Decadently Evil Little Pleasures

I am generally a very self controlled person.  There are certain things that cause me to lose complete control and because of this it is best that I stay far, far away from them.  Some of them I just can’t get near because if I do I won’t stop indulging and others I know I can handle but only in limit quantities otherwise the result can be disastrous.  I was going to title this post “Vices”, but then I wondered if the word “Addictions” might be more accurate.  The Urban Dictionary defines a vice a “pleasurable evil” (Urban Dictionary, 2009).  It defines addiction as a habit you can’t quit (Urban Dictionary, 2009).  Using these definitions then, the following is a list of  The Wild Mind’s Vices (since none of the following items are habits I can’t quit).

The first thing I know I should never put in the grocery cart, because if I do it won’t make it home before I’ve devoured it is this:

vice1I love this popcorn.  Regifting Friend turned me onto it earlier this year.  Of course, she can afford to eat this stuff by the truckload, which she doesn’t because she has amazing control.  I, on the other hand, do not have that kind of control where this delicacy is concerned and I can’t afford to eat it.  At least, not in the quantities that I prefer to eat it.  Boo!  I literally can eat an entire bag of this, the family size bag, no less, in about twenty seconds if left alone. My kids know not to get between me and a bag of White Cheddar Popcorn.  This food, in spite of it’s healthy name, is packed with calories and not so great for the backflab, muffin top, buttock or saddlebags, unless you are trying to achieve quantity and size in each of those domains.  While, I’m not trying out for America’s Next Top Model any time soon, and while I also don’t want to sacrifice an occasional taste sensation in an effort to be my best self, I totally go over the top on this one.  It, like alcohol, for some is something I can’t even have one taste of or I’m doomed.  I think it goes beyond a vice. 

It’s become an uncontrollable addiction.   I simply can’t put this product on my shopping list anymore, not till I’ve put in considerable time a SmartFoods Anonymous, that’s for sure.

 

 

My next big vice is this little treat:

3MsktrsMain

Seriously? A 100 calorie candy bar?  Who would eat just one of those?  Not me.  Just better not even get me started.   I absolutely dread Halloween because of this candy bar.  It is my favorite!  I especially like to peel off the hard outer chocolate, eat that first then devour the inner creamy whipped chocolate.  Yuuuuuuuummmmmmm!  I could and have made myself sick on these.  I have a Treasure Box in my classroom that I used as an incentive.  I long since learned that if I stock that Treasure Box with this treat, the kids will get none of it and my bathroom scale at home will read “DOUBLE EXTRA FAT” in no time.  Not that I have anything against fat, but when it goes way beyond what is even remotely healthy for me and when the candy begins supplanting the vegetables, then I’d say enjoyment of an occasional good thing has turned once again into and uncontrollable addiction.  I just can’t go near this one.  Do not give it to me in my Christmas stocking.  I will eat it in two seconds without pausing for breath before I’m done.  It’s not an attractive thing to watch.

The third but not final vice is this morsel:

reeses_peanut_butter_cups

This one is also especially prevalent and troublesome at Halloween.  I also cannot have it anywhere near me, for obvious reasons.  However, out of site out of mind.  It isn’t like I ever crave these two candies enough to hop in the car and go buy a bunch and I never cave to the impulse by in the supermarket line, so it’s all good.

 

 I have to be very careful at birthday parties for this reason:

birthday_cake

 

 

 

I prefer cake over pie any day of the week.  But only if the cake is really moist and the frosting isn’t that fake sugary kind that tastes and feels like someone added sugar to Crisco and spread it on.  My true love is white cake but a really good chocolate cake can’t be beat either.

 

 

 

If I have to go out to eat, I must stay away from this heart-stopper (literally speaking):

McFries

 

 I don’t often do fast food of any kind, because when I do I end up with a massive headache and a serious intestinal revolt.  French fries are my weakness though and especially these kind if not overcooked.  I smell these and I gain weight. If I eat them I’m doing time at the gym for the next three years.

 

 

 

Solid foods are not the only source of decadence I enjoy way too much.  Certain beverages have a way of tempting me beyond control too.  Fortunately, I know my limits.  Trespassing beyond them will not bode well for me as you can imagine. 

Long_Island_Iced_Tea

 

The Long Island Ice Tea is my signature cocktail.  Some people add sugar.  I prefer it without.  My limit is two.  Three and I have a headache the next day.  Four and I’m guaranteed some time in prayer to the porcelain god begging for forgiveness from the error of my ways, or at least, my judgement. In the case of this little treat, more is not necessarily merrier.  I’ve learned that one the hard way.

