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Sep. 7th, 2012


Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 10

We're still on the boat, and Ana confirms that she could never leave Christian, no matter how hard he hits her with a belt.

Could I ever leave him again--no matter what he did to me? Could I betray him like that? No. I don't think I could.

This isn't just co-dependency, it's the height of emotional manipulation. Christian made Ana work for that "I love you," and now she'll do whatever she can to keep it. She's building up self-esteem for the first time in her life, but she's building it entirely on his opinion. If she were to let him down, he wouldn't love her anymore, and then she couldn't love herself.

Okay, back to the ridiculousness.

He is an exceptional lover, I'm sure--though, of course, I have no comparison. But Kate would have raved more if it was always like this; it's not like her to hold back on details.

1. forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary: The warm weather was exceptional for January.

2. unusually excellent; superior: an exceptional violinist.

What is she comparing him to?

Furthermore, if you've ever been friends with "the virgin," you know exactly why Kate isn't raving abot it. There's no point in trying to talk about sex to people who haven't had it. I remember going through the same thing with my BFF in college, who also waited until twenty-one to have sex. It was excruciating.

Me: Yeah, we tried a cock ring, and let me tell you, WOWZA.
TheVirgin: Um. That's disgusting.

And finally, Ana hates Kate. She can pretend otherwise, but every time that girl opens her mouth, Ana is praying for her to shut it. I'd put money on the idea that Kate has, in fact, talked about how awesome sex is, but Ana was drowning her out the whole time with thoughts of The Katherine Kavanaugh Inquisition and fuck you for being hot even when you're sick, and fuck your pj's too!

Once they're finished having sex on the boat, Christian and Ana go out to dinner at a restaurant miraculously inaffected by slutty blonde waitresses.

Next to SP's is a small Italian bistro called Bee's. It reminds me of the place in Portland--a few tables and booths, the decor very crisp and modern, with a large black-and-white photograph of a turn-of-the-century fiesta serving as a mural.

We continue the disturbing trend of naming restaurants after letters of the alphabet, and EL James misuses a record number of words in one sentence. How is a black-and-white photograph of a turn-of-the-century fiesta modern? What makes it a fiesta? Didn't they teach you the difference between Italian and Spanish at that school of yours?

How is it possible that a fanfiction beta reader and a legacy publisher's editor BOTH missed these glaring contradictions? For fuck's sake.

Ana refers to Mrs. Robinson as "the bitch-troll," because she's a mature and resonable young woman, and Christian claims that he doesn't really do anything.

"That's all I do--except sail and fly occasionally."

And, you know, play piano. And billiards. And speak French randomly with your little sister. And spend a hell of a lot of time at Washington State University, doing charity when you could be working on your business. And a bunch of other things we've haven't read about yet, because they won't appear until they're needed as plot devices.

They lament their relationship some more over dinner, and Ana tells Christian that she feels she has to reciprocate in some way for all he's given up for her. Maybe some role-play? I have to say, Bravo! to our dear Christian here. He's manipulated her so badly she believes that she OWES him something because she won't let him beat her.

Ana takes one more stab at the shitty restaurant before they leave:

But when the unreasonably large plates are placed before us...

Everyone else sucks. If there's one thing you should take away from these books, it's that everyone else sucks and that Ana is totally, definitely, 100% not racist. Oh, and she's not hungry - for food! Teehee!

After a long day of shit that could never happen in a single day, they head back to Escala. There's some talk of the shitty subplot, a.k.a Christian's psychotic ex-sub Leila, and more melodrama. Ana wanders into her closet and proves, once and for all, that material wealth means nothing to her.

I head upstairs to my room and open the walk-in closet. It's empty. All the clothes have gone. Oh no! Christian has taken me at my word and disposed of the clothes. Shit.
My subconscious glares at me.
Well, that would be you and your big mouth.
Why did he take me at my word? My mother's advice comes back to haunt me:
"Men are so literal, darling." I pout, staring at the empty space. There were some lovely clothes, too, like the silver dress I wore to the ball.

So...she just admitted that the only reason she told Christian that she didn't want the clothes was because she wanted the audience to think that she didn't want the clothes? If she didn't want Christian to take them, why did she tell him that? There's only one answer: because she's supposed to seem like she doesn't care about the clothes. And the money. And the car. But she does care about all that shit, which makes it all the more infuriating when she gets all pissy about their being gone.


Of course, the dresses aren't gone. Christian just moved them. Day. Saved.

What follows is the absolute worst part of Fifty Shades Darker, imho. They play pool. And I want to kill Ana more than I've ever wanted to kill her before. I actually devoted an entire post to how much this scene makes me want to rip her throat out, and haven't been able to lay eyes on it since, but I'll recap. Just for you.

Ana is amazing at pool. That's right! She sinks a ball on the break after not playing or even thinking about this game for the last five weeks. She continues to sink three more, or some other completely made-up number. UGH. It makes me so mad, I can't even check. Listen. Just listen to this bullshit.

I don't think I've ever played pool on such a large table before.



In case you've never played pool, the table itself is a big fucking deal. What surface is it covered with? How often is it levelled? How often cleaned? How large is it? This is why you want the home-table advantage. If Ana has never played a nine-foot table before (which is, I'm guessing, the size of Christian's table, because he needs everything to be super professional and top grade or whatthefuckever) there is literally no. fucking. way. she would make those shots. She would have to relearn her game from the ground fucking up. THIS PISSES ME OFF SO BAD.

I think I just gave myself a nose bleed.

I can't recap this chapter anymore. I just ... I just fucking can't.

Sep. 5th, 2012


I Recap Chapter 9 of Fifty Shades Darker

We left off with Christian's admission of love for Ana in the shower. It was romantic, really romantic.

"You love me," I whisper.
His eyes widen further and his mouth opens. He takes a huge breath, as if winded. He looks tortured--vulnerable.
"Yes," he whispers. "I do."

Chapter 9 begins with a mere three paragraphs about Ana's "jubilation," dashed with a helping of red flags.

This beautiful, fucked-up man, whom I once thought of as my romantic hero--strong, solitary, mysterious--possesses all these traits, but he's also fragile and alienated and full of self-loathing. My heart swells with joy but also pain for his suffering. And I know in this moment that my heart is big enough for both of us. I hope it's big enough for both of us.

"Strong, solitary, and mysterious" sounds like the back cover of a gay porn.

Andy is a college senior who's never come out of the closet. Mr. Grey is the strong, solitary, and mysterious professor who's going to teach him how....to come, that is!

Seriously, when I read that description, all I could think of was The Rock writing a personal ad.

This is to say nothing of his flaws, "fragile," "alienated," and "full of self-loathing." How is 'alienated' a flaw? And how the flying fuck does it apply to Christian? Christian Grey, the billionaire at the center of a loving family, a colossal corporation, and an army of personal servants- alienated? By whom? Bah.

