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.

This

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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May 22, 2011: Christian, Ana and the Bathtub of Raging Yeast Infections

Christian wakes up at 3 am feeling like he’s “committed a terrible sin.” Yes. The sin of having consensual sex with an adult woman. Nice attitude. Christian is surprised that having instant access to a sleeping woman is actually pleasant. But the ‘yer a sinner’ part of his mind pipes up and he has a weird Gollum-from-LotR conversation with himself. Eventually his cock casts the tie-breaking vote, by telling him that, yes, this is a good thing.

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Christian climbs out of bed and collects all the gross used condoms that he dropped unceremoniously on the floor when they had sex. For a rich guy, he sure is a gross pig. I mean, it’s good that he picked them up eventually but Gawd was it so hard to chuck them in the trash. It’s right there!

Since he’s too horny to sleep, he goes to check his work email, and then to play piano. It wakes up Ana and Christian puts her back to bed, but not before having a flashback to Leila (the sub who later tries to shoot Ana) telling him that he seems ‘melancholy.’

Ana tries to talk to him about his piano playing but he shuts her down by acting like an asshole about it. He snaps at her twice in a row, the second time because she isn’t lying down in bed the way he ordered her to. When Ana looks upset and hurt, he is taken aback. Maybe being a total asshat *isn’t* such a great idea.

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He offers to lay back down with Ana as long as she doesn’t touch him. It still causes him to flash back to his mother. He remembers her making waffles and bacon. Okay, his mom was a crack whore…do crack whores cook? Are they known for their fine cooking? I’m skeptical, that’s all I’m saying.

Then suddenly its 9 am, which Christian calls ‘late.’ Dude, 9 am is early. Ana is awake and cooking breakfast in the kitchen. Christian goes to the kitchen and muses that Ana is the most uncoordinated person he’s ever seen, but that somehow that is super hawt. It’s funny, she is so uncoordinated, but she fucks like a greased ballerina. Nice character consistency is all I’m saying. They never have a slip up, or a weird sound, and nobody gets poked in the eye with anything. It would go so far toward establishing, and humanising Ana as a character if they did.

Ana has her hair in two little braids, and Christian remarks that the braids aren’t going to protect her. What. The. Hell. Does other people’s hair have defensive qualities? Because mine sure doesn’t. Or does it?

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So…breakfast. Christian gets out orange juice, and coffee, and Twinnings Brand Tea Bags ™ while Ana continues to whisk eggs. She makes a beautiful and delicious breakfast, even though all she does is whisk eggs. She never cooks them, and she doesn’t make anything to go with them. Just whisk and eat. Mmmmmm….Christian is as floored by her prowess in the kitchen as he is with her prowess in bed.

They make awkward small talk about sex, and the contract. Christian mentions ‘oral’ and this is enough to make Ana do a spit take. Tea everywhere. Lord, she’s got some delicate sensibilities. He doesn’t even use the word sex.

Ana asks permission to blab to Kate about the sex, even though she just signed the NDA yesterday. Now that she’s had sex, she wants to talk about it. Christian doesn’t give an outright now, but he reminds us that Kate is screwing Elliot, and for the love of God Elliot must NEVER KNOW that Christian is, you know, doing it.

In fact, none of his family can know that he is…you know

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And on that pathological note, Christian leads Ana off to have a bath. A sexy bath…

Now I want to reiterate that the bath is full. The bath is full. Fully full. This is important later.

In one paragraph, Christian tells us how impressed he is that Ana is so brazen and unafraid standing naked in his bathroom. On the very next page he tells Ana to hold her head high because she ‘has nothing to be ashamed of.” Holy mind games Batman!

Sexy-time-bath goes on for a long time. Christian gets a cloth and lathers it with a ton of soap and then really goes to town on Ana’s vagina with nary a thought to the raging yeast infection she is about to have. I mean, he really gets in there and scrubs the fuck outta that thing. He senses that Ana is nearing orgasm and so, natch, he stops scrubbing.

It’s time for that oral that they talked about earlier! Christian grabs his cock and Ana gobbles it up. Now keep in mind he is still laying in a full tub. He’s not kneeling, he’s not standing. Unless he’s doing some kind of crazy yoga pose, his cock in under the water.

And yet, unfortunately, Ana doesn’t drown. In fact, she gives the best blowjob ever. EVAR!1 With no experience. She’s magic! Maybe her braids give her skills upgrades and not just defensive powers?

They head back to the bedroom for round 2. This is the scene where they whip out THE TIE. The sexy tie. Ana, in her book, lovingly describes it. Christian just ties her up with it.

