According to Wikipedia, a guilty pleasure is something, such as a movie, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard. Interesting. I had a friend who, because of religious restrictions, wasn’t allowed to go to the movies, watch television, or read certain books. The older I got, the more I thought about her and how hard it must be not to widen your horizons with a variety of pleasures. I thank my mother for allowing me to stretch and grow and make up my own mind about how I spent my time.
I grew up reading comic books. Every dime I got went toward comic books or paper dolls. This comes across as though I had a lonely childhood. Not so. I just liked to entertain myself in ways that made me happy. I loved the Walt Disney comics, Tom and Jerry, and Archie, but I preferred action filled comics and the super-hero ones. I can imagine how much those comic books would be worth today but, alas, they were tossed out when we moved.
Even with the decline of newspaper subscriptions and journalists losing their jobs while the Internet has squeezed out older print publishers, my husband refuses to believe the “newspapers are dying” thing. He’s a comic junkie. We continue to receive the daily Times. He cuts the comics out, puts them under my nose while I’m fixing dinner or tapes them to my bathroom mirror before he sends them off to our daughter. Some favorites are Pickles, Hagar the Horrible, The Family Circle, Cathy, Baby Blues, Non Sequitur, and Dilbert. Comics used to cover our refrigerator before we bought the stainless steel one. Magnets don’t work.
The first thing I thought of when I saw the theme for this week was Guilty Pleasure Reads were the comic books I used to savor as a kid. They brought me so much pleasure, but as I reminisced I thought about other ways I spent those long, cold, Ohio winters and long, hot summer days. As much as I liked reading, I preferred being outside riding my bike or sledding or climbing our neighbor’s apple tree. One thing I didn’t do was write stories. So many authors I meet today started making up stories or plays as a child. Today, they are best sellers. Maybe the answer is to start writing young—really young. And read a wide variety of books.