I reach up to clasp his dear, handsome face and kiss him gently, pouring all the love I feel into this one sweet connection. I want to devour him beneath the hot cascading water. Christian groans and encircles me in his arms, holding me as if I am the air he needs to breathe."
"Oh, Ana," he whispers hoarsely. "I want you, but not here."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHH. THE SHOWER ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH ANYMORE! For those of you playing Sex Bingo along at home, "shower" has already been checked off. There's some foreplay where she dries him with a towel, then - THANK GOD - they fade to black. I'm pretty sure that's the first time we've done that. Probably, EL James realized she was going to have to top shower sex since Christian just snubbed it for no reason, was way too lazy to either do so or change the line, and decided to fuck it. Fuck it all, if you've made it this far in the Fifty Shades trilogy, you're either not in it for the writing or you're only here to poke fun.

How astute of you, Miss James.

We fade back in for another round of Fucked-Up Pillow Talk.

"So hungry for information, Anastasia," he sighs, shaking his head. "The pimp discovered the crack whore's body and phoned it in to the authorities. Took him four days to make the discovery, though. He shut the door when he left...left me with her...her body."


Even though crack whores don't have pimps, because the point of a pimp is to make money off a prostitute by protecting her, and crack whores don't 'ho for money, only crack, hence the name, I'll let that slide. But a pimp who leaves one of his 'hos alone for FOUR DAYS? Bitch, what the hell are you thinking? That's his MONEY. He's not about to let it sit and smoke up his profit in a cloud of freebased cocaine.

I'm purposely not going to discuss this book's treatment of drug addiction (ignore the pun), because it angers me too much. The very fact that they refer to her as "the crack whore," tells me the author is a judgemental cunt with absolutely no compassion for anyone but herself, with literally no interest in learning the first thing about addiction before mis-representing it in her shitty, shitty fanfiction/book.

Huh, judgemental, dumb, and cunt-y... that could be Ana's porn character.

So Christian distracts Ana with a surprise like the creepy uncle he is, and we get a telling insight into Ana's idea of love.

As we dress, I notice that we move with the synchronization of two people who know each other well, each watchful and acutely aware of the other, exchanging the occasional shy smile and sweet touch.

I get that we have to ignore the fact that Ana and Christian have only known each other for three weeks or so. That's a suspension of disbelief I can live with, given that Beauty and the Beast fully fell in love over the course of 2 musical interludes. Miss James's pacing is atrocious (In one Sunday we're treated to vanilla sex, kinky sex, melodrama, make-up sex, family dinner, punishment sex, and a gynecological visit) but three weeks isn't a terribly short amount of time by romance novel standards.

What does bother me is that she describes the way they get dressed as what she imagines a long-standing and comfortable relationship would look like. This irks me, because I am in a very long-standing and comfortable relationship, and let me tell you how this goes:

1. We have to leave in 30 minutes, and I am in bathroom, doing my make-up. He is asleep. I pause to wake him up and make him coffee. He drinks it while playing a video game.
2. I'm ten minutes behind because of the coffee, and he's dressed with 15 minutes to go. He knocks on the door. When I yell that I'm on the mascara (he knows that's the last thing) he goes back to his video game, because he also knows that I'm lying.
3. Five minutes later, I'm done. I grab my purse and badger him until he turns off World of Warcraft, and watch as he pats his pockets, looking for his keys.
4. I find his keys and his wallet.
5. We make it to the car with 2 minutes to spare when he realizes that he's left his license inside.
6. We leave 10 minutes late.

Every time. That's two people who know each other well. Touching each other and smiling while getting dressed is actually the exact opposite, because you're losing time with the googly-eyes and purple inner monologue.

I am absolutely baffled by the "synchronization" line. Are we supposed to buy that when he's buttoning his jeans, she's buttoning her jeans, and that when he's tying his shoelaces, she's tying her shoelaces? And how is that romantic? Maybe I'm being a crotchety old curmudgeon, but you can't have both the new-relationship love bubble bliss AND the old-relationship comfort and synchronicity.

Also, Ana lets her battered wife flag fly high:

No one should look this good. And I don't know if it's the momentary distraction of his perfect looks or the knowledge that he loves me, but his threat no longer fills me with dread. This is my Fify Shades. This is the way he is.

One of the nice things about my job is that we use Wite-Out alot, and have an overabundance of the nifty hand-held kind that actually put little strips of sticky paper down on the mistake instead of paint (from were I'm sitting, I can see 196 of them) so no one cares that I use mine to white out every single time Ana makes a reference to "my Fifty," "fifty shades", "Oh, blah-blah Fifty," and now a good portion of my copy is pleasantly blank.

On the way out to the surprise, Ana shows some more contempt for the working class.

The valet zooms up in Christian's car, wearing an enormous grin. Jeez, everyone is so happy today.
"Great car, sir," he mumbles as he hands over the keys. Christian winks and gives him an obscenely large tip.
I frown at him. Honestly.

Why is no one but Ana allowed to be happy? Why aren't they allowed to be good at their jobs or, at the very least, professional? Instead, we get an endless string of nervous receptionists, anxious marketing executives (remember that one? from the Heathman, way back at the beginning of Fifty Shades of Grey?), stuttering waitresses, and mumbling valets?

And why in the name of all that is holy is Ana angry with Christian for using his own money to tip a service person who performed a service? Service and a smile? I like how Ana has to tell us that she doesn't care about money, then repeatedly uses her boyfriend's wealth as a weapon against people she feels are beneath her. This is why she's going to be one of those old rich people that everybody hates. Her staff is going to want to stab her in her sleep. OMG, I want them to visit the Grey mansion and for Gretchen to poison her tea. Her stupid foreign tea.

Christian takes Ana to her surprise, which is shopping for a new car. The Submissive Special is ruined, clearly, because it was drenched in white paint and the tires were slashed. Financially, it makes more sense to buy a new car than to fix these things. Right.

Ana convinces us that's she not spoiled some more, and then hates on the car salesman. This fucking girl.

I resign myself to my fate. A Saab? Do I want a Saab? I quite liked the Audi Submissive Special.

STFU AND DIAF, as my friends over at ohaidesk would say. (Check out their LJ! Fifty Shades recaps galore!)

Troy Turniansky, the salesman, is all over Fifty like a cheap suit. He can smell a sale.

Later, she mentions that "he's smarmy, too."


Godfuckingdamnit, I hate her. ANGRY BLOGGER IS ANGRY.

We do get of the lulz when EL James tries to write in gearhead, though.

"Sir, the 9-3? I've located one at our Bevery Hills dealership. We can have it here for you in a couple of days." Troy glows with triumph.
"Top of the range?"
"Yes, sir."

"Hey Mr. Ford, do you have that Mustang GT for me?"
"I sure do, just gotta fly it in from Detroit."
"And that's the A+ version, right? The state-of-the-art model with unicorn interior?"
"Yes, sir."

After buying a car, Ana and Christian go to a bar called SP's Place, a name carefully designed to fuck with the speech-impaired, and when Ana meets the bartender, blatant racism ensues.

He's black and beautiful, his dark eyes assessing me and not finding me wanting, it seems. One large diamond stud winks at me from his ear. I like him immediately.

