Thursday, May 3, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Chapter Ten recap or "Hot and Cold Running Dick"

Good [insert time of day where you are so this seems like a very specific to you alone greeting] everyone! Before we dive into the recap, I want to let you guys know that the Name Chedward's Penis contest is indeed going to happen. I've been in the process of rounding up prizes, and some great authors like Michelle M. Pillow, Mandy Roth, Billy London, Bronwyn Green and Leigh Ellwood have offered up books for the winner or winners, so keep your eyes peeled and your penis names on the tip of your tongue.

Wait, that... that didn't sound right at all.

I'm thinking that since it's so late in the week, the contest rules will post on Monday, with the contest running from Monday through Friday. I'm still a little murky on how the competition will go, so the weekend will give me time to ponder things out. Please note, I'm taking Friday off. The chapter 11 recap will post on Monday.

Okay, so when we last left 50 Shades of Grey, it had turned into American Pie. Christian Grey's mom was about to walk in him having sex with a girl, omg. The idea of a parent walking in when you're doing it should really only be horrifying if you're a teenager. He's an adult. He's in his own house. His mother has entered his own house with out invitation. His mother is the interloper. So it only makes sense for the scene to play out with maturity.

Welcome, to the first line of Chapter Ten:
He pulls out of me suddenly. I wince. He sits up on the bed and throws the used condom in a wastebasket.
 Christian tells Ana to get up and get dressed, she's about to meet his mother. Only, Ana can't get up, because her hands are still bound by this tie, and she needs Christian to help her. I'm enjoying the tie-as-super-strong-rope thing even more after this past weekend, when I watched my husband continually fight to keep the knot in the tie he was wearing - just as a regular old tie and not a bondage accessory - from coming undone at the slightest provocation while we attended a wedding. I'm also thinking that if Christian Grey tied his silk tie around Ana's wrists tight enough that she can't slip free pretty easily, he's just ruined that tie. Christian puts on his jeans without underwear and Ana exclamation points like she's never heard of going commando. Since Ana has no clean clothes, she suggests she stay in the bedroom, since his mother "practically walked in on us in flagrante delicto." It's pretty hilarious that Ana knows "in flagrante delicto" but not "fellatio", but hey, she's not a Latin major.

If you follow me on twitter, you are probably aware that I love puns. Love 'em. They're such a source of happiness in my life, I kind of want to have another child, just to name him Pun McPunnerson. And then I remember how much it sucks to be pregnant and how much kids cost and the fact that my husband always shoots down all the names I like until we give up and name our kids after television characters or one of the Beatles. But I love puns.
I lose my train of thought. Will I ever get used to looking at this beautiful man?
His beauty is derailing.
She loses her train of thought, because his beauty derails it. Bravo. Well done.

Chedward goes to calm his mother down (because it's totally normal for a mom to be outraged at the idea of her adult son having sex and not at all creepy and smothering) while leaving Ana behind to get dressed and think about how awesome it will be to meet the mother of the guy who wants you to sign a bunch of paperwork to fuck him.
Holy shit. Christian's mother. This is so much more than I bargained for. Perhaps meeting her will help put a little part of the jigsaw in place. Might help me understand why Christian is the way he is... Suddenly, I want to meet her. I pull my shirt off the floor, and I'm pleased to discover it has survived the night well with hardly any creases. I find my blue bra under the bed and dress quickly. But if there's one thing I hate, it's not wearing clean panties.
If there is one thing she hates.
I'm practically rolling at this point. If there's one thing she hates? IF? Ana, you hate everything. There isn't any if about it, and "one thing" is such an incredible understatement that I'm not sure numbers have any real value or meaning anymore. That's what that sentence does.  But I get where she's coming from, because if there is one thing I hate about this book (do you see what I did there?) it's the way Ana seems to find enjoyment of BDSM a symptom of some larger mental problem. Yeah, you better run on out there and meet his mother, so you can understand why he wants to cane you. We get another whole paragraph of Ana complaining about her hair and mentally calling herself a ho, because all sex is dirty nasty bad, but it's Christian who has some kind of problem.

Ana goes into the living room, where she meets Christian's mother:
The sandy-haired woman beside him turns and beams at me, a full megawatt smile. She stands too. She's impeccably attired in a camel-colored fine knit sweater dress with matching shoes. She looks groomed, elegant, beautiful, and inside I die a little, knowing I look such a mess.
Why does Ana feel like she has to be the prettiest girl in the room? Oh, and it's personal share time. My son's name is actually Christian. That makes reading this book really hard. To pay me back for the mental anguish I'm experiencing, I'd like you to erase that description of Christian's mother, and replace it with a lovely photo of myself. This one should do:
I don't always dress like a pirate, but when I do, it's because I just fucked Christian Grey. Arrgh.

