I have a confession to make. I spent the entire weekend (and by "entire weekend" I meant during naps and after 8 o'clock bedtimes) reading "Fifty Shades of Grey". At this point, I'm about half-way through.
I never planned to read the book. I don't tend to jump on the band wagon when it comes to "literature" (I've yet to read a Harry Potter novel), and the book didn't really seem that interesting to me.
It all started when I saw an entertainment news article that they had made casting decisions for who would play Anastasia and Christian in the movie. I had seen previously that Ian Somerhalder had wanted the role but hadn't gotten it. Being a big Team Damen supporter I was pretty shocked. From what I had heard about the book, and what I had seen of Ian's smoldering on-screen performances, I would have thought that he was a shoe-in. So, I googled images of the actor that they DID choose (Charlie Hunnam) and was a bit surprised. He looked too "nice" and not the bad-boy that I was picturing from what I had heard about the book. Nor did Dakota Johnson look as mousy as I pictured Anastasia. Again, just from what I heard/assumed about her character in the book.
The old "assume" adage came to me then and I realized that the only way to be truly justified in my belief that Ian should have gotten the role, was to READ THE BOOK. So, I looked the e-book up in my library's digital collection and put it on hold. I was told that I was patron number 138 on the waitlist, so I didn't expect to get it for awhile.
Two days later. BAM! There was a notice in my inbox that a copy was waiting for me to check out. But, that I only had 7 days in which to read it. So, that meant that the weekend would have to have some hard-core reading involved (pun intended).
The first quarter of the book was just BAD. The writing was no good. I mean, c'mon, lines like (not a direct quote): "'I'm going to make supper," I said, while I opened the cupboard to see what I could make for supper" are just hideous. I was seriously hoping for a sex scene... not for the thrill of it, but because I was getting excessively bored with the rest of the narrative. (Additionally, it seemed pretty obvious to me that the author didn't do a whole lot of research into the geography and culture of the Pacific Northwest...)
And then something happened. The more and more that I read, the more sad that I got. Last night I actually found myself crying. Surprisingly, I wasn't crying at how bad the book is... but that I realized that once, just a few short years ago, I had been Anastasia and had had a Christian of my own.
Not in the kinky bedroom manner. I would not got there in a blog post that I suspect my mother to read. lol
The way that Christian speaks and presents himself... and the way that Anastasia feels about herself... these hit very close to home. Her insecurities, doubt in herself, belief that she wasn't good enough for a man... that was me. I remembered all of my old feelings and insecurities as they came
rushing back from somewhere deep down and hidden away... feelings that I
haven't had in years since I "found myself".
Several years ago I was in a "relationship" with someone who came across very much like Christian Grey. Arrogant, mysterious, smart, with a little something "off"... who I found very attractive and was shocked when he seemed to want to be in my company. However, in his company I found myself feeling inferior, with the desire to please him so that he would continue to allow me in his presence.
And then, I started to wonder... is THIS why the book is so popular? Not exclusively due to the sexual encounters described within and the mass amounts of publicity that the book has gotten, but rather because LOTS of women have once been Anastasia. Am I not alone? Are there many other Christian Grey's out there? Do women relate? Is that why they read? Are they rooting for Anastasia to come into her own, as they did or hope to do one day? (I'm only half way through the book, so don't know what happens with their relationship)
OK. That is all. I was just so surprised by the effect that the book had on me, I felt the need to process and, perhaps, hear from others?
Now, I had a book to try to finish...