Grey: Sunday, May 29, 2011
The chapter opens with Christian going for a jog/brief stalking session:
I just want to see where she lives.
It’s between control freak and stalker.
I chuckle to myself. I’m just running. It’s a free country.
None of this makes any sense. Christian’s joke would work (and I use work in the loosest sense possible) if HE was the one living there. Unless his joke is actually a reference to the fact that Ana can never escape him, which LOLOLOL. Also clearly you are not “just running” given you have explicitly told us you want to see where Ana lives.
Christian and Ana email about when she’ll head over to his place. Christian also tells us about the food that Mrs. Jones has prepared for him, which is definitely what the fans are reading this book for.
When Ana comes over, she has her weird meeting with the gynaecologist in Christian’s apartment. Remember when the gyno said weird shit to Christian:
Look after her; she’s a bright and beautiful young girl.
Ah the memories. Such confusing memories.
After this, they have dinner. I would normally skip over this except we get this beautiful line:
She takes a bite, then another…and another. She’s eating!
This is a super appropriate reaction to have if you’re talking about a toddler eating a much despised vegetable, I guess. Who saw this line in the book and was like, “This cannot be cut. It’s imperative to the narrative, and not weird at all.”
A big chunk of this never-ending chapter is, you guessed it, simply the same sex scene we’ve already read that was already indistinguishable from most of the other sex scenes in the series. From Christian’s perspective, we get interesting revelations like, “I want to have sex with her vagina AND her butt!” He also reveals that his mother used to wear a braid, which solves the “mystery” of why Christian always braids his submissives hair! Did we already know that? Does it matter? It changes nothing because we already knew and were disturbed by how many of Christian’s sexual preferences were influenced by his mother.
The thing I hate most about this chapter, and this is a really hard thing to decide on, is definitely how Christian keeps saying how proud he is of Ana (and sometimes himself and Ana) for having sex. Like this gem here:
I’m so proud of her. She did it. She did everything I wanted.
Pride seems like a very strange choice of words here. I’m so proud of her for letting me have sex with her the way I wanted? Try imagining having that feeling yourself, it feels really fucking weird. It sounds like what a parent might say about a child who successfully completed all their chores. It sounds like what my husband says to me when I don’t “forget” to wash the dishes. These are both appropriate situations in which to feel pride.
After all that pride-inducing sex, Christian puts Ana to bed in the submissive room. He goes to take a shower, and comes up with his devious plan to steal her panties. Man, it’s all coming back to me now! The good times when Ana is angry with Christian for stealing her panties and teasing her while they’re having dinner with his family! But this time we got to experience Christian hatching his plan and withholding his plan from us as though we hadn’t already seen what happened in the original book. It’s a brilliant storytelling tactic. I think maybe they should remake Fight Club from Tyler Durden’s perspective and then you get to find out all over again that he’s actually in the narrator’s head – wouldn’t that be a fun romp?
The thing I hate SECOND MOST in this chapter is the fact that Christian says “mighty fine” three times. For a phrase that so clearly does not belong in this series, this is getting absurd. Why does EL James think a man like Christian would use this phrase at all let alone so. Many. Times.
The scene where they dance together happens, yay, and then they go to meet Christian’s parents, and he finally acknowledges that this is his fault since he insisted on introducing Ana to his mother in the first place. I’m glad he realizes that, but could he please explain why he did that in the first place? It’s like the one thing I actually would like an answer to. Also, Christian is absolutely enchanted by Ana when she doesn’t ask for her panties back before they leave.
She never fails to surprise, impress, and disarm me. Now I will have to sit through dinner with my parents, knowing my girl is not wearing any underwear. In fact, I’m traveling down in this elevator right now, knowing she’s naked beneath her skirt.
She’s turned the tables on you, Grey.
Did she? How did Christian think it would play out, that she’d be like, “Oh, Christian, give me my panties!” And he’d be like, “HERE YA GO.” What a jokester, that Christian.
Anyway, after worrying about introducing Ana to his parents he admits that he actually does really want to introduce them, but then doesn’t explain why. I know that we often criticise books on here (I’m looking at you Divergent) for over-explaining everything, but I think like one or two insightful lines would have been a good addition to a book that was supposed to be written for this purpose.
