Fifty Shades of Grey… Much More Than Just a Good Read.

Wow! It’s been over a month since I last posted! Time sure does fly by unaware.

I honestly don’t know how all of you do it. The daily blogging thing, I mean. Especially those of you who hold down jobs and/or raise kids while running a house. I remember it used to take up all of my mornings when I blogged daily—just writing, corresponding, and trying to keep up with other blogs; I’d get up with the hubby at five-ish—and all I had to worry about was general housework and the dogs after. Kudos to all of you who can juggle. This old broad can’t do it anymore. Anyway, I’m here today. So, updates as to what’s been happening in Pissy Kitty’s litter box is forthcoming.

I’ve been praying, praying, praying, and positive imaging my ass off that things would begin to change around here, and it looks like it might be paying off…well, some. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth though, I’m appreciating the little things and ((rolling)) with it.

My prayers for a new car were answered, and Pissy now has some reliable wheels underneath her. Well, maybe not new-new, but new to me. The Old Man got a good deal on a 2001 Mazda 626 his best friend was selling, so he bought it for me. I can’t complain. Leather seats, sunroof, and the damn thing runs like a charm. Only downside is we have to replace the front struts soon, but for the most part I’m happy to just be able to get up and go if need be. That, and my threats to the Old Man that I was going to leave if he continued to work out of town finally sunk in, and he demanded to the higher-up’s that they locate him close to home, or else. I guess they didn’t want to lose him, because they found a spot for him in the Omaha area, and now he’s home with us every evening. It’s been a year he’s been working out of town, and I must admit, I’d almost forgotten what it feels like to be ‘married’. Getting used to it again is somewhat weird.

The kids are all doing well. All six of them. Meaning the three grown ones I actually gave birth to, and the ‘hairy’ three I now raise that I consider my children as well. My new Yorkie, Mu, has adapted well in his new surroundings this past month and is an old pro at handling his older brother and sister now. His energy keeps them on their toes. I’m finding he’s a little more high-maintenance to take care of than they are though, as he requires more bathing, brushing, and has already had his first little haircut to keep the constant ‘fluff’ at bay. He’s a little darling though, and I already can’t imagine what life would be like without him.

Oh, and guess what? I am now officially qualified to carry my gun on me. Yep, the conceal and carry permit went through. Bet all of you who doubted me and thought I was a real ‘whack-job’ feel pretty silly right about now, huh? I know my husband does. 🙂

Okay, so enough of the update on my dreary, uneventful life. The real reason I wanted to post was to pose the question to any and all, Have you read the Fifty Shades of Grey series yet? If you have, has it, um…changed you?

I’m drawn more to the horror/suspense genre, so generally will grab anything with Stephen King or Dean Koontz name on it when perusing racks at the local thrift store. I hate to pay full price for ANYTHING. So it’s really not surprising that I hadn’t jumped on the Fifty Shades band wagon when everyone else had and run out straightway to buy copies. Honestly, I really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. My opinion was, if you’ve read one dirty book you’ve read them all. And I’d read a LOT of them in my past. Anyone recall “My First 500” by Rachel English? WHOA! Anyway, my point is, the odds of my reading the book would’ve been slim to none, had it not been that my daughter bought copies, read them, and insisted that I HAD to read them too, which is how they found their way into my hands. And been reading them, I have. I finished the first book “Fifty Shades of Grey” and am currently in the middle of the second “Fifty Shades Darker”. Still have “Fifty Shades Freed” to go. To say it’s been ‘enlightening’ would be an understatement.

I’m not going to try and review the book. No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel. Just pick up some copies of your own and read the damn thing. Rather, I just want to share a few tidbits about it, and how it’s…how you say, had a profound effect on me.

To brief you: The main character, Christian Grey, is late twenties, rich and powerful, crazy handsome, and just well, plain damn crazy, in a way. He’s got some twisted ideas about sex compared to some of us more conservative types. He makes no bones about the fact that he likes to be the ‘dominant’ in relationships, and basically has a revolving door of women he refers to as ‘submissives’ that come and go catering to his need to fulfill his twisted desires, because he has a tortured past and is incapable of any real form of love other than sex. Anastasia Steele, is young, on the cusp of womanhood, completely naïve to love, intimacy, and finds herself quickly wrapped up in his world when she finds herself falling for him. The storyline basically follows her as she battles within herself what she is willing or not willing to do to be with a man she loves.

The first thing I noticed about the first book in the trilogy, was that the author’s writing ability wasn’t really ‘good’—by  my standards anyway—and I had a hard time keeping myself interested in it long enough to continue reading it. I voiced this to my daughter after the first couple of chapters, and her response was one of, “Just trust me” so I forged ahead against my better judgment. The second thing was, by the time I’d finished reading the details of the character’s aggressive, first sexual encounter and the way Christian blatantly states to Anastasia during the final moments of it, “You’re mine”, I had a sickening sort of dejavu come over me and slammed the book shut. Why? In many ways it reminded me of my second sexual encounter with my husband, and well, alarms in my head began to go off. Is my husband a dominant? I continued reading.

