I have this in my notes: “i wish kate was a sassy black friend instead of the dull white girl that she is. this book needs some color. i'm tired of all the grey. wokka wokka.”
So, Kate is Ana’s really close friend (and my friend Cassandra pointed out in her article that Kate never wonders if Ana is gay despite the fact that Ana has men swarming her and isn’t interested in any of them. Sort of odd, yeah?), and she’s all rich and Society and enjoys shopping and crap. Her parents bought a duplex for her when she went to college, and a nice Mercedes and all sorts of stuff, but she still manages to be a nice person.
Guess what, Author? The kids at my college who are given all that stuff? They are clueless moronic frat boys and sorority girls. They have no sense of responsibility or money, and they don’t take any pride in ownership. Their cars start out the year all shiny and sleek and end filled with empty Del Taco cups and scratches and dings and a layer of dust on the paint job. If you want to make Kate a really well-rounded character, I need more from you. You see, I live in this world, and I have never met a girl like Kate who wasn’t put through paces of work at an early age.
Anyway, it turns out that Ana doesn’t even know why Kate had her interview Grey. She thought it was just some sort of project, but it turns out that Grey will be giving a commencement speech, and he is awarding a 2.5 million grant to the college. I would like to know if it’s a one-time grant, or a yearly grant, because honestly, 2.5 million isn’t huge in the scheme of education. Anyway, Ana’s cluelessness knows no bounds, how can she be unaware of this? I’m assuming that Christian is supposed to be like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. If one of these guys was going to speak at your university, wouldn’t you know about it? If they gave grants, wouldn’t you have heard?
So, Kate is working really hard on the article and bemoans not having a picture of Grey. This is stupid. That’s what Google Images is for. Ana calls her “Carla Bernstein” and I roll my eyes hard. (note from the future: rolling your eyes is apparently bad.) Ana decides to call Christian Grey on his cell phone, which he gave her the number to while they were at the hardware store, and ask for a photoshoot. Of course, the usual photog for the school paper is out, so it will have to be Jose who takes over. This is going to go over like a lead zeppelin. These two are going to get along great.
Apparently, Ana can hear Christian’s “sphinx-like” smile as she talks with him. I have in my notes, “do sphinxes smile? QED.” The answer is…no! They do not! The definition of sphinx-like is “mysterious and not allowing people to know what you are thinking.” She asks him to do a photo shoot. He says yes. All of her needed interactions with him are currently satisfied. She doesn’t need to know any of his other secrets.
So, Christian shows up a day early for the commencement so Kate can get some pictures, and he goes to the room with pants that hang from his hips. Are they palazzo pants? They hang from his hips? He’s a CEO of a very large multi-million dollar corporation. I have a hard time believing that his pants are not impeccably tailored to fit him perfectly. Heck, Bill Gates is the kind of guy who shows up places looking like he jogged the last half-mile in 90% humidity, and yet his pants are tailored. Surely someone as gorgeous and good-looking as Christian Grey has pants that fit even better. But no, they hang from his hips, and every gang-banger in Santa Ana with their pants sagging down past their hips is now as well dressed as this imaginary CEO.
|Pictured: Palazzo Pants hanging from the hip|
Ana describes a bodyguard-type guy and makes sure we know he’s watching everything with his hazel eyes. I’m SO GLAD we cleared that up. How would I know what to think of this (yet again) white guy if I don’t know what color his eyes are? Heaven forefend! Now I know so much about him and feel so much better for the knowing.
Kate is not flustered by Christian. According to Ana, it’s because her family has money and shit, but really? Can it be that maybe Kate doesn’t lust after the guy? And maybe if she does lust after him, she’s just really good at hiding it because she’s not some socially awkward person who can’t hide her feelings?
Christian Grey has copper-colored hair that is wild and crazy, and that makes me think of the guy who plays Bingley in the current Pride and Prejudice movie.
|Simply Resistible. But totes adorbs.|
Yeah, he’s cute and all. But he’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
|Pictured: My cup of tea.|
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to change the ideal of what a handsome, macho man is. I think it’s great that we’re seeing more heroes who are blonde and ginger, and yes, at times, even (gasp!) brown or black (not in this book, though…just so you know). But the obsession that this author has with this guy’s hair is just unhealthy, and that we get every few minutes an update on how wild and unruly it is…I don’t care if he’s Prince Harry. I don’t want to hear it. Give him some actual characterization already and leave his hair alone! It’s probably going to fall out in the next ten years anyway.
|Pictured: Prince Harry. Most people's cup of tea.|
Where was I?
Oh, right. The book.
Jacob…er…Jose and Christian don’t like each other after just one look. That’s it. No more. They hate each other. But they do the photo shoot.
I have this in my notes: “everyone is still murmuring and muttering. doesn't anyone just talk in this book?”
So, the murmuring and muttering. No one “says” a word. They murmur, mutter, mumble, whisper, choke, shout, caress, taste, but no actual talking in an understandable way. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that there would be a lot fewer misunderstandings later on in the book if everyone would just “say” something now and then. And while I hate it when an author has their characters “say” a question rather than “ask,” I have never faulted an author for just letting their characters talk. I read a book a few months ago where all the characters “chuckled” out their words, no matter how inappropriate a chuckle would be with said words, but I never felt like shouting “Mumbler!” at them.
