Chocolate Cake and Other Guilty Pleasures

I belong to two book clubs. One is a virtual book club with friends from all over. We meet via Google Hangout now so we can see one another and have real conversations about the books and other things as well. The second book club is the Tallahassee Book Club which I have belonged to for many years. Every month I skype into the book club meeting and spend a very pleasant several hours with a wonderful group of women. Now there are many great things about being a part of the group even though I’m more than a thousand miles away but the downside is watching the members eat the wonderful food that everyone brings. The wine I can duplicate but not the food. Last month’s meeting featured three desserts — two cakes and some cookies. There was much oohing and aahing over the cakes and my sweet tooth was aching for a piece. Not to be, however, until earlier this week when I finally had to give in and satisfy the cake craving.

Using the excuse that I needed more fruits and veggies, I went to the store and bought a chocolate cake. I then proceeded to eat the entire cake by myself over two days. In my defense, it was a small cake, but even so I was embarrassed. How can a person be embarrassed when there is no one else to see or know. I didn’t tell anyone. Sydney was my only witness to the gluttony. Then I got to thinking. What have I got to feel guilty about? Why do we think of this as a guilty pleasure rather than just a pleasure. It’s not like it’s something I’d do more than once a year or so. I should have gone all the way and just put the whole cake on a plate and had at it with a fork. I did, however, cut it into serving sizes. When I decided to blog and go public with this guilty pleasure, I realized that there are lots of things I wouldn’t necessarily share with others — eating crackers and butter and lots of them, buying a bag of potato chips and eating the whole thing by myself, sitting and watching old British mysteries for an entire day and night, buying a bag of jelly beans on my way home from Brooklyn and eating them on the car ride. Why should I feel guilty about this? Because it’s incredibly unhealthy of course but even so…why is it that it is so difficult to allow ourselves these little things?

I have always blamed the guilt on my upbringing of course — don’t we all?! And, why do we always look for someone or something to blame for our own behavior? (And, by the way, I totally blame my Tallahassee book club for my bad behavior!) You can tell I’ve been analyzing this behavior and in making this declaration I hereby resolve myself of guilt and, as long as I don’t engage in this behavior too often, I am allowing me to have cake every now and then — the whole cake!! Now, I think later I’ll get a pint of ice cream, sit down in front of the tv with it and a spoon, and enjoy every delicious bite.