Saturday, June 30, 2012

50 Fucks of This

I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

Right then. So, you know how I thought the incredibly inaccurate portrayal of BDSM in this book was making me angry? Well, I was wrong. Because in the last few chapters of this heinous crime people think is literature, E. L. James takes this bullshit to a level that I was genuinely unprepared for and I am now at a level of fury I was unaware I was even capable of.

Chapter 24 begins with Ana having a dream: Christian is in a cage and trying to feed her strawberries, but they can't reach each other. Let me repeat that: Christian is in a cage, and he and Ana can't reach each other. OH MY GOD THE SYMBOLISM IT IS SO CRYPTIC. What could it mean? Is this dream a metaphor for their relationship? Is it? IS IT? WE MAY NEVER KNOW. Christian wakes her up. It's very early in the morning, still dark outside. Christian is getting her up because he has a surprise for her, but first they have to argue about whether or not she's going to eat breakfast because no chapter would be complete if they didn't argue about food. They get in the car and Christian has opera on again because he is sophisticated and sad. Ana thinks it's depressing so he puts her in charge of the music. She scrolls through his iPod for a while and then selects Britney Spears' "Toxic". My personal friends who are reading this are laughing their faces off right now, as I'm pretty sure I've subjected every one of them to my rants about how much I hate Britney Spears because she can't sing. Don't worry though, Christian's judgment about music is still intact: he didn't put that in his iPod, Leila did. Ana is STUNNED. Who the fuck is Leila? Is she an ex-sub of his? Where is she now? Why is this happening? If James had written a line for Ana where she said something about having the vapors it would not have been out of place in this paragraph. It turns out she WAS an ex-submissive, one he ended things with because she wanted more. I have no idea if the author will go back to this in later books, but my money is on the serving girl at his parents' house who couldn't look at him without getting upset. This sparks a discussion about all his other subs and why things ended - apart from one, they all wanted more (by the way, they will start using this word like it's a noun for the rest of the book, i.e. "Thanks for the more". It is annoying). ANA IS THE SPECIALEST LADY EVAR.

They are headed to an airfield. Ana is alarmed: "We're not going back to Seattle, are we?" I mean, she hasn't told her mom she's leaving, and none of her stuff is packed, whatever will she do? Once again, the concept of free will and saying "I'm not going" is entirely lost on her. Luckily, that's not what's up: They are going gliding. Or the way Christian puts it, "We're going to chase the dawn, Anastasia." Fuck this dialogue. Seriously. Fuck this dialogue with a deer antler. When they get there, they meet a few people and then Christian starts strapping her into the glider (and her parachute) as if she were a small child, which is described in excruciating detail, unlike major plot points such as what being the child of a crack whore was like. He starts to strap himself in, but Ana can't move to see: "he's strapped me in so tightly I can't move...typical!" No, idiot, he's strapped you in that tightly because you are IN A GLIDER. She also gives some detail on the inside of the plane: "In front of me is a panel of dials and levers and a big stick thing." A BIG STICK THING. JESUS. I WANT THAT DEER ANTLER AND I WANT IT NOW.

So they go gliding, and it's all marvelous, and the sky is beautiful with "childlike clouds" whatever the shit that means, and he even lets her control THE BIG STICK for a minute and everyone is happy for once. They decide Christian decides they should get some breakfast, so they get in the car and drive to IHOP. I have a hard time keeping my own breakfast down and I write in my notes "Well we know he has shit taste in women so why not also in pancakes?" Her description of IHOP is the only line in this entire book I have genuinely enjoyed because she actually captures it perfectly: "It smells of sweet batter, fried food, and disinfectant." WELL DONE, JAMES. NAILED IT. Only took her 456 pages to get something right. As they eat they discuss their relationship some more, which is boring, and she asks if she can treat him to a meal and he gets mad, not because he's rich and flaunting it like usual, but because he finds this suggestion emasculating (his word). WOMEN CAN'T PAY FOR STUFF YOU GUYS. NEXT THING YOU KNOW THEY'LL ALL BE WANTING JOBS AND FREEDOM AND THE VOTE.

Christian drops her off at her mother's without asking how to get there because he probably collected that information weeks ago so he would know everywhere she might go to escape from him. Inside, her mother is freaking out about dinner because she is desperate to impress Christian rather than the other way around, the way it normally works for parents whose children aren't dating billionaires and who aren't stupid. Ana goes to start another game of e-mail tag, which is when she first finds out that Christian heard her talking in her sleep. The panic begins: What the hell did she say? Has she embarrassed herself? I know this is the start of a theme, and I know it's going to make me massively angry because shit you say in your sleep hasn't got a fucking thing to do with reality. The best example of this is the Sleep Talkin' Man blog, where a woman has been exploiting her husband's insane sleep talk ramblings for years to the delight of the entire internet.

After the e-mailing, Ana gets a phone call from the publishing firm she wants to work for offering her a job, which she accepts. Taking that phone call has made her miss a call from Christian. She calls him back to find out that there's some sort of "situation" and he has to go back to Seattle immediately so he won't make dinner. He sounds cold and angry..."But for the first time, I don't immediately think it's me." Oh for fuck's sake. I didn't want to do this but she's forcing my hand: here is a list of the warning signs of abuse, and every one of them applies to Christian except for threatening to kill himself if she leaves, but I'm sure that's coming. How are women enjoying this book? HOW?

That afternoon, Ana is sitting outside with her mother and contemplating the amazing morning she spent with Christian. He seems like a changed man, happy, playful, wanting a real relationship. She wonders what's different - he wasn't like this when she left....OH SWEATY PINK RHINOSAROUS BALLS. This all started after he had dinner with that horrible woman he was never in love with who is no threat to her. MOTHERFUCK. She must have told him to stop being such a massive penis and have a real relationship with Ana. How dare she help Ana get her way? WHAT A FUCKING CUNT. Seriously, this is Ana's reaction to this (entirely speculative!) realization. She has exactly what she has wanted this whole time, but it better not be because of that evil bitch or she will cut someone. Ana, you enormous fucking child. The only correct reaction to this, the ONLY one, is "Wow, I must have been wrong about her." Your complete fucking insanity is goddamn breathtaking. Ana doesn't mention this to him during that night's nausea inducing e-mail exchange. Instead they play more cat and mouse games that make me want to punt a baby duck. What did I say in my sleep? Not telling, teehee! You're mean! You're pretty! I've seen more mature conversations occur between two 13 year olds.

At the start of Chapter 25, Ana's parents are dropping her off at the airport for her flight back to Seattle. Incidentally, on both her flights the seat next to her in first class has been empty, and she speculates that this might be because Christian bought that seat so no one would sit next to her because he doesn't want her talking to anyone else ever. You guys, CAN'T YOU SEE HOW ROMANTIC THAT IS? She spends some time thinking about her relationship. (I am warning you now, this is the part of the book where I start to really fucking lose it.) So, her mother thinks Christian loves her, but she doesn't think so, because he can't possibly know what love is since his mommy preferred drugs and dying to child rearing and cuddles. And, you know, here's the problem: she needs him to love her. (She has known him for a month.) Needs. Desperately. She describes it as "a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished." By a man that she doesn't think knows how. As premature and co-dependent as that is, it's about to get worse. Because then this happens (get ready my D/s friends): "He doesn't even love himself. I recall his self-loathing, her love being the only form he found acceptable. Punished - whipped, beaten, whatever their relationship entailed - he feels undeserving of love."

There is not a way for me to even describe the rage I am feeling right now. I have read those three sentences a dozen times at least and they are still having the same effect as they did the first time. I was actually shaking when I read this. In my notes I used an entire sheet of paper to write "FUCK YOU FOR THIS." She has just reduced the sex lives of thousands of people to the most disgusting and untrue stereotype she possibly could have. We are all so broken, we are all imbued with such a fundamental self-hatred, that we have to do horrible, punishing things to ourselves in order to assuage our guilt over receiving love that we know in our hearts we don't fucking deserve. E. L. James is not a member of the BDSM community. She is not in a D/s relationship, she has not done a shred of research, and she has not one fucking clue what the fuck she's talking about. How fucking dare this woman make this presumption? I have to tell you guys, the only reason I didn't stop reading this book RIGHT FUCKING THEN is out of a sense of duty to the people who have been reading and recommending this blog, and leaving hilarious and encouraging comments asking me to continue every day. Thank you - you are amazing. You deserve better than this horrific high school "love" story.

Sorry about that. I believe I was reviewing a book:

So, after that whole bullshit, she continues wondering what she said in her sleep. I can't even call this foreshadowing, this is the author standing on a stage with a megaphone screaming "THE THING SHE SAID IN HER SLEEP IS A PIVOTAL PLOT POINT." The e-mailing thing happens, the only real news is that the "situation" (she always puts this in quotes) has not improved. This worries her, not because something important might be wrong, but because she is afraid of what kind of mood he will be in when she arrives back in Seattle. When she does get to his place, she walks in to find him on the phone dealing with the "situation". I am getting pissed off about this because it keeps making me picture the cast of Jersey Shore. James has now made too big a deal about the "situation" for it to be a problem with his company; it's going to wind up being something more personal. We are not going to find out about it in this book, but based on conversational snippets, someone has gone missing and it's a woman, so I assume his ex-Domme has disappeared. I'll let you know when I get started on the next book (assuming she goes back to it since she tends to just drop things with no explanation constantly). He sees Ana come in and his relief at her presence is overwhelming. He kisses the living shit out of her while smelling like body wash (7). I assume his pants are hanging from his hips, but for once she doesn't tell us about it. He wants to take a shower with her right fucking now, but first he has to fuck her against the wall. I am convinced she only wrote that sex scene so she could use this line right after it: "He seems so much calmer now, his apprehension gone, dissolved by sexual congress." Yes, yes. He needs her, don't you see? He can't handle stress without her. This is like "I'll kill myself if you leave me" lite. Also? Never fucking use "sexual congress" in a sentence again unless you're being facetious or my antler and I will find you. All is well now. Everyone is happy. They get in the shower and he sensuously washes her with his magical body wash (8). She tells him about her new job, even where it is! He says he didn't already know, but I'm not buying it. I was born at night, but not last night. Then she decides to ruin it by mentioning that Jose's photography show is opening the next week and inviting Christian to go with her. He agrees to do so, but he is super jealous about it and tells her so very threateningly: "Yes I am, and you'd do well to remember that." This happens so often, I've pretty much resigned myself to it. Congratulations, James, you've successfully made not just your protagonist a victim, but your audience as well.

