So…back in the ludicrous reality of Christian and Ana, our last visit ended with Ana and her mother enjoying cocktails in Georgia, and Ana receiving a text/email from Christian which revealed that he was, in fact, somewhere in the bar. Ana found this thrilling, rather than petrifying, and is now searching for him. When her mother asks her what’s wrong, Ana explains that Christian is in the building and has therefore flown however many miles to see her. She, for some bizarre reason, neglects to convey how worrying and stalkerish this is, especially as she specifically requested time away from him so as she could reconsider his contract and take time to reflect.
The fact that he has ignored these wishes tells us everything we need to know; he would be diabolical in a relationship. If we didn’t know this already, that is. He has ignored her wishes and intruded on her private time with her family. What she should do is rip up his contract before his very eyes and expose him for what he truly is, a control freak with no social cues.
He comes over to the table and kisses her on the cheek in greeting, as if this is some coincidental crossing of paths. It’s not, Grey. It’s more evidence that you’re a psychopath. However, Ana’s mother is not bothered by this, becoming somewhat breathless in his presence. Introductions are made and she is clearly very impressed by him, rather than repulsed.
Like mother, like daughter.
Christian is invited to sit down, which he does, whereupon he orders a gin and tonic in the most pretentious fashion imaginable.
“Hendricks gin if you have it, Bombay if you don’t. Cucumber with the Hendricks, or lime with the Bombay.”
Go die in a hole, douche-skip.
As a casual dater, you can tell nearly everything you need to know about a guy by the way he treats the waiter or the bartender. Christian Grey, you have failed.
Ana, however, thinks that this is the most impressive thing in the world; as though Grey is the first person to ever consider a garnish within the service of a spirit. Clearly, she’s easily impressed. Grey insists that he does not wish to ruin their evening together so he will have a quick drink and then “retire”. He and Ana murmur about the same banal things they always do and then he eventually leaves. Carla, Ana’s mother, is completely infatuated with him and overjoyed that he has chosen her only child to be his next victim.
The rest of their conversation literally consists of Carla urging Ana to go and find Christian and shag his brains out, as she “can tell” that they are digging on each other and that he is in love with her. Ana reveals that she might be falling in love with him and takes her mother’s advice.
Thus, like a lamb to the slaughter, she takes the lift up to Christian’s hotel room. He lets her in and after the usual, “I want you, I want you, too!” dialogue that I’m obliged to suffer through,the undressing begins.
Someone, a friend of someone reading this blog, misunderstood what it was and asked me if I was rewriting the novel online. I assured them that I was not, but it got me wondering. If I were to write something of this genre, I would write utterly different leads, I know that. Now…I have never written a romance novel, you may surprised to know, so I’m not claiming to be any better than E.L James, but if I had been asked to write the scene leading up to this, it would have been very different and perhaps something like this.
As the doors slide apart to reveal the suite he has somehow managed to reserve for himself in the last few hours, I feel my heart getting faster with each second; fuelled by the outrage and embarrassment of having him show up out of the blue like some private eye with a God complex. I barely resisted the urge to knock his gin all over his lap at that bar; the only action said lap would be getting from me tonight, but such a display would have alerted my mother and the rest of the room to the true nature of what he and I were. Two slightly fucked-up people who played games with each other in the hope that the other would crack and lose.
Well, he isn’t winning this one. As he comes to the door, tie loosened and wearing a somewhat self-satisfied smirk, I cut off whatever greeting he had in mind with one of my own.
‘If you ever try something like that again, you can take that pretentious cucumber and shove it up your ass! Or was it lime?’
He looks taken aback and hesitates for a minute, which is enough time for me to enter the room, slam the door behind me, place one hand on each of his shoulders and push him down so that he was sitting on the edge of the ridiculously oversized, hotel bed. I then straddle his lap and start playing with his tie. As both his hands come to rest on my hips, one slipping down to try and draw up the hem of my dress, I shush him with a glare.
‘No, I’m talking now, I’m afraid. If you think it’s okay to show up uninvited after I specifically tell you that I need time away from you, then you clearly need me to spell this out for you as well: no means no, Mr. Grey. Which is shockingly my answer to your earlier proposal. No.’
