Grey: Sunday, May 22, 2011
Christian and his cock have a much-needed regroup after their “first vanilla fuck” with Ana.
There are definitely some advantages to having her in my bed.
Grey. Stop this nonsense.
Fucking her was merely a means to an end and a pleasant diversion.
I imagine Christian’s inner penis is the one chiding him to “stop this nonsense” and I have to say I’m enjoying him a lot more than I ever enjoyed Ana’s stupid inner goddess.
Christian and Inner Penis struggle with their guilt over having sex with a virgin and their desire to wake her up and do it all over again because of how “incredible” it was. It’s this kind of riveting conflict that has really made this series a cultural phenomenon.
Miss Steele is a carnal creature.
She will be a joy to train.
My cock twitches in agreement.
Unable to sleep, Christian heads to the kitchen and then to his study to answer emails. Oh my gosh, you guys, this scene is totally headed towards the infamous piano playing in the moonlight. I’m just giddy with anticipation of what Christian and Inner Penis think of this event!
Back in the living room I sit down at my piano. This is my solace, where I can lose myself for hours. I’ve been able to play well since I was nine, but it wasn’t until I had my own piano, in my own place, that it really became a passion. When I want to forget everything, this is what I do. And right now I don’t want to think about having propositioned a virgin, fucked her, or revealed my lifestyle to someone with no experience. With my hands on the keys, I begin to play and lose myself in the solitude of Bach.
[Matthew says: Zero out of ten. This tells us nothing about what Christian Grey’s penis thinks of Bach. I didn’t pick up this book to NOT read the sentence, “I began to play Bach, and my cock nodded in agreement.”]
Ana shows up and she tells Christian the song was melancholy, which triggers the start of a memory of when Leila was his sub and apparently a time traveller from medieval times.
“May I speak freely? Sir.”
Leila is kneeling beside me while I work.
“Sir, you are most melancholy today.”
“Yes, Sir. Is there something that you would like me to do…?”
Christian snaps out of it, and insists Ana go back to bed! But that damn woman just keeps asking probing questions like, “How long have you been playing piano for?” So Christian has no choice but to spoon her so she’ll go back to sleep and leave him the fuck alone. Their epic true love really is just built on the fact that Christian rebuffs any attempt Ana makes to actually get to know him in favour of just ordering her around and/or fucking her.
In bed, Ana is embarrassed that there is blood on the sheets:
“Well, that’s going to give Mrs. Jones something to think about.”
She looks mortified.
It’s just your body, sweetheart.
I grasp her chin and tip her head back so I can see her expression. I’m about to give her a short lecture on how not to be ashamed of her body, when she reaches out to touch my chest.
Just when you thought Christian should start teaching sex-ed classes to teenage girls everywhere, we’re reminded that he has body issues of his own.
[Matthew says: Even when this book AVOIDS a scene where Christian Grey mansplains something as thoroughly not-manly as the female body, it finds a way to annoy me about it.]
Christian smells Ana’s hair and thinks about his mother. I forgot that the whole Christian-loves-Ana-because-she’s-like-his-birth-mother storyline was going to be SO MUCH CREEPIER from Christian’s perspective.
“Sleep, sweet Anastasia.” I kiss her hair and close my eyes. Her scent fills my nostrils, reminding me of a happy time and leaving me replete… content, even…
Mommy is happy today.
She is singing.
Singing about what love has to do with it.
And cooking. And singing.
My tummy gurgles. She is cooking bacon and waffles. They smell good. My tummy likes bacon and waffles.
They smell so good.
Christian wakes to the smell of Ana cooking bacon and we’re treated to the longest scene of them in the kitchen. I don’t need to know Ana is reaching for maple syrup, I really don’t. Christian continues to be in awe of how different Ana is because when he tells her to do things like finish her food, she reacts with annoyance. Such uniqueness!
Also, this scene does absolutely nothing to explain what Christian meant by this:
Sidling up to her, I gently tug one of her braids. “I love these. They won’t protect you.”
Not from me. Not now that I’ve had you.
WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN?
Nor do I get Christian’s jokes:
“How would you like your eggs?” Her tone is unexpectedly haughty. And I want to laugh out loud, but I resist.
“Thoroughly whisked and beaten,” I reply, trying and failing to sound deadpan. She attempts to hide her amusement, too, and continues her task.
EL James continues to have no idea how real people actually use words these days:
I take a bite of my breakfast and close my eyes in appreciation. It tastes mighty fine.
All American men must still think like they’re in the Old West, right guys? Right?
They go have a bath together, and Christian tells Ana off for biting her lip because it makes him want to fuck her and she’s too sore to go again. It’s for her own good! He’s so selfless.
Lifting my hips, I grab my cock. “I want you to become well acquainted, on first-name terms, if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body. I’m very attached to this.”
If you ever doubted this while reading the books from Ana’s point of view, now you understand the true gravitas of this moment because Christian’s penis actually speaks to him and really is an important part of who he is.
