For those of you who missed all the excitement of Chapter One, Ana has met Christian Grey. Okay, you’re all caught up!
Ana leaves Grey’s office, still freaking out about what was probably the worst interview ever. And also all that sexual tension.
I know it’s the memory of those penetrating gray eyes gazing at me
Hey, Christian Grey’s eyes are gray! How convenient! Even more convenient, Ana drives home and we get to learn a little bit more about Ana!
We live in a small community of duplex apartments close to the Vancouver campus of WSU. I’m lucky – Kate’s parents bought the place for her, and I pay peanuts for rent.
Somehow I don’t think this will be the last time Ana gets lucky. OHHH! This is too easy.
Anyway, Ana gets mad at her roommate, Kate the tenacious up-and-coming reporter, for not, you know, telling her a single thing about who she was interviewing. And then we get a short paragraph about how Ana works at a hardware store and that’s somehow its own section. But then another quarter-page section later and she’s off work again! Man, time just flies when nothing sexy is happening.
Katherine is wearing headphones and working on her laptop… “You’ve got some good stuff here, Ana.”
Okay, is this the same recording of what happened in Chapter One? Because that interview was double crap.
“Oh, come on, Ana – even you can’t be immune to his looks.” She arches a perfect eyebrow at me. Crap!
Hey, it’s a situation that only merits a single crap! Looks like my “crap scale” theory holds some water! Awkward personal question from a roommate: one crap! Awkward personal question from the perfect specimen of male physical beauty: double crap! I wonder if this scale is exponential, because that is a huge jump from single to double craps. If so I can’t imagine what sorts of horrors would merit a triple crap.
Moving on from math, remember how Ana is an English student? Just in case you didn’t, we get a hilariously upfront and jarring reminder!
I work on my essay on Tess of d’Urbervilles. Damn, that woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong century.
I don’t even know where to begin. So we take a break to let Ana get some work done. That’s fine. We get to know what she’s writing her essay on. That borders on the line of unnecessary detail, but overall it’s not that bad. Then we get inside Ana’s head, which is making a pretty basic observation about the novel she’s writing an essay on, and, guys, as an English major who just finished my junior year of college, I really hope that Ana, nearing the end of her senior year, has a bit more to say about Tess of d’Urbervilles, or any text she’s writing an essay about, than “bad things happened to the main character in this story, let me tell you!”. Oh and also, oh my God, that is a lot of things to get wrong. Especially when two of them, time and century, are kind of the same thing? Seriously, I can’t get enough of how hilariously bad these two sentences are.
Ana calls her mom, whom we learn has gone through a series of husbands and hmmm I wonder if it might be revealed that this has influenced how Ana views her own romantic relationships HMMMMMMM. Also her mom’s second line of dialogue is her asking if Ana’s met someone. Out of the blue. I mean, there’s not beating around the bush, and then there’s just being unintentionally hilarious. After that exciting phone call, Ana calls her dad, who literally communicates only in grunts. I wonder if that might have influenced how Ana views her own romantic relationships HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
Standing on our doorstep is my good friend Jose clutching a bottle of champagne … Jose is the first person I met when I arrived at WSU, looking as lost and lonely as I did. We recognized a kindred spirit in each other that day, and we’ve been friends ever since.
Oh, fuck, did we just meet this book’s Jacob? I didn’t even know it had a Jacob. Goddammit, I just finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy. I don’t think I can deal with another fucking love triangle.
“Let’s celebrate. I want you to come to the opening … Both of you, of course,” he adds, glancing nervously at Kate.
Oh thank God. I almost had a panic attack there.
Jose and I are good friends, but I know deep down inside he’d like to be more.
He’s cute and funny, but he’s not for me. He’s more like the brother I never had.
Okay, in the span of one page, we’ve developed a love triangle, shot it down, redeveloped it, and shot it down again. Can’t wait to see what happens when I turn this page.
Yes, Jose’s pretty hot, but I think he’s finally getting the message: we’re just friends.
Well, we’ve been introduced to two potential love interests by the second chapter of a novel that was originally Twilight fanfiction, so who else wants to bet that this may not be 100% certain?
Anyway, Ana goes back to work at the hardware store the next day and Christian Motherfucking Grey is there, and her subconscious, without missing a beat, reacts with “heart failure“. Now, we’ve established pretty clearly already that Ana’s subconscious somehow actually talks to her, as opposed to actually being her subconscious. This is, strangely, probably a good thing in this case, otherwise her subconscious going “heart failure” would mean that Ana’s heart has actually stopped working just now, which would be bad.
His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something.
This is actually what is written in the book. We are on page 25 and she has already stopped giving a shit about trying to creatively describe Christian Grey’s sexiness.
And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain – probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells – comes the thought: He’s here to see you.
Okay, um, well, the medulla oblongata deals with involuntary functions like breathing and heart rate and has pretty much nothing to do with schizophrenia, which I think is what Ana’s trying to say whenever she talks about her subconscious.
“You wouldn’t want to ruin your clothing.” I gesture vaguely in the direction of his jeans.
“I could always take them off.” He smirks.
“Um.” I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto.
Well, I’m done reading books. Nothing will ever be funnier than this passage. Ever.
Just kidding! I kept reading the book anyway because Christian Grey offers to do a photo shoot for Ana for the article and I just couldn’t miss out on all that excitement. In addition to that, we get more of the same (already). Ana giggles about Christian Grey and coldly and obliviously shuns the affections of the other men in her life because literally every male character with a name wants to tap that ass, and E L James goes into way too much description of things ranging from Katherine’s physical beauty to how Ana is “a grown woman who can vote and drink legally in the state of Washington”.
So they do the photoshoot, getting the other guy in the love triangle to do photography because that’s a good idea, and then Christian mans the fuck up and asks Ana out for coffee, which she agrees to reluctantly for some inexplicable reason. She makes excuses like having to drive her friends back, but then agrees to it and tells us that she doesn’t like coffee and, well, seems like you should have led with that one if you didn’t want to go, Ana! But then she realizes she can have tea instead of coffee and that problem is solved.
He hands me a cup and saucer, a small teapot, and a side plate bearing a lone teabag labeled TWININGS ENGLISH BREAKFAST – my favorite.
OMG ME TOO
“I like my tea black and weak”
Amazingly enough, Christian Grey’s response isn’t “Like how you like your men?”, but instead goes through every other male character introduced in the novel thus far and asks if they’re her boyfriend. The rest of the date is actually surprisingly normal, meaning it’s full of smalltalk and pretty boring from an outsider’s perspective. Then they leave and Christian says he doesn’t “do the girlfriend thing” and saves Ana from being run over by a motorcycle by pulling her up against his chest.
eventually, my attention is drawn to his beautiful mouth. And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed.
Really. You have never wanted to be kissed before? Look, we get that she’s super picky about her men and hasn’t been attracted to anybody before, and that’s fair enough, but even if she never had a specific person in mind, we’re supposed to believe that the very idea of being kissed has been unappealing to her for twenty-one years of her life until she meets this man? Man, just when I thought I was starting to relate to this character after the whole favorite type of tea thing.
I want to feel his mouth on mine.
If you need to have the term “kiss” defined for you, you should probably not be reading a BDSM erotic novel.