All through the sex, Christian nags Ana to keep still, because moving around is way gross. Only weirdoes move around. Yuck. He also tells Ana that he doesn’t usually reciprocate oral, but he’s making an exception since she’s been so good. Sweet. Sounds like a winning relationship.

Winner

They finish just in time for Christian’s mom to show up. She is embarrassed but super happy to see Christian with a woman because it means he isn’t gay. And being gay is the worst possible thing for a man to be in 50Shadesland.

Think about that for a minute.

With the mood officially ruined by mom, Christian decides to take Ana out for lunch and then home. Christian gives Ana the contract to look over, and tells her to google everything and not ask Kate for God’s sake. Ana whines and bugs until he changes his mind.

Fine. She can tell Kate.

There’s an awkward moment where Ana blurts out that she can’t google sweet fuck all because she doesn’t have a computer. After briefly wondering what century she warped in from, Christian makes some calls and has one sent to her house.

They go to a fancy restaurant where you have to eat whatever they serve you. Hope you aren’t allergic Ana! Over lunch they make even more awkward small talk until I want to stab my eyes out. They rehash the ‘gay issue’ and honestly, I wish they’d fucking drop it. They make a huge scandalous deal out of it. Just stop. Fucking Just Stop.

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Eventually Christian drops Ana off at home. As soon as she gets out of the car she drops her drawers and shows him that she stole his underwear. You found a keeper Christian. So yeah.

Back at home, Christian does some busywork and then sends Ana an email. The emailnado starts now. Be prepared.

Emails are coming.

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May 21, 2011 Part 2 – The Sexiest Spelling Bee

Jesus fucking Christ. I lost my original post on this chapter. Gone into the ether…

Goddammit

And motherfuck does this chapter go on and on…arghghghellkgkldfjldsl!

Ana is at work now, and Christian is waiting for the fateful MEETING wherein he will reveal his mysterious alternative lifestyle and then discuss the terms of the contract, if indeed she is still willing. Christian passes the time by reading Jose’s background check. He’s relieved to find that Jose isn’t a sex offender who stalks women he barely knows, traces their cell phones, and does background checks on them and all their friends.

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Phew!

Jose does smoke the odd bit of weed, and Christian is scandalised! Only filthy hippies smoke marijuana. He hopes that sweet perfect angel Ana hasn’t been tainted by Jose and his filthy habits. But no, he metaphorically bites his knuckles in anguish, she is perfect. PERFECT! Gawd. It’s as if he were a character written by a middle aged woman.

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Christian is so overcome he needs to burn off some energy by communing with nature. He goes for a hike but he spends the entire time thinking about Ana and all the ways that they will screw. He’s a classy dude.

Finally its date night. Christian is impatient. He’s lurking outside Ana’s workplace, Clayton’s, acting like a creepy creeper. And he’s mad because the last customer left FIVE MINUTES AGO and Ana has still not come out. Because when the last customer leaves, every employee just drops what they are doing and walks out the door. That’s how it works. It’s basic capitalism people!

They head off to a nearby building and get in the elevator to the top where Christian’s helicopter of love awaits. They waggle their eyebrows suggestively at each other, because we all know what happens when these two get in an elevator. Amirite?! Huh, huh?

Well, they manage to keep it together until they get to the roof.

Ana looks at the helicopter, asks if Christian knows how to fly this thing and is in wonderment when Christian says yes. It really doesn’t take much. Christian buckles her in because apparently it’s super confusing, and he wants an excuse to make bondage jokes.

They fly from Portland to Seattle. It’s fucking magical. Trust me.

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It’s also a fucking miracle that they don’t crash because Christian is pretty clearly not paying any attention to flying. He’s busy ogling Ana and daydreaming about the weird and wonderful positions they’ll use during THE SEX.

They arrive at the top of Christian’s building and Christian once again makes clear just how much he wants Ana to understand and consent to his mysterious lifestyle. So as soon as they get inside he breaks out the booze because nothing says informed and enthusiastic consent like drunkenness!

They make awkward small talk about Christian’s apartment and belongings (its sooo big!). Ana asks him why he sent her the book. Remember the book? Christian fumbles for an excuse – he doesn’t want to admit he just had it lying around. He says his, “answer is truthful enough.”

Whatevs dood.

Christian stops to tell us just how purdy Ana is. In case was had forgotten.

“My cock concurs.”

It does, does it? Is it all, “Indeed Captain, Anastasia is a lovely specimen of species hyoomahn.” It’s like Spock. Spock cock.

From now on, every time the word cock gets used, I am mentally substituting it with Spock.

Like this:

The sweet appreciative noise echoes through me – to the end of my Spock.

