In “Matthew and Ariel’s actual real lives” news, this is our last week of college classes ever. I’m not freaking out yet, but that’s mostly because I’m still trying to process the notion that I might never have to go to an afternoon lab ever again.
In “Matthew and Ariel’s internet lives where we’ve somehow been successful making fun of erotic literature” news, the one year anniversary of Bad Books Good Times is coming up! Any ideas for how you want us to celebrate the occasion? Ariel’s suggestions so far include “what if we find a really funny gif” and that’s it, so we could use some ideas.
Ana wakes up in bed with Christian and a hangover, which is described with Ana’s usual flair for giving up her own agency.
I drank too much—boy did I drink too much. I’m amazed Christian let me.
Christian’s explanation is actually kind of touching. But Ana’s narration continues to not make sense, so at least that’s consistent.
“I like taking care of you. It’s what I want to do,” he says quietly, but his eyes betray him as triumph flares in their gray depths. It’s like he’s won the World Series or the Super Bowl.
Amazingly, E L James’s simile isn’t what I’m going to make fun of here. What exactly are Christian’s eyes “betraying” here? That he likes caring for his wife? Aside from being a dumb sentiment to reveal, he just said it. What else could “his eyes betray him” be referring to? THIS IS DUMB. YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNEW THAT.
Anyway, remember how Fifty Shades is the most infamous erotic novel in the world at the moment?
We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog pointing out how, say, unadventurous Fifty Shades actually is. But we’re about to see something we haven’t before! Christian has a bit of a fantasy (that’s not the new part, obviously), and he asks Ana if she’d want to do it! I know! It’s crazy! Two sexual partners are actually engaged in a dialogue about what they would like to do and if the other person is interested!
“I’d fight you any day, Mrs. Grey. In fact, subduing you in bed is a fantasy of mine.” […]
“I thought you subdued me all the time.” I gasp as he nibbles my earlobe.
“Hmm . . . but I’d like some resistance,” he murmurs, his nose skirting my jaw. […]
“You want me to fight you? Here?” I whisper, [..] He nods, his eyes hooded but wary as he gauges my reaction.
He shrugs, and I see the idea flit through his mind. He gives me his shy smile and nods again, slowly.
See? They’re actually talking about what they’re comfortable doing in bed with each other and in an open discussion about the boundaries! Oh God, we really have very little to celebrate in this novel, don’t we? And right on cue is the inner goddess to prove my point.
My inner goddess shakes her head—Never. She’s got her karate suit on, and she’s limbering up.
So the actual “Ana tries to resist” fantasy begins. And lasts for about half a page (supply your own sex joke here) when she decides she just wants Christian.
He attempts to grab my wrists, and finally captures one, despite my valiant attempts to twist it free. […] He’s gently biting at my lower lip as his tongue tries to invade my mouth. And I realize I don’t want to resist him. I want him—now, like I always do.
Ana gets all caught up in the heat of the moment.
I don’t care that I haven’t brushed my teeth.
But she gets annoyed that Christian won’t just move on past the foreplay and onto the sex already, so with renewed strength, she gets on top of him and they have sex. Then they talk about how Ana took control and shit, which Ariel talked yesterday about how they act like this is a big deal and like something totally new happened, even though all that happened is that Ana decided she wanted to be on top.
The next morning, Ana wakes up and has breakfast with the whole gang: the newly-engaged Kate and Elliot, and the will-they-won’t-they Mia and Ethan that literally has not progressed as a subplot in about a book and a half.
[Mia] looks venomously at Ethan. Oh dear. I wonder once more what’s going on between them.
Christian’s out in the yard talking to one of his staff. E L James has to spell out symbolism for the reader, because if there’s anything to be said for her, at least she knows her audience.
Christian casually bends to pick up what looks like a bamboo cane that must have been blown over or discarded in the flowerbed. Pausing, Christian absentmindedly holds out the cane at arm’s length as if weighing it carefully and swipes it through the air, just once.
Kate notices that Ana’s standing by the window.
“What were you doing?” asks Kate.
“Just watching Christian.”
“You have got it bad.” She snorts.
That’s kind of a weird thing to say to someone about their husband? Like… you would think?
Weirder yet, Christian and Ana talk about how Christian feels the need to protect Ana (which they talk about a lot) and then Christian mentions that they’re going to have to work with Gia – the person redesigning their house who Ana told to stay away from her man – again soon, and we get this moment from Ana:
Oh crap. I’d forgotten we were seeing her this evening to go over the final plans. I roll my eyes. “I might want to keep you out of the way, keep you safe.” I smirk.
“Protecting me?” Christian is laughing at me.
“As ever, Mr. Grey. From all sexual predators,” I whisper.
Which is so weird, because this reads exactly like Christian Grey dialogue, but it’s coming from Ana. Is Ana becoming more like Christian? Is this supposed to be a good thing, like some weird fucked-up perversion of female empowerment? Is Ana even aware how closely she’s mimicking Christian? Is E L James? GUYS THERE ARE SO MANY DEEP QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS LINE THAT ARE WAY DEEPER THAN THIS BOOK.
E L James is also terrible at foreshadowing, in case you’re somehow doubting this.
Maybe that’s Christian’s problem—he’s been too isolated from real life for too long, thanks to his self-imposed exile. Yet with his family around him, he is less controlling, less anxious—freer, happier. I wonder what Flynn would make of all that. Holy crap! Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe he needs his own family. I shake my head in denial—we’re too young
The rest of the chapter is a conversation between Ana and Christian via email, which is great, because it took like five seconds to read the remaining five pages of the chapter, where we find out that LEILA SHOWS UP AT ANA’S OFFICE BUM BUM BUMMM