Chapter 24 of Fifty Shades is One Big Letdown After Another

I’m going to try and keep this short because sweet dick all happens in this chapter. Ana has another one of her extra-subtle, totally-not-hitting –you-over-the-head-with-the-message type dreams. Because nothing is as interesting as hearing about somebody’s dreams. Ana dreams that Christian is in a cage and she can’t touch him because of the cage. Also, she’s tied up. What manner of cryptic symbology is this?  What byzantine path to meaning could this possibly take?

Sadly this is probably the high point of the chapter. Christian wakes Ana up and it’s toooo early. She moans and groans, and not in a sexy fun way. She’s suddenly afraid he’ll want to have sex. Wait. Isn’t that a good thing? But no worries because it’s not business time, it’s time for that wonderful surprise Christian promised yesterday. And guess what? Ana can’t have a shower before they go!

“You are not a morning person,” Christian says. Well thank you captain obvious. We readers would never have figured that out on our own. We’re just too dumb.

While our crappy couple don’t have time for not stinking, they do have time to eat and have tea. And it’s Twinings again: the only brand they drink in 50 Shades-land. Four out of five submissives were told to prefer it in our taste tests! I wonder how big a cheque Ms. James got from Twinings? Ana sees the Twinings label and thinks to herself, See? He does care. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like mid-range brand name tea. Apparently. I just have to say, Americans don’t love tea that much. They just don’t. So there.

So off they drive to god knows where for the amazing surprise. They listen to opera music on the way – “The Woman Led Astray.” Ana gets bored and changes it.  She chooses this:

Toxic. Are you readers getting the message here? It’s subtle but there is a message in these song choices and I hope you’re getting it!!!

To draw out the suspense they talk about Christian’s former lovers. Ana whines that it’s too early for this sort of conversation, but *shockingly* doesn’t shut her word-hole for one minute. Christian tells her he ditched his previous lovers because they ‘wanted more.’ Oh noes! That’s what Ana wants. But it’s okay, because he quickly reassures her that he wants more too. Awesome.

Christian also reveals ‘Mrs. Robinson’s’ proper name – Elena.  Ana immediately hates it because it ‘sounds foreign.’ Wow! They are not only raging homophobes but xenophobes too. Suh-weet.

They finally, finally, finally get to the surprise and it is…a glider ride. Yeah seriously. They aren’t flying to Paris for lunch, or eating ice cream sundaes topped with 24 karat gold leaf, they are going for a glider ride. ZZzzzz…

They make a big deal out of tying everybody into the harnesses. And yeah, I get that harnesses are sexy, but this just sucks. If some rich Ehmer-Effer got me up at 5 am to go on a glider ride, I’d bite his dick off. They make another big deal out of tying Ana’s hair back, because that’s how Christian likes it during sex. So this whole glider thing is one big metaphor for how great BDSM would be if you’d just give in and try it! Silly girl.

Well, after that big let-down, we realise the fun has just started. No. Not really. They head to breakfast at the local IHOP. Yeah, I’m totally not kidding. Then Christian drops Ana off at her mother’s house utterly and completely unrogered (in this chapter at least). Ana’s mother is flabbergasted when she hears what Ana and Christian have been up to. I guess she’s an easy audience.

Then more email! You know you wanted it. Perverts. Ana’s mom cooks, and Ana gets a job offer from one of the only two places she applied. We’d better find out Christian rigged the job for her or there will be consequences. I swear to God there will be consequences. Christian then begs off of dinner because he has work to do! Classy! More emails follow in predictable succession.


We end the chapter with the revelation that Ana talks in her sleep. And now Christian knows something which he won’t reveal. Ana is scandalised!

Oh. My. God. I don’t even begin to care. But thankfully this train wreck is almost over. Just two chapters left and I can put this whole thing behind me…


More Bad Advice from Mom in Chapter 23 of 50 Shades

Yikes! I’m soooo far behind posting everything…Merry Effing Christmas, I guess.

Remember the clever, witty, surprise ending of chapter 22? No. I’m just kidding, there wasn’t one. Here’s what actually happened: Ana was busy insulting Christian with text messages, and thinking he was safely stowed across the continent. Then he texted her from the very bar where she was drinking with her mother. He came all the way to Georgia to stalk her!

Because that is not creepy at all. AT ALL. I mean if your overbearing, control freaky boyfriend stalks you and your mother in a bar across town, that’s pretty creepy. But at least he can pretend like he was there for some legitimate reason, or by coincidence. But if your creepy stalker boyfriend follows you across a whole continent, the creepiness level is well over 9000.

So, on we go to chapter 23. Because we’re almost done, there’s no sense stopping the Crazy Train until it’s safely in Whackjob Station.

