Wednesday, May 25, 2011: Not Humping at All Day

Wednesday is mercifully short. For the first time, we aren’t forced to follow Christian through his exercise routine, or his blandly ambiguous business meetings. And thank God for that. It’s boring and oddly nonspecific. In the Fifty Shades books Christian was making a wind-up cell phone for the those poor third world countries over there, which then morphed into a solar powered cell phone presumably because somebody clued Christian in to how ridiculous that was. Now he’s making a solar powered tablet.

So whatever. The point is that everyone in all those poor countries “over there” will soon be able to share cat pictures and memes thanks to Christian!

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This chapter covers the contract “negotiation”, if you can even call it that. We rejoin Christian just before 7 pm as he waits for Ana to arrive at the hotel. The one he’s staying at so he can be closer to Ana. He orders a glass of wine which I trust is super expensive but since I don’t care for wine I really have no idea.

Ana finally appears at the door of the hotel bar. Christian is stunned into silence because she’s all tarted up for the evening and apparently she cleans up well. Christian makes a mental note to buy her some diamond earrings so that she’ll look properly put together next time. He also makes a mental note that she is wearing just the right amount of makeup – not too much.

I guess she remembered not to set her makeup gun to “whore.”

Christian thinks back to the first chapter and remembers how ordinary Ana looked. Except that’s not what happened. I flipped back to check. Christian calls her attractive, delicate, intriguing and even EXTRAordinary. That word actually gets used. So no, he didn’t think she was ordinary. At all.

They stay in the bar and have wine, olives, and mixed nuts. Christian makes a big show out of licking and sucking on them, while Ana tries to talk terms. Ana is upset that Christian led her to believe that the contract was legally binding. Christian is astonished that she didn’t know better, but is glad that she figured it out for herself.

He tries to explain that the contract is not about Rules and terms, but rather about trust and honesty. And man, oh man, Christian is all about trust and honesty! And respecting limits!

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Ana tells him she would prefer to remain in public for the negotiations. Well, too bad! Christian has a private dining room booked so that’s where it’s happening. Christian spends the evening using all his manly wiles to derail the discussion and wheedle Ana back into bed. That’s how much he values honesty and limits and trust.

It’s weird, because he’s the one that made it all about the contract. The one who encouraged Ana to think it over, research the lifestyle, and to discuss her objections.

But anyway, Ana makes a petty jab about him shopping at Submissives ‘R’ Us, and he makes a jab about her refusal to eat. Then they are led off to the private dining room. As they go, Christian notices that every man is ogling Ana, and he doesn’t like it, no siree! But for some reason I can’t fathom, he doesn’t order them all killed, and they make it to the dining room without incident.

Alone, Christian imagines Ana in various states of undress before pulling himself together and pulling out Ana’s email. Finally! The contract.

Christian agrees to redraft the bit about the contract being for Ana’s benefit. Christian also agrees that they can just take each other’s word that they are healthy and free from STDs. He swears he’s clean. Honest! And so does she.

Christian addresses several of Ana’s points by reminding her that she can leave at any time. But, and this is a big, threatening but, if she leaves they are done forever. It’s my way or the highway. He thinks to himself.

No. Second. Chances. Ever.

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Considering how he’s into honesty and trust, you’d think he’d say that out loud. Nah! She’ll figure it out.

The waiter shows up with oysters, and of course they make a big sexy show of eating them. They make much ado about ‘swallowing’ and ‘tasting of the sea.’ It’s just as gross and contrived as you would imagine. They get all worked up, and then Christian turns back to the contract, because that’s the kind of guy he is. He wants Ana nice and muddled so she just agrees to whatever.

They turn to the subject of obedience and discipline. Ana isn’t interested in being hurt. It’s not her deal. Christian reassures her that it’s just role play and that honestly truly really it is super enjoyable if she would just go along and do it. Ana grudgingly agrees that she could try it.

Christian is relieved. He reassures her again that she can quit anytime if she doesn’t like it, and pressures her to accept the 3 month trial. She can cancel any time! It’s a forty dollar value!

They start on the main course and start discussing the Rules. Ana won’t agree to either eat, or sleep. She won’t agree not to touch him, but he says no and quickly changes the subject to masturbation. He pours on the vampire billionaire charm to distract her.

When that doesn’t work, Christian scolds her over not eating. He’s paid for all this expensive food and she only ate 3 oysters, 4 bites of cod, and one asparagus stalk. HE’S BEEN COUNTING. Ana is shocked. And now that she’s feeling off balance, he offers to peel her out of her dress.

His tactic fails. Instead of being super turned on Ana is upset.

“Christian. You use sex as a weapon. It really isn’t fair.”

Shit! She’s onto you! Abort! Abort! But our Christian doesn’t react in any way that’s sensible, oh God no! He’s kinda turned on by this, so he doubles down on the crazy.

“You’re right, I do.”

He then spends the next page or so trying to pressure Ana into having sex right here in the dining room. Ana refuses, but on a whim decides to fellate an asparagus stalk. Huh. I thought the waiter had cleared their plates already. Christian is sure Ana is about to give in when the waiter shows up. Well, that guy’s on the ‘to kill’ list.
Ana tells him she needs to leave. Christian is frustrated and angry. He tells Ana:

“I don’t want you to go.”