Afterwards, he decides there needs to be more fucking, this time in the magic sex room. For what was purported to be a BDSM based erotic novel, this is only the second time they've had sex in there. This is going to involve some sensory deprivation - a blindfold, and some headphone music so she can't hear what he's doing. He controls this music with "a small, flat device that looks like a very hip calculator." THAT'S A REMOTE CONTROL DUMBASS. THEY ARE OLDER THAN YOU ARE. I want to take the nearest remote control and shove it down her throat. Here is what's important about this scene, because it's going to make me very angry later, worse than I was about the not deserving love shit: Christian makes a very big deal about making her remember and say her safewords. He does this knowing he's not going to do anything that really hurts, but just in case, she needs to know what they are. He makes her repeat them just to make sure she's got the whole safeword concept down. When he's finally satisfied with her safeword proficiency, he subjects her to a very light flogging, which of course doesn't hurt at all and she has absolutely no reason to use her safewords in this scene. The only note I make about the rest of it is that he has to rub her legs to "bring life back into them" when he lets her out of her restraints, which means her restraints were too tight. Once again the author is straying from her own characterizations: an experienced Dom like Christian would have checked. Afterwards, they lay there cuddling and arguing about him still not having told her what she said in her sleep.

The final chapter of this volume opens with Ana waking up alone in Christian's bed in the middle of the night, again, because he couldn't sleep and has gone off to play sad, sad piano songs, again. She finds him at his piano and tries unsuccessfully to get him to talk about his childhood. He apologizes for waking her, but he didn't wake her, she just had to get up in the middle of the night to take her pill because she started taking them at 8 in the morning Georgia time, which is 5 in the morning Seattle time because she's an idiot. She writes this about Christian's reaction to her remembering to take her pill for three whole days in a row!: "He raises his eyebrows in surprise. 'Well remembered,' he murmurs, and I can tell he's impressed." Shut the fuck up. This isn't impressive unless you are dating someone who never learned to tie their shoes or cut their own meat. Christian suggests they fuck on the piano, but Ana decides she'd rather keep discussing their relationship endlessly. He tells Ana that he thinks the contract is moot at this point - so long as she follows the part about the rules he won't worry about the rest, but if she doesn't follow the rules she will be punished. She rolls her eyes at this, and so immediately he decides she needs to be punished, even though that's not anywhere in the rules. James' characters are now contradicting themselves in the same fucking paragraph. The thing is, she really, REALLY doesn't like to be spanked. At all. She makes him chase her around the room for a while like a tease before she bothers to tell him she is legitimately trying not to get caught because she hates the spanking. She compares it to how he doesn't like having his chest touched. He instantly deflates. His is visibly upset about it, so upset that Ana immediately backs off that statement because it makes him so sad (not because it isn't true, mind you, just because saying so has upset him. Grow a fucking spine). She finally tells him the truth: she doesn't actually like anything that goes on the playroom, she's only doing it because she wants to be with him, and she will endure whatever she has to for that to happen. He's very upset about this, because he needs to hurt her. She wants to know why, but he won't tell her because it will scare her away, and he can't lose her, he couldn't bear it, please, please, don't leave me, you said you would never leave me...and you begged me not to leave you in your sleep. Oh you've GOT to be fucking kidding me. THAT'S the all important thing she said in her sleep, please don't leave me? She was ASLEEP you fucking tool, for all you know she was talking to a purple dolphin with three eyes she met while she was stranded alone in the middle of an ocean made out of lemonade. You think you're ready for a real relationship because of THAT? How old are you, 12? Eat a dick.

You guys. She loves him so much though. Like, you have no idea. Her life depends on getting him to love her back. She'll do anything, for reals. "Show me," she says to him, "Show me how much it can hurt." Ok, he decides. He's going to show her. He's going to show her how much it hurts, because she asked him to. He is very explicit about it. He's going to hit her with a belt, six times, and make her count the blows while he does it.

Oh, no. Nonononono. I already see what's coming, and I don't want to read this ANYMORE, but there are only 10 pages left in this book. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, let me just tell you that getting hit with a belt REALLY. FUCKING. HURTS. It is definitely not for everyone. If she doesn't like the spanking, this is NOT going to go well. There's no chance she can handle six blows. She wouldn't make it through two. He asks her a bunch of times if she's really sure, and she keeps saying that she is even though she's not. This is like watching a train run over a pile of babies. I have never wanted to read something less in my entire life.

He hits her the first time and she is completely unprepared for just how bad it actually is. On the third one she starts to cry. By the fourth one it's already full on sobbing. At five she is convinced that she hates him. This is not something she can handle AT ALL, but he isn't going to stop....BECAUSE SHE HASN'T USED HER SAFEWORD. Ana, THIS is when you need your safeword. THIS IS WHAT SAFEWORDS ARE FOR. THIS WILL FUCKING STOP IMMEDIATELY IF YOU USE YOUR SAFEWORD. SAY IT. SAY IT! She never does. She never fucking says it. And after the sixth one, when he tries to comfort her, she is fucking enraged. She lashes out at him, because anyone who can do this to another person is obviously a depraved monster:

  • "This is what you really like?"
  • "You are one fucked-up son of a bitch."
  • "You need to sort your shit out, Grey."

And she storms out of the room. Look, I know I've pointed out a million times about how abusive his behavior is, but this one is not on him. He warned her and he warned her, she insisted he do it anyway, and she did nothing to stop him when she couldn't handle it, despite being reminded only hours before of what her safewords were and how important they are. He would have stopped after the first one if she had said so. She didn't. He's not a fucking mind reader. And then she attacks him and tells him he's a terrible person for it.

I don't know a bad enough word to describe how much I despise this book.

She runs off to her room and cries her face off. She is completely shattered. This relationship can never work because he is a sick, sick monster. She needs to leave him but she doesn't want to, she less than threes him 4EVA. Her whole life, everything, everything is destroyed: "Oh, this is a dark morning of the soul for me. I'm so alone." I'm going to throw up. WHO FUCKING TALKS LIKE THAT? Christian comes and finds her and tells her she should leave him, so she tells him she's fallen in love with him. He is horrified (her word). "You can't love me Ana. No....that's wrong." Because remember you guys? HE DOESN'T DESERVE LOVE THAT'S WHY HE DOES THESE THINGS. He goes on to say he can't make her happy. "But you do make me happy," she says. Jesus Christ, could this be any more melodramatic? Or stupid? He DOES NOT make you happy. YOU DO NOTHING BUT CRY. Enjoying sex is NOT THE SAME THING as being in love with someone, and you would know that already if you hadn't been such a ridiculous prude and put your hands down there once in a while. She sends him away so she can pack, because she's leaving him, for reals. Except that there's two more books and dozens of unanswered questions: Why can't anyone touch him? Why was his mom a crack whore? What's up with her dying? How did the Greys come to adopt him? How did they add to fucking him up? So, you know, not really leaving him, just being a fucking drama queen. She's already foreshadowing that she'll come back to him: Can I forgive him? Can he forgive me? The entire rest of the book is nothing but overly dramatic despair that would make your average soap opera look like a blockbuster comedy:

  • "I have...glimpsed the extent of his depravity, and I know now he's not capable of love." (You also "know" that helicopters need space to take off and land)
  • "I gaze at myself in the mirror. A pale and haunted ghost stares back at me." (You just spent four days on the beach in Georgia, shut the fuck up)
  • "...happier times, when there was hope of more." (Note: she's talking about YESTERDAY)
  • "I'm a complete failure. I had hoped to drag my Fifty Shades into the light, but it's proved a task beyond my meager abilities." (Um, yeah, she actually calls him that through the whole second half of the book. I agree though, you are a complete failure at just about everything in life)
  • "Shit, I've left him. The only man I've ever loved." (that you met A MONTH AGO)
And my personal favorite, because it encompasses everything that sucks about James' writing:

  • "The pain is indescribable...physical, is everywhere, seeping into the marrow of my bones." That's not indescribable. You just described the living shit out of it. You described it so much it doesn't even fucking make sense.

She leaves him after an argument about her keeping her gifts from him (she doesn't, she has INTEGRITY) and goes home, presumably to cry herself to death. We should be so lucky.

THE END. For real. She ended the book this way. Laying in her bed (with her shoes on even, so we know how epicly sad she is) There’s nothing for me to even say about this. It’s that fucking stupid. It's the most anti-climatic ending ever written that doesn't involve someone waking up and finding out it was all a dream.

So – That is my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in a series of three. Overall, I have to say it was the worst book I have ever read. It might be the worst thing I have ever read. I’ve read cereal boxes that were more entertaining and well written than this book. Out of five stars, I would give this book negative ten. My recommendation is: DO NOT read this book. If you come across this book by accident, throw it into a fire. If someone tries to give you this book, beat them over the head with it until your arms get tired, and then throw it into a fire. If you see someone else burning this book in a fire, go get some kindling and make a bigger fire. No matter what, do everything in your power to USE FIRE to make this shit not have happened.

NOW THEN – I swore I wasn’t going to read the other two books. But then this blog went viral last week and dozens of amused strangers begged me to read them both and write more angry things. So, I AM going to review the other two books. Here’s the thing though – I can’t just keep yelling at you in all caps for 1000 plus more pages of this because there’s only so many variations on “zebra raping fuck” I can come up with and you are going to get bored. So for the next one, I am changing the format a little in a way that will almost certainly be even funnier. I have somehow roped my best friend H-Town into reading this book with me because I am a terrible person. H-Town is the funniest person I have ever met in my life, and I am someone who once dated a professional comedian. H-Town is about 900 times funnier than I am. I’m not being self-deprecating here – I think I’m hilarious, it’s why I have a blog –she’s just extremely fucking funny. So what we’re going to do is read the book in sections, and then have discussions about it, and then I will write posts with a little background so you have the storyline for context, followed by our presumably incredulous and horrified conversations. And then later I will think of something else for the third book. BrownsFan thought it would be fun if I wrote predictions for each of the chapters, but I am open to suggestions, and you guys are awesome commenters so I know you have some. Thank you SO MUCH for all of the encouragement, I would NEVER have been able to finish this book without it, and I am one of those people who feels like a failure when I don’t finish a book I started (other people get that right? It’s not just me?). You are the best readers a gal could ask for. I hope you never meet your Mr. Grey.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

H-Town and Amberance Practice For Their Upcoming Project (TBA)

a ravine

me: hahaha

H-Town: echoes of a rock hitting off the walls

the basement

that's Down Under
I wonder if in Australia she'd say, "UP THERE"

South side Chicago
also know as down dere

that's our local accent talking about going to Ocean City, MD

Lassie finds Timmy in a well

H-Town: bark bark What's that, Lassie? Timmy fell into Ana's DOWN THERE?

when you are looking for something in the closet that is right in front of you but you can't see it and your spouse is exasperated with you

There's a Dowager in my hoo-ha


Actually, that's what you should call your vacations to the UK

me: hey, I resemble that remark

H-Town: England Is In My Hoo-Ha 2012
sell tshirts
have tour dates and stops on the back

me: signed by all the players!

