What’s the Big Deal?: Fifty Shades of Grey Live-Blogging Edition, Chapters 5-6

I have had three people tell me that, having read the live blog, they now want to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Folks, I’m reading this book so you don’t have to. Don’t let me toil in vain. If you only read one popular trilogy of novels this year, please, please make it The Hunger Games. Thank you.

Now, back to the smut! We’re at chapter 5 and still no hanky-panky, let alone hanky-spanky. Will Ana wake up in Christian’s bed or in the hospital for alcohol poisoning? Does Christian have the guts to back up his threats, er, wooing, or will Ana pull yet another Bella and start ripping off her clothes? (My favorite part of the Twilight series: when Edward tells Bella to stop taking her clothes off. Someone needed to say it.) Most importantly, what’s going on with Kate?

For those of you just tuning in, the pub stub:

Fifty Shades of Grey

by E. L. James

The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House, $9.99 Nook book, ISBN-10 1612130291

Ana wakes up in a bed. Where is she? She doesn’t know! It’s wrong for Kate to have a one-night stand in her own apartment, but it’s fine for Miss Moral Highground 2012 to pass out drunk and wake up God-knows-where.

Eventually she realizes she’s (surprise) in Christian’s hotel suite. Memories from the night before come back: drinking, vomiting. “José and then Christian.” Whoa, context needed! If the so-called editors deleted a scene in which José and Grey tag-team Ana, I’m writing an angry letter.

Disregarding the fact that she’s sans pants, Ana gripes about how Christian needs to control everything, as evidenced by his leaving her two Advil and some orange juice, the bastard. Then she tells the reader how “thirst-quenching and refreshing” the juice is (brought to you by Citrus Farmers of America.) Sensing his prey Hearing her up, Christian comes in, sweaty from working out in sweatpants that “hang, in that way, off his hips.” In what way? Is he using some sort of clipping mechanism? Hip Clips: For those no-belt-loop days.

Ana asks how she got here, as though semi-consensual kidnapping isn’t the sole possibility. Christian says he didn’t want her to throw up in his car, so he took her to his hotel because it was closer. Well, as long as he wasn’t inconvenienced. It’s not like her roommate was expecting her at home oh wait yes she was. It’s not like Ana could have had alcohol poisoning and needed to go the hospital oh wait that too.

Ana’s next mortified question is, of course, whether they had sex. Why do fictitious women ask this question? Can they not tell if they’ve had sex in the last 8 hours? Also, I’m fairly sure Ana’s a virgin, so she should really be able to tell whether or not things are, ahem, intact.

Christian reassures her that he’s not into necrophilia (that’s somnophilia, genius, look it up) and hasn’t touched her, then laughs, causing her to get indignant and snap at him about tracking her phone. He justifies his behavior by telling her anyone can track a phone’s location using the Internet (you guys, is this true?!) and adding that she’d have wound up doing the horizontal mambo with José otherwise. Yes, because Ana’s epic barf-fest caused José’s loins to burn with the fury of a thousand suns.

Ana, rather than asking for her clothes and a taxi, tells him he talks like a courtly knight, to which he replies, “Dark knight, maybe.”


Although you have one thing in common.

Christian gripes at Ana when he learns she didn’t eat before she went drinking and tells her that if she were his, she “wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.”

Red flag

Man, I’m glad this red flag is under creative commons license, or I’d be bankrupting myself paying usage fees.

Ana glowers and asserts (silently, of course) that she isn’t his. Her usually petty and bitter subconscious, however, dons a hula skirt and dances at the thought. Subconscious’s wardrobe sure is growing. Ana mouths some namby-pamby excuses and mulls over the thought of facing “young José,” who should be worried about facing her, since he was the asshole, and who is her age, despite her suddenly talking about him like he’s her grandson. Is she going to call Christian “old Grey?” Christian threatens to beat José’s ass like any mature billionaire CEO who feels threatened by a penniless art student, and makes “I’m so clever with my secrets” faces when Ana calls him a disciplinarian.

Is this foreplay? If so, I’m doing it wrong.

Christian’s mood randomly swings back to happy and he smiles, causing Ana’s “medulla oblongata” not to fire any synapses. Ana may not know how to act on a first date or that you shouldn’t drink a pitcher of margaritas on an empty stomach, but she’s got the delicate science of the human brain down pat.

