There have been so many horrible reviews written about the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E. L. James that my mind was made up to not bother reading any of it. But Book One got downloaded to our shared Kindle (by either one or the other of my daughters, doesn’t matter who) (and if I did it myself, I don’t remember!) and so there it was, and I thought, what the hell, and started reading. Finished it and downloaded the second one. Finished that and downloaded part three. Seriously, it’s like some kind of strange addiction to the weirdest fairy tale ever written. Somebody called it “literary crack”. It’s a modern-day fairy tale fantasy for a day dreaming adolescent, unbelievable in so many ways, and yet I found myself reading away, wanting to believe the unbelievable. Because it’s just so f***ing unbelieveable I can’t believe it.
Quick character synopsis – Ana Steele, a socially awkward 22-year-old virgin (rolling your eyes already?) who has no idea she’s brilliant, gorgeous and desirable, meets Christian Grey, a drop dead handsome 27-year-old billionaire control freak who flies a helicopter, owns a jet, lives in a penthouse, employs full-time security staff, has darkly erotic tastes, plays the piano, suffers flashbacks and nightmares from early childhood trauma, was seduced as a teenager by a family friend old enough to be his mother, is heavily into sexual role-playing, has self-loathing issues and been in therapy all his life, and is using his vast wealth to combat world hunger. Yes. Really.
Even Quicker plot synopsis – They can’t keep their hands off each other or be physically separated without feeling suicidal. There is a lot of angst. They work it out.
There is really not much of a plot, very little character development, repetition that will drive you mad, a bit of melodrama here and there, but never any doubt whatsoever that it will all end blissfully and happily like every good romance does. Oh yeah, and physical intimacy and gratification on every other page. Sometimes every page for pages and pages and pages. If there were a sexual olympics, Christian and Ana would definitely be contenders.
Who can say why this trilogy is a runaway best seller? It’s not literary genius by any stretch of the imagination. There are many more talented writers out there. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. But I did read the entire thing. Just like I read the entire Hunger Games Trilogy. As for Twilight and Sleeping Beauty – couldn’t make it past book one in either case.
Anyway, now I guess I have a better idea what all the fuss is about. Much ado about nothing much. So of course perfectly suited to being turned into a full length movie or two! My head hurts just thinking about it. Read it for fun or diversion or to be a critic or to become a six star fan. Or not at all. More power to Ms. E.L. James who is laughing all the way to the bank in spite of what we think. And threatening to write MORE! I am SO biting my lip (and rolling my eyes) in breathless anticipation.
What are your favourite types of family gatherings?
All the ones where we keep it casual. That’s why we have families, so we don’t have to get dressed up and act normal. (Except maybe for weddings and funerals, so those are my least favourite kinds of get-togethers.)
The best times are when there are no time lines, no pressure, nice weather, great food. Little kids pulling on my arm yelling ‘grandma grandma grandma!’ and my son pouring me a big tall spiced rum and coke on ice. Watching a movie together and getting popcorn everywhere. Sitting in the sun. Making a million pancakes for breakfast. Walking in the snow, in the dark, with a flashlight. Drinking coffee and watching the sun come up. Sitting by a fire. Doing some kind of messy craft and laughing at the process as much as at the results. Asking what’s for dinner and being delighted by the answer.
Not being together for Christmas this year kind of sucks. The closer it gets the more I realize how much I’m going to miss everyone and all the craziness. But we’ll make up for it soon. Anticipation is half the fun.
There are all kinds of surprises. Love them or hate them, what can you do but accept them when they happen?
If someone thinks a planned surprise will make me happy, I wish they’d think again. Anticipation is half the fun. And not giving me some warning or some hints when something bad is likely to take me by surprise – that’s cruel. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s just ignorance. I like to be prepared for things, even if it’s only in my head.
Surprise me with your wit, or your compassion or your understanding. Amaze me with your talents. Blow me away, bowl me over.
But don’t sneak up behind me and scare me silly. My reaction might surprise you, but perhaps you won’t live long enough to tell anyone about it.
If we look at great expectations on a number line we’ll see that all of mine hover around the zero mark. That’s really the only thing that makes them great because it’s so easy for them to drift either way. No plummeting or soaring required. That way if something fails to happen or turns out all wrong, it’s okay. Kick it off into the minus zone and carry on. And if something beautiful and joyous and wonderful comes along I can gratefully embrace it and leap up to the plus side for however long it lasts.
Anticipation can be a crippling waste of the present moment if it grows big enough. I try to keep it in perspective so that it won’t consume me.
So, in other, faster, less round about words, there is really nothing major on my personal agenda for this year. Might take a trip to Ireland. Maybe go on a river cruise in Europe. Get hit by a bus. Have a heart attack and die. There are a lot of possible scenarios out there.
Right now I’m going to start a second blog site and begin writing a story of some sort or other. The rest of you here have all inspired me. Everyone has something interesting to say, and I think if I type away for long enough perhaps my own unique something will pop up when I least expect it. Stranger things have happened I’m sure.
Seems to me to be as good a way as any to start off a brand new year. One day at a time, one word after another, moment by moment by moment.