 

 

 If wine is on the menu, here’s one I can drink like it’s soda pop:

chateau%20ste%20michelle%20riesling

 I’ve learned that a friend and I can share a bottle like this and it works out to two glasses each.  Sadly, in the early days after my divorce, I learned that I can down a whole bottle of this (that’s all four glasses to myself folks) and feel no ill effects in the morning if I take three ibuprofen, some Valerian Root and lots of water before heading to bed.  No headache, no hangover.  But really?  What’s the point there?  I like this particular brand of Reisling but it no longer has the draw that it once did.  It certainly isn’t in the form of an addiction, certainly not to the level of the White Cheddar Popcorn because I can keep a bottle of this on hand for several days before cracking it open.  The popcorn rarely makes it home since I’ve usually scarfed it down in car on the way back home.

  My daughter turned me on to this one recently:

starbuckstrawcremefrapp

 

Of course, the Strawberries and Creme Frappucinos are way too expensive for a single mom of four living on a budget to indulge in routinely , so this qualifies neither as a vice nor an addiction, but lands firmly in the once-a-year treat category.

 

So, whether they are really addictions (I think not) or merely vices, is open for interpretation.  These are the yummy little pleasures that for me spell disaster if I consume them with the fervor and enthusiasm that I’d really like to be able to.  Everyone has an evil little food pleasure, don’t they?  That one thing that if it weren’t for every shred of restraint we’d lose complete control over.  Some of us (read, I) have more than one.  What are some of  your decadently evil little food pleasures?

How Do You Feel About That Ugly Word Baggage?

Personally, the word “baggage” is a term that rankles me.

Several posts ago,  in the comments section of the article titled Kip’s Challenge, I was quite pointedly and not-so-nicely accused of having baggage.  He made the comment that most men reading my blog would slowly back away from their computer monitors and retreat to the companionship of other men in a bar.  The implication being that relationship with me would be too much work. (Now, how he would know what other single men would or would not do since he is a.) not one of them and, b.) not a woman dating them, is beyond me, but, yeah, we’ll go with that for now.) Supposedly, Kip has an inside track to the normal healthy available  male mind (the aberrant, unhealthy and unavailable don’t interest me, for obvious reasons.

That comment of Kip’s elicited a flurry of comments which ended in Kip silently backing away from his computer monitor and retreating into silence without much of a fight.  It’s been said that silence is interpreted as agreement.  Need I say more about that?

I’m not entirely certain what Kip  meant by baggage, but if, as I think he did, he was referring to the typical things that people refer to when labeling someone as having “baggage” (kids, past failed marriages, life history and experience, a career, some debt, and a life of my own that I actually enjoy and am not willing to necessarily tube for some dolt with a penis and a pocketbook) then I suppose he is right.  I have baggage and loads of it.  The fact that he said it, doesn’t really bother me so much, the fact that he was the one saying it, when I know full well he is sitting on top of a load of baggage far messier and larger than my own, is what I found humorous.  But you can go read all that for yourself over there if you like.  I’d suggest you not waste your time…unless you actually like some drama.

Over the last two years, I’ve done some thinking about the word baggage, and Kip’s comment forced me to revisit and take another look at this ugly word.

It is an ugly, ugly word.  It is ugly because it attacks the person at the core of their being but doesn’t mean anything at the same time.

Upon entering the dating scene nearly two years ago,now, I like most others just coming out of a disastrous marriage, was in no shape to begin dating.  Even so, I ventured forth against the advice of good friends who knew me and knew better.  I dated for about six months, learned a lot about myself and eventually quite dating, because I determined my friends were right.  I need to sort myself out first before I was going to even be able to recognize a soul mate should he ever venture onto the scene. 

During this initial dating period, I tried several different methods of meeting people.  One of them being, online dating.  In fact, I tried nearly all the prominent well known ones and some of the not so well known ones.  During this online dating phase, I encountered the word baggage more often than I care to remember. 

Baggage is an ugly, derogatory word that contains a million diffferent meanings depending upon who is using the word and what their particular definition of it might be. It is like the word love in reverse.  People love God, or they love their significant other or their kids, and they love movie theatre popcorn or stiletto pumps, or lobster.  Another vague and meaningless word like this is the word, “good”.  What exactly is good?  He felt good.  That movie was good.  You are a good person.  Baggage is yet another word that is so vague as to be meaningless anymore except when it is used it can really sting.  Even if it isn’t true.