Ana goes down on Christian, and we’re treated to erotic moments like, “Oh. Baby. That. Feels. Good.” When people speak in full stops, you know shit is hot. [Matthew says: We also get to re-experience the scene where Ana “bares her teeth, gently squeezing” right before Christian cums. And no, reading a scene where a man gets off on having his penis nibbled on does not fare better the second time around.]
Now it’s Ana’s turn for an orgasm, so they head to the bedroom. Christian again focuses on Ana’s braids, but this time he makes it clearer what he means. He tells her they make her look young, and then thinks to himself that it’s not going to stop him. Let’s just take a moment to reflect on how creepy all of this is, especially when you remember that he usually braids her hair for him in the Red Room of Pain.
Christian ties Ana up for the first time and “pay[s] homage to each of her nipples” before going down on her and having sex with her. All is well and good until they hear Christian’s mother outside the door! What a wacky situation we’re experiencing for the second time.
Christian chats to his mother while Ana gets dressed:
“Thank you, Taylor,” Grace calls after him, then turns her full attention to me. “Deal with me?” she says in rebuke. “I was shopping downtown and I thought I might pop in for coffee.” She stops. “If I’d known you weren’t alone…” She shrugs in an awkward, girlish way. [Matthew says: Speaking of awkward, using “girlish” to describe your stepmom.]
She has often stopped by for coffee and there was a woman here… she just never knew.
So why is he so keen to have Ana meet his mother? It really is starting to piss me off that the few things that actually could have been better explained from Christian’s perspective are just completely ignored.
[Matthew says: Seriously, every other paragraph is like “ANA IS MEETING MY MOM. MY MOM IS MEETING ANA.” There’s even a “My mother is going to be thrilled”. There is never an explanation for WHY Christian would think this, since his constant disdain for all things (which we definitely are getting…) would seemingly make this totally out of character for him.
Although where Christian’s own goddamn narration fails, we have uncomfortable implications. This time, it’s homophobia:
“Yes, Mother. She.” My tone is dry as I try not to laugh.
So either Christian is thrilled Ana and his mom are meeting for no particular, but very out-of-character reason, or it’s because he’s thrilled his mom won’t wonder if he’s gay anymore. Because if there’s something you want to leave as an undeveloped implication in your work of fiction, “thank goodness people don’t think I’m a GAY! Bullet DODGED.” is probably not one of the better ones.]
Grace is just inviting Christian to church with her that evening when Ana joins them. They all chit-chat about nothing, and at one point Ana gets a phone call from Jose, so Christian is completely distracted by his jealousy. Grace heads off and acts like it was so fabulous to meet Ana even though Ana rudely took a phone call after saying two things to her.
For some reason, the next scene is Christian getting a phone call from Ros (the woman who works for him that Ana isn’t jealous of because she’s a lesbian) and discussing business matters. We don’t find out why Christian introduced Ana to his mother, but we have to read this shit?
Anyway, Christian gives Ana the contract and tells her to do research. This is EL James’ chance to redeem herself from the whole Ana doesn’t have an email/doesn’t have a computer/doesn’t know how to internet.
“You’ll be amazed what you can find on the Internet.”
“What is it?” I ask.
“I don’t have a computer. I usually use the computers at school. I’ll see if I can use Kate’s laptop.”
No computer? How can a student not have a computer? Is she that broke? I hand her the envelope. “I’m sure I can, um— lend you one. Get your things, we’ll drive back to Portland and grab some lunch on the way. I need to dress.”
Look, see Ana’s just weird because Christian is acknowledging how weird the whole situation is! It’s not that James is a terrible writer! [Matthew says: Nor that she forgot what decade her book takes place in.]
Then Christian worries when Ana says she needs to call Jose back:
Is she hung up on him?
Was she just using me to break her in?
Ew. Then he wonders if she’s a gold digger when she’s done absolutely nothing to imply this! He’s the one that sent her gifts, stalked her, brought her back to his house when she was drunk!
After worrying Ana’s a gold digger, he immediately gets her lots of new shit, like a laptop:
“Do you have any new laptops?”
“I have two right here from Apple.”
“Great. I need one.”
“Can you set it up with an e-mail account for Anastasia Steele? She’ll be the owner.”
“How are you spelling ‘Steal’?”
Oh my god it’s so so sad to see how hard James is trying to add new content to this. It’s kind of endearing because of how pathetic it is.
Christian drives Ana back home, but they stop for lunch first and he tells her about Elena and tries to convince her to sign the contract. He also obsessed over how Ana never eats enough. [Matthew says: One actual line of narration is “Her eating issues will be something to work on”, which is great because any normal person reading this book can see Ana’s “issues” are entirely in Christian’s head.] Throughout the chapter he tells us how slim she is and how it’s so sexy, but then now he’s like, “Oh, no wonder she’s so slim, she never eats, we have to fix that.” But I bet if she gained a bunch of weight he’d be like, “Hell. She’s not slim and sexy anymore.”
Christian drives Ana home, and she reveals she’s wearing his underwear. I’m talking ’bout some hot stuff baby this evening.
The chapter ends with Christian emailing Ana and hoping she’ll agree to be his submissive.