So, Christian asks Ana out to coffee despite the fact that Ana doesn’t drink coffee (sorry, no tea or frappuccino for you!), and she says yes, but then Kate goes all mother bear on her and is like, “He’s dangerous for a girl like you.” and “like you” means “a virgin” because going for coffee means having sex immediately afterwards, perhaps even in the bathroom while drinking the coffee.
I have this in my notes: “okay, no one has even held her hand? has she been in a convent or a cult for the last twenty-two years?” This is what the narration says. No one has held her hand.
A few more notes:
“how do you gaze at someone through your lashes? do you have to squint? wouldn't that be unattractive?
i'm so glad i know the table they're sitting at is birch veneer! i'd hate to be under the impression that it's real walnut or pine!
he wonders why she's so repressed and uncomfortable around him. probably because he's the only one to ever make her feel sexually attracted to anyone.
she's always blushing.
so, he asks her if she has a boyfriend, and if she's uncomfortable around men, and all this, but she asks him if he has a girlfriend, and then she gets embarrassed?
and he doesn't do the girlfriend thing.
of course she almost falls into the street.
he saves her and they embrace, and she wants to be kissed for the first time.
no one said lust made sense.”
And that’s the end of the chapter.
Christian warns Ana away from him. He’d just be no good for her and he can’t give her what she wants. So no to sex then? Then he goes on and on about what could have happened in the bicyclist had hit her, she could have been seriously injured or something, and he just “shudders to think” what could have happened. It’s just…the most insane rejection I’ve ever read, coming from a character who is going out of his way to put himself in the presence of this woman, which reads to me that he’s emotionally unstable and she’s better off without him.
Well done, Ana. Good job of dodging that bullet. Next thing you know, he’ll be trying to run your life. (note from the future: there is no way to get him to stop running her life.)
She finally thinks of the guys she’s rejected in the past, and she wonders if they’ve ever felt this way about her. Well, in her defense, she’s never asked them out, shot off probing questions at them, and then told them to stay away from her. And now I’m mad because I’m defending her, but come on. There’s a huge difference between leading someone on and telling someone no.
Ana decides to get drunk, which she’s apparently never done before. Before she gets her drink on, though, there’s a delivery of books for her—several first edition books from the 1800’s—from Christian of course. This is how he gets her to stay away? Is this supposed to be sexy?
At the bar, Jose says, “Dios mio.” I counter with, “!Hijole!” Ana is apparently countering with “Reposado.”
Ana eventually becomes so inebriated that she decides to drunk dial Christian because that’s what anyone who got drunk would do, and no I’m not saying that sarcastically. This is why you leave your phone at home when you’re mad at someone and decide to get drunk. There is no way this can end badly.
What’s horrible here is not that Ana drunk-dials Christian. I mean, that’s normal. What’s horrible is his reaction. He gets all upset, and then RUNS DOWN TO THE DAMN BAR TO GET ANA BEFORE SHE CAN HURT HERSELF BECAUSE SHE IS THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE WORLD TO EVER GET DRUNK AND HAVE TO RELY ON THE GOODNESS OF HER FRIENDS TO GET HER HOME.
This is so ridiculous. I cannot find this man attractive. He is overbearing and controlling and high-handed and so very, very sanctimonious and I just don’t get the attraction. There is no way that this man is anything other than annoying and to be avoided at all costs. He is not sexy or protective. This is not what you want in a man, ladies. If you are dating someone and they treat you like this, run!
He tells her that her being drunk is “beyond the pale.” Yes, he says that without any hint of irony. He also decides to spin her around the dance floor after he found her puking in the bushes, which just goes to show that he’s as stupid about her safety as she is. Jeez. What kind of idiot does this?
So, she faints.
Ana wakes up in Christian’s hotel room, in his bed, and then gets a huge lecture about responsibility and getting drunk and thanks a lot, Dad! Then he says that if she were “his,” she wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week. Thanks again, Dad! Time to cut those apron strings. She is so much better off without him and why oh WHY am I on Ana’s side? Good lord I hate this book!
He makes her take a shower and then scolds her for having damp hair because that’s how you catch a cold, doncha know. It has nothing to do with germs and viruses, just cold hair. You know what, Christian? She’s survived twenty two years without you ordering her around, I’m sure she can survive a whole lot longer.
Ana’s all concerned about waking up in his bed, and Christian writes that off quickly. He won’t touch her without written consent. This is not creepy in any way.
So, Christian went all Richard Gere in Pretty Woman on the breakfast items, and then starts scolding Ana for not eating much. He hates wasted food. Maybe he should have thought of that before ordering one of everything from the breakfast menu. It’s so nice to see that the plagiarism ideals Cassie Claire started all those years ago are still running strong. The only reason I can see for him ordering so much is so that he can yell at Ana when she wastes food, and then to keep her from seeing through his straw man, he starts scolding her for not eating before she got drunk the night before.
|I wasn't sure what you would like, so I orderd one of everything. OMG, why aren't you eating it all you wasteful bitch!|
If Christian is really upset about how Ana was the night before, then he should have just let her be. Blaming her because he’s a controlling sociopath who has a desire to own and control the lives of other people is not a decision based in logic. It makes no sense, and he is in essence blaming someone else for his own mistake.
THIS IS NOT SEXY! THIS DOES NOT EVEN LOOK LIKE SEXY! THIS DOES NOT BELONG IN THE SAME ROOM WITH SEXY! IT IS TO SEXY WHAT A HAWK IS TO A HANDSAW!
So, they go down in the elevator and make out. He holds her hands over her head the entire kiss so she can’t touch him. See above.
More to come.