MY SECRET VICE
By Alice Eve Cohen
The topic suggested to me for my guest blog was vices… guilty pleasures. A perfect topic for Chocolate Reality, the book blog that revels in the dual pleasures of extreme chocolate indulgence and reading.
Ooh la la! I prepared myself to write in voluptuous, bodice-ripping-style, put pen to page (a.k.a. fingers to keyboard), and wrote:
“Vices…” (Long pause. Start over.)
“Among my favorite vices…” (Longer pause. Start over.)
“My secret vice…” (VERY long pause)
Could it be true that I don’t have any vices? I despaired at my woeful inadequacy. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH ME? (And how will I ever write this blog?)
Here’s the skinny on me and vices:
· Alcohol: I enjoy an occasional glass of wine. On more than one occasion, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to “remember to drink more often.”
· Food: Chocolate turns me on, as much as it does anyone. But I’ve been so brainwashed by my long and generally harmonious relationship with Weight Watchers that my ecstatic food moments tend more towards, say… Roasted Root Vegetables (Oh yeah, baby!), or a perfectly ripe mango (Yes, yes, GOD, YES!) You get the picture.
· Drugs: Caffeine only. I once tried to completely decaffeinate, but quickly realized I’m a far superior person when I have coffee, so I drink it without guilt.
· Sex: Marital and monogamous. Plenty of pleasure, no vice.
Utterly stumped, I ate a stalk of celery and went for a long bike ride, to think about my humiliating state of vicelessness.
“What makes a vice a vice?” I thought, as I biked around Central Park on my 1972 ten-speed, blue Peugeot racing bike that I’ve been riding ever since my dad got it for me as a high school graduation gift. “A vice is a taboo act or substance that is guiltily enjoyed. Are taboos universal? No. When I was an anthropology major at Princeton, many moons ago, my cultural anthropology professor taught us that what is taboo varies from culture to culture, depending on whatever is in short supply. For example, in a culture experiencing a famine, talking about food is taboo: Saying the word ‘yam’ or ‘watermelon’ aloud elicits ribald laughter, like telling a dirty joke. But is anything in short supply in my 21st Century New York City culture? The people I know are running as fast as they can, and sleeping as little as they can get away with. The one thing in short supply is sleep.
That’s it! My secret vice is napping!