I'm not sure if it is religion-based or philosophical or what, but it seems the prevailing wisdom has been doing without is more admirable and right than allowing yourself to sink into any type of pleasure. To fully appreciate anything more than the essentials is selfish and gluttonous, "they" say.
To that, I say pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt. And stick my tongue out for good measure. Stoicism is all well and good for Spartans, but this is not Sparta. Give me liberty AND 600-count Egyptian cotton sheets! We only go around once (that I know of), and I intend to enjoy the ride. So what if my singleton monthly grocery bills exceed that of an average family of four? My chocolate chip cookies contain Valhrona chocolate feves, and I don't leave a crumb on the plate. I just bought a handmade Persian rug (granted, it was from Building 19), and I enjoy walking across my otherwise bare dining room every morning on the way to the kitchen.
But I have never had a shred of evidence to back up my epicurean lifestyle to non-believers until now. The Daily Mail had a story on all the benefits of some of the things we've been told are bad for so long. The Mail extols the virtues of anger, swearing, lazing about, and fidgeting, among other things.
In an article in the Ottawa Citizen, our dear neighbors to the North have published findings that say teetotalers may have more of a risk of depression than moderate drinkers. The study examined the drinking habits of 38,000 people and found that individuals who drank no alcohol over a two-week period were more likely than moderate drinkers to indicated symptoms of depression. So here's to that occasional glass of wine with your gourmet, locavore dinner!
And who could forget the favorite vice of 99 percent of people on the planet: chocolate? It is still somewhat puzzling to me there are people in the world who do not like sugar. I understand it empirically, but it just makes no sense in everyday life. I had to go off chocolate for a few months last year due to health reasons, and I went stir crazy. Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald, on the Huffington Post website, gives seven healthy reasons why chocolate should not only be included in your diet but celebrated!