I was pretty sure that Ana was going to pass off Christian’s stalkery-stalking by saying that he doesn’t know any better, because this is how she glosses over many of his flaws. Luckily for my blood pressure, even Ana gets that this is a little whacked. She is worried that Christian is angry (I wonder why, Ana?) but he pretends to be totally sane and pleasant. She’s worried that her mom will be horrified, but true to her married-four-times instincts for people reading, Ana’s mom thinks Christian’s creepiness is charming. She takes it as an expression of his deep love for Ana. Well, I know where Ana gets it now…

Christian pours on the charm as he introduces himself to Ana’s mother. Ana is stunned and thinks, “How does he know her name?” She *is* a bit of a stun-bunny, isn’t she? Maybe he just Googled it? Or looked it up in the phone book? It can’t be that difficult to find out. It’s not that amazing. But Ana treats him like the Amazing Kreskin. One can’t help but suspect that Ana told him her mother’s name, but forgot.

Christian decides to drink with them for a bit and orders gin and tonic. He asks for a slice of cucumber or a lemon wedge depending on the brand of gin. Holy hell, Ana thinks, only Christian could make a meal out of ordering a drink! Holy hell, Raven Lunatick thinks, only Ana would think a slice of cucumber and a lemon wedge is a meal.

Ana’s mom excuses herself to the bathroom, even though she has just been. Subtle! I’m offended on behalf of all readers that the author thought she needed to spell this out. She couldn’t have excused herself, and raised an eyebrow meaningfully at Ana? Apparently not. Ana has to exclaim to herself, “Mom! You’ve just been!”

Our crappy couple then argue over Mrs. Robinson – Christian’s first lover from his teen years, and who he still sees on occasion. When Ana is drunk, she turns into overly attached girlfriend, and she calls Mrs. Robinson a child molester. Christian’s virgin ears have never heard such a thing. He’s shocked. Shocked, I tells ya. Just as they are getting good and angried up, Ana’s mom comes back from the bathroom. She invites Christian to dinner on Friday (sadly I have no idea what day it is currently supposed to be). Christian then excuses himself, but not before giving Ana his room number. In case she wants it. You know, for whatever…

Ana’s mom remarks about the unresolved sexual tension in the room and fans herself. Eeeeeeeew! Then she sends Ana off to “talk” with Christian. Yeah. Because that’s what is going to happen. Talking. She tells Ana that she’s a big girl, and if she doesn’t come home that’s A OK!

The funny part is that most likely they’ll sit in adjacent rooms and send each other lame, innuendo-filled emails. It’s certainly happened more often than the sex.

Ana then blushes, “stars and stripes red.”

What. The. Actual. Fuck. Did I just read?!

How do you blush this colour? Has she been genetically modified with chameleon cells? I just. Can’t. Even. And here’s a pro tip: adding this patent ridiculism does *not* negate all the Britishisms the characters use. I’m just saying.

So, of course, forced to choose between her mom and her abusive stalker boyfriend (who she still doesn’t consider a proper boyfriend) she picks Stalky McStalkerton. As a wise man once said, “Headdesk. Headdesk. Headdesk.”

Ana heads up to Christian’s room and he blinks in complete surprise when he answers the door. He is completely surprised that she would show up. Totally. This makes no sense. He was clearly angling for her to come up to his room. Anyway, he’s on a business call and goes into the other room to finish up. Ana helps herself to an orange juice (why stop drinking now?) and waits.

Christian returns and announces that he never loved Mrs. Robinson. Ana is relieved. Christian declares that they can either have sex now, or Ana can just leave. See what I meant about the talking? Apparently that’s what the kids are calling it these days…

So…yeah. The sex. :/

They have sex in the bathroom, which despite being a swanky hotel bathroom, is just gross. Who does that? Then, because Ana has her period, they decide the best course of action is to have sex in a humungous bath!!! There just aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to convey the ickiness of this plan. Then, they can take a scalding shower in bleach, while scrubbing frantically with red-hot steel wool. Because eeeew.

After all that Christian explains that he was well on his way to becoming a crack-whore and that Mrs. Robinson ‘saved him.’ See? All kids need is a little structure, and a firm hand. With a riding crop in it. You all can make your own ‘spare the rod’ jokes. They write themselves, don’t they?

