Summer's the season for indulging your guilt, and our Guilty Pleasures roundup invited readers from all over to send in their own embarrassing treats.
Guilty Pleasures are such a safe little indulgence that it's OK not only to have them, but to talk about them. We're not discussing life-threatening issues, here, but the goofy little breaks we all need from our busy lives and work. Even reading about others' pleasures reminds us that we're not alone in our secret little joys.
We couldn't share all of your submissions, but here are some great ones, and thanks.
‘THE HILLS’ ARE ALIVE
It is just so embarrassing. I resisted “Laguna Beach,” turned my nose up at “My Super Sweet Sixteen,” begged profusely for a new culture in the face of “Engaged and Underage.” But MTV finally got me with “The Hills.” I love it. I really, really love it. I care, deeply and more than words can express, about the rivalries and bad decisions (I’m looking at you Heidi, Spencer is a troll). And though I blush with humiliation through the entire episode, there is not enough shame in the world to make me change the channel.” — Allison
GETTING HER GOSSIP FIX
I refresh www.USMagazine.com several times a day. I love seeing the latest celebrity photos! I feel guilty because I just can’t get enough. I know that I shouldn’t buy into the celebrity craze, but I’m obsessed. I tell myself that as long as I also read the important stories on news sites, that I’m just a well-rounded girl. — Tara
THE NAKED TRUTH
Home nudism, staying naked when no one is home. — Hugh
The E! Network’s “The Girls Next Door” is my guilty pleasure. I’m a 42-year-old professional woman who is happily married and utterly uninterested in Playboy Magazine, but there is something endearing about this made-for-TV living arrangement of three dingy blondes living with “Hef” in his mansion. I wouldn’t want to be them, but Holly, Bridget and Kendra are actually likable and entertaining women who seem to be having a lot of fun with the arrangement. — Darla
WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM
A pint of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond, eaten in one sitting. — Christine
WHAT A SMARTIE
Smarties Candies. I have to limit myself to one or two rolls per day otherwise I’ll wipe out an entire one pound bag in an afternoon. — Mike
Oh, come on, wasabi peas, Justin Timberlake, Regis and Kelly? That’s tame. I have that topped. How about Percy Faith, Mantovani, 5th Dimension AND Olivia Newton John. I wouldn’t dare admit those to anyone I know. — John
WHO’S YOUR DADDY?
The “Maury Povich Show.” But not all topics, just paternity test and lie detectors. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of women who have no idea who fathered their children. I love it when they are “1000 percent sure” who the father is, and end up coming back 10 or more times. Unbelievable. But I can’t get enough of it. I also like Spaghettios straight out of the can, and spoonfuls of marshmallow crème. I am 34 years old. — Wendie
SALT, SWEET, GUILT
I have two guilty pleasures. Dlisted.com is a Web site I can’t go a day without looking at, sometimes a couple of times a day. Who couldn’t love this snarky gossip blog? Foodwise, a definite guilty please is Wendy’s french fries dipped into a Frosty. Salty, sweet — how could it get any better? — Rebecca
Starbucks tall fat-free chai latté. $3 worth of heaven. — Sal
WELCOME TO XANADU
It’s so humiliating, but ... the movie “Xanadu.” I’ve watched it probably 50 times and still love it. — Bob
My guilty pleasure is watching the really horrible reality show “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.” In my teens I used to like the band Poison (still sing along), so it makes sense that I would watch this show. I can’t imagine being stuck with any of those people. — Heather
Yup — I’ll have to go with SPAM, growing up in Hawaii it was really a staple! It was brought in during WWII as a C ration, and we locals stocked up on it and have loved it ever since. SPAM and eggs, chopped up in fried rice or sliced in saimin (noodle soup) ... yuuuummmm! It makes my mouth water! Hawaii is the only place you can you can order SPAM off the menu in restaurants, even at McDonalds! We have SPAM cook books and a yearly SPAM Jam Festival that celebrates SPAM in Hawaii! SPAM is the guilty pleasure of the entire 50th state ... and we’re proud ... & hungry! — Kim
I have two of Paris Hilton’s songs on my iPod. I really like them and only my husband knows. — Monica
