Alex Carson | Tuesday, November 11, 2014
When I sit down and look back at my first week at Notre Dame, some 15 months ago now, a few memories stand out. Like everyone, I have great memories of serenading and Domerfest during Frosh-O and like any O’Neill guy, I will always remember my late-night, first-week interview. And, of course, it’s impossible to forget the 3:30 a.m. Grotto visit I made with my roommate that I barely knew on a balmy August night.
Perhaps, though, the memory that stands out most is being asked a seemingly simple question during the “getting to know you” part of the week.
“What is your guilty pleasure?”
I was in the middle of the room so I had some time to ponder my answer. I knew I wanted it to be thoughtful, more than a joke, but not something that would immediately weird out the people I would be intrinsically linked to for life. After a few moments, it came to me.
I consider myself to be a fan of a good musical – it’s fun, the tunes are typically catchy and I’ll always have a soft spot for the idea of telling a story through songs.
One of my favorite movies? “Moulin Rouge!.” It’s so perfect. I could go further into detail about how awesome it is but I have a limit on words here.
But then I realized that I have absolutely no “guilt” at all about liking musicals and “Moulin Rouge!” — and that I was simply substituting “something that isn’t masculine” for “guilty pleasure” because it happened to be a more convenient definition. Is that wrong of me? I’m not sure.
But what does it say about our society if it is so convenient to make this change, so convenient to draw a comparison between something we feel “guilty” about and simply something that we are not expected to enjoy?
So let’s go back to the question that spurned this whole train of thought.
What are my “guilty” pleasures? Well, to start, musicals and “Moulin Rouge!.” But we’ve talked about those. How about my love of Cher Lloyd’s music? Or how I, from time to time, listen to Radio Disney when I’m back home in Indianapolis. Perhaps I could talk about my love of those daytime, “tabloid” television programs — you know, “Maury” and “Jerry Springer” — because from time to time, it’s nice to be reassured that, yeah, you generally have things together.
These are all things that are a part of who I am – and to tell you the truth, no, I’m not feeling guilty in the slightest about enjoying any of these things.
If you really think about it, shouldn’t a “guilty” pleasure really be more than liking certain music or television shows? So let’s stop hiding those things that are really inconsequential, the things that make up part of who we are.
I like Cher Lloyd and musicals and watching guys dance around after being told they “are NOT the father.”
It’s not like I enjoy stealing candy from babies.