It’s such an extraordinary, exquisite feeling: her body cradling my Spock.

My Spock stirs with approval.

Hee hee hee. That is all.

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They finally get to looking at the contracts. Christian tries to hand her the NDA, saying that if they are to have any more interactions she must sign and be legally bound to never speak a word to anyone. Ana agrees to sign without even looking at it. Christian is aghast. Is she stupid?!

She is.

The very next exchange pretty much removes any doubt. Christian takes her to see his playroom.

“You want to play on your Xbox?”

She says that. For real. I guess he was a little too mysterious about his alternate lifestyle, since Ana thinks it involves him being some kind of high rent neckbeard. Oh sweet special Ana.

They open the playroom in the big reveal, and Ana is still confused, but interested at least. She asks Christian just what she is going to get out of this relationship. Christian answers with a shrug. He doesn’t know. She doesn’t know.

They head back downstairs, and Ana indicates that she may not be all that interested in what Christian has to offer. He plies her with more wine. They discuss the agreement. Instead of reading the fucking thing, Ana interrogates him on what items might be in such an agreement.

Ana’s a bit put off by the idea, and asks if it is easy to find women who will agree to being flogged or bound or whatnot. Christian replies that it sure is. Super easy. Like you wouldn’t believe how easy. Ana then asks, why her in particular?

Oh why indeed. Christian leaves no cliché un-clichéd in his answer:

“There’s something about you. I just can’t leave you alone. I’m like a moth to a flame.”

The convo goes on and on like this, getting nowhere. They finally turn to the subject of hard limits.

Ana doesn’t know her limits because…

…she’s never had sex before.

Christian is furious! He takes Ana’s virginity as some kind of personal insult, and resolves to rectify the ‘situation.’ Now that Ana is full of wine, he takes her up to his playroom and makes sweet sweet love to her. The very thing he JUST SAID he didn’t do.

Ana agrees, because she’s drunk and dumb and horny. Christian keeps asking her, Do you have any idea how much I want you? Do you have any idea what I’m going to do to you? Dude! We’ve established that Ana doesn’t know anything about anything. Just fucking lay off, OK?

They have sex, for like ten damn pages. Of course, we’re told that everyone had a good time, but it’s…just weird. Ana has two (count ’em, two) orgasms just from Christian ordering her to do so. You know, with his magic sparkling vampire billionaire powers.

Then for some reason it turns into the world’s sexiest spelling bee.

F. U. C. K.

He thinks each individual letter. I’m not kidding. Then Christian gives the order, and they both orgasm again, and roll over and fall asleep. And thank fucking God. It’s over.

A Chapter Too Long: Saturday, May 21, 2011 Part 1

I mentioned before, the thing about dividing your story by date is that some days not much happens. That gave us our six page chapter. But other days every-fucking-thing in the world happens and you end up with a 52 page chapter. Like this one.

So I am splitting the chapter up into two parts, because the length has been daunting me, taunting me. Laughing in my face even. I just can’t read that much Grey at once. There’s a natural divide in the text – it goes morning, break while Ana works, evening – so I’m going to divide it that way.

“Morning” isn’t super eventful, but it makes up for that by being super long and super creepy. It’s 1:45 am (technically the next day) and Ana is passed out in Christian’s bed. Christian strips off and gets into bed with Ana.

Just for sleeping you dirty perverts!

I’m not sure what kind of book you think this is, but well, it isn’t. I mean, obviously he has no choice. Where else is he going to sleep? You think this is some kind of luxury hotel with sofas right in the suites? Or that he’s some kind of ultra-rich billionaire who can just afford an extra room? Or that he could just sleep in his brother’s room because his brother went home with Kate?

None of those things are options. Obviously. So he makes the best of it by getting into bed with Ana and then starting at her like some kind of bug eyed creeper until he falls asleep.

 

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Christian wakes at quarter to eight the next day, suuuuper late for a busy billionaire. He takes a moment to marvel at Ana as he has never allowed a woman in his bed after sex. I guess he just dumps them off some random place, clothes in hand, bang boat style. Christian consults his cock as to whether this is a good thing: Sir Cockington the Third, Esquire assures him that it is, indeed, a good thing.

Christian finds Ana some Advil brand pain reliever ™ and orange juice, leaves it on the night stand, then heads out for a run.

On his return, Christian is nonplussed to find Ana still asleep. Dude, have you checked her breathing? She could very well be dead. Oh well, a rich playboy like Christian would have no problem hiding the evidence. Anyway, that little bitch has slept enough: Christian decides to wake her up.