One guilty pleasure that will ensure a day inside and glued to the TV is bad B-movie grade SciFi from the ’50s and ’60s. I’m not talking Klaatu. I’m talking radiation-infused insect wrecking small town America. Or, spaceman crashing into Earth before the planned invasion. Or, the monster that came from the sea/mountains/bad dreams. Invariably, the crusty old scientist with the hot daughter/niece (with breasts that defy gravity) hooks up with the jaded grad student/reporter/writer to combat the problem and emerge victorious. It’s even better if the movie is in black & white and made by a rinky-dink studio that only existed to make these bad pictures. Throw in a pint of chocolate ice cream, some potato chips, and a warm, yet slightly sarcastic husband, and you have the perfect Saturday afternoon. Just don’t tell my mother this is the reason I am not answering the phone. — Ruth
When those advertisements come on TV for compilation CDs (i.e. “Best of the ’80s”), I can’t help but to turn up the volume. I sing and dance to every song snippet from Michael Bolton’s “How am I Supposed to Live Without You?” to Rita Coolidge’s “Higher and Higher.” Luckily the ads usually come on at night, when my blinds are drawn. — Anonymous
Nabisco Sugar Wafers — oh my! There is absolutely nothing like them. Mind you, there are other wafer “products” out there, but they simply pale in comparison to The Real Thing. You unwrap one of the smooth, waxy paper wrapped three packs in the box (which is shiny white with gold edging!). Then you pull out one of the three wafers in the top row and admire the diamond/checkerboard (depending on how you hold it) pattern of the wafer. Once in a while, one of the wafers is upside down — a sign of good luck coming your way! Then sniffing the wafer you smell the sweetness. The satisfaction of the sensation of sinking your teeth into the crisp wafer on both sides is only matched by the subsequent brief firm but soft creme middle which sort of melts on your tongue — sheer heaven. Best with a glass of milk — WHOLE of course, none of this skim or 2 percent crap.
Last year I moved to Deadmonton, oops, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and my local store does NOT carry this bit of paradise on earth. (They also don’t have Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, which is a whole other guilty pleasure). I just came back from a visit to Lockport, N.Y., where I bought a box of God’s Reward On Earth, and ate the entire package (all three packs, enough calories for an Olympic speed skater to compete nonstop for a week) while hidden in an upstairs bedroom away from my brother and sister-in-law and niece and grandnephew and son who were in the living room watching TV, unaware of the orgy of indulgence occurring over their very heads. I fell asleep in blissful oversatiation with wafer crumbs on my lips and among the sheets, the experience of which I am at the moment re-living with a smile on my face and excessive saliva in my mouth. — Karen
PASS THE CHIPS AND SALSA
My guilty pleasure? Cheap Mexican restaurants! You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that have El or Mi as a first name. You can never remember what the second name is, so you and your friends refer to it as “That Mexican place on (fill in the blank) Street.”
When you walk in, you are greeted by the one worker in there that speaks the best English. Because of that, he’s the one who greets and seats you. Before you have a chance to set down your purse, some young man in a white shirt, an earring and a Virgin of Guadalupe pendant on a thick gold chain (who, by the way, speaks NO English) has set warm tortilla chips and salsa in front of you. Sometimes this is accompanied by a white sauce that tastes a little bit like ranch dressing, only sweeter. We at home have rather ingeniously dubbed it “Mexican Restaurant White Sauce.”
Your waiter then arrives. His English is not as good as the greeters, but better than the Chip Deliverer. He takes your drinks order. If this is a weekday lunch, even if your office has a no-drinking policy, you get something called a lunch Margarita. It’s very small and nearly always frozen. You have no idea the quality of the tequila they use, but you get one anyway because it’s part of the experience. If it’s Friday night or some time during the weekend, you get the jumbo one.
Once you get your drinks, you place your food order. I usually get chicken enchiladas topped with sour cream, with rice and refried beans on the side. (This is where I must agree with Ms. Chan on the food-mixing front … my mix of choice is rice, refried beans, sour cream and that aforementioned white sauce. I eat it with the tortilla chips. Tell Ms. Chan to try it some time … it’s wonderful!)
When I leave, I feel as if I’ve eaten one of everything on the menu and I swear I won’t do that again. But will I go back? Si! — Rachel