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.