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But first he orders room service – he can’t decide what Ana might want so he orders one of everything. This makes him feel super emo.

Christian’s first three years of desperation have taught him not to waste food ever. And the intervening TWENTY YEARS of having the best of everything didn’t help one bit.

Christian wakes Ana up and they have some stilted casual banter. Ana isn’t sure where she is at first, and is of course worried about what might have, er, happened after she passed out. Christian thinks to himself, “Keep it casual Grey. You don’t want to be charged with kidnapping.

So he gets how creepy the whole situation is, he is just hoping to play it off like its normal.

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Ana berates herself for getting drunk and having bad friends who let strange men hustle her into their cars. The whole thing kind of turns Christian on. Still he reassures Ana that they didn’t have drunken sex, so she is relieved about that at least. She is a bit squicked out that he stripped her vomitty clothes off though. And a bit squicked out that he tracked her cell phone to find her.

Yeah, dude, that *is* kinda gross.

Well! Christian never! Never! The very idea. Well, maybe he did, but it’s cute and fun when he does it.

Christian scolds Ana about drinking too much and letting Jose hit on her, and for not eating properly. You know normal topics between people who have just met. Christian imagines Ana in all sorts of bindings, trusses, and positions, and then darts off to the shower to escape. He wants to jerk off but he’s afraid that Elena will find out, so he doesn’t.

How the fuck would she find out? Seriously dude. Seriously.

Ana, grossed out by being in the same book as this space case, heads off for a million showers in bleach, while Christian waits for breakfast to arrive. Christian uses the alone time to wonder if Ana would make a good sub, and is briefly angry that she might have had sex with some other person, you know, before they met.

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That little whore! Not saving herself for someone she had no idea even existed!

Christian is further pissed off when two ladies arrive from room service. They make googly cow eyes at him, as does every woman ever. His billionaire powers put everyone in his thrall. He warns them off with a “chilly smile.” Yes. Smiling is how we indicate our displeasure.

Breakfast is full of the same awkward flirting and banter we’ve grown to grudgingly tolerate. Ana bites her lip and whispers seductively. Christian lets us in on this bit of glorious TMI:

Her words travel straight to my cock.

So, you hear with it now, too? Do you have some kind of novelty penis-sized ear trumpet to keep it better informed? Do your pants have to be specially tailored for that?

We’ll never know because Christian heads off the sexy talk by telling Ana he will not touch her even once until she signs his sex contract and non-disclosure agreement. Unfortunately, the paperwork and orientation takes a whole day so no sex today!

There’s more awkward talk, about Ana’s new apartment, about her lack of employment prospects, and Christian Grey’s nebulous business factory. They make a date for that very night to hash out the contract, and Grey makes a huge production of having his personal helicopter brought out so that they can ride in it.

There’s even more awkward banter as they leave for work and then they hit the sexy magic elevator of sex. Christian announces, “Fuck the paperwork.” And then they make out like horny teens whose parents have gone away for the evening. The elevator stops and Christian compliments Ana for brushing her teeth. Basic hygiene is soooper hawt!

It’s even hawter because Ana used his toothbrush. Ha ha, she’s gross.

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They stop at Ana’s apartment to pick up Elliot, and there’s lots of residual awkwardness between the four of them. Elliot hugs Ana and it makes Christian furiously angry. Healthy. Ana goes to work and Christian and Elliot head back to the hotel to await THE BIG DATE.

Friday, May 20, 2011 – It’s the Chapter with the Bar and the Vomiting and the Tracking of the Cellphones!

Having largely ignored the boring workings of his “business” and sent the books off to Ana, Christian has finally been able to relax and get a good night’s sleep. He argues with his reflection in the mirror for a bit – first insisting that he is just happy to have closure, but then forcing himself to admit that he really wants Ana to respond to the gift.

Well dude, it’s a gift, so you are guaranteed a perfunctory thank you at minimum.

Christian reads the paper while his housekeeper makes him an omelet. Then Elliot calls. Remember Elliot? Christian’s brother, infamous gadabout, and relentless philanderer? Him. He calls. Elliot needs to get out of town for the weekend because his new flavour of the week girlfriend is “all over [his] junk.” Yeah. Men hate that.

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Christian suggests staying in Portland for some brotherly hiking and biking. Totally not because that’s where Ana lives and he might ‘accidently’ run into her. Elliot agrees, blissfully unaware that he is probably going to get ditched as soon as Christian hears from Ana.