So, you know, she is NOT RACIST. Because she's met two black people so far, and she's LIKED THEM BOTH VERY MUCH. For the record, whenever a Jack Hyde checks Ana out, it's disgusting. But a black guy, now there's a compliment. Headdesk and facepalm.

After buying a car and drinking at a bar, the next logical step is to spend the day on Christian's special boat. Behold, the powers of three minutes spent on Wikipedia.

Holy cow. It must be at least forty, maybe fifty feet. Two sleek white hulls, a deck, a roomy cabin, and towering overhead an impressive maste. I know nothing about boats, but I can tell this one is special.

Well, knock me over with a feather. A deck?

Christian displays his dickish powers of pretention once again.

"Built by my company," he says proudy, and my heart swells. "She's been designed from the ground up by the very best naval architects in the world and constructed here in Seattle at my yard. She has hybrid electric drives, asymmetric dagger boards, a square-topped mainsail--"

Why does her heart swell because his company built the boat? P.S., let's add "building boats" to the list of things Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. does, because beauty salons, publishing houses, food-drops in Africa, and my God I don't even remember the rest, wasn't far-fetched enough.

And why the fuck would he need the best naval architects in the world? What purpose do they serve? Is the boat commissioned by the US Navy during times of war? Don't those architects have something better to do than pander to people with too much money on their hands? And what's this about "my yard"? Christian owns a shipyard?

Why the fuck not.

When they leave the marina, this happens:

Behind us, a small crowd has gathered on the dockside to watch our depature. Small children are waving, and I wave back.

For some reason, I'm getting the feeling that EL James watched Titanic right before writing this chapter. Ana even drives the boat, which is totally cool, because you don't need a license to do that. Oh, and I forgot-

He picks up the receiver and radios the coast guard as Mac calls up that we are set to go.

What the fuck does he need to call the coast guard for? Is this special boat so scary that they're gonna mistake it for a pirate ship?

We're rewarded for the nauseating cheese of this chapter with probably my favorite image in FSD.

He kisses me quickly, then steps off his captain's chair and bounds up to the front of the boat to join Mac, where he starts unfurling sails, untying ropes, and operating winches and pulleys. They work well together in a team, shouting various nautical terms to each other, and it's warming to see Fify interacting with someone else in such a carefree manner.

Did her internet crash or something? I'm doubled over laughing, imagining Christian in a ridiculous captain's hat and blue blazer with giant gold buttons, running haphazardly around a boat yelling "Port!", "Starboard!", and "HOIST THE MAINSAIL, SKIPPY!" while Mac, whose entire job is (apparently) to live on Christian's boat and help him sail it three or four times a year, chases him shouting, "Galley below!"

I'm in tears.

We end with some uninspiring sex on a boat.

My intrepid fingers move through his pubic hair to his erection, and I grasp him tightly.

That line sort of makes it sound like he has crabs.

Sep. 3rd, 2012


Links Roundup!

And I said to the good Lord God: Please, shine upon me your blessings, o Lord, and let me parody Fifty Shades of Grey for all of my days.
And the Lord God replied: Do these things for me, child, and you will surely have a Seat in Heaven.
And it was good.

Check these out:
FiftyShadesGenerator.com, the only place you can get bestselling erotic sentences whipped up fresh and ready at your command.

I'll have more tomorrow. For now...sleeeeep.

Fifty Shades of Grey In Fifty Years

So, I'm at work tonight, talking to my clients as usual. A hefty portion of my company's clients are very wealthy and very old. Some are sweet and gracious, the kind of old people that make aging seem wonderful because they've got life all figured out. But most are cranky and elitist a-holes. They see the entire middle class as servants, and everyone who isn't a member of their country club is a member of the middle class.

This is exactly the type of old person Ana Steele is going to be in fifty years. She'll have spent her entire life in the lap of absolute luxury. Furthermore, she will feel entitled to that luxury, because she was the only woman "clever" enough to hook Christian Grey. She'll even look down on other wealthy, older woman who were just born into money instead of having to work for it the way Ana did (by getting hit with a belt).

I know I'm jumping around the sequence here, but listen to this bullshit. Just picture it! Ana is at her office and her boss is being overly familiar.

"So, did you have a good weekend?" he asks smoothly.
"Yes, thanks." Where is he going with this?
"See your boyfriend?"
"What does he do?"
Owns your ass... "He's in business."

Christian has bought the company, you see. So, because he is now CEO of Seattle Independent Publishing, his job is to own all the employees therein.

To own them.

This gave me the shudders so bad. If there was any tiny little thing about Ana that I felt I could still relate to, it went up in smoke and fucking fiery fury after that line right there. I always resent characters that don't ever have to worry about money, but this just takes the fucking cake.

Ana doesn't see it that way.

Of course, if I moved in with Christian, she would make lunch for me every weekday. The idea is unsettling. I have never had dreams of obscene wealth and all the trappings--only love.

PSSSSSHHHHHH. She said that shit TWO PAGES AGO. This is a fantasy, remember, so we know that Ana is going to marry Christian and they will be disgustingly wealthy for the rest of their lives. But Ana can't have the "spoiled bitch" thing tarnishing her reputation, so she has to reassure us all that she's only in this for the love. Meaning, if you do want obscene wealth and all the trappings, you're a whore.

Here's a simple device to help you figure it out.


Do you like money?
A. Yes, very much.
B. I need it to survive, so yeah, it would be nice if someone could help me with it.
C. Someone else takes care of that for me.

Are you blonde?
A. Not naturally, but I don't have a problem with girls who are.
B. Yes, but I've dyed my hair in the past.
C. Whenever I see a blonde, I have to watch her very closely and can hardly rip my eyes away. I want to kill them so much, it makes me kind of horny.

Do you think Christian Grey is sexy?
A. He's cute in my head, but I don't really go for gingers.
B. No, he's a psycopath.
C. Verily, he defines sexiness in my nether regions.

Are you Ana?
A. I don't think so.
B. I fucking hope not.
C. Yes.


Did you answer... mostly B's? Congratulations, you're a smart slut! You use your brain when you suck cock, and remind all your friends when to take their birth control! Way to go, sister!

Did you answer... mostly A's? Congratulations, you're an average slut! Better get to work on that pigeonhead technique, because these balls aint teabaggin' themselves!

Did you answer... mostly C's? Congratulations, you're Anastasia Steele!

Sep. 2nd, 2012



We've covered the white females in Fifty Shades of Grey. It took me way, way, way longer than I thought it would to wrap those up, because the book is absolutely crawling with them. Let's talk about the black females.

1. Claire, the receptionist at Ana's job.

[Sidenote: I refuse to call it "SIP". That's the word sip, asshole. It doesn't sound pretentious or literary or anything, it just sounds fucking retarded. As a matter of fact, it matches "Anastasia Rose Steele" just perfectly.]

