Quote is paraphrased from Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I have a confession, you guys.
I’m … I’m a total hedonist.
Shocking, I know.
But, I seriously am. That’s not to say that that is a bad thing. In fact, I think that most people are, at least to some degree. We buy and eat food that comforts us, we use soaps and shampoos whose scent pleases us, and wear clothes that make us feel good.
So, why bring this up?
Mostly because it crossed my mind at 6:48 AM this morning as I lay in my bed, luxuriating in my bamboo sheets. I wondered if anyone else rolled in around in their bed, simply because the softness felt good on their skin.
I do that sort of thing all the time. Mister Man swears that I am at least partially cat. When I argue with him, he scritches my head behind my ear until I shut up.1
I also make a point of combining food flavors so that I get something totally new. Case in point was last night’s dinner; mango pepper beef stir fry. The sweet and the hot and the umami all combined into something that was ridiculously good.
Hedonists are often maligned. They are lumped into categories that include glutton, self-indulgent, lecher, libertine.
Why does wanting to enjoy the sensations of life – taste, touch, smell, sight, sound – immediately make me suspect or bad?
Maybe it is our somewhat repressed American heritage. Maybe it is a fear that wanting to enjoy sensations at such disastrous economic times is a sign of …I don’t know. Something bad. Like I said, I have no idea why people automatically assign hedonists to the 8th Circle of Hell, right alongside people who talk during movies. 2
Here is what I *do* know:
Sitting on the back porch, of a crisp cold day, eating a Honeycrisp apple, while having your hair washed3 by your friend as music plays nearby on a portable stereo?
Is bliss. And should be enjoyed by everyone, once in a while.
1 – Massaging and light scratching on my head? Wonderful way to dodge migraines. As I have those suckers at least twice a month, I’ll take anything that helps. Plus, it just feels good.
2—Case in point? Almost every literary quote that I looked up for “hedonism” pointed to Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
3 – A friend and I discovered this sensation while camping one year. She has loooooooong, swooshy hair. She wanted to wash it but in our primitive campsite – no showers. So, I heated up some water, sat her on a camp stool away from the tents and washed her hair. She, in turn did my slightly less long hair. It was the best.thing.ever.
10 thoughts on ““Save [me] from that harsh, uncomely puritanism that is having, in our own day, its curious revival.””
UP WITH HEDONISM! Why do we have bodies unless we are here to enjoy bodily sensations? Life is to enjoy, not to fear! Puritans fear that their enjoyment will lead them to the road to Hell. If that’s true, well… our party is going to be BETTER! And yes… I too roll around in bed just to feel the sheets on my skin. Especially when my legs are freshly shaved. And we all need scritches behind our ears and head scrubbing!
I love all the myriad ways that my body tells me that life is a Good Thing.
Agreed. I am a water baby, showers, baths, hot tubs and ……
water is very healing, I think.
Hedonism is FUN-DO-ism!
Hedonism! Hedonism! Oi! Oi! Oi!
That was at the Tye-Dye Temple of Hedonism. 🙂
I prefer the term “sensualist” but OK. I will also accept Hedonist.
I have never had my hair washed like that by anyone other than my hair dresser and now? Now I want it. And I want it now.
It is a remarkable experience. A close second is if you can get poetry read to you while someone gives you a pedicure.