They drive to Portland, and Elliot sleeps all the way. Christian muses that Elliot must be ‘fried.’ That word…

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Well, it pisses Christian off so he blasts his music to wake Elliot up. Christian and Elliot reminisce briefly about cycling with their dad, before Christian spirals into self-loathing, about his failed relationship with his adoptive father. Of which there is NO evidence in the first three books. Their relationship appears warm and cordial, but Christian still insists, “I’m the one who didn’t live up to his expectations.”

Um, OK dude, whatever you say.

They get to Portland, go for a one paragraph bike ride and settle into the hotel room to watch some baseball. Christian obsessively checks his phone for notifications from Ana but gets none. Elliot remarks that his super clingy flavour of the week has called five times and texted four times. Christian jokes that maybe she’s pregnant, which causes Elliot to nearly pass out with shock (let it be known that these are some easily shocked men).

Elliot, when he recovers enough to speak, responds thusly:

“Besides, I haven’t known her that long. Or that often.”

Yeaahhhh…that’s not how it works. It’s frightening to me that anyone writing erotica doesn’t have a solid grip on the mechanics of sex.

After some manly sports and a few cold, manly brewskis between manly men manly Ana…I mean regular Ana finally calls. She’s drunk, and it sounds like some sort of party behind her.

Oh! It’s this chapter! The one where Ana gets wasted after her exams, drunk calls Christian from the bar and it so shocks delicate unworldly Christian that he has to track her cell phone, stalk her at the bar, scold her for being drunk, and carry her back to his hotel room.

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Hoo boy.

Buckle in; we’re through the looking glass here people. Also: we’ve buttered our bread, and now we have to lie in it.

So Ana calls, and it’s clear that she’s drunk. She refuses to tell him where she is, or whom she is with. Christian is filled with ‘anxiety.’ Uh-huh. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? So he’s anxious. Ana is drunk and alone in a bar in Portland and THAT’S NOT SAFE. Dude. You’ve known this girl for a grand total of eleven days. You are not *that* concerned for her safety.

Ana continues to refuse to tell him where she is and it makes him REALLY MAD. Then she laughs at how bossy she is and woo! He’s furious.

Ana hangs up, and Christian does the sane logical thing. He calls he back and tells her in an ‘arctic’ voice, “I am coming to get you.”

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Not. Creepy. At. All.

He plays it off to Elliot like he has to give some girl a ride home, so they head out to look for Ana. Christian calls Welch and tells him to track Ana’s cell phone even though it is totally illegal and he acknowledges that. For whatever reason, they leave as soon as Christian calls Welch but before Welch can call back with Ana’s location. So, I guess they are just going to rage-drive aimlessly around Portland until they get a location. Sure. Whatever.

The next scene is inside the bar, so they must have gotten the info they needed. They immediately spot Kate at the table with a crowd of men. Christian asks where Ana is, but Kate isn’t really paying attention because she’s fallen in convenient plot device with Elliot. Kate waves Christian off towards the back door.

Outside Christian finds Ana being manhandled by Jose and rushes to intervene, because who knows what this drunk cad has planned for Ana!

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That is all.

Jose backs off and Ana shows her thanks by vomiting majestically all over the parking lot. Dear, virtuous white knight Christian holds Ana’s hair while she pukes and notes disdainfully that Jose is grossed out. Well duh. It’s vomit.

He thinks:

“Boy, she’s got it bad.”

Thaaaat’s not what that means. But whatever.

Ana gets done puking, falls into Christian’s arms and apologises. Christian practically titters with glee. “Okay, let’s have some fun,” he thinks. He makes her spell out all the things she is sorry for: calling, vomiting, being drunk. Then he lays into her about the evils of drink.

Christian even wonders briefly if Ana is an alcoholic. How would he know? They met 11 days ago. But the main takeaway is that getting drunk to celebrate your graduation is BEYOND THE PALE. Those are his words. This is a guy who did in fact attend college. He knows what college kids get up to. But that’s not appropriate behaviour for a young lady!

Also keep in mind this is a guy who had a few beers himself before driving out to find Ana. But that…that’s okay. Totally, 100%, A OK.

Christian gathers Ana up and tries to steer her out of the bar and into his car. That could only be less dreamy and romantic if his car was a beaten up white van with grimy blacked out windows. Holy rape van, Batman!

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Christian’s plan is briefly thwarted because Ana insists that she tell Kate where she is going. This gives Christian a sad. He thinks:

“She’s like oil on my troubled, deep, dark waters.”

Wat? What does that even mean? She covers you up with a rainbow-y film? She kills all your native wildlife? Help me out here.

Back to Kate…Kate is on the dance floor so Christian tells us that the only way to get to her is TO DANCE! They can’t just elbow their way over: they have to dance. This had better be one epic fucking Bollywood style dance number in the movie because why the hell include it otherwise?