The receptionist is a young African-American woman with large silver earrings and long straightened hair. She has a bohemian look about her, the sort of woman I could be friendly with. The thought is comforting. Every few moments she glances up at me, away from her computer, and smiles reassuringly. I tentatively return her smile.

Claire is the first woman Ana has met this entire time, that Ana has come away with good feelings toward. I might include Dr. Greene here, except that Ana totally loses it when she compliments her, so she actually doesn't count.

I can almost forgive Ana for this one, because it's such a common thing for inexperienced white writers to do. White people as a whole do it in real life all the time. We overcompensate, trying to prove that we're not racist, and comes across as complete dicks.

Here's the thing, though. "Racism" isn't the same thing as "oppressing black people by not portraying them in a positive light in my books." You can be racist toward any race, regardless of the race you are. This is why Ana is racist:

"Racism" is defined as guiding actions (especially negative ones) by race, and race is defined by physical characteristics. If we couldn't see a person, we wouldn't know what race he was. With that in mind, we can here define "blonde" as a race. And Ana is blatantly racist toward blondes, because she physically judges them based on their hair color and then acts negatively toward them. BUT IT'S OKAY, BECAUSE SHE'S WHITE TOO.

Bitch, please. Ana is English. Whether she's supposed to be American or not, you know she's English. And you tea-drinking motherfuckers aren't exactly known for your blond hair. I'll say it- Step the fuck off! You are painfully jealous of us blonds and we're tired of taking your crap.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: bleach your own fucking hair. Get over yourself and find something else to cry about.

Also-also, even though Claire is black, she's not allowed to have a non-sexist job. So apparently, Ana's white guilt doesn't stretch that far.

2. Oh wait. Claire is the only female in the whole book who's skin isn't the color of moonshine.

Commercial Break!

Commercial Break Time! "Secondary Characters in Fifty Shades of Grey" is sponsored by...

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Watch as author Bristol Fashion guides you, dripping wet, into the sea of naivete that is Fifty Shades 51 Tints...

NO SRSLY. This story is pants-droppingly hilary. The quote I'm about to post from it isn't actually that hilarious, but it's something from the books that bothers me a hell of a lot, and I haven't mentioned because it actually makes me so mad I start to cry a little.

I immediately picture a 4 year old Christian, with a drugged out sex worker mother. He must have had it so rough! I mean, at age 4 we hardly remember anything but I bet he had it so hard!

Bristol Fashion does a WONDERFUL job of being inside of Ana's head and explaining why she does the things she does.

As soon as we enter the elevator I feel as though all the air has been sucked out of the small space and that my entire body is being eaten alive by fire ants. It feels amazing.

And the infamous gliding sesh...

"A carousel! Oh, Christian! We're going on a carousel!" I squeal with delight as I drop his hand and run over to the ornate old fashioned carousel adorned with horses, sea monsters, unicorns, tigers, lions and giraffes, all sparkling and brightly painted. I hop on a wooden horse that is painted the color of caramel with pink and gold reigns. I am wild with anticipation for the ride to begin.

Christian disappears for a moment and then reappears and effortlessly mounts a giant unicorn painted a pristine white with a purple sparking sash across its body. He looks like those old paintings of war heros riding off into battle, so regal and commanding, except also really, really gay. He flashes me a smile that could melt even the coldest of hearts and suddenly the Wurlitzer organ music begins and we're moving at the breakneck speed of 10 miles per hour.

I lean forward on the horse to feel the rush of the wind hit my face, and I laugh merrily as the carousel takes me around and around, my ponytail flying in the breeze. I have never felt so alive or so free. Christian is smiling and looking as carefree as I've ever seen him, relishing the adrenaline rush, I assume. We ride around and around for what feels like hours, it could have been days, I have no idea. I don't understand time.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

But first, another word from our sponsor!

I'm not even fully aware that Christian has also come on to the bathroom floor and pulled up his pants, and has removed the My Little Pony from me. I am a pile of limbs on the bathroom floor, noose around my neck, pantsless and gasping for air in the most glorious way imaginable. I want to roll around in the discarded pieces of toilet paper and Christian's ejaculate and whatever other disgusting germ-laden debris is on this McDonald's bathroom floor. Wouldn't that be sexy? Wouldn't that reflect how sexy I feel right now? No? It wouldn't? I still know nothing.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

P.S. Guys, at what point does my whole compiling-funny-things-from-the-internets becoming plagiarizing? I really want to know. If and when I ever have a single reader at this blog, I don't want to get in trouble for stealing anyone's work. Who would do that? Who would take someone else's work, move it around a little bit, and then post it on the internet in the hopes that someone will publish it? That's effing despicable.


Time for another installment of EL James's racially insensitive and stereotypical secondary characters Everyone But Ana and Christian Doesn't Matter! If you'll recall, our running count of evil blondes is breaken into three professions:
Evil Blond Receptionists: 3 (Olivia, Andrea, and Evil Blonde Number One)
Evil Blond Servers: 2 (The "flouncing" waitress and, my personal favorite, Gretchen)
Evil Blond Doctors: 1 (Dr. Greene) and a half, since Grace Fakenamerson-Grey is only half-evil.
But today we're getting into the twentieth century!

9. Mrs. Jones, Christian's housekeeper. Ana wakes up after losing consciousness having sex, and goes looking for Christian. Wouldn't it be great if her actual subconscious died every time she had an orgasm?

He's not in the art gallery, but an elegant middle-aged woman is cleaning in the kitchen area. The sight of her stops me in my tracks. She has short blond hair and clear blue eyes; she wears a plain white tailored shirt and a navy-blue pencil skirt.

Mrs. Jones then has the audacity to smile at Ana (remember, she hates that) and ask her if she'd like some breakfast.

Her tone is warm and businesslike, and I am stunned. Who is this attractive blonde in Christian's kitchen? I'm only wearing Christian's T-shirt. I feel self-conscious and embarassed by my lack of clothing.
"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage." My voice is quiet, unable to hide the anxiety in my voice.

Mrs. Jones apologizes for being in the kitchen and smiling and offering Ana breakfast, because that's terribly rude of her, and then offers Ana breakfast again. Ana relents and allows the bitch to make her tea. The nerve!

I scuttle off toward the study, mortified. Why does Christian only have attractive blondes working for him? And a nasty though comes involuntarily into my mind: Are they all ex-subs? I refuse to entertain that hideous idea.

I'm going to bypass Ana's crippling insecurity for a moment and focus on her indignation. She's been to Christian's house several times, she's met Taylor, and she knows that Christian has staff. And yet she still chooses to leave the bedroom in only a T-shirt. It's like when she complains about her shitty ponytail. YOU ARE THE PERSON AT FAULT FOR YOUR SHITTY PONYTAIL. NO ONE HELD A GUN TO YOUR HEAD AND TOLD YOU TO DRESS FRUMPILY AND NEVER BRUSH YOUR HAIR. It's the exact same thinking at work. Because Ana telepathically knows that everyone hates her, everyone should telepathically know to leave her alone and stop doing their goddamn jobs when she's around.