H-Town: hahaha

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

50 Bags of Douche

I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

You know what's good about this book? Nothing. Except that I am three chapters away from finishing it.

Chapter 21 opens with Ana waking up alone in Christian's bed. She goes looking for him and finds him in his study, on the phone, brusquely saying a bunch of businessy sounding words so we will know he is a busy and important man. When he gets off the phone he fucks her on his desk. Wait, scratch that. When he gets off the phone they have a ridiculous conversation that is meant to be coy but isn't, and then he DRAMATICALLY SWEEPS ALL THE PAPERS OFF HIS DESK ONTO THE FLOOR and then fucks her on the desk. HE IS SO DASHING AND IMPULSIVE OH MY GOD. I'm pretty sure this exact scene is in every romance novel written ever, but without the stupefyingly florid language: "Pushing me higher, higher to the castle in the air."/" I touch the sun and burn, falling around him, falling down, to a breathless, bright summit on Earth." I don't even kn....WHAT? Everyone is all happy until he asks her if she really needs to go to Georgia, and when she says she does he turns all cold and pissy. IT'S NOT COOL IF YOU VISIT YOUR MOM WITHOUT ME. IT GIVES ME AN ANGRY. I feel like I should put the list of signs a person is being abused up here and cite all the examples of Christian exhibiting those signs, but we'd be here all fucking day, and this is only five pages into the three chapters I plan to cover today.

After she showers, they have breakfast and argue about how she's going to get to Georgia. She says she can buy a plane ticket, on her own, because she's sick of him buying her crap. He says, out loud, "I have a jet." I say, out loud, "I have a migraine." They also argue about her not telling him which publishing houses she's planning on interviewing with that day. I have no idea how this is even a plot point. I get that she wants to achieve something on her own, but he has magical cell phone tracking/future shopping/super stalker powers, it's not like he can't easily find this out and I find it highly unlikely given everything else he's pulled so far that he hasn't done it already. They end the conversation by playing schmoopie and promising to miss each other terribly while she is away. I already know where this is going and so do you. I'm setting the over/under on when he will show up in Georgia at 2.5 days.

Ana has two interviews today: one with a large conglomerate in which she fears she will be just one of many in a sea of editorial assistants, next to which I write "Welcome to real life", the other at a small boutique firm she is much more excited about. She goes into enormous detail about the second interview. She is interviewed by two people: a woman called Elizabeth who has what Ana describes as "pre-Raphaelite hair" as if the audience for this book were the same as the audience for classical paintings (I was just barely able to restrain myself from immediately getting up and shaving my head) and a man called Jack who is way hip, which you can tell because he has a ponytail and earrings and he doesn't even wear a tie! She spends much more time describing Jack than she does Elizabeth and feels unsettled after the interview despite it seeming to have gone well. I have several theories:
  • He is going to heart her and be creepy like almost every other man she knows.
  • He is going to not be creepy and turn out to be a good boss and mentor, but Christian is going to ruin everything with irrational jealousy.
  • Christian has already gotten to him and he feels like he has to hire her OR ELSE.
When she gets home, she confronts Kate about constantly winding Christian up, and Kate again admits to doing this intentionally and insists that creating jealousy is the key to a long and happy commitment, while at the exact same time warning her that Christian might be dangerous and questioning whether she is running to her mother to escape from him. Hey Kate, if you're worried your friend might be in a relationship she feels she needs to escape from maybe INCITING JEALOUSY in this potentially abusive monster is NOT THE BEST OPTION. Moreover, whether Christian does or doesn't have commitment issues is NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS. Ana admits that the only time they seem to get along is when they're screwing, to which Kate replies "If that's going well, then that's half the battle." Now, I'm the last person who is going to argue that satisfying sex isn't vital to a relationship, but this seems to imply that satisfying sex is pretty much how you know you ARE in a good relationship and that...that just isn't true. Kate apparently has yet to experience the glory of hate fucking someone you otherwise can't stand. I'm kind of sad for her.

Ana heads to her room to email Christian and then sits there staring at the screen waiting for him to reply. That's not me being sarcastic, that is actually in the book: "I sit and glare at the screen. Christian's responses are usually instantaneous. I wait...and wait, and finally I hear the welcome ping from my inbox." She sat there and did nothing but stare at her inbox for 14 fucking minutes. I'm not sure what's more idiotic, that, or that fact that usually Christian is doing the exact same thing yet we are expected to believe that he is a very busy and important man. INSTANT. MESSENGER. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

That evening, Kate drops her off at the airport, where she discovers that once again Christian can't help himself from meddling in her affairs and has upgraded her to first class. And I realize that that is a very nice thing to do on the surface, but the way I'm seeing it is that she is constantly telling him that those sorts of behaviors make her uncomfortable, and he is repeatedly ignoring her wishes. Therefore, this isn't a nice thing to do, it's just another way he's attempting to control her entire life and another reason why he doesn't deserve any of the trust she's given him. Also, this is more of the stalking: she never told him what flight she was on. He's got to be either hacking her email or tracking keystrokes, right? Because otherwise he's hacked into the booking systems of every airline that flies out of Seattle and I don't even want to think about that.

In Chapter 22, Ana gets a manicure and a massage in the first class lounge, which makes me wonder why she's at the airport so fucking early, and that is saying something because I am pretty insane about making sure I get to the airport early. She's also drinking a shit ton of champagne again, causing her "to forgive Christian and his intervention" or make excuses for him to justify his behavior, depending on how you look at it. She then gets on her magical FutureBook "hoping to test the theory that it works anywhere on the planet." Holy fuck, Ana, let me help you with that. It DOESN'T work anywhere on the planet. It works anywhere that has WI-FI. Places such as FUCKING AIRPORTS. Even my boss understands this and without going into too much detail, the man is NOT GOOD with computers and the internet (OK, one example: "Do you know how to get a Facebook?"). She emails him about her first class lounge activities and gets an immediate reply. See if you can guess which one of these lines was in his response:
  • I'm glad you are enjoying yourself.
  • I hope you have a safe flight.
  • I bet your nails look as lovely as the rest of your beautiful hands.
  • Who was massaging your back?
She replies that a very nice and attractive young man massaged her back and she enjoyed it thoroughly. She leaves out the part where she thinks he's gay (incidentally, she has made this assumption based on the fact that he has a tan - I did not realize this was the universal sign for "queer"). And then she thinks to herself "Oh, he's going to flip out". I would like to take this opportunity to remind you than only a few hours ago she was yelling at Kate for doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING SHE JUST DID, and to point out that this is the kind of behavior you would normally expect to see from a girl in junior high. She then continues being a complete asshole by being on her Blackberry after being told to put it the fuck away. SHE IS IN LOVE, THE RULES DO NOT APPLY TO HER. Her idiotic plan works - he goes into a rage and threatens to lock her in a crate. She is all, oh gee whiz, I'm super sorry that I made you all mad 'n stuff, which she absolutely is not because it was her stated intention to do so, and then he tells her to get the motherfuck off her Blackberry, saving me the trouble of screaming that out loud at no one. HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I HATE THIS FUCKING BOOK?

Arriving in Georgia, she meets her mother at the airport and predictably bursts into tears again. Here the author throws in a paragraph that has nothing to do with anything else about whether Ana should invite Christian to Jose's art show the following week (hint: NO). She has not brought this up again through the rest of the chapter and a half I've finished so far. I want to club a baby seal. Ana and her mother go to the beach, where her mom asks her what's up with this guy who has her so upset. Ana is amazed by this insightful question: "How can she tell?" Who knows, Ana? It could be maternal intuition...or it could be the fact that you are CONSTANTLY FUCKING CRYING OVER HIM. Her mother's advice, which for some reason isn't RUN THE FUCK AWAY, is that men are "simple, literal creatures." E. L. James does not appear to think much more of men as a gender than she does of women. Ana finds this to be sound advice: "She is on her fourth marriage. Maybe she does know something about men after all." I can't figure out a way to spin this observation in any way that would make it seem sensible, even to someone as crushingly illogical as Ana.

Ana gets back to her iMpossible to find an extremely long email from Christian, highlighting the intended dynamics of a D/s relationship, which would make absolute sense if not for the fact that Christian is the one saying it and he is constantly violating every single tenet he mentions. The email makes her realize how much she loves him and misses him. They have been apart for less than 24 hours. She emails him back some fucking nonsense while she gets dressed to have dinner with her parents. It takes him two whole minutes to respond to it, and the conversation devolves into frighteningly juvenile cybersex before her mother calls her because they are leaving for dinner. When she gets back, they continue this idiotic exchange until he sends her a final email for the night: "I am having dinner with an old friend now so I will be driving."

On reading that, Ana immediately FREAKS THE FUCK OUT because the only friend he has that she's aware of is the woman who was his Domme, and not only is Ana rabidly jealous of her for no legitimate reason, she is wholly convinced that she is nothing but a predatory child molester who preyed on his horrific early childhood in order to manipulate him and ruin his entire life. I won't debate the appropriateness of seducing a 15 year old, but I would like to point out that this relationship went on for six years, meaning that for half of it he was a legal and consenting adult, and that when it ended he was the exact same age that Ana is now. In a rage she starts googling him looking for photos of him with this woman, which she doesn't find because there aren't any, because nothing sinister is going on here at all - they are FRIENDS. After paging through eighteen pages of search results (who is the crazy stalker now?) she emails him the extremely loaded question of who was he having dinner with and then goes to sleep in despair.

