So at the end of Chapter Nine, we left Christian doing whatever that phrase actually means at the thought of his mother dropping by unannounced.
He recovers quickly, though, and tells Anastasia to get dressed so that she could meet his mother.
Um, what? Let’s go back and count the days that these people have known each other. There’s Interview Day, Stalk Your Prey at Work Day, Awkward Coffee Date Day, Drunk Day, Hangover Day, and now Get Rid of Your Freakish Virginity Day. That’s… six days. Six days of actual interaction between these two. And he wants her to meet his mother?!
I mean, especially in this… situation where you just fucked this chick’s brains out (assuming she had any, which there is no concrete evidence on, and I’ll stop writing in italics now).
Oh, and! And he wants her to wear his clothes when she meets his mom, because why not make things as obvious as all hell at this point? Hey, why not just let your mom walk in and see the bloody sheets, too, Christian? Let’s go all the way here.
Anastasia sees nothing much wrong with this scenario because
- Christian called her beautiful again.
- She might be able to figure out what fucked up Christian so badly that he’s into kink (god, I hate this woman).
- And she’s criminally stupid. Criminally.
I mean, okay, some relationships move fast—that’s fine. This one? Isn’t even a relationship. It’s some kind of joke played on me by vengeful gods.
Anyway, dumbass borrows Christian’s underwear and gets dressed and braves the Douche’s Lair to meet Mama Grey.
Doctor Trevelyan actually seems decent, for the little we see of her, but the meeting is cut short because Anastasia answers her cell phone in the middle of it.
Doctor T excuses herself, realizing her original plan of having lunch with her son has been preempted by some rude bitch in wrinkled clothes, and we’re back to our regularly scheduled Christian Being A Dick program.
Why, you ask? Well, gentle readers… Dickery is pretty much Christian’s raison d’être. In the book, it’s because José was the one calling Anastasia earlier. While I do agree that José is an ass, I kind of have to point out that that’s not Anastasia’s fault, so being pissed at her for picking up a call that just happened to be from a creeper is—all together now—dickish.
There’s something here about shipments to Darfur being delayed, but since it’s a transparent ploy to make me believe Christian’s existence is necessary and useful, I don’t care. Oh, but Christian finally hands the contract to Anastasia, in what is probably the most romantic way I’ve ever seen someone hand someone else a contract dictating the rules of their relationship:
“He looks forbidding, and with one quick glance at me, he heads into his study and returns a moment later. ‘This is the contract. Read it, and we’ll discuss it next weekend. May I suggest you do some research, so you know what’s involved.’”
Guys. Guys. Are you swooning or are you swooning?
Then Anastasia reveals she doesn’t have a computer, which is fucking ridiculous. This is getting fucking ridiculous now. She’s a college student for fuck’s sake. My 13-year old cousin has a Mac.
Even if I accept that she’s made it through college without a computer or laptop, there must be some sort of program where they loan laptops at her college, or hell, libraries! They exist!
Whatever, I don’t even know why I fucking try with this book.
Christian offers—actually, he kind of tells—Anastasia that he’ll drive her back to Portland and get some lunch on the way. Anastasia tells him that she has to make a call, and that’s Christian’s cue to expel douche:
“ ‘The photographer?’ His jaw clenches, and his eyes burn. I blink at him. ‘I don’t like to share, Miss Steele. Remember that.’”
I bet you were the most popular kid in preschool, Christian.
After that, it’s time to get the wagons rolling, and Anastasia mentions something that I’ve been fuming over for ages now: she needs to ask questions about sex, and she can’t just get all her answers from Christian. Since she apparently grew up in a place where Sex Ed (or sex, for that matter) doesn’t exist, she figures she needs to talk to Kate. Christian graciously allows her to talk to her own best friend/secret crush, but adds a rider: she can only talk about things they have already done, and not at all about the things he wants to do to her.
Gosh, thank you, Christian! I hope you didn’t strain anything bending so far backwards! Your generosity truly knows no bounds!
Anastasia agrees (I HAVE HAD IT WITH THESE MOTHERFUCKING CAPITULATIONS), and Christian adds that the sooner he has her “submission,” the better, because then we can stop this whole equal-say-in-the-relationship thing—only he calls it “defying” him.
Gotta keep that bitch in line, amirite?
Hey, Christian—I just met you, and this is crazy… But you’re an asshole, so fuck off, maybe.
Anastasia has a weird moment with yet another of Christian’s cars, and then they’re off. Anastasia does that blushing thing she does at a Bruce Springsteen song (look, folks, Christian is down with the youth of today!), and then Christian decides that Anastasia’s hungry, so they stop for food.
And then we get to the restaurant scene. The restaurant is called Cuisine Sauvage, which tells me two things: 1) We’ve gotta keep E.L. James away from Google Translate, and 2) We’ve gotta stop E.L. James from writing anything ever. Even grocery lists.
