Ten Guilty Pleasures

I found this wonderful list of 100 topics to blog about on Chris Brogan’s blog. If you’re interested after reading my ten guilty pleasures, pull down a topic and write one of your own, but be sure to link back to him.

When I think about guilty pleasures, I think of decadent things like chocolate. The common idea of what these things are tends to be food related, but I don’t really treat food like a guilty pleasure. I love to eat, we all do, but that’s not the point of a guilty pleasure if you really think about it. Guilty pleasures are things that we don’t need, but want to do for ourselves, in spite of the fact that we don’t need it. Some women think that taking long, luxurious, scented baths is a guilty pleasure. If you think about it, smoking can be a kind of guilty pleasure. Indulging in expanding one’s cd or dvd collection could also be added to the list.

My friends all have different ideas of what guilty pleasures are. I know that for one of my friends, food really is her guilty pleasure. For another, it’s his porn collection. These ideas vary widely with the individual. Guilty pleasures are something that is truly based around the individual.

For me, it’s hard to pinpoint just one thing that I would consider a guilty pleasure and the idea varies widely even among my own personal indulgences. Yeah, I really go for the occassional cupcake, and I love ice cream, but those things are really just good food to me. They aren’t what I indulge in. I indulge in electronics, media and manga. My friends don’t always get that, but my guilty pleasures really aren’t about them. They’re about things that make me feel good. They are things that are for me and for no one else. I don’t have to share, and I don’t want to.

Does that sound selfish? I think it does, but I also know that many people spend a large part of their lives looking at what’s going on around them. They think about how they can help someone else, or how they can change someone else to make life easier, but the reality is, the only thing you have the power to change is yourself. Sometimes that means spending money on something that seems frivolous.

These are my indulgences.

1. iPod Nano 2nd Gen.

I got my iPod Nano for my birthday this year, even though it was right before the expected release of the 3rd gen iPods, I love my Nano. Sometimes, I’ll share music that’s on my iPod with my family, but 90% of my listening happens when I’m alone in the car. I have a wireless transmitter for my iPod, and I will crank up the J-pop and sing while I’m driving down the highway. It fills my soul up to do this, and recharges my batteries for the evening ahead. For 15 minutes on the road, the world only has me and my music in it. It’s a wonderful feeling.

2. Motorola Razr.

My cell phone. I love my cell phone. I love it so much that I go out of my way to find excuses to call people on it. I didn’t need a cutting edge phone, that’s for sure. At the time that I purchased my razr, it was the cutting edge phone. It had bells and whistles on it that have now become standard thanks to the razr raising everyone’s expectations of cellular devices. Mostly, I wanted a razr because they came in pink, and I could find the thing at the bottom of my purse, but I also wanted it to live up to the expectations that I had from my previous Nokia phone, which was a fairly cutting edge model when I got it, but wasn’t nearly as easy to use and customize as the razr. I have a lot of fun making my own custom wallpapers and ring tones for this phone. This is now important to me, because it’s something that I can do to make this phone mine and set it apart from all the other razrs out there on the planet.

3. Chobits

This is the second anime title I ever purchased. I got hooked on it because of episode 5. During this particular episode, the main character, Chii, goes shopping for panties. Chii’s a recently reformatted personal computer and has a hard time remembering things, so she walks all the way from the apartment to the lingerie store chanting, “Underpants, underpants, underpants.” I giggled for the entire half hour, which really stunk for my husband because he was on a conference call with the office after hours and I just couldn’t stop giggling. I got some of the dirtiest looks from him, but it was worth it. The rest of the series is just wonderful, and while no one else in this house will watch this anime except me, I don’t care. It was worth every single penny I spent on it.

4. Nintendo DS

Originally, my DS was purchased so I could play Animal Crossing with my kids. I’ve gotten bored with Animal Crossing and have graduated to Hotel Dusk, which is just a load of fun. I also picked up the first two Phoenix Wright games, and am anxiously awaiting the third. My husband doesn’t get it. The graphics on the DS look about as good as the graphics on my brother’s old super nintendo. They’re nothing to shout about. One of my friend’s first comments to me about it was, “Wow, it’s a pepto bismal pink game boy.” He didn’t get it either. My DS, is really all about me. I don’t have to share this console with anyone and I can play whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s instant gratification gaming, and if the graphics suck, oh well. That’s why my husband bought a PS3.

5. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

Okay, I admit it. I’m not a big fan of MegaTen titles. I’ve only ever played DDS prior to picking up my copy of Persona 3, and I still haven’t finished DDS because I can’t get past all the damned grinding. Persona 3 though… makes grinding fun. No one else in my house is interested in this game and so far I’ve blown a whopping 60$ on the thing for the game and the game guide (because really, you can’t get through a MegaTen game without a guide, and you have no idea how much I wished for a guide for DDS). The graphics on this title don’t even push a PS2 to its limits, and I usually end up playing this game on the ps3, simply because the ps3 is in my living room. It’s really not all that, but the game is damned fun and the story is engaging enough to keep me entertained. What more could I want in a personal indulgence title?