You often hear folks mention it in their profiles saying things like this, “Those with baggage need not apply.”  LOL!  Like, first of all anyone with baggage is really going to admit it and second of all, what exactly are you calling baggage there, buddy?  I mean, really? Seriously?  As if the person writing it who is pushing 50 has a clean slate themselves.  If they do, that’s the biggest piece of baggage!  Baggage for me (not divorced, a lot of drama associated with the past because the divorce settlement or parenting time was vague, too many financial loose ends involving the ex, a volatile or violent ex,  emotional instability, a prison record, unemployed, homeless, addicted) could be entirely different for someone else.  Most men seem to state kids, addictions, and insecurities as the main elements of baggage.  Most men do not include a stalker woman as one who has baggage since they mostly like to be stalked.  Expecially if the woman is beautiful, tiny and has had her breasts magically enlarged so that they are significantly larger than her buttocks.  What they don’t really recognize though, is that a woman like that (unless she paid for the services herself) is probably carrying a load of “baggage” (read insecurities and not comfortable in her own skin) and has even bigger expectations for relationship which don’t center around accepting the man as he is but instead focus on measuring him in light of the depth and breadth of his pocketbook.  But I digress.

Most of the time, when someone says, “He/She has a ton of baggage” it is intended as malicious insult aimed at undermining the recipient’s competence as an adult human being.  It simply means “He/she is incapable of doing life”.  They are an incompetent individual unable to deal successfully with the challenges of adult life, therefore they are being crossed off the list of life by someone, usually, who has enough baggage of their own as to make the person they are criticizing look bag free.

It doesn’t mean merely that person was not a good fit.  It doesn’t mean that  the person made some bad choices in the past but they are overcoming them and they’ll be alright.  It’s a completely derogatory term usually used by the middle aged single people for other middle aged single people.  And most people don’t mean “life experience” or “the past” when they are talking about it.  They definitely mean to lump all the person’s issues into one neat and tidy word without specifying anything but with the clear intent to verbally knock the person flat.  Because really, the term baggage is so vague, so broad, who honestly can argue with it?

To many, I would be someone with a lot of baggage: four kids, a home that I own that I have not foreclosed on, but which needs some cosmetic improvements and which has a yard that needs tending to in order to keep it beautiful, a diminishing debt load and a successful career that requires a lot of time and energy from me during 9 months of the year.  That would be baggage for some.

For others, my baggage would center around the fact that I have two marriages that didn’t work out.  Okay, I’ll say it: I have two failed marriages. And, yes, they failed because I was as much a part of the problem as the other person.  That admission somehow sends off alarms to all (well, at least the unhealthy insecure “all”)  that I’m incompetent in relationship.  People make assumptions instead of asking the critical question, “What was that about for you?”  For others, my baggage would center around the fact that I’ve spent a fair amount of time after my last divorce thinking through exactly that very question and reflecting not only on what the other person did or didn’t do that didn’t work for me, but also on how I contributed to the problem.  The result is, in some areas I’m very clear on what I will or will not tolerate in relationship.  I’m clear on what the foundations of a good relationship must be and how to recognize them. I’m becoming more and more clear on what my limitations are and what does or doesn’t work for me and my boundaries in this regard are getting firmer daily. I’m also unwilling to waste time in any relationship that doesn’t demonstrate at least the basics of emotional, financial and legal availability and the biggie: mutual  acceptance and respect .  Many men, especially those, who haven’t a clear concept of their own self identity, who are insecure or immature, and/or who need a woman to take care of them or fulfill them or to meet their self-centered needs, or who are simply stupid, can’t stand me.

I’m totally okay with that! 

The term baggage, however, is  one of those words which while intended to harm the person talked about, also implicates the person wielding the word.  When someone uses that word, eyebrows raise and the question goes out, “Oh, really, what do you mean?”  It works like this.  You use the word “baggage”.  The question goes out, “What do you mean?”  The word is uselessly vague so you must clarify the word and in clarifying the word you malign the other person somehow. When you malign another from your past, especially when on a date with a new person, it is the death knell.  You’ve succeeded in assassinating the person you were talking about but you made yourself look just as bad in the process. Baggage is an ugly word which when used reflects badly on both the person targeted but even more so the person using the word.

How do you feel about the word “baggage”?  What does that word mean to you?