Oh my goodness, this is the best review of Grey. I mean, it’s not chapter by chapter or anything awesome like that, but is it a scathing and nasty review of this book? HELL YEAH. Apologies if any of you have already linked to this in the comments – I’m a bit behind on them, but am trying to catch up as quickly as possible!
Grey: Sunday, May 15, 2011
Ah, Sunday, May 15, 2011. An historic day, remembered for Christian’s photoshoot and Ana and Christian’s first date.
While on his morning jog, “blasting Moby” (HIS TASTE IS JUST SO ECLECTIC), Christian muses on the impact Ana has already had on him:
Since I’ve met her, my dreams have been a welcome change from the occasional nightmare. I wonder what Flynn would make of that. The thought is disconcerting, so I ignore it and concentrate on pushing my body to its limits along the bank of the Willamette.
I’m truly having trouble understanding which part of his thought process is disconcerting. Like 99% of Christian’s thoughts are actually disconcerting, and this is what he chooses to be alarmed by? It’s like going to McDonalds and only being concerned about what’s in the french fries.
After getting ready, Christian heads downstairs in his hotel to the room Kate and Ana have booked for the photoshoot. Where is this budget for the photoshoot coming from? I know that Jose is probably doing this pro bono for his friends, but Christian says, “Room 601 is crowded with people,” so who are all these other people? How did Kate set this all up with like no notice whatsoever?
Twice this chapter, Christian expresses his distaste for when a woman wears jeans because of their lack of convenience. Here’s the first instance:
She’s wearing tight jeans and chucks with a short-sleeved navy jacket and a white T-shirt beneath. Are jeans and chucks her signature look? While not very convenient, they do flatter her shapely legs.
Can you imagine how irritating it would be to have to wear skirts all the time just so Christian Grey wouldn’t have to waste his precious time taking your jeans off and instead could just lift up your skirt and dive right in? I know Christian is getting erections constantly when Ana’s around, but this makes it sound like he’ll just casually lift her skirt while they’re in public to satisfy himself.
Ana introduces Kate and Christian, and again he says nothing at all about knowing her father and just asks how she’s feeling. There’s also this,
She has a firm, confident handshake, and I doubt she’s ever faced a day of hardship in her privileged life. I wonder why these women are friends. They have nothing in common.
How would you be able to tell that from her hand/handshake? I’m sure Christian’s hands aren’t exactly calloused and representative of any hardships of his life. It’s not like he grew up a farmer, he was adopted into a wealthy family and has amassed an incredible fortune of his own. I’m also certain Ana hasn’t faced any real hardship in her life either come to think of it. Why would Christian assume he knows anything about Kate’s life let alone think he knows enough about her or Ana to cast judgement on their friendship.
Christian is then introduced to Jose, which sends him spiraling into a pit of insecurity and idiocy:
“This is José Rodriguez, our photographer,” Anastasia says, and her face lights up as she introduces him.
Shit. Is this the boyfriend?
Rodriguez blooms under Ana’s sweet smile.
Are they fucking?
I completely get that when you meet someone you’re interested in, and you don’t know whether or not they’re single, it’s going to be something you’re curious about. However, the question ‘are they fucking’ that’s prompted simply by the fact that Jose like returns Ana’s smile is absurd. In the words of Christian himself – steady, Grey. I don’t know why it cracks me up so much when Christian admonishes himself that way.
Christian and Jose exchange looks and introductions that are full of challenge and machismo! Then the photoshoot actually starts, and Christian makes more unfounded assumptions about Ana and Kate’s friendship:
Does she always shy away like this? Maybe that’s why she and Kavanagh are friends; she’s content to be in the background and let Katherine take center stage.
Or maybe they make each other laugh and support one another in all their endeavours? IDK seems possible. It’s also absolutely hilarious that Christian would be concerned about Ana and Kate having nothing in common when one could very easily point the same question at him and Ana.
As the photoshoot comes to an end, Christian thinks, “Seize the day, Grey,” and goes to ask Ana to walk him out. Christian thinks Ana is trying to turn him down when he invites her out for coffee and she says that she has to drive everyone home. STEADY, GREY!!!! She actually just offers to switch cars with Kate, which makes me wonder why she had to drive everyone home if they could all fit into one car anyway and Kate had driven as well?
What the hell am I going to say to her?
“How would you like to be my submissive?”
No. Steady, Grey. Let’s take this one stage at a time.
Christian also frets when Ana takes more than thirty seconds to swap cars with Kate:
How long is Anastasia going to be? I check my watch. She must be negotiating the car swap with Katherine. Or she’s talking to Rodriguez, explaining that she’s just going for coffee to placate me and keep me sweet for the article. My thoughts darken. Maybe she’s kissing him good-bye.
She emerges a moment later, and I’m pleased. She doesn’t look like she’s just been kissed.
Oh my god, she was gone for two full minutes, maybe she was being impregnated by Jose! Maybe they closed on a property together! No, steady, Grey.
