Online Guilty Pleasures


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

It’s already 11:30 p.m. and yet the light from my computer screen continues to illuminate the dark room. Dan won’t be home until midnight, so I have at least 30 more minutes to indulge in this compulsive habit that has me clicking through picture after picture online. 

What would he think if he knew I was spending time on this?

What would my friends think? 

What would my readers think? 

When I hear the garage door open a few minutes later I immediately close the window and pick up my decoy, a book I’ve been trying to finish for three months entitled Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities.

He’ll never know.

A pang of guilt grips me. I should have been reading this all along instead of wasting my time with my secret life….my “dark passenger,” if you will.  

Dan greets me with a sympathetic smile thinking that I’ve spent the evening buried in writing and research. Little does he know that  I’ve spent the last hour staring at pictures of purple and blue cupcakes designed for a “vintage sweets shoppe baby shower” at Hostess with The Mostess or admiring the fabulous raspberry-hued skirt and jacket the First Lady wore with her meeting Nelson Manela at Mrs.O.org.

That’s right. It is as you suspected: I’m addicted to looking at pretty pictures online. 

In addition to subscribing to a host of theological, religious, cultural, and political blogs, I subscribe to a few “guilty pleasures” that suck away more time and interest than I care to admit.  My primary vices include: 

1. Hostess With The Mostess—a blog that should make a progressive, justice-oriented Christian like me squirm on account of its blatant depiction expensive, over-the-top, themed birthday parties for children,unmitigated patriotism, and perpetuation  of gender stereotypes…all FABULOUSLY done and beautifully photographed.

2. Ruffled—“a blog for vintage brides and creative couples” that has me planning my dream wedding even though I got married eight years ago and have no intention of doing it again. Try as I may, I can’t stop looking at its beautiful couplesbeautiful table arrangements, and beautiful wedding day tattoos...especially after our friends Matt and Sarah were featured there. ( I think you can see Dan sitting on a hay bale in photo #6!)  

3. Mrs. O—a blog that lets me follow the fashion of the First Lady more closely than I follow the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so I can stay in informed about what sundressesevening gowns, and casual wear are sure to look great on the average American woman with perfectly sculptured arms. There's a small chance this site will influence my vote in 2012. 

4. Serious Eats—home to the legendary cookie-stuffed-cookiesedible stadium, and “10 Things to Do With Peeps” of Sunday Superlative fame.

5. Modcloth.com—a site that makes me feel like the indie, vintage, hipster I wish I could afford to be. 

So, now that I’ve confessed my online guilty pleasures, what are yours?

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