Fifty Shades: Ch 23
Hope you all had a good holiday weekend! Now, back to the suck.
Well, Ana’s mother finally gets a name: Carla Adams. About fucking time.
Ana is upset at Grey for showing up, but her inner goddess (I kind of want to call her FiFi) is thrilled.
“I’ll have a gin and tonic,” Christian says. “Hendricks if you have it or Bombay Sapphire. Cucumber with the Hendricks, lime with the Bombay.”
Holy hell… only Christian could make a meal out of ordering a drink.
Has this author never been to a bar, and that’s why she knows fuck-all about alcohol and has such a attitude about it?
Ana flusters and flounders in her head about how she can’t tell if Grey is mad at her or not, but the visual cues we’re given as so…bland. I can’t help but think of Ana as completely melodramatic in this scene, especially since her confusion persists over several pages of polite small talk.
“She took advantage of a vulnerable fifteen-year-old boy. If you had been a fifteen-year-old girl and Mrs. Robinson was a Mr. Robinson, tempting you into a BDSM lifestyle, that would have been okay? If it was Mia, say?”
He gasps and scowls at me.
“Ana, it wasn’t like that.”
I glare at him.
“Okay, it didn’t feel like that to me,” he continues quietly. “She was a force for good. What I needed.”
Ana finally says what we’ve all been thinking, and even hits the nail on the head with that girl/boy comment. I just wish she hadn’t qualified it with the BDSM part.
Oh, and the part of the conversation where they move on to talk about how she’s just so jealous of Mrs. Robinson. I could do without that, too.
Ana tries to compare to the way Grey gets jealous of her seeing Jose, even though they aren’t having sex and are only good friends. Grey says that it’s different because…because. No, really.
“And as for your jealousy, put yourself in my shoes. I haven’t had to justify my actions to anyone in the last seven years. Not one person. I do as I wish, Anastasia. I like my autonomy. I didn’t go and see Mrs. Robinson to upset you.”
Someone please explain to me how that’s any different from Ana and Jose? He’s literally saying “I’ll do what I want, and you can’t judge me. Because I said so. Oh, I’ll still keep you from your friends just for the hell of it, though.”
“I don’t think you’ll ever convince me that she’s not some kind of paedophile.”
“I don’t think of her that way. I never have. Now that’s enough!” he snaps.
Grey, you can say that over and over again, but it doesn’t change the facts. In fact, many victims of abuse will go to great lengths to convince themselves that it isn’t ‘really’ abuse.
Ana’s mom comes back from the bathroom and Grey leaves.
“Phew – the UST in here, it’s unbearable.”
Who talks like this? No, really? And what mother would say that to her daughter?
Carla tells Ana that it’s obvious she and Grey are in love but have issues, and prompts Ana to go up to Grey’s hotel room and ‘talk it out,’ with the heavy implication that they’ll have make-up sex in the process. Oh, but “Let’s finish our Cosmos first.” You are a terrible mother.
Up in the hotel room, Grey offers her more booze. (By the way, Ana had four cocktails in the bar. If she’s really a lightweight like the text claims, she shouldn’t be anywhere near lucid right now. Even a heavyweight would be impaired. Naturally, Ana’s behavior hasn’t changed a wink, because this book sucks.)
Ana confronts Grey and asks if he loved Mrs. Robinson, to which he answers no. Because…that’s really a big deal when it comes to child rapists? 1) Either child rape is wrong and a ‘yes’ answer wouldn’t have meant jack-all, because he was traumatized and manipulated or 2) child rape is not wrong in this fantasy universe, and then who the fuck cares, because he’s allowed to have other loves in the past.
“I don’t remember anyone but my family ever being mad at me. I like it.”
Fucking creepy. What’s next? Is he going to start pissing her off on purpose because it gets his rocks off?
They talk about having sex, because apparently the “did he love Mrs. Robinson” question was the only hang-up Ana actually had about the whole situation. So they go in the bathroom and draw a hot bath and engage in foreplay while it’s filling up.
I groan and close my eyes, no longer wanting to see that libidinous woman in the mirror falling apart
Oh, yeah. This book is just all about a woman exploring her own sensuality. Exploring…and then deciding that her own sensuality is creepy and embarrassing and not something to be celebrated.
He takes her tampon out and fucks her from behind, standing up. Once again, it’s mercifully short and not all that interesting. Or kinky. Didn’t he go on and on at the start of this catastrophe about how he’d never had vanilla sex before? Because he’s sure not hesitating at doing for 90% of all these sex scenes.
They get in the bath and Ana finally realizes that the scars on his chest are from abuse, even though the rest of us got that…what, ten chapters ago?
“I would probably have gone the way of my birth mother, had it not been for Mrs. Robinson.”
WHAT THE FUCK?
Apparently it’s “very hard to grow up in a perfect family when you’re not perfect” and Mrs. Robinson…distracted him. I don’t know, maybe he felt like he had to be punished for not being perfect, and she gave him an outlet that was (in this book’s messed up view) safe? There’s certainly a good amount of catharsis to be had in BDSM. But why is he saying he would have been a ‘crack-whore’ otherwise? And why didn’t Grace get him the psychological help he so clearly needed, if he thought he needed to be perfect, or was somehow damaged? Four year olds don’t get over child abuse just by someone giving them a lolly and telling them it’s all okay now.
Also, we have yet another subtle message that someone can be ‘made’ to like BDSM. Yeah, it’s cathartic and could have been helpful in that situation. If Grey was already predisposed to liking that. There’s also a fuck-ton of other things that could have helped him and wouldn’t have involved child rape.
They talk, again, about how Ana feels about their ‘contract.’ Haven’t we covered this ground several times before? It’s not like he’s actually going to listen to her and hold off on the stuff she’s uncomfortable with. And this conversation covers absolutely no new ground.
“Why do you need to control me?”
“Because it satisfies a need in me that wasn’t met in my formative years.”
Oh, yay, more bull about how BDSMers are made that way by abuse. God, even the shitty parts are boring me now. There’s just so much rehash.
Then they fuck in the bathtub. At least it’s a huge tub, though not one word is given to how the water makes the experience different. (Or, heaven forbid, uncomfortable.) It’s exactly like every other throw-away sex scene.
After, they talk more. It’s small talk that has nothing to do with anything. FiFi participates. Grey says he wants to do something for her the next day as a surprise, and then they go to sleep. Because we can’t have a chapter end unless it’s in unconsciousness.
God, what a completely pointless chapter.