After spending the next day shopping and whatnot with her mother, they decide to go for cocktails. They are drowning themselves in Cosmopolitans. Christian has uncharacteristically not replied to her email all day. When her mother goes to the bathroom, she checks and finds the email she's been dreading, confirming that he did have dinner with THAT EVIL WOMAN and also pointing out (again) that they are just friends. Ana shits a canary. ALL HER FEARS ARE COMING TRUE. She went away for two days and he immediately "runs off to that evil bitch." She unleashes the crazy in a frantic email: "She's not just an old friend. Has she found another adolescent boy to sink her teeth into? Did you get too old for her? Is that the reason your relationship finished?"(Which, by the way, if that were the reason, I can't figure out what she's afraid of - it's not like he's going to suddenly age backwards and become acceptably barely legal to her again.) Seeing as she's so unbelievably upset, she does the reasonable thing and orders another Cosmo. When she gets his reply I find it half reasonable, half terrifying, and 100% what I predicted earlier. Reasonable: I'm not having this conversation with you in an email. Terrifying: BTW, how many cocktails do you plan to have you fucking lush? Wait, can he see her? Holy shit, y'all, THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. Predictable: GUESS WHO THE FUCK IS IN GEORGIA AT PRECISELY THE BAR SHE AND HER MOTHER HAVE GONE TO FOR DRINKS?

He walks over to them to start the next chapter, and she temporarily forgets how angry she was five seconds ago. She is now ecstatic because he came to Georgia for her. She introduces him to her mother. Now, I don't have any children, but if I did, and my impossibly naive daughter's boyfriend who makes her cry ALL THE FUCKING TIME decided to STALK HER ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE CONTINENT, at the very least I would be pointedly polishing my gun and staring at him, assuming I didn't just immediately stab him in the throat by way of introduction. Not Ana's mother, though. Carla is at first speechless, due to his being so breathtakingly handsome, and when she recovers from her awe over the existence of such a beautiful creature, she invites him to sit down for a drink, and then later invites him to have dinner with them the following evening. She then excuses herself so they can have some privacy.

Once she's gone, Ana resumes her anger and she and Christian have a heated conversation about this woman. She insists to him that this woman molested him, abused him, and forced him into a BDSM lifestyle he didn't actually want. Because she knows absolutely everything since she was THERE and SHE SAW IT ALL and he just DOESN'T UNDERSTAND how horrible it was for him. Christian has a different opinion: the relationship was entirely consensual from the beginning. She was never abusive to him in any way - in fact, she saved him from the destructive path he was headed down. She has never been anything but good and kind to him and that is why despite having no sexual relationship any longer, they are still close friends and business partners. Ana's not having any of it. And not only is she unable to accept that this woman isn't a depraved sexual predator, but she's worried there might be an even bigger problem: "Did you love her?" Because, she tells us, if he ever loved her at some point in the distant past BEFORE ANA EVER FUCKING MET HIM, then EVERYTHING WILL BE RUINED. HOW DARE HE HAVE HAD A LIFE AND HAVE FELT FEELINGS BEFORE SHE CAME ALONG? THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

He doesn't get a chance to answer this before her mother comes back. When she does, he heads back to his room. Her mother is completely fucking smitten with him. Mother of the fucking year Carla encourages Ana to go to him - he is obviously in love with her if he flew all the way there for her on his private plane. All will be well. They just need to talk it out. And, you know, if she needs to spend the night with him, it's all cool. But, you know, let's finish our Cosmos first because that will be excellent for your judgement.


Ana goes to Christian's room, where he is stupid enough to be surprised to see her, and is also on the phone saying more buzzwords because he is super important. When he gets off the phone she is all set to have this out with him, but she can't because he is so overwhelmingly sexy she has to bang him right now. Oh by the way, she mentions a few pages earlier that she's started her period. I find it interesting that the same author who absolutely cannot use the word vagina in a sentence is completely comfortable writing two different scenes of period sex. I am also shocked to find out that Ana uses tampons and not pads, since that would involve putting her hands down there which I would have imagined she would find terrifying. (Oh, side note, I was talking to H-Town today and we've decided that every time she uses the phrase "down there" we are going to replace it in our heads with the phrase "special purpose" from The Jerk.) In between the two sex scenes, Ana realizes FINALLY that if the scars on his chest AREN'T chicken must mean that someone was probably using him as an ashtray at some point. Her immediate reaction is to assume that the person who did this was the woman who was his consensual lover for six years rather than the much more likely candidate of his crack whore birth mother (who by the way, has not been mentioned or wondered about since the GO TO SLEEP part, which is absolutely fucking insane. She did not outline this story before she wrote the book. There's no way. This makes no fucking sense). She is also upset because she thinks if he hadn't met this woman he would totes be "normal" and not a freak: "I just wonder what you would be like if you hadn't met her. If she hadn't introduced you to, lifestyle." Now, I don't have any scientific studies to back this up, but my personal opinion born of my own experience and of other people I know in real life is that he probably wouldn't be any different sexually. He may have come to it later in life, or he may have gotten into a relationship with someone who wasn't compatible in that way and it would have remained just a fantasy forever (many, many people are in exactly this situation), but nevertheless, the interest in bondage and domination was probably always lurking there somewhere. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and most people get into this lifestyle by first being dragged kicking and screaming by someone else. But somehow I doubt it, and if they could talk, so would all of my Barbie dolls who used to get tied up when I was young. I really can't stress this enough: BDSM sex is something people gravitate toward because they like it, not because someone fucked them up. Anyway, he does his best to disabuse her of the notion that his former lover is the cause of his overall fucked upedness. She was a grounding influence that kept him from becoming a person just like his birth mother and she most certainly did not put out cigarettes on his chest. She is a trusted friend he goes to for advice when he can't talk to anyone else. Ana still can't (and I suspect never will) accept this, and continues referring to her as "Mrs. Pedo" until Christian forces her to drop it. He instead goes for a much lighter subject: all those times when he was still learning the ropes when he paid for sex. She is predictably judgmental about it and idiotically upset that she can't say or do anything that would shock him in a similar way, because the goal of every healthy relationship is to constantly one up each other about things the other person finds appalling. But wait! As it turns out she's wrong! She's done plenty of things that shocked him to the core! Why, she wore his underwear once when hers was in the wash OH EM GEE! And she calls him by his first name like she's some kind of equal! Once she even went to dinner at his parents house without wearing any panties! GOOD LORD THIS WOMAN IS OUT OF FUCKING CONTROL HOW WILL HE EVER KEEP UP? This abomination of a chapter ends with them going to sleep together once again, and despite the fact that basically everything he's said to her the entire night is upsetting and the exact opposite of the traits she appears to be looking for in a mate SHE HAS NEVER BEEN SO FUCKING HAPPY.

Three more chapters, you guys. Just three chapters left for me to get through without committing murder or permanently destroying my vision with some sort of sharp implement. I better get a fucking medal for this.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Last 5k I Will Ever Run*

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you. There will be a new 50 Shades review up tomorrow. I simply didn't have time to read this weekend: - I was being chased by zombies, driving across middle America and practicing how to be a stripper.

I ran my second Run For Your Lives zombie chase/obstacle course/5k on Saturday in Indianapolis. It wasn't any better than the last one, despite the fact that I did actually train this time. In fact, I finished the highly touted Couch To 5k program and I can say with confidence that I could probably run a straightforward 5k without wanting to die (though I would still hate it. Pretty sure nothing is ever going to change the fact that I HATE running). Unfortunately, the skills required for running a 5k are worthless for this particular 5k. What little areas there were for open running without an obstacle or zombies seemed to almost always involve either running through water or running through sand, both of which blow and are a complete energy suck. The rest of the time, we were sprinting. The zombies in Indiana are way more aggressive than the zombies in Maryland - they run faster, chase further, and work together to chase down the people who still have flags left. At one point, we gathered a large group to try to overwhelm a massive field of zombies. We got to the end, crawled through some murky water under a bridge and were greeted on the other side with ANOTHER huge field of zombies.

The obstacles were harder than last time as well. We crawled army style through a field of gravel, from which my knees are now cut to shreds. I climbed up the cargo net fairly well, but my decision to try and slide down the opposite side was, in retrospect, a poor one. I had been extremely confident going in about the one obstacle we knew about, crossing monkey bars over a pool of blood and entrails, due to my trapeze classes. I shouldn't have been. There was one thing I hadn't accounted for: at trapeze class we have chalk. At a zombie race there is nothing, plus your hands are wet from climbing up there due to people who fell in before you, plus your clothing is entirely soaked from all the previous water obstacles so you can't dry your hands on those either. I got about a third of the way across before I realized it wasn't happening and let go, justifying that decision to myself that the blood pool would feel soothing on my cargo net rope burns anyway.

I when I finally crawled under the electrified fence (seriously) and crossed the finish line, I was ecstatic. Not just because it was over, but because it was over and I WAS STILL ALIVE! I had one flag left at the end of the race, thanks to the amazing H-Town who ran interference for me after she'd lost all of her flags, and also from a spin move I used to get away from a zombie who had me wrapped up.

Survivor. Yes, I do know my hair matches my shirt.
And that's it. I am never doing this again.*

After the race, I faced a five hour drive back to Chicago so I could be at rehearsal for my latest student burlesque show first thing Sunday morning. Just a quick word about driving across the state of Indiana, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure: It's fucking terrifying. If you're like me anyway. Because I do not blend in there AT ALL, and as the bartender just said to me "In Indiana, the motto is 'If it's different, shoot it.'" The first thing you see when you cross the border from Ohio into Indiana is a giant cross made out of aluminum siding. Jesus approves of weatherproofing your home. Immediately after that are two billboards, these two, in this order:
Hell = The Hotel California
Jesus = The Dude. He's had a rough night and he hates the fucking Eagles, man.
Sitting in my tiny rental car with absolutely no one looking at me, I have never felt more like I was being judged. Until I got out at a rest stop to recaffeinate, my turquoise hair shining like a neon sign flashing "MISCREANT" and "FORNICATOR", and had to have a very uncomfortable staring contest with the man behind the counter before being allowed to purchase a Coke Zero. I felt safer surrounded by zombies.

On Sunday I went to rehearsal for the Studio L'Amour Student Showcase, which is July 1st at Joe's on Weed if anyone is interested in attending. I do not have photos of this part of the weekend, though I do have this one of me in (part of) the outfit I'll be temporarily wearing:
Not pictured: waist cincher, hand fan, sense of propriety.
My hope is that by the next student show in December, I'll be dancing solo instead of in a group with 15 other girls, but I will be in the front row this time so I've got that going for me.

