Monday, September 22, 2008
In Defense of Vanity
All this talk about how much I enjoy gorging myself right before bed has led me to ponder why I don't continue the gorging. The answer, I think, is vanity.
It's not really a concern about my health. My short-term craving for shoving my face would definitely overcome any attachment I could develop to a long-term plan for health. And it would also overcome some attachment to an abstract ideal like self-respect. I think, in the end, it's just vanity. And vanity, to my mind, only means one thing for a (straight) guy: appealing to a particular woman, or women in general.
That's right: the only reason I don't gorge myself every night, is that my vanity has managed the spectacular feat of overcoming my gluttonous desire to do so. Put more simply, I just wanted my wife to like me more.
Strangely, losing weight didn't achieve that (but that's another story). But at least I can content myself to some small degree with the idea that however plain I might look, I'd look worse with more weight on. Or something. Hell, I'm not even really conscious of what's going on in terms of motivation, now that I think about it.
But let's just say it is common old vanity. If so, I like it. It makes humans bathe and stay healthy, brush their teeth, be polite, perform feats, do things which others will praise them for. In that sense, vanity clearly has survival value. Maybe we'd all be dead if our ancestors weren't vain.
I know I'd certainly be a lot chubbier!