50 Shades of Grey: Some Thoughts
I feel some pressure for this to be meaningful, but I also have to leave in an hour to make my THIGHS FUCKING BURN AT A BALLET BARRE. This is going to be nonsense. Here I go.
50 Shades of Grey is so easy to understand. Anyone who tries to parse through it is an idiot, and you should tell them so. It’s a fairy tale. It’s not even a fairy tale for adults. It’s a fairy tale for like the little 4-year-old girl who lives inside of you. The one you didn’t even realize got turned on, back in the day, when your daddy spanked you. You can take it seriously, or you can approach it like my friend Stephanie.
“I’m gonna wait til my dad comes back in town and see with him,” she told me this morning.
Anyway, so I never read the books. My sister one time read me passages from them when we were stuck in traffic in the Bronx. It made me sort of grossed out not because they were that dirty, but rather because my sister was reading them to me while smoking a cigarette. At 32, I’ve at least acted on most of the sexual scenes from the book, if not thought about them. Only instead of a rich 27-year-old billionaire, my fantasies involve a gigantic black man….or Caleb. Definitely Caleb. Definitely not Jamie Dornan.
Here’s what the story is. A sweet and innocent English lit major named Anastasia going to school in Portland meets Christian Grey. She interviews him for the college newspaper. He’s like, “Yeah, I’ll give you an interview, I’m a billionaire but I literally never work, I just am constantly changing outfits.” Then he becomes obsessed with her because…wait for it…SHE’S A FUCKING VIRGIN! They have sex, he introduces her into his “secret world,” he is literally around ALL of the time, he buys her shit, he takes her on magic adventures, he stalks her and then they fall in love, happily ever after! She never gives him fellatio — cooties! — but he goes down on her every single time they get naked. HE EVEN BRAIDS HER HAIR.
Ok, now replace Anastasia with a plump middle-aged white woman eating a jumbo bag of Peanut M&Ms, and you have the real subject of the story, E.L. James, the author.
Christian Grey is some sick combination of the prom king at her high school, her step-father, her Uncle Jim and Robert Kincaid in “Bridges of Madison County.” Only rather than being themselves, they are just richer, better versions of themselves that love her and want to treat her like a princess.