My husband’s idiosyncrasies bear a striking resemblance to some of the character, Christian Grey’s. He likes to be in control, have the first and last word when it comes to decision making, and only allows me input if it’s something he’s agreeable with. He is very possessive, but unlike Christian has found a way to isolate me from people and places he’s not acceptable with by using the passive-aggressive approach, because, I believe, I am far more seasoned at my age then this young woman in the book and he has to handle me with kid gloves. The things I found most alarming though, is that his views on love and intimacy seem to be right in tune with this character, in the way that he seems to have little knowledge or ability to ‘make love’, but rather every act of intimacy has to be some kind of a rodeo show.  He always, ALWAYS, has to be the aggressor, doesn’t like to be touched affectionately and shies away from it, and seems to take more than a little pleasure in letting me know during and after with the aid of some kind of ‘forcefulness’ that I belong to him, and only HIM. I found this comparison between the character in the book and my husband to be more than just a bit unsettling, albeit enlightening, and have begun to understand him in ways I didn’t before. I have no doubt, knowing what I do now, if I were a bit more compromising and submissive, that he would more than abuse that opportunity the way this Christian Grey does in the book.

I have to admit though, aside from looking at my husband in this newfound way, I’ve also begun to see myself differently, and have been pushing the limits of what I thought were my boundaries. Reading about their sex-capades in the book, and how the male character slowly helps the female character ‘find herself’ and be more comfortable with her wants, needs, and body image, has spilled over into my own life more than a little. I went from being self-conscious about putting on a pair of shorts and tank top, because of my fair skin and the added weight that has accompanied me on my journey into middle age, to donning a bikini all last week in the yard and the house that I hadn’t been brave enough to wear since seeing the horrific image of myself in a photo taken at Myrtle Beach while on vacation with Pandora Patty several years back. I’ve also been very comfortable being completely naked in front of my husband while getting in and out of the shower, changing, and just lounging in bed. And to say my sexual drive has escalated would be an understatement. Umm…he noticed the change in me really quick!

At first it wasn’t anything more than “What’s up with you the last few days?”, after coming home to find me walking around the house doing chores in my bikini, after having been out in the sun earlier. Something I DO NOT DO! Then he began to inquire as to what exactly it was I was reading in bed at night, when he’d retire for the evening, and I was more than just a little ready and willing. When I told him it was “Fifty Shades of Grey” it didn’t exactly resound with him, but he mentally made note that whatever it was it was having a profound effect on me, and quickly told his buddies at work about it. This weekend while driving home from the city, as I ever-so-casually took my jeans off in the car and pulled on the new pair of shorts that I’d just purchased, he looked over at me funny, with a weird smile spreading across his face.

Me:  “What?” I asked, nonchalantly.

The Old Man:  “What’s up with you lately?”

Me:  “What?” I look down at my shorts as I’m buttoning them. “The sun is beating in on me and I’m hot.”

The Old Man:  “Yeah, but I’ve noticed you’ve been getting naked a lot lately.”

Me:  “Hmm…Have I?” I look out the window, as if I don’t know what he’s referring to.

The Old Man:  “Yeah, you have. I think I’ve seen you naked more in the last seven days than I have in the last seven years.”

Me:  “Really?”

The Old Man:  “Yeah, really!” He sort of smirks and shakes his head.

Me:  I can’t help smiling. “Hmm…I don’t know. Reading that book has sort of ‘liberated’ me. I guess I’m just getting more comfortable with myself.” I look over to see him grinning at me. “What?”

The Old Man:  He reaches over, placing his hand on my bare thigh, and smirks. “Yeah, well I’m getting comfortable with you getting more comfortable.”

All this time I thought I was doing my husband a favor by hiding from him what I thought were my flaws so he wouldn’t be uncomfortable having to admit that I was not the woman he fell in love with, and come to find out he never saw them as flaws in the first place, and is turned on by me just the way I am. Who woulda thought! As for his idiosyncrasies that I still find a bit disturbing, I figure in nine years he hasn’t bound, gagged me, or beat me pink yet, so I should be able to deal with the shit I already know and put up with. Not that I’m sure the thought hasn’t crossed his mind; especially the gagging part. Ha..Ha..

So my review of this book is five shiny gold stars! And I have to admit, once you get through the ‘yawning’ beginning, it does start to get good, and becomes very addictive to read. I, myself, save it for bedtime—which is why it’s taking me so long to read—because I find it just that much more delicious when wrapped in cotton sheets lying next to a man. And convenient too!!!