Christian's mom's name is almost more ridiculous than Anastasia Rose Steele's name. His mother is Grace Trevelyan-Grey. With a name like that, she better be searching for the Holy Grail with King Arthur's Knights. Sir Trevelyan Grey is going to be a side character in a Covington Cross fanfiction I write someday, mark my words. Ana and Sir Treveylan get along splendidly, probably because Grace has been worried that her son is an American Psycho level sociopath until this time. Unfortunately, their meeting is interrupted by a phone call from Jose:
"Dios mio! Ana!" Holy crap, it's Jose. He sounds desperate. "Where are you? I've been trying to contact you. I need to see you, to apologize for my behavior on Friday. Why haven't you returned my calls?"
Um, because you sexually assaulted her? Off the top of my head. But Ana doesn't say that, she just says it's not a good time, and she's in Seattle, and promises to call him back. Remember, this is the girl who fell head-over-heels for the guy who bought the Dexter starter pack right in front of her, so she doesn't have a lot of self-preservation instincts. When she goes back to the living room, Christian's mother, the Chevalier Trevelyn-Grey, is talking about how she wants to take Christian out to lunch. Christian turns her down, because he has to drive Ana back to Portland. Drive? Does the helicopter only go one way? After Christian's mother leaves, this happens:
Christian glares at me.
"So the photographer called?"
"What did he want?"
"Just to apologize, you know - for Friday."
Christian narrows his eyes.
"I see," he says simply.
Moments before, Christian was upbeat and charming. Then Jose calls Ana - an action Ana herself has no control over - and suddenly, Christian is glaring at her? He then goes on to act snappy to an assistant on the phone, and becomes weirdly formal as he hands Ana an envelope with the sex contract in it. He advises her to read it and then do research on the internet to educate herself before signing. Considering she couldn't look up his name on the internet before interviewing him and refused to even read the nondisclosure agreement he asked her to sign, are we really holding out hope that she's going to research this at all? Ana realizes she can't research the contract, because... wait for it... she doesn't have a computer, or access to a computer. As the reader, I am expected to believe that Ana has somehow navigated through college without access to a computer? There are no computers at WSU? She mentions Kate's laptop, but come the fuck on. A computer is basically a necessity for a college student these days. This is so blatantly unrealistic that I want to throw the book through my office window, but then I remember that it's on loan, and the loaner actually wants it back for some reason.

Christian is basically done with Ana. He's had sex with her, he's been charming, now he apparently just wants her gone, because from this point out, he acts like a total dick. And when Ana says she wants to make a phone call, he becomes a jealous, controlling total dick:
"The photographer?" His jaw clenches, and his eyes burn. I blink at him. "I don't like to share, Miss Steele. Remember that." His quiet, chilling tone is a warning, and with one long, cold look at me, he heads back to the bedroom.
Holy crap.  
I just wanted to call Kate, I want to call after him, but his sudden aloofness has left me paralyzed. What happened to the generous, relaxed, smiling man who was making love to me not half an hour ago?
You see this? You see this horseshit? Ladies, this is not how a man is supposed to make you feel. It's not romantic. It's manipulative and emotionally abusive. He's withholding emotional intimacy because another man called her. She has no control over what other people do. She could not stop Jose from calling her. If a relationship starts out this way in real life, do you know how it ends? With a dead woman. But by all means, let's keep fantasizing about this guy. He's a fucking prize.

I was honestly almost too furious to continue reading this book once I got to this chapter. In fact, it was this chapter that led me to want to dissect the book piece by piece in the public eye. Because this shit is dangerous. This is dangerous the way I found Twilight dangerous in the last two books. It's dangerous because it tells women, possibly young, innocent women who are just like Ana, that it's okay for a man to treat you like garbage if he really, really loves you, or if you want him to really, really love you, you need to put up with it.

Ana doesn't even really see anything wrong with his behavior, apart from the fact that she can't talk to him about the amazing sex they had. So, rather than think, "This guy is clearly not for me," she decides that she needs to find a way around the nondisclosure agreement so she can talk to Kate. He only grudgingly accepts that it might be okay for her to talk about sex with her best friend, but that's after he threatens to fuck Ana in the elevator if she doesn't stop biting her lip, so, you know... get used to that kind of treatment, if you sign the thing. But he warns her to keep her conversations with Kate pretty basic:
"She'd probably have my balls if she knew what I wanted to do to you," he adds so softly I'm not sure I'm supposed to hear it.
No, that's not a creepy thing to do at all, to quietly talk to yourself in the company of another person about all the socially taboo and slightly threatening things you want to do to that person. Not at all. Also not creepy?
"The sooner I have your submission the better, and we can stop all this," he murmurs.
"Stop all what?"
"You, defying me." He reaches down and cups my chin and plants a swift, sweet kiss on my lips as the doors to the elevator open. He grabs my hand and leads me into the underground garage.

