Guilty Pleasures and Comfort Reads

December 05, 2011

Perhaps it was a reaction to the gathering speed of life in this holiday season, but my weekend was full of guilty pleasures and comfort reading. Every year at Christmastime I make a big batch of molasses sugar cookies for us and our neighbors across the street. Our sons have been friends since they were preschoolers, and we’ve developed a friendship and an alliance with the parents to keep the kids supervised and out of trouble (as much as is possible with teenage boys). Jodi always bakes us something yummy at Thanksgiving—this year it was a loaf of red velvet cake—and I return the favor at Christmas. Of course, when I make these cookies, there is much tasting of dough and of finished cookies (don’t want to give the neighbors something that doesn’t taste good, do we?). Then we have a cookie jar full of cookies for a few days, and these cookies go really well with my coffee... I’m eating one as I write…

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes, guilty pleasures. While I was baking said cookies, I was watching—and I almost hate to admit this—a Netflix disk of Laverne & Shirley. Go ahead, laugh if you want. My husband does. L & S came out in the late 70s/early 80s, and I remember watching it with my mom. It’s a silly show, but one with a sweet heart and optimistic spirit. I like to have the TV on when I bake, but I can’t watch anything too engrossing. I either lose crucial plot points, or get caught up in what I’m watching and burn the cookies. Laverne & Shirley was perfect for my purposes. Guilty pleasure piled upon guilty pleasure.

When I was done with guilty pleasures, I moved right on to a comfort read, revisiting a book from my childhood: Rosamund du Jardin’s Double Date. Double Date is the first book in a series about twins Pam and Penny Howard. A few months back, feeling nostalgic, I was trying to remember the names of the books in this series, or even the author’s name. I remembered the series involved twins, and I thought some of the titles included the word “double,” but beyond that I was stumped. Through the magic of the internet, I was able to track it down and even order the first book from Amazon.

Double Date is set in the 50s (coincidentally, so is Laverne & Shirley), and I thought the story held up well, even though it’s incredibly sweet and innocent compared with today’s children’s/tween books. Just before their senior year of high school, Pam and Penny move with their mother and grandmother to a small town outside of Chicago, so their mother can open her own interior design business. Pam is the more self-assured twin, popular with everyone, while Penny is quieter, unsure of herself and more serious. The story takes place through the school year, and Penny learns to come out from under Pam’s shadow and blossom into herself. I can see why I liked this so much when I was growing up—I must have identified with Penny.

Between cookies, Laverne & Shirley and Double Date, I had a very comforting weekend.

What guilty pleasures, or comfort reads, have you indulged in lately?

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  1. What a delicious weekend!! I've spent far more time than normal just painting for myself. What's normal? Not enough, so even a little bit seem decadent to me!

    Something that surely needs adjusting for 2012.

  2. Wonderful! Hopefully you experienced the pleasure without the guilt!

  3. Oh, those cookies sure look good. I could swear that I can smell them and feel the warmth coming off of them as they come out of the oven. Wow -- the power of suggestion!!

    Your guilty pleasures for watching/listening and reading sound very relaxing to me.

    My guilty pleasure for the weekend was painting -- but sure wish I had more time for it!!

  4. Wish you were here to eat some cookies with us!

    Glad you found time to paint this weekend. I'm sure it was refreshing for you.

  5. Mmm, I can smell those cookies all the way from here! I've been trying to think of something to watch - and to try streaming on my new Xoom with the data service plan (my guilty and wonderful luxury since I am sure like everyone tells me that WiFi is everywhere - unless it isn't). Laverne and Shirley sounds fun. I only ever saw a few episodes the first time around. I have downloaded a few books to read and may dive into one tonight rather than read the religious one or the don't-eat-animals one my son wants me to read. I'll just sneak away and have my guilty fun!

  6. Sometimes those guilty pleasures are absolutely necessary! Hope you enjoyed yours.