So that's what I was doing instead of reading more dubious "literature" all weekend, though there was a bit of H-Town reading it aloud that I wish I had video of. I do expect to finish it this week, and then I may be willing to entertain reading the next one for you, but only if you give me some time off to read something decent, do the actual work that I get paid for, and keep saying really nice things about how amusing you find my rage.

*Until H-Town asks me to do another one. I am weak.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

50 Frowns of Disappointment

I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

All the dick sucking going on in this book is making wonder which one of you I have to blow to be allowed to stop reading this shit. Let's just get right into it today before I give up and try to break this keyboard over my head.

At the beginning of Chapter 18, Ana and Christian wake up in her bed. She is happy and he is late for a meeting. I'm sure loads of self-made men who single-handedly create and run multi-billion dollar enterprises are too stupid to think to set an alarm when they know they have a meeting first thing in the morning. Then again, he's stupid enough to chase this vapid, self-absorbed, overly emotional dipshit, so what do I know.

After he leaves, she sends him an e-mail to explain her reaction to the unwanted spanking from the night before. In it she writes, "...which euphemism should we apply - spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me." - none of which are euphemisms. That's what actually happened. Saying "impressive length" when you mean penis is a euphemism. College graduate, you guys. Anyway, she's confused because she didn't want it to happen but she was turned on by it, and she feels guilty because it was degrading but she felt turned on by it. Another e-mail exchange ensues (and I'm not sure why he was worried about being late to a meeting if he was just going to spend the whole time on his phone writing her two page e-mails every 10 minutes) which really doesn't make sense. He tells her not to feel guilty because they are two consenting adults, despite her not having consented to that AT ALL and my questions about her status as an adult. She threatens to run away to Alaska. He writes back with a message entitled "You Didn't Call the Cops" because apparently assaults that don't get reported to the police don't actually count, and also threatens her that it would be pointless to run away to Alaska because "I would find you. I can track your cell phone - remember?" to which she responds "Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies?" because HA HA HA it's so amusing and adorable to be stalked.

She drives to her last day of work thinking, "The problem is, I just want Christian, not all his...baggage" thus proving my point that she is as far from being an adult woman as one can imagine. TOO BAD. PEOPLE COME WITH BAGGAGE. YOURS IS STAGGERING STUPIDITY. When she gets there, she finds that Christian has bought and had couriered to her a new BlackBerry, because "I need to be able to contact you at all times" and because he's not following RIM in the news. When she gets home she has to explain to Kate about the new Audi, Kate apparently having walked right past it without noticing when she came home the night before, and then they get back to packing for their move to Seattle the next day. In the meantime, Jose shows up with beer, followed by Elliot who grabs and kisses Kate so hard that Ana thinks "I'm appalled at their lack of modesty." leading me to write a note saying "Get over it, it's not like she's sucking his dick in the hallway." Jose and Ana head down to the bar for a while since kissing is SUPER GROSS, and when she gets back she finds she has an e-mail from Christian wondering where she is, as she'd told him she would e-mail him hours ago when she got home from work. She also has FIVE missed calls from him and a voice message. While she absolutely should have e-mailed him when she said she would because it's common fucking courtesy, his reaction is completely over the top. I note: "He is right and also a dick." She phones him and they play you-hang-up-no-you-hang-up like fucking 13-year-olds until I want to push them both out a 12 story window.

The next day, Kate and Ana move to their new place in Seattle. Elliot is installing the TV, which Kate thinks is SUPER SEXY and according to Ana she "almost literally dissolves into the couch." NO SHE FUCKING DOESN'T. How would she "almost" literally do that, by not quite spilling lye all over herself? Oh by the way, Elliot is planning to move in with them as soon as Kate gets back from a vacation with her family. He and Kate have known each other approximately three weeks. A knock at the door turns out to be a delivery man carrying a bottle of chilled champagne from Christian with a helicopter shaped balloon attached, the classiness of the champagne being somewhat diminished by the "DON'T FORGET I'M SUPER RICH AND I HAVE MY OWN HELICOPTER" balloon. Kate asks if Ana gave him their new address and Ana says she didn't but that "stalking is one of his specialties." WHY DOESN'T THIS BOTHER ANYONE?

On Sunday, Ana heads over to Christian's place. He has fucking creepily arranged for a gynecologist (the best one in all of Seattle, natch) to come over to his home on a Sunday afternoon to give Ana an exam so she can get birth control. When the doctor arrives in Chapter 18, Christian asks Ana (I sincerely wish I was kidding about this), "Ready for some contraception?" HOLY GOD WHY? She gets a prescription for the pill after a lecture about taking it at the same time every day, a lecture that will be repeated later by Christian, which startles her because why would he know how birth control works that is amazing and also annoys her because, jeez, she's not an idiot. Except that she IS an idiot, and forgetting to take it at the SAME TIME every day is a relatively easy thing to do. He force feeds her some salad, and then they go off to screw in the sex room. There's little to note here, except for some wrist cuffs that are attached to a grid in the ceiling and can be moved around the room without having to unshackle anyone, which is actually a pretty good idea. Also he smells like body wash (5).

After the poorly written and shit-ass boring sex scene, they are laying in heap on the floor when she notices for the first time that there are little round scars all over his chest. WHAT COULD THEY BE YOU GUYS? Ana is intrigued: "Chicken pox? Measles?" I BET YOU'RE WRONG, ANA. I BET IT'S SOMETHING WAY THE FUCK MORE HORRIFYING THAN THAT. I can't even make this bet with you in good conscience. You are so stupid it wouldn't be fair to take your money. Following this discovery, there is another terrible sex scene, which she struggles through because after the first time she is so, so exhausted, you guys. This time he's tied her hands with - GASP!- the cable ties he bought from her at the hardware store! "It all becomes clear," she thinks. Idiot. Afterwards, he cuts the cable tie off of her with scissors and says: "I now declare this Ana open." I am BEGGING you guys, someone PLEASE kill me.

Ana goes to take a nap, because Christian has nearly fucked her to death. He wakes her up at the beginning of Chapter 19 so she can get ready for the evening - they are having dinner at his parents house. She is starting to get dressed when she realizes he hasn't given her back her panties from when he stuffed them in his pocket earlier: "I steal into the bathroom, bewildered by my lack of underwear." BEWILDERED. Jesus. She seems to think this is some kind of game and is enormously self-congratulatory about her plan not to ask for them back. The absence of her panties is a theme throughout this entire chapter and it is RIDICULOUS. She heads downstairs where she finds Christian with his pants hanging from his hips (7), and they dance around to Frank Sinatra for no other reason than so he can tell her his former Mistress taught him to dance and she can be irrationally jealous about it. Panties, panties, panties...she doesn't have them. The author plays up this theme as though this is the first time anyone has ever thought of leaving the house with no underwear on. I am DYING to meet the women who are finding this chapter titillating so I can scandalize them with a story about this one time when I picked someone up from the airport in a tiny black raincoat and NOTHING underneath it, and my subsequent untoward behavior in the parking lot - I'm hoping it will be enough to kill most of them.

At Christian's parents house, which is obviously a mansion, Ana is hugged by his mother and is introduced to his father, Carrick (really?). Kate and Elliot are also there, along with Mia, Christian and Elliot's sister, who also hugs her. I belatedly realize that his mother not touching him earlier in the book wasn't because she's not affectionate, it's because NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH CHRISTIAN EVER because SOMETHING REALLY FUCKED UP HAPPENED TO HIM BEFORE HE WAS ADOPTED. Everyone gets some drinks and sits down for pre-dinner chit chat, as you do, which is when Ana first mentions she might go to Georgia and visit her mother. Christian sit there in silent rage because she had the audacity to make plans to GO SEE HER MOTHER without checking with him. As they all head to the dining room he grabs her arm and whispers threateningly (her description): "This conversation is not over."

It only gets worse over dinner. He continues to be mad at her for having parents, and then Kate steps in to compound things even further. "How was Jose when you went to the bar with him on Friday?" she asks Ana because she's a complete and utter cunt. Ana theorizes that Kate keeps pulling shit like this because she's trying to make Christian jealous. He needs absolutely no help in this department, and also she fucking hates the guy and was just telling Ana to kick his ass to the curb two days ago, so this theory makes no fucking sense. MY theory is that Kate KNOWS he is an explosive rage monster, secretly hates Ana, and is deliberately trying to get her killed. In the meantime, two other things happen. The first is that a serving girl with pretty blond pigtails keeps coming in and out of the room and  flushing and making sexy eyes at Christian. Maybe she has a crush on him, but I think it's more likely she'll turn out to be one of the fifteen and probably the one who immediately preceded Ana. Ana fixates on this girl for the entire dinner, despite Christian almost entirely ignoring her. The second thing that happens is that Christian's mother (the doctor) gets up to take a phone call. This is one of the most contrived parts of the book yet. It is only in there so that the author can continue foreshadowing things that the readers already figured out 300 PAGES AGO. It seems there's a measles outbreak going on because people think that Jenny McCarthy knows more about health care than pediatricians. "I'm so glad our children never went through that," she says. (loud stage whisper: The scars on Christian's chest AREN'T from the measles!) "They never caught anything worse than chicken pox, thank goodness....Christian and Mia were lucky. They got it so mildly, only a spot to share between them." (loud stage whisper: They aren't from chicken pox either!) IT'S SUCH A GIANT MYSTERY, WHAT COULD THEY BE? PLEASE, E.L. JAMES, I AM ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT. Christian, meanwhile, keeps trying to stick his hand up Ana's skirt under the table, but she's keeping her knees together so he can't. I think she needs to lighten up. James thinks she needs to manufacture more reasons for Christian to be angry at her.

After dinner, Christian announces he's taking Ana on a tour of the yard. He is, of course, doing no such thing. He is really taking her to the boathouse to spank her and fuck her, something he dramatically announces to close the chapter. Oh, also, he picks her up and carries her over his shoulder because her heels keep getting stuck in the grass he's such a burly, Harlequin novel, manly-man with extra romance and a side of testosterone. Chapter 20 begins with him storming into the boathouse and several ridiculous descriptions of what particular type of light bulb is used in each room. I've determined that James tied up her editor and threw her down a well and then forged the signature on the notes for the book which read "No changes necessary! This book is totes perfect!" followed by three little hearts and a smiley face. It's the only explanation for how this book ever happened.