Ana realises that Chrsitian’s chest is covered in what are probably cigarette burns. Well, that might be interesting if I cared one bit about his character. I’m not made of stone, you know. I regularly do care about fictional characters. I cry every damn time Harry Potter dies. Like full-on heaving sobs. So…yeah. They argue a bit more, sex it up a bit more, and Ana decides she probably can’t sign his contract after all. Despite the reputation of this book, they have only ever used the playroom once. There has been a serious lack of BDSM in this book. Just regular sex, and the vague idea that they could have kinky sex. Any time now. Just watch them…

Christian ends off the chapter by proposing to do something surprising. Tomorrow. This had damn well better be good, seeing as how he is richer than Scrooge McDuck (and 100 times less likeable). Now I’m going to curl up into a ball and weep for humanity.


Chapter 22 of Fifty Shades Gives Boring Relationship Advice

Chapter 22 of Fifty Shades of Grey is about a whole lot of nothing. Ana goes to her mom’s place for a little vacation from Crazy McCrazington III. So, we’re guaranteed no sex in this chapter at least. Last chapter, we left Ana at the airport fuming that Christian had upgraded her ticket to first class. That ass!

Now, after a few drinks, Ana is less furious at being upgraded to first class. She gets a massage and a manicure and then breaks out the – you guessed it – email. I have to say that reading email got boring after the first dozen or so. This plot device would have seemed desperately cool in the late nineties when email was just getting universal…but in 2012, not so much.

Ana emails Christian to thank him for the upgrade, and Christian is upset about her getting the massage. Ana decides to poke a stick into the hornet’s nest and tell Christian how handsome her male masseur was. Then she snickers to herself because, “he’s going to flip out – and I shall be airborne and out of reach.” And how delicious will that be?

About as delicious as a shit sandwich. Ugh. Come on, Thor! Use your mighty hammer to smite her airplane out of the sky.

I’m warning you – cut out the stupid and petty crap.

Almost immediately Ana begins to worry that Christian will show up and get on the plane. Not such a good idea to wind up the crazy guy, eh? But he doesn’t show and Ana can enjoy her flight. But she doesn’t. She wishes Christian was there. Wait. Wut? She was just afraid that he was coming. Now she’s sad that he didn’t. I’m confuzzled. And don’t try to tell me she’s complicated or ambivalent or whatever.

And that’s the way the author likes her.

Ana checks her Blackberry and finds that Christian has written back to say that next time he will have her sent in a crate rather than upgrade her ticket. Ana isn’t sure whether he’s joking. She’s dumb. Have I mentioned that?

She’s apologises for making him angry, but I seriously doubt her sincerity, considering how excited she was about it just a minute ago. He tells her to turn off her computer, because you aren’t allowed to use electronics on a plane. She pulls out the one and only book she’s ever read: Tess of the D’Urbervilles and promptly falls asleep instead of reading it.

Ana and Christian argue some more over email during the layover in Atlanta. Ana tells him she is considering his proposal, a lifestyle she didn’t know existed a week ago. Two things went through my head at this point:

  1. Bullshit. You just can’t _not know_ that many things;
  2. It’s only been a week? It seems like for-fucking-ever.

She sleeps again on her second plane and wakes up “beyond fatigued.” She just slept twice! But all that thinking, it wears one out, I guess.

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All this thinking makes me tired!

Ana gets off the plane, sees her mom and starts crying. She doesn’t know why, but lies to her mom about it anyway. Her father-in-law takes her backpack (why can’t she carry it? She just finished uni, she must have carried a heavy backpack before.) and comments on how heavy it is. Ana explains it’s her new Mac, that Christian “lent her.” Are Macs known for being really heavy? :/ I don’t take my laptop around, but that’s because I’m clumsy, not because its soooo heavy.

OK, this is just going on and on for a chapter in which nothing happens until the last sentence…so I’ll try to long-story-short it here. Ana goes to the beach with her mom. Mom gives her relationship advice, which Ana thinks must be good because her mom has been married four times. No, honey, sweetie, baby…that kinda implies the exact opposite.

If your mom has been married that much, she’s the weakest link.

She has exactly no advice that is of use to you. Here’s one of her hard-won gems of knowledge: “Men prefer action.” Well, thanks? I guess?

Ana then takes a nap, goes out to dinner, appreciates her mom. During all this she alternately texts and emails Christian, furious and jealous that he is going out to dinner while she is gone. She repeats the procedure the next day. Ana and her mom end up in a bar, drinking cosmopolitans. Ana continues to text her petty jealousies to Christian, while pretending to listen to relationship advice from her mom. Ana makes a dig about Christian having dinner with one of his exes, and then he asks her how many cosmopolitans she is going to drink.

Haw! Haw! She thought she’d insult him from afar, but he showed up! Because he’s rich. And has a private jet! Kill me!

And that’s chapter 22.  Will they run into each other’s arms slo-mo style? Will he beat her to a bloody pulp? Do I care enough to find out? We’ll see next time t I Read 50 Shades So You Don’t Have To…