Me, defying him... how?
Yeah, that's what I want to know, too, Ana. How is she defying him? By not having the power to stop another human from dialing her phone? By wanting to talk about her personal life with her best friend, especially since she has questions about sex you don't seem concerned with answering? Damn her, she's nearly a blue stocking. Next thing you know, she'll be demanding the vote and riding a bicycle! They go to Christian's car, which is better than the last car I had to bitch about:
"It's an Audi R8 Spyder. It's a lovely day, we can take the top down. There's a baseball cap in there. In fact there should be two." He points to the glove box. "And sunglasses if you want to."
Oh, are the ball caps for when you and your family go out in the woods to play super secret vampire baseball? Interestingly enough, remember when Ana borrows Kate's car at the beginning of the book? It's a Mercedes CLK. Quick, what car did Rosalie drive in the first Twilight movie? Bingo. So, I'm starting to get the Audi theme. In Twilight, the Cullens all drove Volvos. In this, Chedward drives Audi. They're about parallel, I would say, in terms of quality and price and range of vehicles. But still, while this car is a little bit better, in terms of a really rich young guy owning it, wouldn't he spring for something a little more expensive? Something more befitting a control freak who practically recites an ode to his penis while he waves it in a girl's face? Actually, now that I've put it that way, he should be driving a Nissan 370Z coupe.

Once they're on the road, there's another reference to someone being hungry but not for food, and at this point that is becoming a recurring theme. I can't wait for them to fight some more about how much Ana should be eating, and Christian's obsessive need for her to clean her plate. When Ana says she's not hungry, Christian decides they're going to stop and eat in Olympia. When they get there, it's another scene straight out of fucking Twilight:
The waitress takes our drinks order. She flushes when she sees Christian, avoiding eye contact with him, hiding under her long blonde bangs. She likes him! It's not just me!
Christian orders them some wine, and when Ana tells him she'd prefer a soda, he just tells her that the wine will be fine, and when it comes she drinks it immediately because he's Christian Grey and she's going to do whatever he says, despite her earlier assertion that she's not going to do anything she doesn't want to do. The waitress comes back and acts bitchy because Christian doesn't acknowledge her, and this is the second book she's been in where this has happened. Then, because it makes good lunch conversation, Christian tells Ana about how he was "seduced" by one of his mother's friends when he was fifteen. Let's just all be on the same page here, that's rape. Having sex with a fifteen year old is rape, because a fifteen year old cannot consent, at least, not to an adult.
"She had very particular tastes. I was her submissive for six years." He shrugs.
"Oh." My brain has frozen, stunned into inactivity by this admission.
"So I do know what it involves, Anastasia." His eyes glow with insight.
Ah, so, this is a good advertisement for BDSM, right? "I'm into BDSM because I was raped by my mother's friend for six years!" That makes it seem like part of a normal and healthy sex life, right? Ana asks if he ever had sex with anyone at college:
"I didn't want to. She was all I wanted, needed. And besides, she'd have beaten the shit out of me." He smiles fondly at the memory.
So,  Chedward has Stockholm syndrome. He couldn't end his relationship with this woman, he couldn't explore any other kind of sex during his teen years, he just had to learn to like rape. But we need to gloss over that for a minute, because Ana hasn't eaten, so they have to argue about it. I'm guessing Chedward was an Italian grandmother in a past life, the way he obsesses over people eating. At least Ana realizes that Christian's relationship with his mother's friend was abusive, and that leads her to ask some questions of her own.
This is what it will be like if I sign, him ordering me around. I frown. Do I want this?
Reaching for my knife and fork, I tentatively cut into the venison. It's very tasty.
"Is this what our err... relationship will be like?" I whisper. "You, ordering me around?" I can't quite bring myself to look at him.
"Yes," he murmurs.
"And what's more, you'll want me to," he adds, his voice low.
I sincerely doubt that.
I sincerely doubt anyone would want to live with a man like Christian, dominant/submissive roles not withstanding. But he reassures her that he really wants this to work out, so he hopes she'll sign the contract. Of course, he doesn't want a relationship with her so badly that he'd condescend to skip the paperwork and maybe not get to order her around every minute of every day, from the clothes she wears to the food she eats. You know. Treat her like a human, instead of a doll. At least he's monogamous in relationships, that's a bonus, right?

