Zombies, Aliens and Other Guilty Pleasures

I ran into a girlfriend yesterday at the grocery store. She’s one of my very active friends – marathoner, triathlete, one day hopes to compete in an Iron Man or 1/2 Iron Man. She is busy all the time, running around, training for this, training a friend for that. She makes me tired. Only because I haven’t made that commitment yet. I will soon. 2011 will be the year! Or not.

In any case, she was doing a quick shop before she was going to take full advantage of a beautiful and warm melty Valentine’s Day to  run her butt off somewhere. A quick exchange, and she was off.

I saw my friend later at a much-needed girl’s lunch and asked her how her run went. She covered her eyes with her hands and confessed she was too embarrassed to tell me why she hadn’t run.

Her reason: She  jumped on the computer “for a second” to see if she could get to the next level in her kids’ video game Zombies Versus Aliens. The next thing she knew, bam,  3 hours had gone by and she had accomplished nothing.

I busted out laughing because a) it was totally unlike her and b) we all have our little guilty pleasures that we could waste time on.

Don’t say you don’t because I know you do.

With all that fun out there, electronic or not, it’s so easy to get sucked into many things that can end up being takers of time. Lots of it.

When I first got on Facebook… wow, well if you’ve ever been on Facebook, you know what I mean. Where did my night go? How long has it been? Searching for long-lost cousins and friends I haven’t seen in decades took a looooong time. Living vicariously through Facebook friends’ posts took a looong time, too.

Another time-wasting guilty pleasure for me was ancestry.com. My dad’s side of the family is huge and goes back a long time. We had very little information other than some last names.

A few Christmases ago, I joined ancestry.com to find myself. Rather, my lineage. I was determined to prove that my parents were keeping serious information from me — I really was the great, great, great-granddaughter of some Russia Czarina or Irish Queen.  I lost hours and hours and hours to his program and I found out squat. I did find out that my great, great, grandfather might have been a cab driver. There’s a crown out there I just know it. But my 3-month membership expired so perhaps I’ll never really know.

Then there’s my husband’s Blackberry. There’ s that Brick Breaker game.  The kids fight over it during car trips. My son, especially, can play for hours. But my husband, well I have found him playing it on more than one occasion when the kids were not near by. It’s addicting watching that little ball break bricks. I get it.

I think my new-found time-wasting guilty pleasure is Wikipedia. I seriously love this site. Type in anything and, presto! You have pages and pages and pages to peruse, all the while sitting on your butt in front of the computer. You don’t even need to move and you get smarter and smarter. Getting lost in layers upon layers of hyperlinks that will take you as far away from your original topic as possible. Even so, I love it. Disclaimer: I know I blogged recently about technology and my determination not to let it overcome my life. This is EXCEPT for Wikipedia. I will totally take an online encyclopedia over having to look in volume after volume at the library. Call me a hypocrite as the label does fit here.

Other time-wasting guilty pleasures that I can indulge in include People Magazine, US and OK at the hairdresser — which I did indeed just indulged myself while at the hair salon —  Entertainment Tonight and anything on the Food Network when I can actually have the tv to myself. Food TV is awesome. Except for getting up for a snack because the episodes are making me hungry, I don’t move. Love is there at the Food Network.

So as far as my friend’s hours lost to her kids’ video game, I say, so be it. We are all somewhat busy people who just need a break sometimes in a place where we don’t have to think, make hard decisions or discipline anyone (except may a zombie or an alien).

So tell me friends, what sort of things do you waste time on?


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