It’s already March. We’ve found ourselves tumbling through back-to-back seasons of wondrous indulgence, blindly blowing through Mardi Gras, finally reaching a screeching halt at the observation of Lent. With Kings Cake still coursing through our veins, we’re due for a wicked withdrawal.
Living in a modern society primarily ruled through the (in)direct influence of the Church, one’s own religious identity does not offer much relief. We subscribe to a culture obsessed with bold virtue signaling, rigorous shame cycles, and omnipresent contradictions. Now is our time to collectively repent.
According to the treasured Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) podcast on Mardi Gras, the ancient tradition of Carnival serves as the period to over-indulge before the otherwise bleak observation of Lent. From Greece, Italy, Spain, Brazil, to Mississippi, then to our sacred swamp boot of Louisiana; this lawless celebration of gluttony, riches, and colorful expression has withstood the test of time. Mardi Gras simply serves as the last hoorah of Carnival, satiating all sinful desires just in time for Ash Wednesday.
Periods of boundless indulgence, sheer elation, and gluttony juxtaposed with weeks of abstinence, white-linen religious tradition, and sacrifice. If that doesn’t highlight society’s virtuous contradiction on a mass scale, I don’t know what would. Typical f*ckboy behavior if you ask me.
To understand this rich history of contradiction, consider the hyper-sexualization of nearly any mass industry. It’s quite difficult to tell the difference between deluxe ice cream commercials and condom commercials. They’re both wrapped in gold packages stamped MAGNUM. If you ask me, the ice cream commercial is even more suggestive. Yet, nearly 2,000 complaints were submitted to the FCC for this year’s Superbowl Halftime show. Come the f*ck on, Karen.
We condemned Miley Cyrus for suggestively dancing at a televised performance, yet elected a president who publicly bragged about grabbing women between the legs. No, sorry. “By the p*ssy.” It’s important to be specific.
I’m no stranger to gluttony. In a world where we work to live, live to work, and COVID-19 is a real thing; we self-sooth by ‘treating ourselves’ whenever we get the chance.
Continue reading for the Top 10 list of go-to Treat Yo’self practices that would make Parks & Rec’s Donna coo in awe of your self-love skills.
Being a (proud) sad sack of sh*t. Sometimes, overindulging means expressing all of your emotions with no self-judgment. As a Cancer sun/Cancer Moon, ya girl has to get a good cry in from time to time. Whether it means blasting Amy Winehouse, reading old love letters, re-watching the Notebook, or scrolling through Maya Angelou quotes on Pinterest… I’ve got no shame, hunny.
Extravagant coffee and/or cocktails. This is a Triple Whammy for the impending shame spiral; tough on the waistline, the wallet, and resulting anxiety levels. Bonus points for count of total garnishes included. Just ask my friends. I’ll drag your *ss to the Starbucks Reserve for a $20 cocktail that looks, smells, and tastes like ripe sewer water. #blessed
Taking a nap without setting an alarm. Will you wake up in 2 hours or 2 days? Will your mood be improved or significantly worsened? Shall we risk our careers for an extra 12 minutes of sleep?
Unplanned PTO. These self care days are essential in many ways. You can complete your remaining weekend agenda, explore a mall food-court all to yourself, or you can finally beat Tomb Raider III. Plus, lets be honest. All work and no play makes us miserable to be around. You owe it to your community to indulge in these days every so often.
Choosing convenience over cost. If trading financial security for a shred of sanity were an Olympic sport, I’d be the US Gymnastics team. When I find myself particularly stressed, I’ll cut corners and happily pay the price. I’ll proudly buy all my groceries from Target, pay hefty expedited shipping charges, toggle from slow WiFi to premium cell phone data, and all but sell my soul to DoorDash.
The real McDonald’s breakfast. Remember that one time Adam Sandler was willing to get hit by a car to get to McDonald’s breakfast on time (Big Daddy, 1999)? I’d do the same. I know that’s not exactly how it went in the movie, but comedians are allowed to lie quite a bit and now that’s my artistic truth. However, breakfast has since changed. A portion of this breakfast menu is now available all day. I’ve never felt as special about it since. I guess I finally get the whole cow/milk-for-free analogy that we learned as little girls so that we could better understand how to market our bodies to grown men.
But, my favorite thing about McDonald’s is how many people pretend to be too good for it. In his recent live special, Nate Bargatze recounts a recent trip to McDonald’s with friend. His friend exclaimed the obligatory “Wow, I haven’t been here in so long! What do they even have?” as he retorts a “Jesus, don’t act like I’m the one keeping them afloat!”. YEAH, NATE! TELL ‘EM!
Cheap pizza. Sometimes you don’t want that fancy sh*t. Sometimes you just want a Stuffed Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut. By sometimes, I mean all the time. This is What Women Want. Without all the Mel Gibson. You’re welcome.
Soft things. True indulgence is wrapping yourself up like a burrito. A burrito made of equal parts fuzzy socks, warm lambswool blanket, and fresh hotel robe. This expert level of self-love will transform you into the latest and greatest Carebear. Your tummy insignia shall be marked by rainbows of Cheetos dust and Oreo-crumbs. Your gift to the world shall be minding your own f*cking business.
Canceling insignificant plans. Again, as a Cancer sun/Cancer moon, I’m excited by any opportunity to enjoy more time at home. There’s no better feeling than respectfully rescinding an RSVP from a social obligation in exchange for a movie night in my candle-lit den.
Window shopping. Whether you’re fantasizing about a new living room, a new wardrobe, or a new husband… ya gotta keep the ol’ imagination running! I’ve had the most fun exploring the showroom floors of stores I don’t belong in. From the Louis Vuitton on the Las Vegas Strip to a Restoration Hardware catalog found most anywhere, I love daydreaming of design. Rest assured, my Sims had it MADE!
All too often, we don’t let this ‘treat yo’self’ decadence go without punishment. Instead of allowing ourselves to restore our energy with grace; we oscillate between periods of virtuous restriction and shameful over-indulgence, rarely finding a happy medium.
Maybe our quick-switching laser focus on indulgence and restraint is due to our obsession with policing one another. Maybe its death by comparison. Maybe our traditional obsession with ‘rightness’ and ‘fairness’ prevents us from understanding that others’ periods of Carnival and Lent may be on a different schedule than ours.
When we become obsessed with policing others (and more often, ourselves), we give far too much power to the physical world. When we surrender ourselves to honesty and humility, we can settle into healthy moderation instead. We should trust ourselves with the proverbial “inch”. No, not the MAGNUM kind.
Stop denying yourself the things you love. Be authentic. Be honest. Be moderate when possible. Be fabulous always.
P.S. Here’s a specially curated Spotify soundtrack to treat yo’self to!
P.P.S. We do not deserve Doja Cat.
“You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when this hits… you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”Selina Kyle, The Dark Knight (2008). The original Bernie Sanders campaigner.