Honestly.

So they finally tell Kate, and then Christian steers poor drunken hapless Ana into his car. She passes out on the way, so he just picks her up and carries her. The fact that Ana might need medical attention doesn’t even begin to entertain the vague possibility of crossing Christian’s mind for even one second: he just stuffs her in the car.

Right about now you’re probably thinking that this couldn’t get creepier, right? But you’d be wrong, because this happens:

“I head to the Heathman [that’s the hotel], telling myself I’m doing this for her sake. Yeah, tell yourself that. Grey.”

So all that bluster about being anxious? And all the “it’s not safe,” malarkey? Yeah. He just admitted that was crap. He’s just gathered a drunken helpless girl into his car for his own selfish reasons. And because frankly, who’s going to stop him? He’s filthy rich.

Really

Back at the hotel Christian strips Ana and puts her to bed. But it’s ok because he only imagines having sex with her. Plus he’s only staring at her unconscious body so he can guesstimate her clothing size. See? There’s no cause for concern.

We end the chapter with Christian emailing his butler with an order for all new clothes for Ana in those guesstimated sizes. We can almost buy that this is not totally inappropriate. Except Elliot texts Christian to say that he hopes Christian gets laid because Christian sooo needs it.

And of course Christian answers NO WAY! This girl is unconscious! The very thought sickens me!

Ha ha! Fooled you.

He says:

“I so do, Elliot. I so do.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011: Christian Grey and the Screaming Heebie-Jeebies

The thing about organizing a story by dates instead of chapters is that sometimes you have a day where nothing much happens. So your chapters may not necessarily all be the same size. Sure you could even out the chapters by skipping some short days and just talking about them later, but you could also just doggedly go day by day and say what happened and when. The choice you make says something about you as a writer.

choices

It turns out that Thursday May 19, 2011 is one of those days when not a lot of stuff actually happens. The chapter is six pages long.

Christian wakes screaming from a nightmare. This happens often in the 50 Shades series. And that’s just me.

Seriously though, Christian informs us that he has woken up screaming every day since Sunday. His dream consists mostly of smells, with Christian telling us that it smells like beer, cigarettes and poverty. It would be nice if there was a particular smell he associated with poverty, but as usual we are left guessing. Description, it’s super effective.

effective

Christian is sooo torn up about his decision to warn Ana away from…himself that he can’t sleep. He’s pissed that he has to work AND play golf when all he wants to do is lie in bed and moan about his lost chance with Ana. He briefly considers calling Elena to find him a new sub which seems to be his go to solution for anything.

Then we are treated to a little wandering-around-the-house-drinking-a-glass-of-water action. Gripping! Christian goes back to bed and stares at the ceiling until his alarm goes off.

Time to make the donuts motherfucker.

On the radio, Christian hears about the sale of a rare manuscript, and he thinks of Ana. He has a brilliant idea! He’ll give Ana a book as an apology for getting her hopes up, totally not as a gesture to show he’s still interested. Because he’s not. He’s totally not.

Dontcare

That’s kind of sweet right? Christian is going to acquire a rare manuscript at great expense for Ana! Ha ha, nope! Why bother? He already has several rare manuscripts just lying around, so he’ll just give Ana one of those. That’ll be fine. In Fifty Shades of Grey, the gift was actually kind of nice – I assumed it was a thoughtful, well considered purchase just for Ana. Now it’s a lame, no effort cop-out.

At least Christian could seem mysterious and dark when we couldn’t see into his thoughts. Grey just lays him bare as an unrepentant asshole. Neither book he has on hand (Jude the Obscure and Tess of the D’Urbervilles) is particularly romantic, so he just goes with Tess. Anyway, he figures, Ana’s probably never owned anything that expensive before so she should be super impressed by it.

He gets to work and is immediately annoyed by all his ultra-hetero female employees all falling all over themselves to hit on him. He’s disgusted that the receptionist greets him with a “flirtatious wave.” Dude. She’s the receptionist. Being cheerful and friendly is her goddamn job. Get over yourself.

getoveryourself

But he calls her, “a cheesy tune on repeat.” Honestly dude. If you can’t stand your employees, hire some that you DO like. Why not hire some men? Or some women who have a bit of fucking professionalism? Or, if no one can resist his vampire billionaire powers, why not hire gay women who won’t care how attractive he is? Because there are no gay people in 50 Shadesland, that’s why. You’d think at least one gay man would trip over himself to hit on the world’s most magical billionaire, but it never happens. The only time gayness is even mentioned is as an insult and horrible social gaffe.

Hey! 1950 called, it want’s it’s social mores back.