Also-also, "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage"? Pick a tone and stick to it. You're either your own heroine in a classic British novel or you're a twenty-one-year-old American. You can't have it both ways. This is another glaring Mary Sue-ism to me. For the purpose of the plot, Ana had to be all stumbling and stuttering in Christian's office when they first met. She had to continue to be adorkably naive and childish, because that's why Christian loves her as well as why she's never had a boyfriend.

But then something involving another female happens, and Ana is suddenly eloquent. She goes from "My ballon!" to "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage," because she can't be intelligent in front of Christian. Remember this tendency, we're going to see it again in Fifty Shades Darker.

10. Elizabeth Morgan, head of HR at Ana's job. Look closely for the differences in Ana's opinion of Elizabeth.

"Ana Steele?" A woman with long, black, pre-Raphaelite hair standing by the reception desk distracts me from my introspection. She has the same bohemian, floaty look as the receptionist. She could be in her late thirties, maybe in her forties. It's so difficult to tell with older woman.
"Yes," I reply, standing awkwardly.
She gives me a polite smile, her cool eyes assessing me. I am wearing one of Kate's dresses, a black pinafore over a white blouse, and my black pumps. Very interview, I think. My hair if restrained in a tight bun, and for once the tendrils are behaving themselves. She holds her hand out to me.
"Hello, Ana, my name's Elizabeth Morgan. I'm head of human resources here at SIP."
"How do you do?" I shake her hand. She looks very casual to be the head of HR.

There are so many inconsistencies and glaring contradictions in this scene. Firstly, why is it "so difficult to tell with older women"? You just said, literally 64 pages ago, that Dr. Greene "must be in her forties." There's that 'must' again! I COMMAND YOU TO BE OLD AND DECREPIT SO CHRISTIAN WON'T WANT TO BANG YOU.
Secondly, why do all the blondes get one description - "She's blonde," "They're blonde," "A blonde waitress," "Another blonde," etc. - but this woman, this bastion of pre-Raphaelite beauty, not only gets her hair described as classical and fancy (pre-Raphaelite is an art term, apparently. Thanks, Google!) but long as well! This has nothing to do with EL James's hair Ana's hair being brown. Nope.

Secondly, notice how Ana doesn't just fucking hate her? You might have thought "She looks very casual to be the head of HR" was meant as an insult, but think again. I did a double-take, myself. Remember, in Ana's world, every other female's beauty is a threat to her, and if another woman in the vicinity of Christian so much as applies lip gloss, she's a streetwalker. There are a few key differences in this meeting that might help explain Ana's ambivalence. Let's explore them:

A) She isn't with Christian. This didn't stop her at the beginning of the book, remember, from hating all three blond receptionists before she even met Christian, but it's possibly a contributing factor.
B) Elizabeth Morgan is Ana's superior, not a waitress/receptionist/housekeeper. In Ana's black-and-white world, she knows exactly where the line between "filthy whores I turn my nose up at" and "women who I might actually have to respect" is drawn.

But neither of those explanations really does it for me. How about:

C) For once in her entire life, Ana doesn't feel ugly. Have you noticed that each and every single time Ana meets a strange woman, she immediately describes what they're wearing and then what she's wearing? Go back and read my character reviews again. Uncanny, isn't it? Well, apparently, if Ana is wearing Kate's clothes and black pumps [um, fuck-me pumps? Interview attire? And you have the audacity to slut-shame women wearing skirts above the knee?] and her hair "tendrils are behaving themselves," she doesn't need to hate the other female.

I mean - ?!? - Let's interobang a little bit here because honestly - she has just ADMITTED to the readers that yes, she judges other women that she's never met before solely on how much better they're dressed and groomed than she is.

And if we ignore even that hard kernel of unavoidable fact, we're left with only one difference between this meeting and every other white female not related to Christian she met before.

D) She's not blonde.

"If that's all everyone has to say" - Elizabeth glances at the two of us - "I think that concludes the interview." She smiles kindly.

Elizabeth Morgan, brunette and successful businesswoman, is allowed to smile at Ana. Before we move on to the very last white female secondary character in Fifty Shades of Grey, though, I have one more thing I need to nitpick. "She looks very casual to be the head of HR," is an interesting observation, coming from a brand-new college graduate who's never worked in an office, ever. How the hell would she know what HR is supposed to look like?


11. Leandra! The IHOP waitress.

"Hi, my name's Leandra. What can I get for you...er...folks...er...today, this mornin'...?" Her voice trails off, stumbling over her words as she gets an eyeful of Mr. Beautiful opposite me. She flushes scarlet, and a small ounce of sympathy for her bubbles unwelcome into my consciousness because he still does that to me."

Of course Ana's sympathy is unwelcome. It's the same ounce of unwelcome sympathy she felt for Kate when she was "ill". Ana is unable to empathize with other characters, and it infuriates me. She can feel sympathy, but she chooses not to. When it comes to imagining other people's emotions, their situations and their motivations and their reactions, she can't go further than "She's obviously amazed at our relationship," "She's obviously in love with Christian," or "She's obviously laughing at my ugly face."

None of those things are obvious, but Ana must pre-empt any speculation of another person's private thoughts with, "I wouldn't be saying this if I weren't right. And I'm right, because it's obvious that I'm right." HEADDESK.

No matter how little she doesn't want to feel anything for any person other than Christian, however, it's undeniable that she doesn't hate Leandra anywhere near as much as hated Blonde Waitress (who, as you'll recall, never got a name. Names are very important in the Fifty Shades universe. Christian chooses what everyone gets to call him, because he's God or something, and Ana belittles women by whom she feels threatened by referring to them as "Blonde Number One," "Miss Blond Pigtails," "Miss European Pigtails," "Blonde Number Two," etc.) and we're about to find out why.

Leandra looks from me to him and back again. She's practically the same color as her shiny red hair.


Before we move on to the next category of secondary characters, I have a bone to pick with the ones we've already met. From Olivia "the new intern" in chapter one, to Leandra the redheaded IHOP server at the end, every woman seen fulfilling a gender-specific job activity has been a complete wreck. Okay, Olivia was new, we'll give her that. But Leandra, who has been a server for goodness knows how long, is absolutely flummoxed when Christian and Ana sit down at her table.

"What can I get for you...er...folks...er...today, this mornin'...?"

Is she having a seizure? What's with all the ellipses? This drives me mad. Christian is NOT a vampire with literal superhuman powers of attracting women. He is a REGULAR twenty-six-year-old HUMAN MANboy. Are you expecting me to believe that, in all her time at IHOP - in all her time in LIFE - Leandra has never seen a young man with unruly copper hair and long index fingers?

Oh, I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something! I think I'll take a nap so I can figure it out. If my subconscious started talking to me during the day, it would probably have to become my actual conscious.