Grey goes to shower, leaving Ana “squirming with a needy, achy…discomfort” that she doesn’t understand. Hunger pains? No. In a disturbing extension of saving one’s virginity for the right man, Ana’s sex drive has lain completely dormant until she found the only man who can flip the switch and turn her into a fully functional woman. Wait. Isn’t the horny, nubile virgin who can be pleased by only one specific man a male fantasy? I was given to understand this book was aimed at women. I like the idea of true love as much as the next gal, but the “only he can stoke my lady fires” concept is unscientific. If Ana’s understanding of the brain extended to the other systems of the body, she would know that a total absence of sex drive until the age of 21 could indicate all manner of problems, such as chemical imbalances and even missing organs. Mother Nature’s a crazy bitch.

Ana cannot explain Christian’s hold over her! He’s so hot, but he’s a jerk! It’s $14,000 books one minute, stalking the next! Yes, the pattern abusers use to draw in their victims can be complicated, Ana, but let me alleviate your confusion: he’s a psycho.

But Ana doesn’t see him that way. He’s not a dark knight (THAT’S RIGHT YOU ARE NOT BATMAN AND HOW DARE YOU SIR), he’s a “classic romantic hero–Sir Gawain or Sir Lancelot.” All right, so he either beheads his hosts or causes the ultimate end of a golden age of peace by boning his best friend’s queen. Hot.

He walks in on Ana in her panties, a moment curiously devoid of sexual tension. Ana takes a shower, during which she decides Christian is probably not celibate…but…if he’s not celibate, why didn’t he have sex with her while she was unconscious? She must be totally repulsive! Otherwise he definitely would have raped her. Why, why, why didn’t he have sex with her while she was passed out? Whyyyyyy?

Turned on by the smell of Christian’s shower gel, Ana’s growing soap fetishism causes her to rub herself down and sorta/kinda/almost/slightly flirt with the idea of *gasp* masturbation, which she’s surprised to find quite pleasant for the .005 seconds she experiences it before Christian tells her it’s time to eat breakfast. For crying out loud, Christian, she was about to break out the handheld shower-head, okay? Give a girl some privacy.

Ana dresses in the fancy European lingerie Christian somehow bought her in the middle of the night while she was passed out despite the fact that she had not gotten sick on her underwear. Well, the fancy European lingerie Christian’s manservant Taylor bought her. I would love to read Taylor’s job description. At last, we’re up, showered, dressed, admiring the size of the suite, and oh no, Ana finally remembered Kate thought she was coming home last night. Not to worry, she knows Ana is safe because Christian told his brother, who’s still with Kate. Ana immediately starts judging Kate for having yet another one-night stand! This is her third in four years, the little whore, and no doubt it will end in tears and Ana will have to see Kate’s bunny pajamas. Hear that, kids? Casual sex is always a soul-destroying tragedy, with bunnies!

Christian shoves everything on the menu at Ana while he has an egg white omelet, the dirty sensualist. Ana breaks Ellen’s rule and eats the pancakes. Christian gripes because Ana didn’t eat last night. He gripes because Ana’s hair is wet. He tells her she looks nice and then gripes because she gets embarrassed by the compliment. Ana is brunching with the enemy. She offers to repay him for the undies and jeans, which makes him angry because he can buy what he wants, damn it! “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” said Ana to Christian and me to the author and publishers of this book.

Christian confesses that he can’t stay away from Ana (it’s easier if you don’t track her calls, dude.) She tells him not to, and he literally gasps, as grown men so often do. Then the same Ana who has been castigating herself endlessly for asking if he’s gay, asks Christian if he’s celibate, and this question is somehow accepted when “Are you gay?” was not. And duh, he’s not celibate.

He again tells her to intern at his telecommunications company, despite her lack of qualifications. She has a literature degree. You know what a literature degree qualifies you for? You’re pretty much looking at it.

She bites her lip. He offers to bite it for her. Yay, the sex is here, bizarrely apropos of nothing! They’re going to do it, right in the maple syrup!

No, because he won’t touch her without written consent. Written consent! You’d think Ana’s alarm bells would ring at long last, but instead, she agrees to fly to Seattle with him so he can show her the reason she should stay away from him. I’m guessing, heads in the deep freeze. Then he tells her she can’t go home until she dries her hair, because he believes the falsehood that going out with wet hair will make you ill. Ana scrounges up a hair dryer and, “using my fingers,” dries her hair “the best I can.” Perhaps using the dryer she found instead of her fingers would have helped. I know her uncontrollable hair is supposed to make Ana easier to relate to, but I have the feeling one $5.50 bottle of Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum would solve her troubles if she didn’t prefer to whine instead of asking one question at her nearest Ulta. Maybe there’s no Ulta in the Pacific Northwest. And no Paul Mitchell. Perhaps it’s a frizzy, disheveled place.