Christian gets to his office and orders a coffee from his personal assistant. He’s glad to see Olivia (a random employee we’ve never met) is gone today because she’s “fucking irritating.” His PA asks how he would like his coffee. Christian doesn’t want milk today, not because that’s what he feels like drinking, but because he wants to, “keep them guessing how I take my coffee.”

What?

I'm going to hell
Christ, what an asshole.

He calls Welch to find out when Ana’s final exam is so that he can send the book as a gift for finishing school. Then we head right on in to Christian’s super important business meeting. We learn that he is a super important business man who transacts business at his business factory. There’s talk of shipments and airdrops and greasing palms to get ‘the shipment’ into the Sudan.

This is the fourth book, and we still don’t really know what he does for a living. One of the books assured us that he was developing wind up, or possibly solar powered phones for poor Africans. So is that what they are shipping to Sudan? We’ll never know! But we do know he is totally OK with bribing politicians to get his own way. Nice.

After the meeting Olivia shows up with Christian’s lunch. Dammit, he hates Olivia. Has he mentioned that? She can’t do anything right. He hopes to hell she has brought him a suitable lunch! Of course, he won’t tell his staff what he actually wants for lunch. Heavens to Betsy no! Then he couldn’t bitch when they got it wrong.

Ok, we are supposed to like this guy. Why isn’t he even a little bit likeable? Throw us a bone for God’s sake.

Bone

Christian writes a note to go with the book. We can only hope that he dots his i’s with little hearts. Then he has his too-eager staff send it off. It’s only at this point that Christian admits to himself that maybe he does want to see Ana again. Maybe. A little. We can’t be sure.

And that’s the end of the chapter.

Sunday May 15, 2011 – Afternoons and Coffee Spoons…er Dates

It is picture day at IckyFeels Junior High and Christian is mentally gearing himself up for the big event. He takes a two hour run and listens to Moby. Is Moby rich people music? Is it running music? I don’t know. But I do know a cliché when I see one and here one comes right now!

As Christian runs, uncertain if he will ever win his One True Love™ “sunshine breaks through the clouds and it gives me hope.”

HeySunshineGurl

Awwwww…sweet huh? It’s nice how Christian’s moods dictate the weather. And by nice I mean ‘unsettling.’

He passes a coffee shop and wonders if he should ask Ana on a date. A coffee date. He gets back to the hotel and eats before showering, because, he informs us, he does not tolerate hunger.

Taylor comes to tell Christian that the kids are set up for the photo shoot. His hair is still wet and unstyled but he doesn’t ‘give a shit.’ He doesn’t give a shit how he looks. He’s a public figure with an image to maintain, a clearly vain fucker who uses his good looks to get what he wants, but he doesn’t care how he looks for his publicity photos?

honebadger

He doesn’t care how he looks to show off for Ana? That doesn’t even make sense. He’s a calculating guy who notices hair and clothing choices. He’d spend a little effort to look good.

Christian arrives at the shoot, finds Ana and shakes her hand. He wants to kiss it instead. He even grosses himself out with the insipid sweetness of this thought.

Kate introduces herself and Christian assesses how much she resembles her father. His conclusion: a lot. He notes that she will have never wanted for anything in her life. He wonders why she is friends with Ana as they have nothing in common. Christian says this knowing almost nothing about either woman. But he can tell with his vampire billionaire powers. He assesses their clothes and handshake styles and determines that they have nothing in common.

Then, a wild José appears and it is ON. Christian immediately assumes he is Ana’s boyfriend. He immediately wonders: are they fucking?

José extends his hand for shaking and says, “Mr. Grey.” Christian loses his metaphorical shit. He calls this “a warning.” And tells us that Jose is, “telling me to back off.” Yes Christian, everyone is challenging your manliness ALL THE TIME. He is just as delusional as Ana.

He lets himself be directed around for the shoot while he watches Ana interact. He decides that Kate likes to be in charge and Ana likes to be submissive so thaaat must be why they are friends. Not because of anything as crass as shared interests, or experiences. That’s crazy talk!

Bitches

Ana looks at Christian and for some reason he decides to stare her down, being very gratified when he succeeds. Um, okay dude, you out-stared and naturally meek person. Nooot that big of an accomplishment.

Then the pictures are done and Christian angles her out into the hall to ask for that coffee date. There’s a brief moment of tension where we are led to believe that Ana doesn’t’ want to go. But it turns out she just has to change cars with Kate so Kate can drop everyone back home.

Ana heads off to trade keys with Kate while Christian broods in the hallway. He imagines Ana making out with José and gets all mad and jealous. Of his imagination. When Ana gets back he is relieved that she doesn’t look like she’s been kissing. Whatever that might mean.