*Takes nap*
*Wakes up*


1. Blonde Receptionist Number One at Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.
2. Olivia, the new blonde receptionist at Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.
3. Andrea, the old blonde receptionist at Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.
4. Grace Trevelyn-Grey, Christian’s adopted mother (also blonde)
5. Blonde Waitress at Cuisine Sauvage (yeah, I had to look that up)
6. Dr. Greene, Ana’s gynecologist (blonde)
7. Mia Grey, Christian’s little sister (brunette and Ana’s new BFF)
8. Gretchen, “The Help” at Christian’s parent’s mansion (evil, evil blonde)
9. Mrs. Jones, Christian’s blonde housekeeper
10. Elizabeth Morgan, head of HR at Ana’s job (brunette, and “kind”, and totally not incompetent, because only blondes are incompetent, which is pretty amazing considering the only thing they do is cook and clean and attend to other people)
11. Leandra, waitress at IHOP, and a redhead

Total: 11
Total Blondes: 8/11
Total Brunettes: 2/11
Total Redheads: 1/11
Total Not Related to Christian: 2/11
Total Blondes Not Related to Christian That Ana Hates: 7/7
Total Brunettes That Ana Hates: 0/2
Total Women Not Related to Christian That Threaten Ana: 9/9
Total Blondes w/ Sexist Jobs: 6/8
Total Blondes w/ Sexist Jobs Who Are Also Incapable Of Doing Said Jobs: 6/6

I would like to note here that I skipped a few characters. Mrs. Clayton, because she never has a line and is only mentioned twice, and the flight attendant on Ana’s trip to Georgia, because all she does is give Ana some OJ and she sleeps the whole time, anyway.

“Miss Steele, you’ll need to stow your laptop for takeoff,” the over-made-up flight attendant says politely. She makes me jump. My guilty conscience is at work.
“Oh, sorry.”
Crap. Now I’ll have to wait to know if he’s replied. She hands me a soft blanket and pillow, showing her perfect teeth.

Since we’re focusing on hair colors and physical features, I didn’t think the bland flight attendant warranted an entry. I’m surprised Ana didn’t call her a “stewardess,” but of course Ana is the only person who could criticize a woman just trying to do her job and give you a fucking pillow, for chrissakes.

Blondes Have Rights, Too! (Or, I Rant Like a Lunatic)

Okay, disclaimer time. Obviously, I've taken up the Blond Cause, because I just spent two hours writing a fake back-story for Gretchen ("Miss European Pigtails," though we never hear or see anything that makes Gretchen European. Hence my story, wherein Gretchen is an exchange student from Germany working for keep and college by serving the Greys.)

Yes, I am blond. Yes, I can take a blond joke- so if you've got 'em, send 'em. I love a blond joke like I love an Irish joke, or a Polish joke, because I'm white and we're only allowed to laugh at racial jokes if they're directed toward ourselves. I really don't think there's any point in life if you can't laugh at yourself - if you can't laugh at life, period. My family likes to say,

"Life's a bitch, and then you die."

because it's a great way to put things in perspective. Enjoy life, laugh as much as possible, and learn to separate what's big and worth worrying about and what's small and can be helped with love. And it's all small stuff (yeah, I know that's trademarked. Sue me.) (Wait- no! don't!)

I'm off my soapbox now. Just, jeez Ana, lighten up. Back to the Disclaimer.

I'm blond, and I dislike the blatant demonizing of them in Fifty Shades of Grey. Blondes are the Slytherins, the Orcs, and the Vogons. I'd say that they're the Twilight version of bad guys, but Twilight only has the Volturi- who are, like, the shittiest bad guys ever. The Volturi talk a big game, but then only end up killing random secondary characters while begging Edward and Alice to join up. That's one thing Stephenie Meyer did redeem herself on, though. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner changed my perspective on her writing ability and the series as a whole, because she added dimensions to characters she originally created just to fill plot holes. ARE YOU LISTENING, EL JAMES?

[Sidenote-to-the-Sidenote-to-the-Disclaimer: I am writing a piece on Twilight's superiority to Fifty Shades. It's happening. I owe Stephenie Meyer for all the years I spent bitching about her series and brazenly claiming that it was the worst popular bestseller of all time. I practically asked for Fifty Shades to happen. And it's made me think of Ms. Meyer in a whole new light. So just you wait, that shit is cookin'!]

I'm angry for the blondes because I get treated like this IRL all the time. Most white women feel insecure around me, because I'm naturally fitted to the Western ideal of beauty. I'm naturally blond and slim and I have really big knockers. I also put a lot of effort into looking good in the morning, so I don't feel I should have to apologize for that. But my "grooming" and my "passion for fashion" are negatives to most women, and it's a constant source of struggle for me. Since I grew into my looks and starting caring about my appearance, I lost literally all my female friends. So yeah, this shit is personal for me.

The "dumb blonde" stereotype, combined with the "slutty blonde" stereotype is beyond cliche. It's also offensive to the nationalities that are more likely to be blonde, like German, Polish, and Scandinavian. And it does nothing but reinforce the female assumption that we should all judge each other based on how attractive we are to men. You're not making any literary headway by pioneering this radical fucking manifesto that insecure girls hate blondes. We fucking know that. You and every other feel-bad-for-me-I'm-ugly book/movie/TV show in the history of TIME tells us that.

ANA: If you were really upset about not being born blonde, you would go to the fucking grocery store and buy a $10 bleach kit and become blonde yourself. If you were really upset about not knowing how to wear makeup, you'd use your free laptop to watch YouTube or read up on Wikipedia or literally any other FREE KNOWLEDGE to learn how.

EL: Write better.

Rant/Disclaimer over.

Sep. 1st, 2012



We have reached one of the most illogical and childish secondary-character reactions in all of Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, it's time for Miss European Pigtails. A quick tally before we move on-
Total Number of Secondary White Female Characters: 8
Total Number of Secondary White Female Characters Not Related To Christian: 5
Total Number of Blondes: 6
Total Number of Evil Blondes: 5 and a half, as Ana can't seem to make up her mind about Christian's adopted mother, Grace Fakenamerson-Grey.
Total Number of Brunettes: 1
Total Number of BFF Brunettes: 1 (Because she's ALICE, y'all!)
Total Number of Married Women With Unspecified Hair Color: 1

So, we've established that all blondes are evil whores. It's a tired, overdone stereotype, but I guess it's fine for the occasional receptionist/server/flight attendant. Except when you actually take the time to write out separate characters for a plethora of each of the most gender-biased professions in the country, which, obviously, EL James would never do.

9. Gretchen, aka "The Help"

To better portray poor Gretchen's plight in this awful book, I'm going to scene-recap real quick.

Grace reappears carrying two plates, followed by a pretty young woman with blond pigtails, dressed smartly in pale blue, carrying a tray of plates. Her eyes immediately find Christian's in the room. She blushes and gazes at him from under her long mascara-covered lashes. What?

The phone starts ringing and Mr. Grey stands up to get it.

"Thank you, Gretchen," Grace says gently, frowning as Mr. Grey exits. "Just leave the tray on the console." Gretchen nods, and with another furtive glance at Christian, she leaves.
So the Greys have staff, and the staff are eyeing up
my would-be Dominant. Can this evening get any worse? I scowl at my hands in my lap.