She brushes her teeth with his toothbrush, because “It would be like having him in my mouth.” A.) Most awkward sentence ever. B.) Toothbrush sharing does not equal oral sex, you dumb virgin. C.) Way to practice oral hygiene.

She gets her stuff together, he talks on the phone using words like “safety measures” and “Darfur,” they leave. Christian finally loses control and passionately kisses her in the elevator, something of an anticlimax after he declined to bonk her on the breakfast table amidst the bacon and raspberry preserves. At any rate, they’ve progressed past shoulder-groping at last. He’s a control freak about the kiss, pinning her physically to the wall and even holding her head in place with one hand so she’s totally immobilized, and while Ana is emphatic that it’s hot, hot, hot, all I can think is, how would she know? “I have never been kissed like this.” No, she’s only been kissed by sloppy-drunk José. Therein lies the problem with the virgin heroine: zero experience, zero basis for comparison. The imagery in the scene is completely lackluster. Their tongues “bump and grind.” She calls him a Greek god. He presses his erection against her. I yawn at their total lack of believable chemistry. Making out in an elevator…what is this, 11th grade? Did he hit the emergency stop so they could have five more seconds to make out before Mom realizes they’re taking a strangely long time to get to the ground floor?

Once they leave the elevator, Ana can’t understand why Christian is no longer climbing her like a Sherpa, as she’s apparently ready to go for it in the parking garage or in his roomy Audi SUV. Instead, Christian drives. They listen to very varied musical selections to prove what a connoisseur of culture he is and how naive she is. What does she mean, who’s Thomas Tallis? Did she not watch The Tudors? Well, obviously not, or she’d know oral sex has little in common with brushing one’s teeth. Actually, The Tudors would close many of her educational gaps, and the costumes alone make it worth a watch. Of course, she’d probably find Henry’s decision to behead Anne B. terribly romantic.

Christian takes phone calls, she thinks he’s too cold to his employees (a.k.a. professionalism). His brother calls and says he’s heard a lot about Ana from Kate, which, considering what he’s been doing with Kate, backs up my lesbian theory. Grey drops Ana off, telling her he won’t touch her again unless it’s “premeditated.” Like murder one? Ana pouts and makes him gasp again by telling him she liked the kissing. If he’s shocked that she liked it, it must not have been that good.

Kate’s not pleased to see the weird stalker who stole her roommate, because Kate is sane and has scored a more stable Grey brother than Ana has…although when Elliot dips Kate all the way to the ground in a deep kiss and tells her, “Laters, babe,” the scene lost what little credibility it had. The brothers exit and Ana feels jealousy as Elliot blows Kate a kiss. See? Lesbians.

Kate tries to have girl talk but Ana snarks at her while thinking how “irresistible, beautiful, sexy, funny” she is. No attraction there. She tells Kate about her upcoming date, and oh noes, Kate wants to give her a makeover! It’s sure to be “time consuming, humiliating, and painful,” because makeovers are right up there with waterboarding as forms of torture go. The eventual makeover consists of brow-shaping, buffing (I think it’s like those drive-thru car washes) and shaving her legs, all of which Kate apparently directs because Ana cannot even shave her legs without a hand-holder. She would probably decapitate herself with the safety razor. She’s miffed that Kate doesn’t trust Christian because there’s no reason not to, except for how he’s a psycho stalker kink-fiend.

Christian picks her up, her attraction to him “enslaving” her (strong feminist language), and they go flying in his helicopter, Charlie-Tango. (Yes, even the helicopter has a name. Makes you wonder what he calls his penis.) He’s never taken a girl flying, but Ana is so special, he gives her his helivirginity. Also, he slept in the bed with her last night when she was passed out, and he’s never slept in a bed with a woman. Sleeping in the same bed! Sitting in the same chopper! True love! She is only vaguely troubled when he tells her he likes the safety harness, and lets the remark pass.