They fight some more about how much Ana should eat, and it never gets old, let me tell you. Neither does the blushing and flushing as they set a dinner date for Wednesday night. They go back to her apartment, and Ana is "bereft" at having to leave Christian for a few days, but she tells him that she's wearing his underwear and her inner goddess is super psyched. I wonder if Ana's subconscious and her inner goddess like, hang out together in Ana's head.
Did anyone else think it was weird that they had a character named Heddy on a show with the word "Head" in the title and she didn't live inside Herman's Head? Just me? Okay, carry on.

Inside the apartment, Kate is packing. Since she hasn't seen or heard from Ana for like, a couple days, she asks how she is.
Crap... I have to deal with Kate's persistence and tenacity, and I'm in possession of a legal signed document saying I can't talk.
Okay, in the first place, be nicer to Kate, jackass. Second, Chedward told you that you could talk to Kate. Yeah, you can't tell her about the "Red Room of Pain", but you can tell her about the sex, and that should be enough to ease her curiosity, right? Kate then talks about orgasms like they're something you train for - "Yeah, took almost a year to have my first orgasm through penetrative sex and here you are... first time?" - and counsels Ana to not worry about the differences between her and Christian, she should just go for it. That's nice, but I bet it won't last. Kate has run hot and cold about Christian and Ana from the start. Interestingly enough, Ana is actually hungry now that she's not with someone who commands her to eat all the time. While she's cooking, Jose calls:
"Ana, you're back!" Jose shouts his relief at me.
"Obviously." Sarcasm drips from my voice, and I roll my eyes at the phone.
Ana, he can't see you.
He's silent for a moment.
"Can I see you? 
No, damnit, Jose, we just covered this!
I'm sorry about Friday night. I was drunk... and you... well. Ana- please forgive me."
"Of course, I forgive you Jose. Just don't do it again. You know I don't feel like that about you."
He sighs heavily, sadly.
Okay, Jose, what did you think you were going to get out of this phone call? Obviously, he thought Ana was going to be all, "When you forced yourself on me, I finally understood that we're meant to be together." Then he accuses her of being into Christian Grey because she's a gold digger. I'm guessing from the characterization of Jose/Jacob that E.L. James is Team Edward, then?

The chapter spirals off into Ana's musings on the "love" triangle she's caught in between Chedward and Joceb. It's pretty obvious that she's going to end up with Chedward, though, because after one mention of Jose wanting something from her, she's back to Christian, thinking about him and everything that's gone on, and she comes up with yet another stellar Anastasia Steele all-or-nothing choice:
If I'd not met him, I'd still be sweetly and blissfully oblivious. My mind drifts to last night, and this morning... and the incredible sensual sexuality I've experienced. Do I want to say goodbye to that? No! Screams my subconscious... my inner goddess nods in silent zen-like agreement with her.
Oh my god, I knew it! I knew they hung out in there! Basically, Ana seems to think that if she doesn't agree to be Christian's sex doll, she'll never have any sex ever again. That's a healthy way to deal with it, right? She keeps thinking about how she's faced with this choice, but as we've already seen, Ana never has any choices. She says yes to everything. So, pretending she has some control over her life, she sits down and opens the sex contract envelope. End of chapter ten.



  2. I'm impressed, you referenced a blue stocking! I'm sad that this platform won't let me comment on your blog from my iPad. Boo.

  3. "You see this horseshit? Ladies, this is not how a man is supposed to make you feel. It's not romantic. It's manipulative and emotionally abusive. He's withholding emotional intimacy because another man called her. She has no control over what other people do. She could not stop Jose from calling her. If a relationship starts out this way in real life, do you know how it ends? With a dead woman. But by all means, let's keep fantasizing about this guy. He's a fucking prize."

    I quoted this entire paragraph because it so represents what I was thinking when I read that chapter. How the fuck was Ana supposed to stop Jose from calling her? Why get angry at Ana? It's this type of possessive, irrational bullshit I hated in Twilight, too. Edward taking the distributor cap out of her car so she couldn't start it to go and spend time with Jacob, for one. That really pissed me off. And then having the nerve to tell her that the werewolves were dangerous! The way Christian obsesses over Ana's safety reminds me of how the United States won't execute a prisoner on Death Row if they're sick.

  4. I know I'm late to the party, but ...

    You know that episode of "Dexter" in which a car salesman is trying to urge Dexter to buy a sports car, but Dexter loses his shit over a minivan because of all the body parts he could hide in it? That's the type of vehicle Christian Grey should have.


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