‘Ana, be reasonable,’ he chides, using the same condescending tone that he’s always employed with me. For some reason it makes me want to laugh. I kiss him quickly, briefly tasting the Hendricks that he was so determined be up to scratch. Just as he responds and tries to deepen our contact, I draw away and extract myself from him. I wipe the slight smudge of lipstick from the corner of his mouth and smile serenely.
‘Enjoy your stay here, Mr. Grey. Be careful of the naughtier television stations; they cost a decent amount, I hear. You won’t be seeing me again for some time. Goodnight.’
And at that, I leave.”
Well, that’s how I would do it. Or how I’d want it to go. However, in actuality, it goes like this:
I knock timidly on room 612 and wait. Christian opens the door. He’s on his cell. He blinks at me in complete surprise, then holds the door open wide and beckons me into his room.
‘All the redundancy packages concluded?…And the cost?…’ Christian whistles between his teeth.’Sheesh…that was one expensive mistake…And Lucas?…’
I glance around the room. He’s in a suite, like the one at the Heathman. The furnishings are ultramodern, very now. All muted dark purples and golds with bronze starbursts on the walls. Christian walks over to a dark wood unit and pulls open a door to reveal a minibar. He indicates that I should help myself, then wanders into the bedroom. I assume it’s so I can no longer hear his conversation. I shrug. He didn’t stop his call when I entered his study that time. I hear water running…he’s filling a bath. I help myself to orange juice. He ambles back into the room.”
So…yeah. Compare and contrast; we are different women.
He eventually hangs up his call and, as I said earlier, the usual dialogue is exchanged. He takes her into the bathroom and tells her to undress, because he wants to have bathroom sex.
You know, because it’s sexy to have sex in the toilet of a hotel where thousands of people have shat before you.
He does all the normal foreplay; heavy kissing and petting, sucking on breasts and all that stuff and then, dear readers, it gets a little bit dark and disgusting.
I don’t like to use the word “disgusting” when talking about sex, because I think sex is beautiful and miraculous and all those things, and am not a prude in any way, but it is revealed at this stage that Ana is on her period and is therefore wearing a tampon. He realises this, tells her to brace against the sink, kneels down and then *shudder* withdraws the tampon.
I’M SORRY I HAVE TO PUT YOU THROUGH THIS, BUT I CAN’T QUITE BELIEVE IT MYSELF.
He throws the tampon *another shudder* into the bin and then replaces it with his infamous dick. Normal intercourse then ensues. If, by some miracle, a reader was turned on before this, they surely no longer can be. When it’s over, Ana says. “I’m bleeding” to which Grey responds, “Doesn’t bother me”.
I’m not sure what the author wants to achieve here. If it’s shock value, she’s succeeded; at least with me. If it’s to make Grey more appealing, she has drastically failed. A man who is sympathetic and supportive of period pains is extremely nice, I’ll admit. My old boyfriend (the good one) used to bring me a toastie or some soup without me asking for it when I was suffering from cramps, and that was lovely.
This is not nearly the same thing.
After sex, they talk a little bit about the woman who introduced Grey to his life of sub/dom glory. He actually says a line which is quite cool.
“She loved me in a way I found…acceptable.”
This is actually all right. Well done, Grey, though you’ve still got miles to go. You’re still no Gatsby.
He tells Ana he wants to surprise her tomorrow and she drifts off to sleep feeling happy, which is unfathomable but whatever.
Now, to continue the countdown of greatest romances (in my opinion) here is one that always makes me smile.
Niles and Daphne, one of the great TV love stories. For a long time, Niles’ unrequited and hidden passion was a subject of great humour for the viewer. Every glance, every comment and every declaration went straight over Daphne’s head and her obliviousness and his ardour were only funny.
Then, as you’ll see near the end of this scene, it suddenly wasn’t funny anymore. It became clear the what David Hyde Pierce’s character felt was not simply for comic value. His performance suddenly became very real and poignant. He thought her perfect and loved her unconditionally.
And she just didn’t quite get it.
Until next time!