Christian, still concerned about Ana’s friendship with Kate for some reason (“specifically their compatibility”) asks Ana about their friendship. Ana just says they’ve known each other since their freshman year and they’re good friends, and that seems to be enough to satisfy Christian for some reason. He didn’t even ask if they get their periods together! He’s more concerned about the fact that when he takes Ana’s hand it’s “cool and not clammy as expected” so she must not be into him if her hands aren’t clammy!
At the cafe, Christian continues his quest to be the most miserable human on the planet.
I have to wait in line while the two matronly women behind the counter exchange inane pleasantries with all their customers. It’s frustrating and keeping me from my objective: Anastasia.
HOW DARE THOSE TWO UGLY, MATRONLY WOMEN EXIST IN THIS WORLD WITH THEIR UGLINESS AND TRY TO MAKE THEIR CUSTOMERS HAPPY!!!!
“You visiting Portland?”
“The weather sure has picked up today.”
“I hope you get out to enjoy some sunshine.”
Please stop talking to me and hurry the fuck up.
“Yes,” I hiss through my teeth and glance over at Ana, who quickly looks away.
Is this scene meant to play for laughs? It totally does, but I don’t think for the intended reasons. I’m not like, “Oh ho ho, that Christian is so grumpy and loveable with his hatred of inane pleasantries.” I’m more on the side of laughing at what a douchebag he really and truly is.
“Pay at the register, honey, and you have a nice day, now.”
I manage a cordial response. “Thank you.”
Oh, yeah, what a real struggle to respond kindly to someone that had a brief and very nice encounter with you.
If you were thinking to you yourself, for some reason, that Christian’s innermost thoughts couldn’t get any weirder, think again.
“This is my favorite tea,” she says, and I revise my mental note that it’s Twinings English Breakfast tea she likes. I watch her dunk the teabag in the teapot. It’s an elaborate and messy spectacle.
She fishes it out almost immediately and places the used teabag on her saucer. My mouth is twitching with my amusement.
As she tells me she likes her tea weak and black, for a moment I think she’s describing what she likes in a man.
Let’s set aside the fact that Ana’s weird way of preparing tea doesn’t seem at all messy or elaborate. Instead, let’s focus on Christian’s…attempt at a joke? Racist outburst? Desperate cry for help? How to we even find the words to talk about what has just happened here today. 1) Why would he even for a second think that Ana is talking about what she likes in a man when she has fucking said, “I like my tea weak and black.” 2) If that is meant to be a joke, a terrible, lazy attempt at a joke, it’s not even delivered correctly. It would have to be, “Is that also how she likes her men?” If you’re going to fall back on this kind of thing, at least do it in a way that makes sense. 3) Why would Ana out of nowhere be like, “I like my men weak and black. Just like my tea.”
Get a grip, Grey. She’s talking about tea.
Okay, so Christian’s inner…Christian doesn’t even get this line of thought. Which means that a part of Christian, for a moment, was actually terrified that he wasn’t Ana’s type because she likes weak, black men? Again, there was no ambiguity whatsoever in what Ana was referring to when she said, “I like my tea weak and black.”
Christian prods Ana about whether she’s dating Jose or Paul (which he’d already asked her at the hardware store) and about her family. Even though he had the background check done, he has to pretend he doesn’t know anything about her family like all good stalkers know!
Ana continues to frustrate and annoy Christian by doing things like making it hard for him to know if she’s interested and laughing (IS IT AT ME OR WITH ME? GET A GRIP, GREY!)
What I’ve come to quickly realize, is that Christian is just every awful contestant from the Bachelorette rolled into one, ginormous douche machine. He’s obsessed with Ana one second, but that as soon as he isn’t confident about her interest in him, he starts finding ridiculous reasons to put the kibosh on this.
“Do you always wear jeans?” I ask.
“Mostly,” she says, and it’s two strikes against her: incurable romantic who only wears jeans… I like my women in skirts. I like them accessible.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” she asks out of the blue, and it’s the third strike. I’m out of this fledgling deal. She wants romance, and I can’t offer her that.
“No, Anastasia. I don’t do the girlfriend thing.” Stricken with a frown, she turns abruptly and stumbles into the road.
First of all, there’s the second reference to Christian hating when women wear jeans because of a lack of accessibility. Still ew.
Second, why is it okay that Christian keeps asking Ana if every guy that smiles in her general direction is her boyfriend but when she asks if he has a girlfriend his reaction is to say it’s a deal breaker. I know Christian is famous for his overreactions, but this one seemed particularly absurd.
Ana, stricken at Christian’s shocking revelation, falls into oncoming traffic. Luckily, Christian saves her just in time to tell her he’s not the man for her. Man, I wonder if these two crazy kids will ever make it work.
I end this post with another ridiculous gif from this season of The Bachelorette that I couldn’t find another place for: