Sounding Off

Inspired by Busby LeClair’s article last week, I’ve posed the question: what’s your guilty pleasure. Here are your responses.

I must admit, my guilty pleasure is not only watching children’s cartoons, but listening to and singing along with boy bands such as ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys. I have every CD.

Andrea Buck

My guilty pleasure is definitely my PlayStation 2. I find it extremely helpful to reduce stress by beating the heck out of the baddies in all my different games. What makes this such a guilty pleasure for me is the fact that I am almost 30 – and female to boot. Video games are definitely considered teenage male territory.

Julie Bishop

My guilty pleasure is computer time. I love playing games at Yahoo and writing. It makes me feel guilty though because I tend to get sidetracked easily and next thing I know, I’m behind in schoolwork.

Jody Waddle

I actually have several, one of which is to watch my favourite soap when Ii get home. I know the acting is bad and the characters flat but after 15 years, well they are pretty much a part of my life.

Lance Bevan-Herringshaw

So many to choose from, so little time. My guilty pleasures seem to change with the seasons: In the winter, a cup of hot steaming mulled wine after a day skiing. In the spring, perusing garden centers dreaming of the plants I would buy if I had a garden, the hot dry days of summer, a cold beer on a hot deck in the summer and the brisk clear days of autumn, sitting in the late afternoon sun soaking in the last few rays of pure sunlight. There is one pleasure that follows me from season to season, one thing that will get me inside and away from the great outdoors – home decorating television programs.

I’m not talking about Martha Stewart or Trading Spaces decorating, I’m talking about House Doctor, Sell this House, and Buy Me. These programs all feature people desperate to sell their homes, inviting strangers with TV crews into their lives to film the reactions of potential buyers as they scoff and sneer at the unfortunate decorating tastes. All in the hopes that this crew will be able to turn their homes into something that someone else will take on as their own.

The homeowners sit with the program hosts and watch the potential buyers insult their taste and their homes, after which the owners are then subjected to more criticism and more insults to their tastes and senses during the revamp of their over cluttered, over decorated, and over furnished homes. There are tears, lots of head shaking, the host often asking – “What were you thinking?”, and the final result, a house that looks more like a show home and less like a space reflecting the owner’s own personality. At the end of the half hour they invite all the potential buyers back and they film them again, this time they all marvel at the change and end up realizing that now that someone else has done the work that maybe this house is right for them after all.

Why this type of show? I’m not sure, but I can spend hours glued to my sofa, cup of coffee in hand watching transformation after transformation occur. Of course at the end of my home decorating show marathon I look around my own small home and wonder what people think of my living area, is it too cluttered, do they hate my paint colour? Should I move my fridge and clean the gunk that’s built up under there? Fortunately for me, before I actually move the fridge and start cleaning I am saved by another show and another cup of coffee.

I think the real reason I can call this my guilty pleasure is the fairy tale feel of it all. Who doesn’t want a fairy godmother (or father) to sweep in and rescue them in their time of need? I think we could all use a few more happily ever after moments in our life, and so I will continue to watch these magical home transformations take place in 30 minutes or less and I won’t feel guilty about. Although I might feel guilty about the coffee drip stains on the carpet in front of the sofa, and the gunk under the fridge.

Heather Gardiner