When he puts her down, she begs him not to hit her and for once he listens to her, though he did have the nerve to look surprised. He is still going to fuck her though. He can't help it, you guys - HE'S SO ANGRY. For the record, JUST IN CASE YOU SOMEHOW MISSED ALL THE SIGNS AT THE DINNER TABLE, he explains that he is angry because:
  • She didn't clear it with him to go visit her mother.
  • She got a drink with someone she's been friends with for years who made a pass at her that one time...
  • ...and then left her alone with "an almost complete stranger" (apparently he was supposed to stand there while Christian beat his ass?)
  • She closed her legs on him at the table, i.e. she said NO to him.

HOLY SHIT THAT IS SO HOT. That's Ana's reaction. Mine is HOLY SHIT I AM SO BORED.

Afterwards, they head back to the house (he's allowed her to have her panties back and not a moment too soon because I was about the tear mine to pieces in a blind rage if I had to hear about her naked ass one more time). Kate and Elliot are on their way out. Ana tells Kate they need to have a little chat about her continually antagonizing Christian, to which she replies "He needs antagonizing; then you can see what he's really like. Be careful, Ana - he's so controlling." (emphasis mine) Ok, that settles it, Kate is DEFINITELY trying to kill her.

On the way home, she tells him she wants to go to Georgia because she needs to think about their relationship:

"Are you having second thoughts?"

Well, fuck Christian, who knows? Maybe it's because you are a piece of shit who doesn't listen to his partner's needs and in fact acts in direct conflict to them all of the fucking time. Or maybe it's because you are an obsessed jealous stalker who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near vulnerable, idiotic 21 year old girls. Or maybe it's because you are continually dishonest and manipulative.

It's none of those, of course. Do you want to know the real reason? I assure you that you don't. Really? Are you sure? All right, if you say so, but don't say I didn't warn you. The real reason she needs to go away and think for a while is because...SHE THINKS SHE'S IN LOVE WITH HIM AND SHE WISHES HE COULD LOVE HER BACK. And then, AND THEN, she thinks to herself "...he's a man with serious, deep emotional flaws, and he's dragging me into the dark. Can I not guide him into the light?" THE PRETTY MAN IS BROKEN AND IT IS UP TO ME TO SAVE HIM FROM HIMSELF! And also HE SMELLS LIKE BODYWASH (6). I give up you guys. There is no point in continuing. My gender is a nightmare. The planet is doomed. I hate everything.

Back at Christian's, he begs her not to go home. Please oh please oh please stay with me tonight, begs the man who doesn't spend the night with anyone, ever. Please please, I totes want some vanilla sex, it is the awesomest. And Ana's all, teehee I'll stay here but only if you make love to me and let me touch your chest. And then Christian gets a sad and is all I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT AND YOU ARE SUPER MEAN FOR ASKING ME LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS POUT POUT SULK SULK. She goes and brushes her teeth with his toothbrush, which is fucking weird (James appears to think it's romantic, she written this twice now), and then goes back in the bedroom and starts negotiating - she'll let him spank her if he tells her more about himself. (Incidentally, his pants are hanging from his hips (8).) She is trying to manipulate him, and it's working. In D/s this is called "topping from the bottom" (see specifically #3) and it is heavily frowned upon. She's as bad a sub as he is a Dom. I'm confused now because I don't know if this furthers my argument that this relationship should not be happening or if it means they are perfect for each other since they both completely suck at this. Either way, if Christian were the Dominant the author attempted to portray him as earlier in the book, he would have called her on this immediately. Instead he's like Here, enjoy these ben wa balls while I spank you nicely. She spends four entire pages describing what they are like, without ever naming what they actually are. NOUNS ARE SCARY BECAUSE THEY MAKE EVERYTHING REAL. And then there's the vanilla sex, and then because she's such a great negotiator! there's the bombshell we've all been waiting for...


That is the actual honest to god truth of how he delivered this news: crack mother, died when he was four, nighty-night, don't let the bed bugs bite.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

50 Gasps of Horror

I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

Hey you guys, remember that one time when I was all "I'm going to read a horrible book for you so that you won't have to read it yourself"? I will not be doing that again. This book is making me question our collective worth as a species.

Chapter 14 opens with Ana waking up with a start from a wet dream about Christian Grey. She is shocked by this and says: "I didn't know I could dream sex." Holy hell, Ana. Welcome to what EVERYONE ELSE has been doing since puberty. When she imagines whether real life will be like what she dreamed, her inner goddess becomes a cheerleader and starts jumping around with pom poms. I want to say you can't make this stuff up, but obviously you can because E.L. James did.

Today is graduation day for Ana and Kate, or as I like to call it, the day earning a college degree became a fucking joke. I know I haven't mentioned how perfect Kate is in a while (though Ana certainly fucking has) because I'd gotten tired of it, but I feel like I ought to tell you that she's valedictorian because of course she is. Ana's dad arrives and the two of them head for the graduation ceremony. I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but again, so many other things sucked worse that I skipped it: Christian Grey is the commencement speaker at Ana's graduation. This is something I was annoyed to notice in the first chapter, when he says "until we meet again" as Ana's leaving his office and she thinks "When will I ever see him again?" after they JUST DISCUSSED the fact that he was giving the commencement address when she walks. Ana sits in a sea of hundreds of other people who are wearing the exact same outfit as she is, but since this story in no way resembles real life, when Christian walks out onto the stage he notices her immediately. Ana notices that he's wearing a tie. The tie. Another small part of my heart dies. I will be a soulless husk by the time I've finished reading this book.

As the head of the school begins his speech, Christian stops looking at her and she has a full blown panic attack. Why won't he look at her? Has she made him wait too long for an answer? Did he change his mind about her? HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, SHE'S OBVIOUSLY RUINED EVERYTHING. It can't possibly have anything to do with, oh, I don't know, HE'S ABOUT TO GIVE A COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS. Surely that's an easy thing to do without mentally preparing for it - simple as taking a shit! HE SHOULD BE LOOKING RIGHT AT HER THE ENTIRE TIME SO SHE CAN TELL US HOW UNCOMFORTABLE IT MAKES HER. Jesus Christ, this character could not possibly be any more self-absorbed.

Kate's speech is next and her theme is "What Next After College?" - the most brilliant and original topic ever covered in a valedictory speech. That Kate is AMAZEBALLS, y'all. Whatever will she think of next? Afterwards, the chancellor rises to introduce Christian. Ana thinks: "Holy shit...Christian's going to give a speech." HENCE THE TERM "COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER", ANA. It's what a commencement speaker does: GIVE A SPEECH. Ana also claims that the chancellor talks about Christian's extraordinary accomplishments, and then lists CEO of his own company, self-made man, and exactly nothing else. Wow, I am BLOWN AWAY by that impressively long list of superhero level brilliant accomplishments. You should jump up and yell "HE CAN ALSO FLY A HELICOPTER! AT NIGHT!" Christian begins to speak and every woman in the entire pacific northwest is enraptured (her word, not mine). He thanks the university for the opportunity to address the graduates and gives an awe inspiring speech about their bright future and following their dreams and how the world is their oyster. Just kidding - he gives a speech about how people around the globe are starving and how the university (with funding from his charity) is trying to develop sustainable methods of farming. Which is very nice and all, but a commencement speech is meant to address and inspire the graduates, not trumpet your own charitable endeavors. But of course if he'd done that, we wouldn't have found out this: "I have known what it's like to be profoundly hungry." WHAT THE FUCK YOU GUYS? DID YOU EVEN SEE THAT COMING? THIS IS EXPLOSIVE NEWS. Ana is, as always, thrown for a fucking loop because no matter how many times she foreshadows something by wondering about it, she's always surprised by the glaringly obvious.

After the degrees are conferred, Kate comes to find Ana to tell her that Christian would like to speak to her. Ana heads back stage and as soon as Christian sees her he grabs her by the arm, propels her into an empty locker room, locks the door behind them, and begins to interrogate her about why she hasn't answered any of his multiple texts and e-mails that he's been frantically sending since last night. Nevermind that she's been busy all day, you know, GRADUATING and probably spending time with her family, who I have been made to understand usually come around for things like watching you graduate (I didn't actually bother to go to mine, but I've heard this is how it works), she SHOULD HAVE been checking her e-mail every three minutes in case he sent her something. By the way, he's not locking her in rooms with him and interrogating her on her whereabouts for the last 12 hours because he's an obsessed fucking psycho, he was merely worried about her because she'd driven home in her death trap of a car (the one that got her to his hotel that is only five miles away from her home perfectly fine). She takes exception to this because it's not a death trap: "Jose regularly services it for me." OH SHIT Y'ALL. JOSE FIXES HER CAR. FOR THIS TRANSGRESSION HE MUST DIE. She tells him she needs to get back to her stepdad, who she thinks is helpless and wandering around aimlessly for some reason.

She goes and finds her dad, and the next thing you know, someone has scooped her up off the ground and is twirling her around. It is Ethan, Kate's older brother, who presumably is affectionate with Ana because he thinks of her as a little sister as well, given that the author doesn't take pains to point out any creepy vibe about him like she does with every other man Ana knows. The three of them chat a bit, and the next thing you know, Kate is standing there, and Christian is standing right next to her. Now, throughout the whole book Kate has gone back and forth between not liking or trusting Christian Grey, and inexplicably encouraging Ana to pursue him. I have no idea what game Kate is playing here, but after she greets Ana's dad, she takes it upon herself to introduce him to Christian like this: "Have you met Ana's boyfriend? Christian Grey." I don't know who the fuck would do something like that, especially knowing that Ana hasn't told her family she's seeing anyone at all. It's just a dick move. She also introduces Christian and her brother. Christian stares Ethan right the fuck down because he was touching Ana when he first walked over AND FOR THIS HE MUST ALSO DIE. Ana's father, Ray, is understandably wary of the multi-billionaire media magnate and his inexplicable interest in Ray's naive, clueless, airhead of a daughter. He asks how they met and Christian explains that it was when she interviewed him for the school paper. Ray is skeptical. "Didn't know you worked on the student newspaper, Ana." EXACTLY. RIGHT ON, RAY. Nail this stalker motherfucker to the wall! But no. Christian is too smart for that. He distracts Ray from this abomination of a relationship by changing the subject to fly fishing. Seriously. After that, everything is all good. Christian is a fisherman! Obviously his intentions are pure! He's a fine upstanding young man! This relationship is CLEARLY all on the up and up. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

You guys know who else is a fisherman? My dad. You know who would never in a million years fall for bullshit as transparent as that? MY DAD. Also, probably your dad. Also, probably any dad on the fucking planet that didn't have his head shoved up his own ass.

