Joanne Palmer: Shades of guilty pleasure |

Joanne Palmer: Shades of guilty pleasure

Joanne Palmer

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

The dog collar looks good on the dog, but I don't think it would do much for me. I don't want to try to look sexy wrapped up in her dog leash, and I certainly do not want to be handcuffed to anything or anyone. If you've been reading the summer blockbuster "Fifty Shades of Grey," these are some of the guilty pleasures it trumpets. Billed as "mom porn," "Fifty Shades" is one of the buzz books of the summer, a trilogy women are staying up past their bedtimes to finish.

I don't get it. But to be a good sport, I read the first book. I still don't get it. Instead of being turned on, I felt enormous relief to be past all of that dating drama. Old age is a beautiful thing.

The urban dictionary says a guilty pleasure is something that we shouldn't like but do anyway. I have my own guilty pleasures, but they do not require borrowing anything from the dog. Here are a few:

■ Going somewhere, anywhere, without my cellphone. Freedom.

■ Chocolate for breakfast. It's a good way to start the day and it's logical. Eating chocolate after 1 p.m. keeps me awake at night, so I have to get it in early.

■ My new recycling container. The other day I switched trash companies and got a new recycling container. I was overjoyed. It is big and gleaming. I am thrilled not to have to sort.

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■ Bills that come with return envelopes that have the address on it so I don't have to try to line up the address on a stub with the slot on the envelope.

■ Emails, letters and notes that are written in a large font so I don't have to look for my reading glasses to decipher them.

■ Singing to Abba songs. No wonder my son resists hanging out with me.

■ Hanging up on telemarketers. Sorry, nothing more satisfying.

■ Whipped cream on top of a smoothie. Ying yang.

■ Driving without a map. I get there anyway.

■ Garage sales. Great people-watching, entertaining and I might find a bargain.

■ A hot bath. Ah, washes away the day and sets me up for dreamland.

■ Mismatched socks.

■ People magazine.

■ Watching the same movie multiple times. I never used to do this, but I just watched "Hitch" again the other night and I still laughed.

■ A long conversation with an old friend. Cliche, I know, but I email so much I sometimes forget how nice an actual two-way conversation is.

■ Checking out what the Duchess of Cambridge last wore.

■ Reading my horoscope.

■ Pretending to exercise. I excel at this. I can do imaginary pedaling while reading quite easily.

■ Not weighing myself. What's the point? Either I can button my jeans or I can't. In the meantime, I don't want to know.

■ A good night's sleep. Or sleeping past 5:30 a.m.

■ The second cup of coffee. The first cup just wakes me up. The second cup can be savored.

My list is not edgy. I get that. And truthfully, I don't feel the least bit guilty about anything on there. We all need a mini mental vacation, a temporary timeout, a chance to take a big, deep breath, and if a guilty pleasure provides it, great.

Just check with your dog before borrowing her things.

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