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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Pass the Cheesecake

What do Britney Spears, Facebook stalking, Girl Scout cookies and Perez Hilton all have in common? They are guilty pleasures – things you would rather not admit enjoying, yet can’t help but love.

I was watching “The Bachelor” the other night when I realized that this show is my guilty pleasure. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past 7 years, don’t own a TV or simply have good taste, let me explain to you the beauty of this show.

One man is picked to be “The Bachelor.” He is talked-up, glammed-up and basically given an identity that, in all probability, has as little resemblance to his original state as Al Gore has to Halle Berry. Then he is shipped off to a mansion in Malibu, given an expensive car to create the façade of a tycoon, and put in front of a TV camera to tell his sad story of how, although he is an attractive, smart, wealthy, nice, successful Ken doll, he has never had much luck with love.

Next, 25 women are picked to duke it out for his love. They are told that if they can make it through several weeks of polygamous behavior, drama and heartbreak, then they will receive the ultimate prize: a marriage proposal from the perfect man (whom they have known a whole five minutes).

These women will do anything to be with The Bachelor. I’m willing to bet money that if ordered to line up, strip down to their skivvies and wrestle a grizzly bear one-by-one in a kiddy-pool full of chocolate pudding, only a handful would back out.

Somewhere between the rose ceremonies and wardrobe malfunctions of this endless footage of monumental embarrassment stems my guilty pleasure. As much as I am ashamed that I could condone the degradation of women by religiously watching their desperate and self-debasing actions all in an attempt to catch a man … I love it. Sure, my inner feminist is screaming at me to stop, but I conveniently lose all self-control and continue to watch the carnage.

At some point on Monday night (possibly while my friend Kay and I were defending a woman’s rant about wearing her hair in a ponytail to our hopelessly male friend, Aaron) I decided that if I have this monumental weakness, others must have one as well. So I asked my friends – who indulge me way too much – to share some of their more embarrassing guilty pleasures with all of UC Davis.

My roommate Emily asserted vehemently that she was not ashamed of her fondness for “Rock of Love,” and only slightly ashamed of watching “The Bad Girls’ Club.” My other roommate, Kristen, forgoes an activity that could be labeled as productive in order to play Tetris online.

One friend, who shall remain nameless, confessed a love of watching the children’s cartoon Arthur when she feels down. I accepted that as one of the quirks that makes her loveable. She then mentioned her love of the Jonas Brothers, which I immediately mocked.

I even have a certain friend, let’s just call her “Schmoxanna,” who came clean about her love of the cloying, sweet/musty smell that comes out of the vents in the ground on campus. Her favorite vent is in front on the Social Science & Humanities building.

Although there are myriad guilty pleasures that are particular to each person, the most common guilty pleasures came in the form of food. From Cherries Garcia to cheese puffs to lime Jell-O, sugar seems to cause more guilt than anything else. However, a close runner-up was TV shows like “The Hills” and bad movies like The Punisher.

If I have discovered anything, it is that everyone has a guilty pleasure. So the next time you’re munching on something you know you shouldn’t eat or singing along to Journey, do it with pride. I encourage everyone to grab some chocolate, re-read that Harry Potter book you’ve already read a dozen times and climb back into bed at three in the afternoon. Because whatever your guilty pleasure, you are not alone.

DANIELLE RAMIREZ wants to know if anyone else feels the same way about “The Bachelor.” To confess your guilty pleasures, e-mail her at dramirez@ucdavis.edu.

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