Because I have the supreme self confidence to celebrate the fact that I am not defined by the car I drive or the labels on the clothes I wear, I have decided to make a list of all of my closeted behaviors and to "out" them here. These are the things I read/watch/eat/listen to, etc. that I still hide like a binge and purge princess. These are the things that I feel a little embarrassed about buying, or discussing in public with friends who can't hold back the sneer in their voice and the look of disappointment in their eyes - "you like that" - as they move a half step away from me so as not to be contaminated by proximity to my appalling lack of cool.
These things make me happy. They give me joyful moments. Life is too short to hide anymore so with the hope that coming clean will free me to enjoy what some consider to be cultural cretinism, I am sharing all those guily, secret pleasures that I have indulged in with the doors closed and the windows rolled up so as not to suffer the derision of those in my social sphere who would judge me. I mean really, fuck'em.
First there is the music. Let me preface this by stating that I love music and I have, if I do say so myself, an excellent collection of all kinds of music. I can appreciate the eternal talent that Gram Parsons had as well as the new whimsy that is Franz Ferdinand. But I love Billy Joel people. And Neil Diamond. And Elton John. These guys are timeless troubadors and excellent singer song writers and they put on amazing shows. Yes their music is now featured in elevators but it's still dope. I love the band that was Bread from the early 70s. Love them. The Peter Frampton Comes Alive album gives me goosebumps - the dude rocks. I can listen to Everything's Different Now over and over. I like my Aimee Mann with a synthesizer.
When I'm channel surfing there are movies that I will stop and watch, delighted that they are being rerun on TBS, or sometimes as they years pass they show up on AMC. This past weekend I watched Diehard, the first one, about 3 times on TBS, or was that TNT. I would do the same for any of the Lethal Weapon series. I love me some Alpha male - guys surging on testosterone with guns and terrorists. Yippy-ki-yay! I get the same happy feeling when I see any of the John Hughes movies that are in eternal rotation on cable; Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Breakfast Club, She's Having a Baby. I've seen them all and they are like crack. I get so hooked after just five minutes even though I know everything that's going to happen. I have my favorite parts in every movie. When Jake is waiting for Sam outside the church after her sister's wedding with the Thompson Twins playing over it. I feel the same way about A Star is Born and Tommy both movies that I will watch over and over because of a deep appreciation for Kris Kristofferson and Roger Daltrey without their shirts on. I also love movies that come out for kids, e.g. Iron Giant, Shrek, Ice Age, Toy Story, Nemo - I'm always glad to borrow a kid for an outing to the mall for some good G-rated fun. Oh, and Bring It On - Missy's the poo, so take a whiff!
When it comes to television I don't really have "my shows" - that programming that people plan their schedules around or Tivo so as not to miss it - except for America's Next Top Model. I never miss an episode, of course it helps that they air it two nights in a row so I can schedule around it. I don't know what it is about a random bunch of personalities in pursuit of a career as a walking hanger, but I can't get enough of it. I just know that some of those girls are screened for "crazy", e.g. Robin from season one and Camille from season two. It's scary that I know all of their names, but I do. Other than ANTM I love old Dynasty reruns. Back in the day I never missed Dynasty. I loved Alexis Carrington! In fact, there are situations where I still ask myself, "what would Alexis do?" It was cheese decked out in Nolan Miller shoulder pads and sequins - now that's entertainment. Finally there is COPS - bad boys! Whatcha gonna do? Nothing like a little peek into the parking lot states and what's up for fun on any night of the week, to make me appreciate the flakes, fruits and nuts that flock to the edges of this country. Inbreeding + Crystal meth + malt liquor = a scary breed of American. This show gives me a deep appreciation for those brave souls in uniform who patrol the streets to keep the rest of us safe. It's got to feel just great to go out on a domestic disturbance call only to be attacked by a woman with a bloody nose and a black eye who's angry that you're going to arrest her baby's daddy that just got done fucking up her face. So you have to arrest both of them and there's like 7 kids standing around in their underpants and dirty t-shirts, picking their noses and crying because their mom and dad are going to jail. Again. It's like a train wreck - I don't want to watch as the train goes over the cliff, yet I can't tear my eyes away. Plus they have the best theme song ever.
So when I'm not listening to Hanson or watching COPS I love to prostitute my literacy by reading The National Enquirer. Yes. I. Do. Also, People, Us, In Touch - glossy pages, but still tabloidesque in the dishing of the jugo de Hollywood. I don't necessarily believe everything they print, and I don't really care about what celebrities are eating, who they're screwing, or what they're wearing. This is mindless entertainment at it's very best. There is no critical thinking required. Having admitted to reading these magazines I must confess that I would never be caught dead buying one of these magazines. I'll read them while waiting on line at the grocery store, or in the waiting room at the doctor/dentist, but I'm not going to contribute cash to the hunting of celebrities without makeup. No. I'd rather spend my money on Harry Potter books. I have everyone, purchased through pre-order on Amazon.com. I love kidlit and YA (young adult) novels, including anything by Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. Some people love their Grisham and some love their Danielle Steele. I look to David Almond for good story telling (the dude is dark and creepy). And when I want to get completely lost in total escapist fantasy complete with overwrought dialogue and overheated love scenes, I turn to anything written by
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss author of bodice ripping romances extraordinaire!
And while I'm indulging in any of the above there is nothing better than doing so with a snack. First off there is the old standby, Kraft macaroni and cheese. I know that there are much better mac & cheese offerings out in the world, but nothing compares to Kraft with the powdered cheese that turns into sauce. Dee-lishous. I also love a good fried baloney sandwich on Wonder Bread spread with Miracle Whip. Normally I think Miracle Whip is a terrifying food product - I mean it's labeled as "salad dressing" for God's sake. Blech. But there's something magical about the combination of doughy calorie empty white bread and a fried slice of pork biproducts that makes me happy in some primal place in my brain. It is very possibly a latent memory from a white trash past life, I'm not sure. It's the same part of my brain that says, "go ahead, eat that whole box of Kaptain Crunch." Or a half dozen Winchell's donuts. Now I haven't actually eaten any of these things in years. Serious. I was very stoned when I blithely snacked on the goodies mentioned above. So the memories are sweet. But I have a feeling that I would get very sick if I tried to eat them now - some things are just better left as memories. Or left for a dare on a drunken afternoon after a bong hit for old times sake.
So now I'm out and proud although I still won't be seen purchasing The National Enquirer. As I walk through life I try to keep in mind the words of that most wise man, Dr. Seuss, ""Always do what you want, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."