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Friday, August 31, 2012

Ern reads 50 Shades of Grey post 7

Chapters 12-13
Ana is freaked from her internet research on BDSM and goes for a run to blow off some steam. This book DOES know that the contract is legally unenforceable, and so does Christian. I wonder if E.L. James knew that or if the publisher let her know… If she knew, I’m mildly impressed. Mildly. Ana emails Christian a joke: “It was nice knowing you.” He (very reasonably) thinks this means that Ana is rejecting his proposal and comes over. He “uses sex like a weapon,” according to E.L. James, so we see him have sex with Ana, sensing her remaining desire for him. He ties her hands with his necktie again, but this time he ties them to the bed too. He also feeds her wine from his mouth to hers. That’s fine. Is there going to be a sex scene between these two where she doesn’t climax? Probably not, even though I hear that’s not normal.

Ana thinks, “He wants me, and this does strange, delicious things to my insides. Not Kate in her little bikinis, not one of the fifteen, not evil Mrs. Robinson. Me. This beautiful man wants me. My inner goddess glows so bright she could light up Portland.” Once again, you should never question why someone wants you if they want you. You should never let someone treat you badly or not commit to you because you think they are out of your league. You should never let your head get so spun that someone wanting you and feeling desirable makes you feel like you’re in love with that person as a person. You’re not in love with them. You’re in love with how they make you feel about yourself. That’s not ideal.

They discuss Mrs. Robinson, the older woman who seduced Christian. That’s Ana’s nickname for her and Christian thinks it’s very clever. Ana doesn’t want Christian to put a collar on her like Mrs. Robinson did to Christian. During the discussion, Ana becomes really jealous and tells Christian to leave. Ana has what she calls a “paradigm shift.” In context, it was the wrong phrase to use. Anyway, Ana starts to consider that Christian can’t give her what she wants: An actual relationship where he could love her forever. Since this book is a female fantasy, I can only guess that later in the trilogy, Christian comes around and decides that Ana is so amazing, beautiful, strong, and unique that she is the woman who will change him into the monogamous type.

It’s normal for Ana to want this. In reality, he probably wouldn’t change. And guess what? Once Ana became familiar to him, he would get bored and leave her or cheat. Call me a pessimist. I don’t care. But people don’t become faithful or get character overnight, just because they want to sleep with you or think things are different this time. Ana cries and Kate comes in to comfort her, stating that Ana never cries. Oh, she’s so perfect and strong. Kate brushes Ana’s hair. That’s not really the type of roommate relationships I’ve had…and I was close with my roommates. Ana sends Christian a pretty firm email about her questions and the parts of the contract she would reject. This is admirable. She shuts down the possibility of both fisting and genital clamps.

Ana finds out that her mother can’t come to her college graduation, but her stepdad and father figure, Ray, will be there. Ana goes to work, tells Paul she has a date with Christian Grey, and then comes home to get ready. She thinks, “I rarely wear makeup- it intimidates me.” What is intimidating about makeup? She wears a dress for a change and does her hair. Kate says she looks hot. When she meets Christian, he approves too. Christian keeps telling Ana to stop biting her lip. It happens like three times per chapter. WE GET IT. She turns him on! She’s innocent, unbelievably sexy, and a rich, handsome man wants to consume her. They discuss the contract. Ana thinks Christian is a control freak gone mad for drug testing his employees. Actually, Ana, that’s normal and smart.

Christian makes it clear that Ana can walk away from him at any time. Then why even HAVE that part in the contract? Later in the dinner when Ana rises to leave early, he says, “I could make you stay.” Those are some mixed (and scary) messages. In real life, she should run. In these books, it’s probably going to all turn out perfectly. I actually learned something from this book: You aren’t supposed to chew oysters. That’s what I was doing wrong the one time I tried them…bleck. Ana thinks, “My head is swimming with all his words…there is so much information, so much to process.” Um, not really. There is hardly any info in this conversation. She’s just befuddled with lurrve.

Christian says, “If you were my Sub, you wouldn’t have to think about this. It would be easy. All those decisions, all the wearying thought processes behind them. The ‘is this the right thing to do? Should this happen here? Can it happen now?’ You wouldn’t have to worry about any of that detail. That’s what I’d do as your Dom.” Can I kill him now? Is that appealing to people? I know lots of women want to feel safe above all else, and most people are unhappy when they have many options, as opposed to just a few, but MAN. I know free will and decisions are a heavy responsibility, but it’s part of life and learning wisdom. I don’t even know what to think of those lines. I’d love to ask the author why she put them in there. What was she trying to get at? Was she trying to make Christian look bad? Or was she trying to make him sexy and strong?

When Ana’s car pulls up, Christian is appalled that it’s so old and not very nice. Ugh, I HATE when guys criticize a girl’s material objects. Like that matters! It makes guys come across as shallow, petty, materialistic, rude, snobby, and creepy. I had one guy criticize my makeup. I thought it was so gross. Also, he was wrong/that makeup is awesome. Then he was fired from his place of work for telling kids about his sexual history and threesomes. I was not surprised. One date made fun of my sunglasses, which don’t matter to me. I just wear the sunglasses my family buys me, and I only care if they block the sun. Also, I am told that Raybans are cool. It’s not manly to criticize this stuff, and it isn’t polite. It makes the guy look like he was wonky priorities and poor manners. So yeah, I hate that so much. She likes her car, Christian. Screw you.

Ana cries the whole way home. She’s really stressed about this situation. On the one hand, Christian isn’t promising a real relationship, but months of role playing and lots of sex. On the other, Ana loves feeling desired, she likes sex, and she’s very attracted to Christian. At one point, Ana thinks, “Elizabeth Bennett would be outraged. Jane Eyre too frightened.” Ana, those are two of the greatest female role models in the history of fiction. If Elizabeth Bennett would be outraged and it would offend Jane Eyre’s mighty integrity, walk out the door. That should be a life motto. I also balk at the idea that Jane Eyre would just be scared. She would be outraged too. She just wouldn't want anything to do with someone who valued her so little. Ana mentions her “inner goddess” several times in these chapters. I think I’m going to start counting them. 

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