They start eating, it's delicious and rich and unpronounceable, blah frickin blah. Ana is upset about something besides Gretchen, and I really don't care/remember what, but she's bitching and moaning in a completely surprising and not-at-all UNH kind of way.

And in spite of the fact that my stomach is churning from Christian's veiled threats, the surreptitious glances from pretty little Miss Pigtails, and the debacle of my missing underwear, I am starving.

"Despite how hard it is to be me, I'm hungry." Ana complains some more, there's angst, and dinner moves to the next course.

As we finish our starters, Gretchen appears, and not for the first time, I wish I felt able to put my hands freely on Christian just to let her know--he may be fifty shades of fucked up, but he's mine. She proceeds to clear the table, brushing rather too closely to Christian for my liking. Fortunately, he seems oblivious to her, but my inner goddess is smoldering and not in a good way.

I know how hard it is, right now, to continue reading this scene without mentioning what a horrible bitch Ana is, so let's all take a moment to think about it.

Phew. Okay. More idiotic conversation, and finally:

Little Miss European Pigtails returns, all coy glances and swaying hips, with our entrees: beef Wellington, I think. Fortunately, she gives us our plates and then leaves, although she lingers handing Christian his. He looks quizzically at me as I watch her close the dining room door.

The reason I needed to share every single tidbit of Gretchen's storyline was because I want you, my lovely reader, to have the EXACT same information on Gretchen that I do and that Ana does. With that in mind, I'd like to try another prose exercise. I'm going to write that scene from Gretchen's perspective, in the form of her personal journal.

SUNDAY, 29 MAY 2011, 22:55
I miss home. Sometimes, I close my eyes at night and pretend I am sleeping in my bed, my real bed, with Olga down the hall and the sound of her boyfriend's snoring. I can almost smell a chilly Mindelheim night outside my open window. I even miss Katzen, who will surely hiss and scratch me when I finally come back.
I am overwhelmed tonight. American culture is so confusing, so backwards, and the people can be so rude and impatient. When I don't understand their English, they snap. I wish I could tell them that talking faster won't help me understand.
Mrs. Grey is good about it. She speaks slowly. Most nights are okay, when it's just the two of them for dinner and Mia, their daughter, has run off. Mia's words I can never catch.
Tonight, the whole family came. All the courses took me ages to prepare, but I enjoyed the quiet. If I ignore the English labels and American outlets, cooking is just the same as it is back home. In some ways, it's better. The Greys have every cooking tool imaginable.
I was so caught up in the courses that I forgot to ask who was coming for dinner. When I brought out the first tray, I looked up to see the Grey's other son, the businessman, staring at me like he was picturing me naked and tied to the table. The few times I'd met Christian before, he was brooding and alone. The frankness in his gaze tonight reminded me of Heinrich back home, and the night he drank too much and touched my hair and got sick all over the garden.
I realized I'd been staring back at him for a half-second too long. Thinking of Heinrich's touch made my cheeks burn. I felt, rather than saw, Christian's date glare daggers in my direction. Humiliated, I blushed still further until Mrs. Grey came to my rescue and told me (slowly, though I know dinner words very well now) to leave the tray on the console. Before I left the room, though, I glanced back at Christian to make sure I hadn't been imagining his...
hungry expression. No, he was definitely still staring at me. And his date had steam coming out of her ears.
I avoided the pair of them as much as I could for the rest of the course, but I did have to clear the table. His date was watching my every move. Christian had cleaned two whole plates, and when I tried to grab them as fast as possible, I bumped into his arm.
The girl, Ana I think, was gritting her teeth and glaring at me the way Olga did when she found me with Heinrich. By then, I was thinking maybe Ana is unhinged.
As I prepared the main course, I tried to banish the girl's furious face from my mind. I must be more careful! I know how lucky I am to be here, with such a wonderful host family. As I write this, I wonder if Ana has said anything about my strange behavior to the Greys. I really, really hope not.
Someone must be watching over me, because I managed to serve the beef Wellington without incident. I distracted myself from Christian's date by humming to myself as I set the trays upon the table. I even did a tiny victory dance on the walk back to the kitchen.

Here's why my version makes more sense than Ana's:

A) Besides being blonde, all Gretchen did to ignite Ana's fury was this:

Her eyes immediately find Christian's in the room.

Gretchen's eyes didn't find Christian, they found Christian's, as in, Christian's eyes. So Christian was either already looking at her or just staring straight ahead, because if he was looking at Ana or his family, Gretchen wouldn't be able to "find" his eyes. From what we know of Christian and his proclivity for pigtails, how likely is it that he didn't check her out? I would! She sounds hot as hell!

But to Ana, Gretchen looking at Christian means she's thinking about his cock in her mouth. And her imagination runs wild, so every tiny thing Gretchen does for the rest of the night is catastrophic. Once again, Ana has made a mountain out of a molehill and demonized a female that was just doing her job. Because if there's anything Ana hates, its people who don't stop doing their jobs to pay attention to her.


Aaand I'm back!
To recap: we have met, in order-
1. An evil blonde receptionist who humiliates Ana by making her wear a visitor's pass.
2. Two more evil blonde receptionists, both with whory feminine names (Andrea? Olivia? Um, Ana is the ONLY person allowed to have a long feminine name with lots of vowels! NEVER FORGET IT.) whose evil crimes consist of taking her jacket and giving her "iced water."
3. Christian's adopted mother, Grace Trevelyan-Grey [I think I'm spelling that wrong, but I just don't fucking care. This isn't Tortall. Get the fuck over yourself and give your characters regular names! If they weren't so poorly written and fabricated - nay, stolen - to begin with, you wouldn't need to give them ridiculous names so the reader would know that they're special!] who is only not a threat to Ana because she's related to Christian. Except that she kind of is, because even though Grace is totally nice and considerate toward Ana, she acts like the woman is beating her with a leprosy stick.

Which brings us to

4. An evil blonde waitress.

The waitress takes our drinks order. She flushes when she sees Christian, avoiding eye contact with him, hiding under her long blond bangs. She likes him!

Back the fuck up. First and foremost, the words "blush" and "flush" really don't have meaning anymore. You accuse everyone of doing it and remind us that you're doing it once every three pages. Since you're such a fan of it, in fact, why are you hating on other girls who blush? They don't have control over it either! This is just another Mary Sue-ism in a long, long, long, long, long, fucking endlessly long, holy fuck Jesus is this even serious anymore, longgggg list of Mary Sue-isms that make me want to strangle you. Maybe you'd turn fifty shades of purple.

"Nettle soup," the waitress informs us before turning and flouncing back into the kitchen. I don't think she likes to be ignored by Christian.

THIS SHIT AGAIN. No one cares about your relationship, Ana. No one is looking at you and wondering who you're with and preoccupying themselves with how nasty/sweaty/unkept your hair and clothes are, because they have their own shit to deal with. They are not mentally sizing up Christian and saying to themselves, "Oh yeah, he's a ten. But she's, like, an eight! What the fuck? My world is collapsing! I must write a college essay in my head hypothesizing how this could ever happen! In the meantime, I'll blush!"

