Guilty Pleasures

No surprise to any of you parents out there, but I am currently working harder than I have. Ever. In my life.

I pretty much expected that, but what I didn’t expect was the easy pace of it so far (if you’re laughing, please recall I have only 1). I move at baby speed now, which is somewhere between a crawl and a nap but is always awake.

Ok and sometimes bored.

I swear I do stare lovingly at her precious face, and I do play with her, and I do change her diapers (relatively) promptly… but she nurses about 10 times a day for 20-30 minutes. That’s a lot of time to just sit there.

I think I lasted about five days into our solo parenting experience before I went to Target and bought myself an iPod Touch. We’ve talked casually for a long time about whether or not I should get an iPhone—I love the email access, the web browsing, the apps, but couldn’t really justify the monthly data plan. I spend 90% of my time at home where I already have WiFi. The iPod is Steve Jobs’s gift to nursing mothers.

I love it.

I am now following an inordinate number of blogs and if we’re Facebook friends I’ve probably read everything posted to your wall in the last two weeks. Also I am amazing at Bejeweled.

And then I discovered iBooks. I’ve never tried any kind of e-reader before (mostly because I’m one of those snobby people who wax lyrical about the smell of old books and the feel of paper and the satisfying heft of biographies), and I’m too cheap to pay $12.99 for an electronic copy of a book that cost approximately $ 0.00 to reproduce (although I DO understand authors, editors, and publicity people must earn their keep, and I would happily pay something for that… but it doesn’t make sense to me yet why an electronic copy costs almost as much as a paper copy).

So I haven’t bought anything.

But I do love the “Sample” feature, which lets me read a chapter or so of anything for free. Woot! It’s like wandering through Barnes & Noble without leaving my cushy glider. I immediately compiled a list of best books, fiction and non, from 2011 and started reading samples.

Which led to me ordering one book and stopping by the library to snatch up another.

Where I came across this little gem:

I mean, how could I not? Totally over-the-top excess of diva fest, guilty pleasure to the max. I am currently 162 pages in and having a fantastic time.

I’ve always liked Elizabeth Taylor, though I don’t really know why. My brother Michael and I watched her epic Cleopatra a couple of times as young adults and had a howling good time. Such epic camp.

Her relationship with Richard Burton is also sort of fascinating for being so… well… foreign. I think they defined a kind of lavish, mid-century type that’s barely recognizable now—the womanizing mountain of brooding masculinity and the sexy, bullying patron of excess.

I’m not saying those types don’t exist anymore, but it all seems sort of campy and trashy now. Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller, you know? Not something you really want to emulate—and I’m not talking about the deeply religious. Current celebrity culture also understands that in order to be popular and respected these days you have to have a charitable cause, appear in at least one PSA about the environment or homosexuality, and ideally adopt a child from a majority world nation.

We are probably not individually any more moral, responsible, tolerant, or kind than the generation that came of age in the late 50s and 60s… but we sure take our image-care seriously.


Iris no longer has to worry about being hurried through a meal. And if the book has inspired me to rewatch Cleopatra (instant watch on Netflix!) in 20 minute segments—well, that can totally be our guilty little secret.


2 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures

  1. Well, the saga continues. I logged into WordPress, reclaimed my glamorous gravatar, and cannot change my name or make my blog link show up. I also cannot logout, despite clicking “logout” repeatedly. Heh. Baby steps. But anyway, you know who I am, so if I say something lame, you’ll know who to laugh at.

    In other news, YES, nursing is that fabulous time when we get to read whatever we want, like this blog, just for example (am nursing at this very moment). Just wait till you learn to type while nursing. You can stalk facebook, AND leave witty comments. You’ll be an unstoppable guilty-pleasure force.

  2. Ah, the wonders of the modern world! I’m happy for you. There’s only so much deep into the eyes gazing, praying, and meditating that one can do while nursing before feeling a bit of burned out boredom over one’s inability to be scintillating company for oneself. Three cheers for additional venues for growth and social connectedness!

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