6. HP Pavillion dv6448se Laptop

I needed a new laptop. Not bad, but I needed one. Now, my previous laptop is seriously showing its age, and I’m glad I replaced it, but I didn’t need the laptop I bought. Nope, no way. I didn’t need windows vista, or two gig of ram, or a Turion 64×2 processor. I didn’t need the really sweet nvidia graphics card that’s on board this baby, and I already had an external dvd burner. I didn’t really need any of this crap, but it’s nice. The laptop was mostly purchased because it’s a special edition with a white back and metal casing. The keyboard is silver, and the laptop is visually gorgeous. My husband took a look at the specs and decided to get it for me for a couple reasons. 1. It’s a damned nice machine. 2. They were running a special on it when we walked into the store the week after I saw it, so the price was right around what he wanted to spend. Yes, even I admit that it’s more than I need, and I may never go buy that copy of bioshock to play on this machine… but it’s damned nice to know that if I got a wild hair up my behind to do so, I can.

7. Red River

Red River is a shoujo manga series that is currently waiting for volume 19 to release. Yes, I said 19. I started purchasing this series two years ago. This manga isn’t particularly outstanding. The art is very detailed, which I really like, but it’s a tad old school for my usual tastes. What gets me is the romance. I get swept away by Yuri and Kail and their deep, abiding love for one another. It’s silly and high-schoolish. My husband doesn’t get what I see in it, and he doesn’t understand why I’ve spend almost 200$ on this manga series so far. I can’t really explain it either except to say that I positively adore Red River. When I get a new volume, I immediately run upstairs to my bedroom and sit down and read the whole volume cover to cover. Then I back up a few volumes to get the full story together in my mind, and re-read the new volume when I’m done. Then I’ll sit down and read the whole series to date, to see if I see anything in the older volumes that I might have missed before. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this. I have guilt about doing it because I pretty much abandon my family for three hours when I get a new volume of Red River, but I feel so revitalized when I’m done with it because I spent time doing something that I enjoyed doing and I don’t have to explain it to someone else. They know that it’s really all about me, and it’s wonderful that they respect that for those three hours once every couple of months.

8. Leather Jacket with two matching purses wallet and boots.

When I was a teenager, I opposed the idea of purchasing clothing made from dead things. I still won’t do fur. But there’s something about leather, especially Italian Lambskin. It’s so damned soft and feels so good in your hands, that I just can’t stop myself when I get the opportunity to buy some. It started with my jacket. I needed a winter jacket that wasn’t horribly bulky because colleges don’t exactly have lockers that you can shove your stuff in with the intent of finding it there when you get back to it. A bulky overcoat doesn’t fly very well when you have to hang it on the back of a chair. So we were walking by Wilson’s and they were running a sale, and my jacket was purchased. After that came the matching black hand bag that fits in my back pack when I need it to, and comes out for carrying around on the weekends. But that purse was too small, and when I went by Wilson’s again, they were running another sale, and my large Italian lambskin bag was purchased along with a matching wallet, because my wallet was also too small. These things all had to match this completely awesome pair of boots that a friend of mine ordered online, which didn’t end up fitting her when she got them, so I bought them off of her and they are now my winter footwear of choice. Comfy, warm and durable. I could have gotten by with less expensive things, but there’s something about leather. I can’t describe it.

9. Non-fat Sugar Free White Chocolate Mochas from the local Java Hut.

Now, every once in a while, I’ll ask for 2% milk, but I usually stick to the non-fat because it’s better for you. Nowadays, drinking 2% milk tastes like drinking half and half to me, so I can tell when the girls at the Java Hut accidentally subbed 2% for Non-fat. You’re probably wondering why this is such a guilty pleasure, considering that it’s non-fat and sugar free. It’s a guilty pleasure because I actually have an espresso machine and can make my own non-fat, sugar free white chocolate mochas at home. I end up paying 4$ for the privilege of going to the java hut and gabbing at a very cheerful, very nice gal who knows me by name when I drive up and tells me that my nails look fantastic while she makes my coffee for me. You can’t beat a 4$ ego booster to start your day, in addition to getting your caffeine.

10. Acrylic Nails.

This is my big sin. I pay about 50$ a month to get my nails done. I don’t need to spend this money, I can do my own nails and have done my own acrylics before. I’m not bad at it. My manicurist though, does amazing nails, the best nails in town. She’s always booked up and getting in with her is a bit of a chore, but she’s worth it. She’s a ray of sunshine and is very creative with what she can do with acrylics. I’ve had white tips, pink tips, red tips with holly leaves and berries on them for Christmas, black tips because well, they were neat, and I’ve also done brown and purple and several variations on the white theme with various and sundry flowers hand painted on them by her. Does anyone else benefit from this besides me and my manicurist? Um… absolutely not. Who cares? I don’t have to keep my nails polished if I don’t want to, I don’t get hang nails and if I want to polish my nails, it stays on because nail polishes are actually designed to work best over the top of acrylic nails. It’s a win win situation for me, even if it is a bit frivolous. Yeah, if I needed the money, I’d stop getting my nails done, but as soon as I had it again, I’d call her and make an appointment to get a new set put on as soon as she had time.