Ladies, say you’re getting in a Porsche with a hot rich guy. Now, imagine he leans over, buckles you in, and says, “I like this seatbelt.” Yes, he’s hot and rich, and it’s a Porsche, and other women are home crying because they can’t pay their bills, resenting their husbands for gaining 50 lbs, and driving Ford Focuses, and you’re very happy you aren’t them. Still, wouldn’t you say, “Huh? Why?”

They fly, they talk about flying, he tells her she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, she says she wouldn’t anyway, but inwardly admits that’s a complete lie because she’d do anything to be with him. Right, because you’ll be unhappy without him, so you should do things that make you unhappy so you can stay with him and be happy in your unhappiness. Totally how life works.

They go to his apartment, which looks like Frasier’s but with bigger furniture. They hear the blues a-callin’, tossed salads and scrambled eggs. He makes allusions to Tess of the D’Urbervilles that anyone could come out with after 5 minutes of reading a Wikipedia synopsis, and tells her he could either hold her to high ideals or debase her. She asks for debasement. Does he say, “Oh baby, let’s get started”?

No, he offers her a nondisclosure agreement.

Let’s recap one more time: trying to hire her for dubious purposes, repeated warnings to stay away from him, two stalking infractions that we know of, not taking her home as promised or to seek medical care for possible alcohol poisoning, telling her she wouldn’t sit for a week after getting so schnockered if he had anything to say about it, telling her he won’t touch her without written consent, telling her he likes a safety harness on her, and now a nondisclosure agreement.

Red flag

The red flag mothership has landed. The red flag alien soldiers are tromping down its gangplanks firing warning shots across Ana’s nose with their laser cannons. A lone red flag captain, who tragically lost his young wife and their first child to cosmic influenza and now feels he has nothing left to live for, is ready for a suicide mission that will liberate Ana, defeat Christian, and give him a bittersweet reunion-in-death with his family. All Ana has to do is catch sight of the giant banner he valiantly waves in her face to prepare her for rescue. All she has to do is notice a huge red flag filling her entire field of vision…

And she tries to sign the agreement without even reading it.

This move is so monumentally naive, even Christian tells her she should always read an agreement before signing it. She’s treating it like software installation. “Sure, I read the terms and conditions, if by reading you mean checking this box without opening the document.”

Already trying to prove her devotion, Ana swears she would not talk to anyone about their relationship anyway, which sounds sweet until you remember that this girl suppresses her own smiles, even in private. Ugh. I hate the overuse of italics this book has forced upon me.

Ana signs, and a lone tear trickles down the beleaguered-yet-manly cheek of Captain Red Flag, whom she has cheated of glorious death in battle. Bolstering her confidence with large swigs of wine (because last night taught her nothing), Ana asks Christian if he plans to make love to her.

Psh, make love? Christian doesn’t make love! No, he fucks…hard. Hm, I remember a trailer trash girl at my high school home ec table saying the same thing to myself and two other girls, and I have the same questions for Christian that I had for that girl: 1.) Should I be impressed? and 2.) So you’re saying the concept of finesse eludes you?

Also, he can’t have sex with her yet, because there is more paperwork. It takes less paperwork to get a home loan than it takes to get in this guy’s pants!

Oh ho ho, and at long last, he offers to show Ana his “playroom.” Okay, it’s out in the open now. He’s kinky, kinky enough to have an entire Den o’ Kink. He’s so kinky, he thinks the missionary position is something you do in a church, possibly on the altar. He’s so kinky, he’s going to name his first child after his favorite safe word. Ana, you dodged a drunken hook-up only to head straight into a beaten tie-up. Do you get it now, Ana? You have to get it. I believe in you. Kind of. So far, you’ve been the most vapid, hopeless, helpless heroine I’ve ever seen, but you can be saved! Give me something! Tell me you get it!

“You want to play on your Xbox?”

Yes! That is just what he wants. He had you sign a nondisclosure agreement so you won’t tell anyone he has a beta download of Fruit Ninja 2. He wants the two of you to connect with Kinect. If all goes well, there could be Lego Harry Potter in your future, so slice those pineapples like a true martial artist!

He laughs at her because she’s stupid, takes her to the playroom door, and stands there telling her she can leave if she wants, he’ll understand, blah blah, until Ana finally gets as frustrated with the lack of plot advancement as I am and tells him to “open the damn door.”

He finally does, she crosses the threshold into what she calls “the Spanish Inquistion,” and the chapter ends on a cliffhanger.

And so does this post! Chapter 7-9 is up next. See you then!