In the meantime, Kate is explaining to Ana that she did what she just did because she "wanted to help" with Christian's "commitment issues". I'm fucking baffled. WHAT commitment issues? HE IS CONSTANTLY FUCKING STALKING HER. Kate maintains that she's just done Ana a favor. She'd have actually been right about that if Ray had punched him in the face and told him to stay the fuck away from her as he should have. Ana gives up on her and goes back to the table where she'd left Ray and his new BFF Christian. When Ray excuses himself to use the bathroom, Christian takes the opportunity to pounce on her and badger her for an answer about whether she will sign the contract. She finally tells him she wants more than that, a real relationship, he more or less tells her that isn't going to happen...and then immediately after that she agrees to be his sub anyway. To me, this entire conversation reads like this:

"You should do what I want."
"But what about what I want?"
"You? You can go fuck yourself."
"In that case, sure, I'll do whatever you want."

What the Christ.

When Ana gets home later, she finally gets around to looking at all the missed e-mails and text messages from Christian. He offers to talk more about the soft limits in the contract. She responds and tells him she can come over tonight. He instantly writes back to tell her he's coming to her instead. When he shows up at the beginning of the next chapter, he's wearing a leather jacket which makes him appear EVEN HOTTER, and is carrying a bottle of champagne. They immediately get into an argument about whether or not she's going to keep the $14,000 books. She thinks they're too expensive to accept, he thinks she's overthinking it and orders her not to. Think that is.  "How can I not think?" she asks herself and is answered by her subconscious: "You can pretend to be a car, like his other possessions." What. The Fuck. Does that even mean. I don't even...

Christian opens the bottle of champagne thusly: "He picks up the champagne, takes off the the foil top and cage, twists the bottle rather than the cork, and opens it with a small pop and a practiced flourish that doesn't spill a drop." This is how EVERYONE opens a bottle of champagne. Not only has everyone seen this done before, but it does absolutely nothing to advance the plot of this story at all. She could have summed this up with "Christian opens the champagne." There! Done and done. You have got to stop it with this shit, James.

Christian sets about chit chatting about mostly random crap. He is doing this to buy time - he is trying to get her drunk off the champagne before they talk about the soft limits so that she won't give it any real thought when they go through them. He is going to freely admit this to her later on and pretend this is somehow for her own good. It isn't, it's simply more manipulation on his part that shouldn't really be going on in any sort of relationship, but particularly not a D/s one. One of the things they chat about is what she's going to do now that she's graduated. She has interviews with several publishing houses for internships, because that's what she wants to do - "something" in publishing. I write in my notes: "Step 1 - DO NOT PUBLISH THIS BOOK." Once she's downed most of the bottle of champagne on her own, they discuss the soft limits - anal, sex toys, bondage, punishment, safewords, pain. He keeps laughing at her because she's never heard of any of these things. Not only is this a jerkstore thing to do, but (and I really can't say this enough) this whole conversation should be proof to him that she is not in any way able to give consent because she has NO IDEA WHAT SHE IS CONSENTING TO. No dice. What he does do is tell her that he'd be willing to "try" something more. Which probably won't work. But he'll try. Even though it won't work. Like, maybe, say, one night a week. So, once a week he will grudgingly attempt to be her boyfriend. YAAAAYYYY ALL HER DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE! OH BUT WAIT..."I have one condition...You graciously accept my graduation present to you." Ohmygodohmygodohmygod, have you guys guessed what it is yet? I'll give you a hint: it's outside in the driveway. He's bought her...A NEW CAR! (you just read that in a game show announcer voice, right?) It's an Audi. I was so close, you guys. I should have known, he's got about nine other Audis. She says she can't accept it except as a loan, which pisses him off, so he takes her in her room and fucks her. It's awful and doesn't need to be recounted except for this part when she's undressing him: "...sliding my fingers under the waistband, feeling the hair in his oh-so-happy trail." OH NO YOU DIDN'T. OH NO YOU DID NOT.

Chapter 17 is the part where he admits to deliberately getting her drunk before discussing the contract and in the same breath, the very same breath, goes on to lecture HER about the need for complete honesty. He also makes a joke about kidnapping her, causing me to write in letters large enough to fill half a sheet of paper "YOU ALREADY DID KIDNAP HER." How the fuck are grown women swooning over this douche canoe? She rolls her eyes at this joke. Now, earlier she'd rolled her eyes at him about food and he'd threatened her that if she did it again he'd take her over his knee. So he insists she needs to be spanked for this. She's CLEARLY fucking terrified, and points out, rightfully I might add, that she hasn't signed the contract, to which he responds "I told you what I'd do" as if this were how life actually works. Once again, I find myself translating what she's written as an attempt to be romantic with what she's actually saying, which is not:

"I'm going to do something you don't like or want against your will."
"But it's against my will. You just said that."
"Not important. I already said I was going to do it, so that's what's happening."


Right, so, spanking that she doesn't want, followed by more fucking because in all fairness to the book, that's generally what happens after a spanking, followed by Christian goes home, followed by Ana fucking falls apart, one of the few reactions she's had to anything that made sense. She calls her mom crying, who tells her DTMFA (this is Dan Savage speak for "dump the motherfucker already"), then Kate comes home and finds her crying and tells her DTMFA, then she has another stupid IM e-mail conversation with Christian that ends with her telling him she's upset that he always leaves, and then she starts sobbing uncontrollably. Oh my god, Ana, how many signs do you need? Dump the motherfucker already.

She begins to hear some yelling from outside. Kate is screaming at someone to get the fuck out of their house. Christian comes busting through the door and finds Ana sobbing, followed by Kate still threatening to throw the asshole out of the house. Christian is not a fan of being yelled at. "Christian raises his eyebrows at her, no doubt surprised by her flattering epithet and her feral antagonism." Oh, come ON. Again with the "look at all the big words I found in my thesaurus" bullshit? FLORID DOES NOT EQUAL CLEVER. CUT IT OUT.

Obviously Ana doesn't want him to go, so after more stupid dialogue, he climbs in bed with her to spend the night, since he never ever ever ever ever does anything like that, but this is the third time now, and of course, despite everything that's gone on today - the holding her captive in a locker room, the insanely jealous reactions to every other man she's ever so much as passed on the street, the deliberately impairing her judgement before discussing something important so he will get his way, the buying her a car after she'd specifically asked him not to, the spanking that she had never consented to and didn't want - after all that, he's there, and it's all forgiven, all of it, because he's spending the night sleeping next to her in a bed.

Please, please let me wake up and find out that this was all a terrible nightmare. I can already see the blog post, "You guys would not BELIEVE this insane dream I had last night about this terrible rapey book that half the women in the world thought was so sexy and brilliant. I mean, can you imagine? Man, dreams are so fucked up sometimes. At least there wasn't a clown for once."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

50 Tears of Woe

I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

So tedious. So irritating. Must finish book soon so I can read something that actually deserved to be published.

After doing some internet reading about the word "submissive", Chapter 12 begins with Ana going for a run for the first time ever in her life. She wants to run to Christian's hotel and demand sex, but it's five miles away and she doesn't think she will even be able to run one mile. From personal experience, I know it's unlikely she'll be able to run 100 yards. She also should have realized from her reading that she doesn't actually want to be a submissive, because if she did she wouldn't be considering "demanding" anything. She uses the time spent running pretending to think about what she wants. What she's really using it for is to piss me off: "I am plagued by one question - why is he like this? Is it because he was seduced at such a young age? I just don't know." There's nothing TO know. He doesn't have to have a reason. It's not a disease. It's not a sign of or the result of abuse. Some people just like their sex this way. I can't say this better than the great Dan Savage did on Twitter: "To Fifty Shaders: BDSM is cops and robbers for grownups with your pants off + orgasms. People do it for fun. It's not a cry for help."

During the course of her run, she makes the decision that she needs to talk to him about this further and let him know what is ok and what isn't. This should have been a given, but whatever, at least she's learned to read shit before she signs it. She goes home to tell him she wants to talk about it. Her way of expressing this is to send him an e-mail which reads, "Okay, I've seen enough. It was nice knowing you. Ana". She then laughs and hugs herself (what?) because she thinks this is such a great little joke. Oh yeah, that's fucking HILARIOUS, Ana. For once I'm glad the author feels the need to explain everything, because I am at a complete loss as to what might be funny about that to anyone, let alone to Christian Grey, and I genuinely wouldn't have known that was a joke if it hadn't been pointed out to me. She then proceeds to sit in front of her computer and wait for him to answer. After 10 minutes without a reply she's already having an anxiety attack, apparently believing that a man who is supposed to be single-handedly running a multi-billion dollar media company has nothing to fucking do all day but stare at a screen waiting for her to e-mail him and then immediately respond to it. After half an hour she gives up and decides to start making notes about the contract.

As luck would have it, Ana is right: he DOESN'T have anything better to do than to sit there waiting for her e-mail. The reason it took so long to respond was not because he had actual shit to do, it's because her e-mail (somewhat understandably given what a piss poor attempt at a joke it was) has upset him SO MUCH that instead of e-mailing her back, he drives over to her house to respond in person. She realizes this when she looks up and finds him standing in the doorway of her room with his pants hanging from his hips (6). She thinks "The joke is on me. Never in this or any alternative universe did I expect him to drop everything and turn up here." REALLY ANA? THIS NEVER OCCURRED TO YOU? THIS IS EXACTLY HOW STALKING WORKS, THEY TURN UP TO WHEREVER THEY KNOW YOU ARE. YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING TERRIFIED RIGHT NOW. Also, mostly unrelated, but this section marks the third time she's mentioned her medulla oblongata. As in "Finally, my medulla oblongata recalls its purpose. I breathe." You are a FUCKING MORON. If your medulla (and this is all you need to say, adding the oblongata part to try and sound smart has the exact opposite effect) stopped working you would be DEAD, because it controls all of your autonomic functions. IT DOESN'T JUST DECIDE TO STOP WORKING EVERY TIME A PRETTY BOY WALKS IN THE FUCKING ROOM. IF IT WORKED THAT WAY THE SPECIES WOULD HAVE DIED OUT FOREVER AGO. Actually I take it back, I hope this is exactly how yours works, because it would be fucking tragic for you to procreate.

