel WAS page-turner at the outset. But it reminded me of those Dan Brown books (esp. The Lost Symbol) the way it sort of went off the rails at the end.

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