One interesting thing that does give us some insight into Christian is when Ana asks where he learns to dance and he remembers some of his time with Elena:
“That’s right. Again. One. Two. Three. Four. Baby, you’ve got this.” Elena and I glide across her basement. “Again.” She laughs, her head thrown back, and she looks like a woman half her age.
So THAT’S why Christian overuses the word ‘baby’! He picked it up from Elena. It all adds up now. This is quite possibly the most subtle bit of character development we’ve seen in this series – so much so that I doubt James did it intentionally at all. It’s also probably not a big enough of a character insight to warrant this story, but I will certainly take what I can get.
The conversation shifts back to their sex life (clearly),
“Why did you use a cable tie?” she asks.
Questions about this afternoon; this is good. “It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s something different for you to feel and experience. I know they’re quite brutal, and I do like that in a restraining device.” My voice is dry as I try to inject a little humor back into our conversation. “Very effective at keeping you in your place.”
HAHAHAHAHAHHAAH oh my gosh cause…cause Ana need to be put in her place. And I mean the LAYERS of the joke what with her being a woman who needs to be put in her place, like I mean this is some comedic genius here.
And Ana gets a little uncomfortable because Taylor can hear everything they’re saying.
Sweetheart, don’t worry about Taylor. He knows exactly what’s going on, and he’s done this for four years.
Poor Taylor. Not because he’s had to listen to conversations about BDSM specifically, but think about all the inane things he’s had to hear Christian say about cable ties. And also listening to Christian’s awful attempts at humour that I assume always are about him being a rapist/stalker/minsogynst. I could also imagine Ana doesn’t give a shit how many similar conversations Taylor has overheard, she’s entitled to some privacy!
At Christian’s parents house, introductions are made, and again Mia has her weird line where she tells Ana she’s heard so much about her. FROM WHO, MIA?
The most we continue learn about Christian from being in his head is that he really can’t stand Kate. When they start discussing how Elliot is going on a family holiday with her (why do all relationships progress at the speed of light in these books?) Christian reacts this way:
Dude! I stare at Elliot. What the hell happened to Mr. Love ’Em and Leave ’Em? Kavanagh must be good in the sack. She certainly looks smug enough.
Smug enough about what? I guess in that moment of discussing her trip she is meant to specifically be thinking about how great she is in bed for some reason.
This is also when Ana announces she’s going to see her mother the next day after going to some interviews, and Christian starts flipping out. Georgia! Interviews! WITHOUT MY PERMISSION? He also hates on Kate even more when she says Ana deserves a break. Any excuse to hate Kate, I guess.
At dinner, he finds even more excuses to hate Kate. This book isn’t a love story, it’s just a story about how much Christian hates his future wife’s best friend.
“What are you two whispering about?” Kavanagh interrupts.
Good God! Is she always like this? So intrusive? How the hell does Elliot put up with her?
I love how Christian’s reactions are getting increasingly hilarious the more mundane Kate’s behaviour is.
Kate asks Ana how seeing Jose the other night was, and from Christian’s perspective it seems like it’s meant to piss him off. I can understand why Kate would do this given how rude and nasty Christian has been to her, but he’s also a super unreliable narrator so it’s also possible this question was completely innocent. Anyway, Christian is furious that Ana agreed to be his and then went for a drink with Jose! Palm twitchingly mad!
Dinner is so bland that even the book’s narrator gets fed up with it and cuts the scene short. Christian is also angry that Ana won’t let him run his hand up her skirt. He’s like OH THAT IS IT. LAST STRAW. He can’t even think straight:
Panties. The photographer. Georgia.
He’s just completely losing it over a whole lot of nothing. I mean, earlier in the chapter Ana even said they don’t actually have an agreement yet (even though she agreed to the agreement? I am still unclear on all this after all this time.)
There is SO MUCH left of the chapter after this so I’m going to summarise:
- Christian takes Ana to the boat house and has sex with her for his pleasure and not hers, but he accepts that she doesn’t want to be spanked there.
- Everyone loves Ana.
- Ana expresses doubt over their relationship because she still wants more.
- The toothbrush sharing scene happens, but from Christian’s perspective Ana just looks pleased with herself.
- At Christian’s, Ana tries to get him to explain why she can’t touch him. Christian is evasive.
- The chapter ends with Christian preparing to use the silver balls on Ana. We all remember those I’m sure! Have fun with that again, Matt.
What do you guys make of Christian hating Kate so much? I really don’t get it. Was this a Twilight thing or something first?