Ana is shocked, SHOCKED, that her curt and dismissive "funny" e-mail has offended him. They have another cringe worthy conversation in which this happens:

"And you decided it was nice knowing me? Do you mean knowing me in the biblical sense?"
Oh, shit. I flush.
"I didn't think you were familiar with the Bible."
"I went to Sunday school, Anastasia. It taught me a great deal."
"I don't remember reading about nipple clamps in the Bible. Perhaps you were taught from a modern translation."

Dear readers, I shit you not, that is a DIRECT QUOTE from this fetid turd of a book. My brain exploded with two dozen things I wanted to point out about how stupefyingly fucktarded that entire exchange is, but it would have taken me three and a half pages of single-spaced notes to write it all out, so instead I just wrote "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?" and then jammed a butter knife into my left eye to try and kill the pain. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS EXCHANGE, he reveals his real purpose in coming over: "Well, I thought I should come and remind you how nice it was knowing me." Translated into English, that reads, "Well, since I clearly thought your e-mail was telling me to fuck off, I thought I should come over and rape you until you come to your senses and change your mind." The author further drives this point home by describing his look as "waiting, coiled to strike." Again, Ana and I have different impressions here: I think: SCREAM FOR HELP, ANA! YELL FOR KATE TO CALL THE POLICE AND RUN THE FUCK AWAY. Ana thinks: I can't believe how lucky I am! LOOK HOW MUCH HE WANTS ME! and rushes into his arms. I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BITCH AND I HATE EVERY WOMAN ALIVE WHO READ THIS PASSAGE AND DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY THROW THIS BOOK IN A FIRE AND CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING AT A RAPE CRISIS CENTER. THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT. He pins her down against her bed kissing her, and then actually has the gall to ask her to trust him, which of course she does since her entire goal in life is to be a victim. Having gotten her "consent", he binds her wrists together and ties them to her headboard using...wait for it...wait for it...THE EXACT SAME TIE FROM THE LAST TIME SHE WAS TIED UP. I GIVE UP. I HAVE COMPLETELY LOST THE WILL TO LIVE.

Another horrible sex scene begins. He pulls off her sweatpants and starts to undress himself, but then decides she shouldn't get to watch him, so he pulls her t-shirt up over her eyes and then walks out of the room to get a drink. He comes back with his drink, asks her if she's thirsty, takes a sip from the glass, and then kisses her while spitting the wine he just drank into her mouth. I write down: "Mmm. Backwash is delicious!" He also spits some wine into her belly button. I assume BrownsFan is dry heaving over this detail right now. He tells her not to spill the wine in her navel, which she does almost immediately because she completely and totally sucks at everything. Eventually, he flips her over to fuck her and she comes pretty much continuously the entire time, leading me to assume she actually suffers from Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome rather than having any sort of legitimate desire to fuck.

It's only after this sex that he asks her if she's still considering his proposal. And he follows up that question with a statement proving what I already suspected: "I thought you were saying no, no discussion at all." Read that again you guys. He thought she was saying he came to her house to fuck her. There's a word to describe this. It begins with the letter "r" but is sure as fuck isn't romance. Rapists are not people that anyone has any business having a crush on or idolizing in any way. I'm past being annoyed that something written in such juvenile language got published. I'm just outraged that this publisher is so willfully irresponsible.

They have a conversation that had some stuff in it that was probably important, but I didn't really take any notes because I couldn't get over that I'd just read about a rape that was intended to turn me on in some way. They get dressed and she walks him to the door, not wanting him to go. She thinks, not for the first time, that she wishes he was normal, that he wanted a romantic relationship with her and a sex life that doesn't involve pain and punishment. I'm losing my mind trying not to scream out loud at this book because the bartender is sleeping. MOVE ON. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT. DECIDING YOU WANT THIS SPECIFIC PERSON AND THEN AGREEING TO A RELATIONSHIP THAT IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP IS THE ACT OF AN IMBECILE. As if to prove my point, the minute he's out the door, she falls apart and starts crying. This is the state Kate finds her in. She explains the situation to Kate without a lot of detail, but says that she e-mailed him saying she didn't want to see him, and that's why he showed up at the house. Helpful as ever, Kate speculates that this is because he's "smitten" with Ana. Ana explains that, no, he just came over for sex, and Kate writes this off as him having commitment issues. Ana goes back to her room and finds an e-mail from Christian saying he looks forward to discussing the contract with her. She immediately e-mails back a long list of issues, impressive given that the second she'd sat down to write the list he'd shown up at her door, and she'd been either fucking or crying about it ever since.

The next day (Chapter 13), Ana briefly speaks to her mother on the phone and finds out that she won't be coming to Ana's graduation ceremony because her husband fell over and broke, and no one in the family has ever heard of crutches. She has an e-mail from Christian in response to her list of (mostly) legitimate concerns, which is the dictionary definition of submissive. She writes him back with this statement followed by the definition of compromise: "Sir: Please note the date of origin: 1580-1590. I would respectfully remind Sir that the year is 2011. We have come a long way since then." Apart from the fact that she clearly is unfamiliar with anything else that is common knowledge in 2011 (e-mail, helicopters, basic grammar and sentence structure, penises) the definition of words don't generally change simply because time has passed. The word still means exactly what the dictionary says it means. Instead of pointing this out to her, he tells her she has a good point, and then they argue back and forth for a while about whether he's picking her up for dinner the next day or if she's driving there herself. Again, this entire exchange comprising seven back and forth e-mails occurs over the course of half an hour. I'd complain again about how IM would make a hell of a lot more sense for this type of conversation, but I'm secretly happy because this format of writing takes up a lot of space on paper, which means I probably don't have as much fucking crap left to read as it appears.

The next day she goes to work and Paul follows her around the store badgering her for a date the ENTIRE DAY. I write "Every man you know is a stalker." After work, she gets ready for her date, by putting on make up, a dress which she had to borrow from Kate, and stiletto heels which she also borrowed from Kate and which I frankly don't believe because given her propensity to trip over thin air, she should be terrified of wearing any such thing. She gets in her car to drive to dinner, pointing out "I have to drive in my bare sea-blue Beetle wasn't built to be driven by stiletto-wearers." YOU'RE SHITTING ME. PLEASE NAME THE CAR THAT IS MEANT TO BE DRIVEN IN STILETTOS.  She gets to the hotel and Christian greets her and ushers her to a secluded booth.

I really, REALLY, wish I didn't have to recount any of their conversations for you, because the dialogue is as terrible as I am telling you and it keeps getting worse. But I have to. Ana tells him what she's found out - that the contract and the NDA aren't legally enforceable, a fact which he says he has been aware of all along. She gets angry with him for not telling her this as if he was trying to trick her into something, even though he is the one who told her to go do some research AND pointed her in the right direction to find exactly that information. He starts to explain that these sorts of relationships are built on honesty and trust. In real life, this is absolutely, 100%, the gods-honest truth and the foundation on which the entire BDSM community is built. In the book however, he spends the rest of the evening undermining exactly what he just said, starting with Ana asking if he had this conversation with the girls who came before her. No, he tells her, he didn't have to because they were established subs and knew what to expect. As if every Dom on the whole fucking planet were exactly alike, and therefore if you've been with one, it isn't at all important to establish trust with the next one. So swing and a miss, Christian, that's strike one. He asks if she'd like to dine in the restaurant or in his room. She elects to stay in the restaurant, reasoning that they are in public and on neutral ground. He answers this by first threatening her: "Do you think that would stop me?", and then negating his having asked the question in the first place by escorting her to the private dining room he had ALREADY BOOKED. WAY TO ESTABLISH TRUST THERE, MOTHERFUCKER. STRIKE FUCKING TWO. Once he has her alone, he begins going over all her points. During this, they get into yet another argument about food. By now I've come over to Christian's side on this point. After having eaten almost nothing for the preceding three to four days, she admits to having not eaten anything all day today either and then goes on to barely touch her food. I'm beginning to think she has a serious eating disorder.

Despite her having repeatedly told him she wants nothing more tonight than to discuss the contract, he sets about trying to manipulate her into letting him fuck her in the dining room. When she balks and accuses him of using sex as a weapon against her, he unapologetically admits to this. Manipulating people into doing what you want against their will is the EXACT FUCKING OPPOSITE OF BEING TRUSTWORTHY. STRIKE THREE, YOU REPULSIVE PIECE OF SHIT. GO THE FUCK HOME ANA. She actually tries to do this, and he threatens her again "I could make you stay." HEY, ASSHOLE! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS STRIKE FOUR. SIT THE FUCK DOWN. He doesn't, of course. Instead he says this: "You know, when you fell into my office to interview me, you were all 'yes, sir,' 'no sir.' I thought you were a natural born submissive. But quite frankly, Anastasia, I'm not sure you have a submissive bone in your delectable body." That is called BEING POLITE. I am not surprised you didn't recognize it since you are a complete piece of shit who has never tried any such thing yourself. Also, if she's NOT a natural submissive STOP TRYING TO FORCE HER INTO BEING SOMETHING SHE'S NOT. YOU ARE THE WORST DOM IN FUCKING HISTORY. THE MARQUIS DE SADE WOULD TELL YOU TO QUIT BEING SUCH AN ASSHOLE.

Eventually he lets her leave, though not without first making a huge deal of the fact that he doesn't trust her car because it's old. I have 20 bucks right here that says she winds up with a brand new BMW or Mercedes before the end of this book. As she drives away, she starts sobbing. This is now the third time she has cried over him in about two weeks. This is the very beginning of the relationship - the time when people are on their best behavior in an effort to trick you into liking them enough to want to repeatedly rub your naughty parts on theirs. If she is crying this much, this early, I can't imagine how she'll feel later when she finds out what the rest of us already know - that Christian Grey is one very pretty total cockburger. When she gets home, there is an e-mail from Christian. He doesn't understand why she ran, but they can make it work and she should trust him. This of course only makes her even more upset, and she winds up crying herself to sleep.

As soon as I'm done destroying my kneecap with this sledgehammer I plan on doing the same.