Know Thy Pleasures. Know Thy Self

Okay, speaking of the marvels of the human brain (see previous post) -- I expended part of yesterday musing about "guilty pleasures." You know. The stuff we wallow in, resishing every second of trashy delight -- and believe, in our guilty minds, to be a total waste of time. For me it’s things like “Survivor." Anything by Penny Vincenzi (that's likely what prompted my musings: I'm in the thick of one of her novels right now).

What fascinates me about guilty pleasures is not that I’m apt to conceal them. (Of course! That’s the guilty part.) What’s more interesting is what happens when I confess them. People who know me are visibly startled to learn that I’m a devoted, die-hard, watch-every-minute fan of "Survivor" (okay, "Top Chef," too). (Well, alright. You can add "Project Runway" to the list.)

Those things seems so .... not me. For reasons that are lost on me, other people see me as an agressive, brainiac intellectual who devotes hours to reading "The New York Review of Books," thinks great thoughts, and watches no TV at all (and when I do it's public television or nothing).

Wrong. All of it. If someone wants to know me, really KNOW me, they need to know that I watch "Survivor" and devour Vincenzi's tales of the rich and neurotic. Put another way, guilty pleasures are a sparking-clean, uncurtained picture window into our personalities. They tell us and others more about "who we are" than our street faces. Not, mind you, that I understand WHAT our GPs tell us about ourselves. Do they reveal our child selves, now buried in adult worries? Do they hint at how we’d spend our time if left to our own devices in a perfect world where food and shelter were provided worry-free?

I dunno. But I do know that if you want to know me, know my guilty pleasures first. So. What's your guilty pleasure? And what does it tell me about you?