Again, we have Ana's uncanny habit of using verbs to describe actions that either don't fit the verb, or negatively portray a secondary character for no reason. Why does the waitress "flounce" back to the kitchen, and why does that mean she's mad? WORDS MEAN THINGS, ANA.

The other-other thing that grinds my gears here is, there's no payoff to the grueling bitchiness we're forced to endure. The long list of blondes don't, like, team up and beat Ana and Christian to the death in the end or anything. There is literally not foreshadowing or literary devices being accomplished by painstakingly telling us about every blonde woman who looks at Christian. It's as though if we DON'T have to listen to every ovary within ten feet of Christian Grey spontaneously rupturing, we'll think that's he's suddenly hideous.

[INTERLUDE] I'm going to take a moment to discuss the fact that I haven't mentioned the only two females in Ana's life: Kate, and her mother. Interestingly enough, Ana's mother lives across the country and conveniently can't come to her college graduation. We get all of one chapter and two phones calls with her in the first book. Kate is a recurring theme, but she disappears for the entire length of Fifty Shades Darker. Spoiler!

The real reason I haven't brought up Kate before is that I think the whole Kate/Ana relationship has been done to death in other blogs, and because I find the entire thing fucking tiring. Ana hates Kate and slut-shames her constantly. Kate genuinely cares for Ana, but Ana barely tolerates her. Every scene they share is like this. The fucking book opens with her saying "Damn Katherine Kavanaugh." Furthermore, Kate is NOT a romantic rival because she's dating Elliot, so why would she need face time? Once those two get together, she drops out of the storyline like a hot brick. Oh, and she's technically not as "secondary" of a character as the numerous receptionists/waitresses/etc, except for the fact that everyone is secondary to Ana and Christian. You know, because they're the sun, and Earth is a moth that can't stay away from their headlights. Or something. [END INTERLUDE]

5. Mrs. Clayton, Ana's boss at Clayton's.

At four, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton gather all the other employees in the shop and, during a hair-curlingly embarrassing speech, present me with a check for three hundred dollars. In that moment, all the events from the past three weeks well up inside of me: exams, graduation, an intense, fucked-up billionaire, deflowering, hard and soft limits, playrooms with no consoles, helicopter rides, and the fact that I will move tomorrow. Amazingly, I hold myself together. My subconscious is in awe. I hug the Claytons hard. They have been kind and generous employers, and I will miss them.

Notice how Mrs. Clayton isn't described by her physical characteristics, but by her positive personality traits? Well, you can pick from one of two reasons for that. Either 1) She's married, so she's not a romantic rival, or 2) She just gave Ana a check for three hundred dollars, so Ana MUST love her. Because that's what love means, sacrificing yourself for the people who spend money on you.

6. Dr. Greene, Christian's Ana's gynecologist.

Dr. Greene is tall, blond, and immaculate, dressed in a royal-blue suit. I'm reminded of the women who work in Christian's office. She's like an identikit model-another Stepford blonde. Her long hair is swept up in an elegant chignon. She must be in her early forties.

"So, the most expensive and highly-respected OB/GYN in all of Seattle took time off of her Sunday, commonly known as the only day a week a doctor has even a shred of hope of spending in actual rest, to pay a house call to me, a person she's never met before, so that my boyfriend can boink me barebank. AND SHE'S AN EVIL CUNT."

I'm at the point where I'm wondering if EL James wasn't raped by a blonde woman in her childhood. I hate to apply anything from fiction to its author, because it's unfair and happens why too often with idiots who don't know a book from a butt plug, but seriously. This shit is scary.

I particularly enjoy Ana's rumination that Dr. Greene "must" be in her early forties. She must be, because if she were younger, she would be a romantic rival. And before we move on, there's this:

And I can tell she's burning with curiousity about my so-called relationship with Mr. Grey.

You know what's interesting? Ana has told us about five different blonde women that she's never met before and yet somehow telepathically communicates with. All of the waitresses who are in love with him and the strangers who are just dying to know what's up between Ana and Christian, all of those accusations are entirely in her own fucking head. I guess Dr. Greene is even more psychically connected to her than the other Stepfords though, because immediately after getting elbow-deep in Ana's golden-pot-at-the-end-of-yet-another-fucking-metaphor-pussy, she says this:

"Yes, Mr. Grey. Look after her; she's a beautiful, bright young woman."

Christian is taken aback-as am I. What an inappropriate thing for a doctor to say.

"And fuck you for complimenting me!"

7. TEASE AND REVEAL! Before I reveal the name of the next white woman, I'd like to try and experiment. We're not talking about any romantic rivals here, I promise. This has nothing to do with EL James's Ana's hatred of other women. I just want to try something. Here's a sample of my prose.

My little sister screeches from inside the house. She comes barreling through the door and hugs me, hard. I can't help but smile at her boundless enthusiasm. Her dark eyes are bright with excitement. She lets go of me, but holds onto my hand. Dad asks if she's thirsty, and she claps her hands. My little sister lets go of my hand and scoots out of the room.

Aww! Be honest, how old were you picturing my little sister to be? That "thirsty" line brought her down at least a few years, right? When she clapped her hands in excitement like a toddler?

WELL, THE JOKE'S ON YOU, BITCHES. [I'm just kidding. I love you, if you're reading this. I love you for being the only person to read my blog.] THAT TODDLER IS A GROWN-ASS WOMAN OF INDETERMINATE AGE. Almost everything from the paragraph was written by EL James. Let's look again, with her words in bold:

My litter sister screeches from inside the house. She comes barreling through the door and hugs me, hard. I can't help but smile at her boundless enthusiasm. Her dark eyes are bright with excitement. She lets go of me, but holds onto my hand. Dad asks if she's thirsty, and she claps her hands. My little sister lets go of my hand and scoots out of the room.

That paragraph was taken entirely from one page describing Christian's little sister's reactions in the first five minutes of Ana entering Christian's childhood home. Her name is Mia Grey, and, based on the verbs EL James chooses to depict her, she is mentally disabled. I don't say this lightly. But when Mr. Grey says, "Prosecco?" and literally claps and her hands and scoots away, she comes across as a spoiled rich kid with the body of a twenty-one-year-old and the mind of a toddler.

My grievance with Mia's character isn't that Ana doesn't like her, but that she belittles her. She obviously looks down on Mia, even though they're at least the same age because she drinks. It's this petty, inane bullshit that make Fifty Shades of Grey so fucking difficult to read. Ana is the main character, so Ana must be the best and most perfectest woman of all. But Ana can't be the most purdiest and smartiest if another character is pretty and smart too, so they have to be mentally challenged AND related to Christian to get away with having a bearable personality.

THAT'S why Ana has the mind of a twelve-year-old: if someone else has something, anything, that means Ana can't have it, too. And since Ana has to have EVERYTHING, all these sad-sack secondary characters are left with is whatever table scraps Ana deigns to feed them.

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September 2012



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