And

“I could make you stay.”

When Ana refuses, he mentions that she would probably make a crappy sub anyway. Still he’d like her to stay and become one. He doesn’t know any other way to love! This is who he is! Can’t you see how broken and vulnerable he is, Ana?! Why are you such a cold bitch!?

He tries to make out with her again, and when she refuses, he calls her ‘impossible’, but agrees to walk her out. He gives her his jacket even though she is only going to be outside long enough for the valet to get her car. He has a minor fit about Ana’s car, which is a bit of a beater, and infuriates Ana further by offering to buy her a new one.

Ana storms off, and Christian doesn’t know what he’s done wrong. He waits until he thinks she is home and the emails her. Then texts. Then emails some more. You know, like sane non-stalkers do…

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 – Christian Grey and the Not Getting it at All

You know what’s not funny?

This book.

I’m just saying.

Once again, we get to watch as Christian pretends to work. He does business things with business reports and computers while he waits around for Ana to email him. He considers the merits of building his new business factory in Detroit. It’ll have tax incentives!

At 2 minutes after 12 Ana finally emails and Christian is peeved that Ana is still awake. Despite the fact that he was up specifically waiting for her to email.  She is 22 FFS, but he doesn’t feel it is appropriate for her to be up this late.

Ana sends him an itemised list of all the issues she takes with his sexy sex contract. And there are lots of them! Christian is pleasantly surprised to see that Ana has actually read the thing seeing as how she signed the NDA without having read even one word.

Christian pulls up his copy of the contract so he can cross reference Ana’s comments to the actual paragraphs and sections. The actual contract is long and boring, but the main thing to take away here is that there is not one clause in this contract that Ana responds to by saying, “Yes, please! More of that.” She is either grudgingly willing to accept them for the sake of getting with Christian or she is opposed to them entirely.

And Christian is like, Hmmmm…okay. I can work with this.

No. No you can’t. There is nothing about this contract that she wants a part of. You should both just walk away. But of course they don’t because the whole point of this book is that Ana shows him exactly what’s wrong with his deviant dysfunctional lifestyle and heals his inner hurts. Because only a broken weirdo could actually like any of these things.

Ana asks him to clarify where they are meeting and when. Christian is just relieved that Ana has not called off the negotiation meeting. But really what is there to talk about? She doesn’t want to DO any of the things.

She doesn’t want to get tested for drugs or STDs. In fact, she seems to think that Christian should just take her word for it. She refuses the 3 month trial period; she refuses to commit to every weekend. She doesn’t want to be disciplined in any way or for any reason. She won’t agree not to touch him, she won’t agree to eat or sleep on his schedule, and she won’t wear clothes that he buys her except when they are together. She refuses to follow any of the capital ‘R’ Rules set out in Appendix 1. She isn’t interested in any of the props or toys, and doesn’t even know what some of the terms mean, despite having just said she looked everything up on the internet.

Christian says,

Her response is a relief.

There’s hope for our relationship

Is there? Is there?!

NO

Christian orders Ana to bed, because somehow he thinks that’s OK, and then he continues emailing her to try and catch her out in case she hasn’t listened. He then has a second look over her ‘issues’ and then emails her the dictionary definition of ‘submissive.’ Clearly she isn’t getting it.

Well, duh-doy.

She’s dumb. But Christian is supposed to be smart. And yet he acts impressed that Ana has problems with the terms. He even remarks that no one has ever bothered to negotiate with him about the contract. It’s kinda hawt. But really, why would they? That’s the arrangement they were looking for. It’s entirely possible that they were up for all the things in the contract. Enthusiastic for them even.

As they should be.

It’s kinda gross. The book, I mean, not the enthusiasm. Christian wants a sub, but he is willing to use romancy flowery sex to get it. Ana wants romance, and is willing to trade bdsm to get it. Why don’t they just pursue people who are into the same things?! I know it sounds crazy.

Christian finally goes to bed. He dreams about beating up Elliot as a young child. Somehow, Christian is still the victim in this scenario.

The next morning (or later that same morning really)  we follow Christian through a business meeting about “the prototype.” They study the schematics and praise each other for the amount of good this latest gewgaw will do in the developing world. Then we narrowly escape a meeting with the president of WSU. Thank God.

Christian’s mom calls and asks pointedly about Ana. Then Elliot calls and also asks pointedly about Ana. Christian blows them both off. He actually hangs up on Elliot. Gripping, unpputdownable shit!

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Ana finally replies to Christian’s email re: the definition of submissive. She sends him the dictionary definition of ‘compromise’. See? I really don’t think these two get it. They are talking past each other. Ana wants no part of being a submissive, and Christian wants her to want, well…the opposite of that. And yet they both act like this whole thing is still ON.

Then they argue over whether Ana will drive herself to the meeting or Christian will have her picked up. It’s boring. Be Glad you didn’t read it. After a grueling exchange of emails, Ana signs off with a kiss.