They board the Sexy Elevator of Sex, and interrupt another couple making out. Christian mutters: “What is it about elevators?” Yup. They went there. Somebody has a thing for elevators. I guess. But the elevator soon works its sexy magic on them and “the atmosphere is thick with unfulfilled desire.”

Christian consoles himself by thinking about how Ana is much too young, and much too innocent for his illicit advances. And anyway, holding hands is super groovy. For some reason they are holding hands.

They arrive at the coffee shop and Christian memorises Ana’s order so he can know it for later. He agonises because the cashiers are nice to him, and all he wants is for them to shut up and give him his order. He should be on white whine.

As he turns to head back to the table he catches Ana looking at him and a, “bubble of hope swells in my chest.” Oh honey, that’s just gas. You should get that looked at. He ‘manages a cordial response,’ to the cashier despite her being unfailingly nice to him.

What an asshole.

Christian sits down and begins interrogating Ana. José, is he her boyfriend? Paul from the hardware store, he is her boyfriend, right? Ana tells him no and makes a huge mess with her tea – these things are both pleasing to his Royal Craziness. But despite all this scintillating conversation, Ana seems nervous. Under questioning, Ana admits that she finds Christian intimidating.

“You should find me intimidating.”

He says. He says that. What a guy! No, dude, buddy, pal, she should be afraid of you. Because you are crazy. It gets weirder though, I swear. Christian calls Anastasia by her first name, but expects Ana to call him Mr. Grey. When she calls him on it, he thinks to himself that he doesn’t even know if that is his real name.

Dude. That’s not how names work. If his adoptive parents named him Christian and that’s the name he goes by then that is his name. His birth name isn’t some magical power source – it doesn’t matter. He certainly doesn’t remember it, so why get all emo about it?

Then this line happens:

As she tells me she likes her tea weak and black, for a moment I think she’s describing what she likes in a man.

Whaaaaaaat?! What do I even say about that line? I’m not going even going to try, because it is its own worst enemy.

Then, in a fit of the ‘One Directions’ Christian realises that Ana doesn’t know she’s beautiful. That’s the problem! He peels back the paper on his muffin as sexfully as he can while imagining all the sexy things they could do with…a…muffin?

fetish

Okay.

Christian continues to press her for details about her family, while not really even listening and thinking about how dreamy her eyes are. He imagines taking her on vacation to all the tropical places where the ocean would match her eyes. But he’s not a flowers and romance kind of guy.

Sure buddy.

Ana then (Gasp! Swoon!) asks Christian about his family. He’s upset and tries to redirect her to another topic. He tells her that she already asked him some pretty ‘probing’ questions at the interview last week, so she doesn’t get to ask any more.

And, of course, if you didn’t get what Christian was aiming at with his probing questions remark, he spells it out for you – You asked if I was gay.

gasp

The horror! The horror! Apparently they are going to flog this just as much in Grey as they did in 50 Shades. And it is just as uncomfortable for the reader. Both Ana and Christian are mortified by the mere possibility that someone is gay. Think about it: not a single incidental side character in the series is gay. Not one. Nobody. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

They should have called this book 50 Straights of White because that’s what it is. The straightiest, whitiest book ever. Jose is the only PoC, as far as I can see. Take from that what you will.

After bringing up the forbidden question, Ana is suitably flustered and babbles about her family instead of asking Christian anything more. Ana talks about how much she likes books and it makes Christian…sad. He can’t compete with romantic heroes from books! That’s not what he is!

Wink

The date is starting to fall apart. Ana looks at her watch and thanks him for the tea. She really has to be going. Christian moans internally that he’s blown the deal. He offers to walk her back to her car because he’s suddenly desperate for Ana to stay.

You wouldn’t think it possible, but it just gets weirder. Ana reveals that she always wears jeans, and Christian is way turned off. Jeans are gross. Then Ana asks if Christian has a girlfriend. That’s the last straw. Christian is done with this date. He doesn’t do the girlfriend thing.

Ana is so shocked she falls into the road and almost gets run over by a cyclist. Christian catches her and they stare longingly into each other’s eyes. Christian notices that she smells like apple orchard. Ana puts her lips out like a cartoon (I remember this part from the other book!) and Christian pushes her away dramatically.

Ana is pissed, and Christian gets sent into an emo spiral. He warns Ana to stay away. He just isn’t the right kind of man for a nice girl like her. They return to the hotel in pissey silence and they exchange curt goodbyes. Ana leaves and all Christian can think about is blue eyes and apple orchards.

SUGif