In my spare time, I enjoy running, reading, a good cup of coffee, and oh yeah, listening to "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera. Would I normally admit that? No, it had been a closely guarded secret of my heart. But I do enjoy it - as well as many other '80s songs by Chicago, Hall & Oates, Starship and Don Henley.
Why should I be ashamed of such music? Mainly, because of the cheese factor. It's the synthesizers, the bad lyrics and, if you look back a bit, the horrible music videos. (Why, oh why, did they have to have such haircuts and blazers? So much permed hair.) But it's also the fact that I make it worse by adding freestyle dance and motion to it. I close my eyes, sing at the top of my lungs and float about the room. Like I have to move it to the next level of awfulness. But when I hear the words, I don't hear cheese. I hear what I heard when I was a little girl: Beautiful music.
"I am a man who would fight for your honor/I'll be the hero you're dreaming of/We'll live forever, knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love."
Wow, I mean, wow. That is pretty bad. But instead of that realization, I will close my eyes and remember thinking what I did when I was eight: That I will meet my true love someday and it would be THAT momentous. And when I was younger, I never cared if the lyrics were clichd or super dramatic. I just cared that it could tell a story, I could imagine what they were saying and be transported to another place with the art. It didn't hurt that it was featured in Karate Kid II, a sweet, sweet movie.
But it's not just music that I get secretive about. Magazines like Glamour or Cosmopolitan fit in that category. Or gossip websites with all the dirt on various celebrities. Books that have no substantial content and are instead filled with frivolous characters that make it their life mission to gossip and find a man.
It's the television shows and movies that I would switch off in an instant if someone caught me watching them. Scandalous. It's anything on Lifetime, a reality show or something on the Hallmark Channel. Dude, so many awful (but really, really good) shows on there.
And the chick flicks. Whether it's from the past or it's a nowadays romance with horrible reviews - I will probably say something awful about it. And afterwards, when no one is looking, I will go and watch it in the dark with my popcorn (turning my head every once and awhile to make sure I don't know anyone in the theater). And when the movie is done, I will probably be the first to criticize it and make fun of the film (while I had laughed, cried and thoroughly enjoyed it). Am I horrible? Yes. A complete hypocrite, I know.
So what is so bad about these guilty pleasures? Why can't we just enjoy them without the fear of being made fun of? Because we are vulnerable, sensitive beings and although we hate to admit it, depend on the thoughts of those around us.
Instead, we must be high-browed, sophisticated and ignore these lower forms of entertainment so that we don't stick out like a sore thumb. And all the while, pretending that we enjoy everything everyone else does, we lie about the little things in life that give us a smile. What a bunch of crowd followers we are.
Will it change? Nah. We will still catch "Dance Moms" or "Bold and the Beautiful" while jamming to "We Built This City." And later, say we spent our spare time reading classic literature and viewing something like "The Artist."
I wish I could not be embarrassed about partaking in my guilty pleasures of life, but most likely I will still be closeted about much of my favorite entertainment in the years to come. Oh well, sometimes it's nice to have something of my own.
"Marconi plays the mambo, listen to the radio/Don't you remember?/We built this city, we built this city on rock and roll!"
Oh yeah, Jefferson Starship, that's the stuff.