Tuesday, April 24, 2007

secret shames

If I were a celebrity, and I was on the cover of magazines with headlines like "Allie's Anguish" or "Allie's Secret Shame", I wonder what they would say about me? That my marriage to Colin Firth was doomed to failure? (Lies! All lies!) That "friends" said I was going to turn into a walking skeleton if I wasn't careful, because of all the media attention and stress? (I wish!) That I had a secret fetish for dwarves? (I actually have no idea where that sentence came from.) Well - Tabloid Editors - I'm going to make it easy for you. These are the things that I don't generally tell people about. I can find it in me to announce them on the internet because, to be brutally honest, I don't have to see any of my readers on a day-to-day basis!

I bought a book called Georgette Heyer's Regency World, by Jennifer Kloester, from Borders last week - for $60! (That's about... US$35-40, I'd guess?) And I'm supposed to be saving money! It is just so cool! It is about all the background to Georgette Heyer novels. It tells me that a conservatory was the perfect place for marriage proposals, what terms such as 'nabob' and 'dandy' mean and how they originated, what card games were popular, how snuff was made and where it was sold, about the hierarchies within the peerage and even within the domestic staff of a great house, what one did at Vauxhall Gardens, and so on and so forth. The author did her PhD on Georgette Heyer books! I'm telling the truth when I say that this book makes me salivate. It's the sort of book that one just cannot justify buying, and unless someone is a Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen fan, they just could not understand the thrill of reading it. I have told no one but one of my sisters. Until now.

Christina Aguilera was one of those singers that everyone else loved, when I was thirteen or fourteen, and that I swore I would always despise. I mean, for crying out loud, she thought the three most beautiful words in the English language were: "Come on over". Hmmm.
It is disturbing me no end now, however, that I am actually really enjoying the last few singles she's brought out: 'Candyman' and the other one whose name I forget. I am even thinking about buying the album. I have not told anyone until now. I just think that her latest music is so fun. I'm a bit sick of songs about cancer, or what goes through the minds of killers, or about women whose husbands are beating them. That sounds super-heartless, I know, but there is a point at which I just want to listen to funky, young music that's just happy! Such as Gwen Stefani or people like that. It's embarrassing, though.

I can't believe I'm even telling you this one. The Sims. So I don't play it as much as I used to, but if I ever do, it has the tendency to become compulsive. Computer games seem such a 12-year-old thing to do. I even lied when I bought it about four years ago, telling the cute shop assistant that it was for "a friend". I guess ever since childhood I have enjoyed creating little universes, whether they be with Playmobil, Littlest Petshop, Polly Pocket, or... The Sims. (I keep italicising it because it seems so embarrassing and dire. If I could, when you read the words you would hear menacing music.) I actually have no idea how to justify this one. Oh! the shame.

This one isn't quite so guilty, I guess, as I'm perfectly happy to tell people I'm a huge fan of Agatha Christie (who, in this photo, looks a lot like the Queen Mother - does anyone agree?). But I think most people would be a little surprised if they knew how many Christie mysteries I read. I also get hold of them, and then can't bear to put them down, so I often find myself finishing a good old satisfying Agatha Christie novel at about 3 o'clock in the morning. I read them to my ESL students for listening practice. I'm finding it extremely depressing to think that at some point in the near future I will have read every single Christie novel there is. I have a whole shelf in my bookcase of them... and I've been reading them for less than a year. Eek! I'm telling you, I would do a PhD on Agatha Christie if someone would fund it *endearing smile to any readers out there who may be slightly eccentric and rich* and if I could avoid telling other students who do PhDs on Real Literature.

So those are my guilty secrets. What are yours? (Come on, I told you mine...)


Sarakastic said...

I'll alert the media...I actually didn't buy the sims until I was 24, & felt guilty about it too, I just feel like I should be past choosing cute outfits for made up people, but i'm not.

Stacy said...

Allie, I think you're destined to write a Regency-era novel. You just need to accept it.

I almost posted a similar guilty pleasure, only mine was a list of the books I loved as a child and as a teenager. Then I thought, can I really post about my high school love of dirty romance novels? I mean, I used to read stuff that Janice would have written and forced upon Natalia and Jim.

LEstes65 said...

My guilty pleasures include reading everyone's blog posts during conference calls at work (I work from home). Which often means, they periodically ask me a question and I have to come up with a snappy sounding way to ask "Uh....what?"

Trish Ryan said...

Great revelations :) And I'm with you on the happy music - sometimes I don't want to dance around my house to music about how everything is hopeless.

And I'm with Stacy - please write a Regency novel so that I can learn what a dandy is (and for that matter, what a regency novel is...) You owe it to your blogging public :)

Stacy said...

Trish, a Regency novel is one set in England between 1811-1820, or during the time when George IV ruled as Prince Regent. During this period, Jane Austen wrote as did the English Romantics and very unflattering high-waisted dresses were in fashion. Regency-era romances are a huge sub-genre of historical romances. Alyssa's novel, for example, is a Regency.

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Creating a Sims world is not unlike writing a novel. You begin with a cast of characters and an idea of what you want them to do, but they wind up with a life of their own.

My guilty pleasure is reading Post Secret when I can't think of a writing topic.

ellesappelle said...

Sara: I can't tell you how happy I am that someone else shares my embarrassing secret!

Stacy: I think that's a very funny secret to have. I could get all Dr Phil here and say that all girls go through that stage etc etc, but I just love it that you can in some way identify with Janice!

Lynette: That is also a very funny secret shame :)

Trish: Well, it seems I will just have to live the dream and write the Regency novel. With the amount of Austen fanfiction I've written, I really must have had enough practice!

Carolyn: Thanks very much for visiting and commenting, by the way. I've never thought of visiting PostSecret for writing ideas before, but that is an excellent idea!

Bonsai said...

haha. whats mine?? hmm i'm a Neopets addict - or i was. i used to get up at 6am (or stay up till 2am and then creep out when i figured everyone was asleep) so the family couldnt kick me off the computer. they even changed the computer password so i couldnt get onto the internet for a few months. i'm a xanga addict now, blogging is a lot more healthy than internet games!! lol. hmmm... arg. i found a Spice girls song i like (after a lifetime of utterly detesting them and swearing that i always would) and.. i wear jeans now, from giving in to peer pressure (you would probably have to be family to get that one.) *sigh*.. alright ill admit it, and i also like sparkly dance skirts (or dresses) that move well when you're dancing. i also wear pink - sometimes. i discovered it goes well with black. (since when did Layling become colour coordinated?! or pay ANY attention to what she wears?!) aaaaaargh maybe i'd better just admit it, they Americanised her. kindof. im still tough little tomcatlike eccentric Me though!!
why on Earth did i just write all that?? some of that stuff i've never ever vocalised in my life. please Allie, dont tell anyone else any of that, it'll ruin my reputation.