Anyway, Kate needs AnaBella to head into Seattle for an interview with billionaire telecommunications mogul Christian Grey. She gives AnaBella a bunch of questions to ask him, a recorder, her Mercedes, and a wish of good luck, and soon AnaBella is off to another world where high-rise buildings are modern works of art (yes, they can be) made out of nothing but white walls, sandstone counters, and steel. In this world, there are only pretty blonde, impeccably dressed interns, and AnaBella is just totally out of her element. She should have worn a suit or something more suitable to the atmosphere.
In my college, we are forced to take a class that prepares us for any sort of interview, and the professors impress on us over and over again to always wear well tailored and pressed suits and plain shirts in an office setting, so I’m surprised that AnaBella didn’t figure this out on her own. Again, this twenty two-year-old is still acting like a sixteen-year-old.
We get our first glimpse at a non-white person who (of course) has dreadlocks and is dressed in yet another impeccable suit. I can’t help but wonder if this will be the only minority in this book. I think every minority in the world is hoping so.
Finally, AnaBella gets to meet Christian Grey, who she knows nothing about, and spectacularly face-plants on the ground by tripping over her own feet before doing so. This is because she’s clumsy. I mean, we can’t make her eyes too small for her face, or give her the odd pimple every now and then, or even a little rosacea around her forehead and on her cheeks, so we have to make her clumsy. I have to wonder if she can open a gift without getting a paper cut. Probably not.
|Shemar Moore. You're welcome.|
The interview commences, and AnaBella asks him really innocuous questions about how he got started, etcetera, and Chrisward answers politely and truthfully, and AnaBella decides he’s being very arrogant and calls him on it. He’s like, “Yo, I have twenty thousand people working for me. If I quit what I’m doing tomorrow, all those people would be out of a job. I have responsibility to them you lackwitted imbecile.” AnaBella’s all, “Oooh, he’s so arrogant! How dare he comment that he has that sort of power over people? How dare he know who he is and what he wants out of life! Who does that, anyway?”
Who indeed. Who indeed.
I’m sorry, I need to go and weep for anyone who thinks this character is a strong woman. Good lord, she doesn’t even know what she wants to do after college! And she’s been there for four years!
The author tries to go all Bogey/Bacall, Tracy/Hepburn, Grant/Russell on us, but it all just falls flat. AnaBella keeps trying to argue with Chrisward about how arrogant he is, but his answers are so logical that I as a reader think she sounds like a petulant little whiner. Also, her thought processes are just so crazy, she decides that everything he says is a double entendre, so her responses are also double entendres, and it’s very uncomfortable for me as a reader to think that he’s turning her on by saying that there’s nothing wrong with owning things, or knowing what you want and going and getting it.
In my notes, I have: “she does realize she’s putting everything on a recorder, right?”
AnaBella finally gets that she’s in an argument she can’t win, so goes onto the next question Kate put on the list. “Are you gay?” This of course makes Christian Grey angry. A guy secure in his straightness would laugh this off, so my personal answer to this question is “probably. Either that or a huge homophobe.” Since the story hinges on these two getting together, I’ll go with the latter.
Seriously, my dad asked me if I was gay, and I laughed so hard at that. I was angry at him for asking me because it was none of his business, but when he asked, all I could do was laugh.
So, Chrisward finally gets good and angry at AnaBella, which good for him. I hope his anger is because it’s none of her business and not because he thinks it’s an insult, and calls in for quid pro quo. Quid pro quo, Clarisse. He starts asking her all the questions. Really tough ones, like what she wants to do after college. When she has to admit that she doesn’t know (she’s just in college for fun? Just to spend time? She has no goal in mind? I think of Auntie Mame where Mame asks Gloria what her major is, and Gloria's like, "My what?") Chrisward offers her an internship, which is pretty nice considering he doesn’t know what her major is. AnaBella thinks about all of the gorgeous blondes in their impeccable suits and says that she just so obviously wouldn’t fit in at Grey Enterprises or whatever it’s called. He’s all, “I don’t think it’s obvious at all” and a million fangirls cream themselves because he can look past her awkward, ugly exterior and see how good she is on the inside!
Finally, AnaBella decides to go, and Chrisward walks her out and helps her into her jacket. When they touch, sparks fly. She can feel it! The electricity between them is so palpable!
I have this in my notes: i'd love a counter to this in chrisward's perspective. "Stupid young girl comes into office. trips all over herself. starts asking probing questions and getting flustered and even visibly angered by my responses. i escort her out in order to ensure she actually leaves my office, and she gasps when i put her jacket--some low-class nylon thing she more than likely bought at WalMart...good God, what if she accepts my intern proposal and comes dressed in this...jacket? It's a jacket, yes?--on her and touch her shoulder. just to unnerve her, i call her by her given name. who names their kid anastasia, anyway? she calls me by my christian name and i can't help but laugh at how pathetic she is at playing hardball. a tenth grader could talk his way into her pants. pathetic."
In chapter two, we open with AnaBella not trying to think about Christian Grey. Oh, Chrisward! The first man AnaBella has ever thought of in this way! And she wants to know what it was about him. One of the markers was his civility. Civility? Is this Regency-Era London? No other guy has ever been civil to her? This is the great power he has over her? Oh, AnaBella. There is so much more to life. Too bad you’ve never tried to learn what.
Back at home, Kate is walking around and talking for some reason, and I wonder if the author has ever had the flu. Either Kate was faking, or the soup AnaBella made for her had angel tears in it, because she’s all ready for food and to talk about Christian Grey. AnaBella gives Kate her tape and muses that Chrisward is so very cryptic and arrogant because a guy who takes his responsibilities seriously, and who doesn’t appreciate personal questions about his sexuality is just an enigma wrapped in a Batman cape and deep fried in the blood of orphans.
In my notes, I have: protagonist: ur doin it rong
So, Kate can tell that Chrisward was totes into AnaBella from the recording and teases her about it, so AnaBella throws herself into studying and work in order to not get all hot and bothered by the implications of Chrisward liking her. Are we in middle school?
To keep her mind busy, AnaBella calls her often-married mother who immediately picks up on the fact that AnaBella met someone because that’s how mothers work. She then calls her mother’s second husband, who AnaBella considers to be her father. He apparently taught her the difference between a hawk and a handsaw. I must be a genius, because I didn’t need my dad to teach me the difference between the two.
AnaBella goes to work at the hardware store where she firmly knows the difference between a hawk and a handsaw, but no word yet on whether she can tell the difference between a paint gun and a porcupine. Of course Christian Grey walks into the store, and of course AnaBella can tell what he’s wearing from his boots to his cream-colored sweater. I have in my notes: chrisward cullrey is standing behind her counter, and she knows the sort of boots he's wearing already. walking boots. when customers stand behind your counter, you look at their shoes first. of course he's wearing a neutral color. and of course he's at the hardware store by sheer coincidence.
Stalking: ur doin it rite.
Thankfully, Chrisward walks “with renewed purpose” out the door before AnaBella can embarrass herself any further, and I just have to stop and remind everyone of the many projections AnaBella puts onto Chrisward. Along with double entendres, being arrogant, and smiling at his own secrets, he now walks with renewed purpose? I get the impression that this means he leaves with a quick step. Does she not think that he’s trying to get away from her? Is he just so excited about his Jeffrey Dahmer special that he’s purposing to get to stalking and killing someone for fun tonight?