The beginning of Chapter 2 has Ana nearly falling out of the elevator and staggering out of the building. She asks herself the question I was asking myself all through the last chapter: ‘What in heaven’s name was that all about?’ Yes. What *was* that all about? She’s so confused by her reaction to Christian that I wonder if she wasn’t raised in a secluded monastery by an order of silent ascetics. Seriously, has she never heard of the internet? It can clear up all her questions about those confusing feelings ‘down there’. Who needs ‘the talk’ when you have Google Image search?
Ana eventually manages to calm down and drives back to Vancouver. During the drive she rehashes the interview in her mind instead of paying attention to the road. She’s furious and ashamed that she asked Christian if he was gay. Again people, why U no like the gheys? Ana then realizes she’s driving cautiously because Christian told her to. In a tiny act of rebellion she decides she can drive as fast as she wants. No honey, sweetie, mitten pie, you can’t. We have something called speed limits that prevent that. You probably haven’t heard of those. What with the monk thing.
Next we learn that Anastasia works at a hardware store, although I’m just a little bit surprised she can hold a job, as she’s so easily confused, and has such a low tolerance for excitement. I mean, what if one of the customers was gay? I think she’d be stricken with the vapours, and spend the rest of the day being mortified on his or her behalf.
Ana shows up at said work after telling her supervisor she won’t be coming in, and then informs him she can work for a couple of hours. Yeaeeehhhh. Because that’s how it happens. And this is my wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah. That’s the ticket. It’s pretty clear that E.L. James has never worked a McJob, because you show up when they tell you to, or not at all. Ana then proceeds to stock shelves even though no one has told her to, a task she’s ‘totally absorbed’ in. I call bullshit. Stocking shelves is boring and mindless, you might describe it as ‘zen’ on a charitable day. Much the same way as you’d refer to your own screaming brats as ‘spirited’.
Then Christian, in a move that totally doesn’t say icky creeper, shows up at Ana’s workplace. Ana shows Christian around and wonders exaggeratedly what he could possibly be buying masking tape and zip ties for. I get the feeling here that the author is having trouble separating herself from her character. The author knows why, and has Ana fall all over herself in confusion and disbelief. For no real reason.
Because these purchases are not out of the ordinary at a hardware store.
For the record, I once had a pair of guys come through my checkout line with crowbars and balaclavas. And, you know what? I didn’t fall all over myself. I smiled and asked, “Big plans for tonight?” ‘Cuz that’s how it’s done.
Christian then turns all ice princess at one of Ana’s male acquaintances, and cashes out his purchases. To end off the chapter on a high note he tells Ana he would luurrrrvvv a photo session to go along with the interview if only Ana would set it up. And that’s all.
So again with the no sex. I really get the feeling that these chapters were tacked on later to set up the sweet, nougatty middle of kinky, kinky, sex. Because proper books don’t often dive right into the sex. But all it’s done is bore me. I’m not intrigued, or titillated. Really, the only joy I got out of this chapter was imagining that all Christian’s dialogue was being performed by Billy West doing his Zapp Brannigan voice.
It’s a marked improvement, non? In fact the whole thing is better if you imagine it voiced by the cast of Futurama. Any chance these guys will voice the audiobook? No, huh?
So, stay tuned as I slog onward through Chapter 3, where maybe there will be some of the aforementioned sex.