October 5th, 2009

"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

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I've come to realize that most of my "guilty pleasures" are things that normal people enjoy and aren't usually embarrassed about enjoying. For me, a "guilty pleasure" is something I secretly like, but may pretend not to like, and I may even try to hide some of my things from other people because I'm embarrassed about it. And yet, they're usually perfectly normal, socially-acceptable things. I'll be open about my crazy, weird, not-always-socially-acceptable interests, but when it comes to liking "normal" things, I get all secretive. I'm not sure why I do this. Maybe because I've always known I'm strange and different from others, so I expect that everything about me should be strange and different, and if there's anything "normal" about me, something is wrong.

OMG, I'm right-handed, how did this happen? The ONE dominant trait I have! Eeek, must hiiiiide!

..Ok, maybe not.

But here are some of my "guilty pleasures" that are completely fine and normal and not worth hiding.

- Chicken and shrimp. Yeah, I'm open about being a "bad" vegetarian, but I still feel guilty eating them and sometimes hide my eating habits from others. Although the only people who ever give me grief about eating them (other than teasing me for being a bad vegetarian) are strict vegetarians and vegans. But only the ones who get preachy about it (which is annoying to everyone). And preachy vegetarians/vegans make me want to order steak and eat it in front of them (complete with lip-smacking and "mmmmm" sounds). It would totally be worth the stomach ache a few hours later. (Yes, I still like the taste of beef, I just don't eat it.)

- Some mainstream music, like Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, etc. Oddly enough, I'm a proud Hannah Montana fan, but that may just be because I'm proud to still be a little kid in my old age. So I'll crank up the guilty pleasure music when nobody else is around.

- Girly clothing. Now, let's get one thing straight: I do not like the vast majority of "feminine" clothing. I hate pink, and I think high heels, thongs, lace, and some other styles are just plain stupid. In fact, I think most women's shoes are ugly and don't see why women are often so obsessed with shoes. But anyway, I think my repressed inner "girl" is a 6-year-old hippie who really loves bright colors, twirly skirts, and cute little tops. I like to look, mind you, but I never actually wear girly clothes (unless it's part of a costume). My raging gender issues are all "rarrr, you could never wear anything like that, those are GIRL clothes! Androgyny rules!" And then I stop gazing at the swishy pretty things and walk away sighing. Now, if I was a boy, I would totally wear girly clothes...

- Little kids, in a maternal-ish way. I like kids. They're fun, playful, interesting, and honest. They don't judge you the way grownups do, they don't over-analyze everything, and they have great senses of humor. I like hanging out with my little cousins and other kids. Many of my good friends are teenagers, because I seem to get along better with people who are younger than me. But I'm not a maternal person. I think babies are annoying and gross, and they're kind of ugly for the first few months. Toddlers, however, are insanely adorable, and if they're potty-trained and can string together a semi-coherent sentence, they can be a lot of fun. But I like kids in moderation. They're great for a few hours, until they get whiny and demanding, and the younger ones don't always have the best bladder/bowel control. I would not want to deal with them all the time. Cats satisfy that instinctive nurturing thing, and it's easier to clean a litterbox every couple days than change a diaper several times a day. (I have never changed a diaper, due to my severe aversion to poop, and if I am ever faced with one, I will probably get violently ill.) But every once in a while, I'll pass an adorable little kid in the grocery store or something and think, "awww, how cute, wouldn't it be neat to have one of those?" But I'll tell myself, "they're a lot less cute when they start screaming, crying, puking, and pooping, so ignore all those pesky estrogen-fueled thoughts and go play with your cats." Then 5 minutes later, the kid will start screaming, and I'll think "arrrgh, little kids are so ANNOYING!"

I know I only have those fleeting thoughts in the first place because I happen to be genetically female, and it's just the instinct talking. But I've managed to repress the vast majority of any non-vital instincts, even though some will occasionally slip through the cracks in the "wall," and that's just one of them. It's just a fleeting, repressed instinct, the same as anger, fear, hurt, etc. Once it slips free, I just push it back where it belongs, with the other repressed instincts. I function better when I don't allow them to surface and take over. If I did, I would be a total train wreck. If you don't believe this, watch trashy reality shows. There are a lot of people with serious issues. They let their intincts and emotions take over, and it's just a mess. A little anger is understandable, but when it takes over, you bulk up, turn green, and start smashing things. Well... either that, or you pick fights over trivial crap, become really passive-aggressive, or start smashing things. If you let fear take over, it will paralyze you and prevent you from doing things you want or need to do. If you let emotions take over, you turn into an incoherent, blubbering mess that nobody wants to deal with. And if you let maternal instinct take over, you become one of those baby-hungry biological-clock-going-haywire stay-at-home-mom-wannabe types. There's nothing wrong with wanting children, but when the instinct consumes your life, you lose track of everything else. So it's best to repress any unwanted urges or instincts, unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences. My preferred method of repression involves distraction. I find that video games are excellent when I start to feel anger and frustration seeping through the cracks. (Then again, if I get annoyed at the game, I will totally lose control and flip out, scream obscenities, and even pound my fists on things. Good thing my cats forgive and forget my occasional outbursts.)

Whoah, that was way longer than intended. There I go, going off on random tangents again.
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