Christian is over the moon! Cynical, romance-hating Christian is over the moon! His heart has already grown at least a half a size.

Ana sent him a kiss!

Monday, May 23, 2011 – The Nicest Day of the Year

For anyone who may be interested I’m currently reading Felicia Day’s book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet, Almost and loving it very much. Ms. Day is just impossible not to adore. Smart, funny, humble, weird: she’s all the best things.

I’m just saying. You won’t want to stab your eyes out and set them on fire after reading it.

Which is more than I can say about…you know…this book.

So in every single chapter we watch Christian emo-it-up as he tries to go to sleep. And then every single chapter he goes for a run the next morning. That’s how every single chapter starts. So. I’m not going to mention those two things anymore because they are boring.

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It’s Monday now and he does the two things. Does that count as a mention? Nah, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

Then Christian is back in front of his laptop, ostensibly to do work, because being filthy rich is a lot like being a daylight-fearing basement dweller, but we all know that Christian is really waiting for Ana to email him back on the computer he has given her. It’s 7:45 am (the day is half over!) and Christian is on tenterhooks because Ana has still not written him back.

Christian decides to kill time by writing to Elena. He apologises for being unavailable, but is reluctant to mention Ana, so he talks beauty salon business instead. Fucking gripping. It’s like Paint Dry: The Dryening. Holy shit I don’t care.

Then finally Ana writes back. She gets Christian all hot and bothered by calling him ‘Sir.’ Ana also mentions that she considers the computer a loan and not a gift because accepting gifts makes her feel like a hoo-er. It makes Christian think fondly of Leila who had such poor self-esteem that she felt unworthy of any of his gifts.

Oddly, Christian can’t see that these are two totally different sentiments. He tops off the obliviousness sundae by reflecting on how great it is that Leila has moved on and is now happily married and not a crazy, gun toting stalker AT ALL.

Both of our protags finally get down to work for the day, Ana at the hardware store and Christian via the interwebz. We get a page of Christian’s business day with the teleconferencing and the ordering of the servants.

Finally it’s not just 5 pm somewhere; it’s actually 5 pm right here, where Christian and Ana are. Awesome! Christian shoots off a quick email to Ana to ask about her day and then changes for another run. Another one! Oh well Ana responds to his email too quickly and he never makes it out the door.

Christian tells Ana to get researching BDSM and Ana pretends she doesn’t know what a search engine is, or how to use it. Or maybe she’s not pretending. It isn’t clear.

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They play a long game of “You hang up!” “No you hang up.” via email and it is juuuuust as tedious as it sounds. Christian finally goes for his run and we rejoin him just in time for him to tell us about the Richie Rich food and wine he has just consumed.

Ana emails him to say she is shocked and appalled and, “it was nice knowing you.”

Christian is furious, and confused and hurt that Ana has refused his offer. Without an explanation! He decides that she OWES him an explanation so he storms down to her apartment to get one. He is also terribly terribly upset that Ana thought it was appropriate to call him ‘nice.”

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He mad.

So here’s where the chapter gets gross and kinda rapey.

Christian grabs condoms and wine and the sexy tie of sexual sex and heads off to give Ana a piece of his…well…you know. When he gets to Ana’s apartment, Kate answers the door. Christian pours on the fake charm and makes like he has simply come to pay Ana a romantic surprise visit.

He creeps into Ana’s room and surprises her with her headphones on. He demands to know just exactly what Ana meant by saying it was ‘nice’ to know him. Yes, clearly it has not been nice at all. In fact, it’s been pretty gross.

Ana doesn’t really know how to respond.

Into the shocked silence Christian announces, “Well, I thought I should come and remind you how nice it was knowing me.”

It’s supposed to be sexy and aggressive, but it comes off gross and sneery, with more than a hint of ‘how dare you defy me.’ This, by the way is totally in character.

Christian ties Ana up, strips off her pants, and rolls her t-shirt up over her face. Then he gets undressed and heads out to the kitchen for a drink. He sneers at Kate for being some kind of prude, and insists that she pour drinks for him and Ana, as if she were some sort of butler.

Kate mentions that she and Ana will soon be moving house and will need some help. Christian blows her off.

Fuck off, Kavanaugh, he thinks to himself. No way am I going to help.

Nice guy. Seriously, why is this guy still single?

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Christian heads back to the bedroom and drinks his wine, taking the time to spit some in Ana’s mouth and some in her belly button. Mmmm…sexay. They do eventually have sex, all the while Christian exclaiming things like,

“How nice is this?”

“How nice was that?”

It just comes off weird, and not sexy at all. In fact, it turns out that Ana was just joking in her email, and Christian didn’t even need to storm over for an emergency nice-ectomy. Ana does have some questions however, and they all revolve around Elena. What did they do together? And why do they still talk?

This of all things, this makes Ana angry. So angry that she kicks Christian out of her apartment. Christian is all fine, I was just leaving anyway. Sure buddy whatever you say. Before he leaves Christian sets another date/not-date-at-all for Wednesday.

Back at home, he emails Ana one last time saying that he looks forward to the contract negotiations. And that’s Monday down the toilet.

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