The name means—as I’m sure you can probably figure out—“Savage Cooking,” which sounds like they hunt down Tarzan, kill him, then cook him, but it’s because their menu is based on what they’ve caught or gathered—which, again, is probably Tarzan.
The waitress blushes when she sees Christian, which makes me think that what Anastasia has is now airborne, and Christian orders pinot grigio for both Anastasia and himself without even asking if she wanted any (she didn’t, by the way… She wanted Diet Coke).
When she mentions that she wanted something different, he shakes his head and explains, as if to a small, idiot child, that the pinot will go with whatever they get to eat. That’s great and all, Christian, but you could tell her that before you order so that she can make her own decision, you condescending shithead.
Anastasia again lets it slide because… he smiles. Not even joking. He smiles, she loses all reason. I really fucking hate this book, y’all.
Christian then shares that his mother liked Anastasia because she’d always assumed that he was gay and Anastasia was the first girl he’d ever introduced her to. I wouldn’t let that assumption go so easily if I were her, but there you go.
He also mentions that it’s been a “weekend of firsts” for him and I was so bored I fell asleep and only woke up when I felt that I was drooling on myself.
Anyway, Christian explains what “vanilla sex” means and that it’s one of his firsts, and Anastasia asks why it is that he’s never had it before.
Turns out Christian Grey was seduced by one of his mother’s friends when he was fifteen.
She kept him as her sub for six motherfucking years.
Okay, look. Real talk for a minute.
There’s a disturbing trend where we don’t generally treat the statutory rape of a guy the way we do a girl’s. It’s usually played off as “hurr hurr, I wish a milf had fucked me when I was a kid” kind of joke, and I’m not gonna lie, it makes me extremely uncomfortable because of reasons I will not go into right now. I, of all people, know how something like that can shape you—give you all kinds of complexes and shit—and it’s just not funny. So even assuming young Christian consented, which we’re not given a clear indication of yet, this whole storyline is already making me feel icky.
Especially since it’s used to justify Christian’s sexual preferences (which are often painted by James as deviant, fuck her very much) and general dickishness. I just don’t think James is skilled enough to pull this off tastefully, if it can even be done tastefully. So… yeah. Once again, just… fuck you, E.L. James.
Christian continues to elaborate on this, by mentioning that during his… relationship… with this woman, he didn’t date anyone else through college because he didn’t want or need to, and that he still sees her, though not sexually.
Anastasia, like some people who are me, is surprised by this news and rightly wonders if this is the relationship he wants to reenact with her.
They both acknowledge that this is a big step, and Christian once again tells Anastasia to do her homework—which I wholeheartedly endorse, though knowing that to Christian, “research” means “look on the internet, then talk only to me” makes me do this:
After lunch is over, Christian drops Anastasia off at her house and Anastasia is grilled by Kate re:sexy tiems.
Kate then shares how crappy her first time was (did he rip through her virginity, I wonder), and admits that it took her a long time to enjoy sex. Which sounds a lot more realistic than Anastasia’s entire experience so far. They then giggle over both being sore, and Kate reveals how much she really likes Elliot. I don’t blame her, to be honest—Elliot seems light-years ahead of Christian on the “decent guy” front.
And then José calls. And Anastasia feels obligated to talk to him even though no such obligation actually exists.
José apologizes, blaming it on the Goose, and Anastasia forgives him—which, okay, is her prerogative. If she wants to be friends with guys who think they can kiss you into submission and act all pissy when they can’t, hey.
But then he acts like a jealous boyfriend again, and straight up asks if Anastasia is with Christian for the money. I’ll give you my exact reaction to this:
See, shit like that? Means I’m never talking to your ass again. It probably also means quality violence. Why are you even friends with this guy, Anastasia? Not only does he have a serious case of Nice Guy Syndrome, but every time you let his shit slide that sense of entitlement gets bigger and bigger. I just—
Anyway, she tells dipshit she’ll call him and they’ll have coffee sometime (*facepalm2*) and that’s the end of that fuckery for now.
To be clear: Anastasia is not responsible for José’s feelings, and she has no obligation to encourage or appease him at all, but this is now the… I wanna say second time E.L. James makes her feel like she does, and it annoys the everlovin’ fuck out of me. Thanks for teaching women this, James. I hope the fire you die in is extra-hot.
After that, Kate and Anastasia have dinner together—I’ll assume the footsie they play under the table was cut out by the editor—and then Elliot calls and Kate goes off to talk to him.
Anastasia watches TV for a bit while thinking about the men in her life and the contract, which is bound to be extremely entertaining, and then Kate comes back and bids her good night.
Anastasia goes to her bedroom and prepares to read the contract.
Sexy Tiems of the Rich and Creepy
Actually, not a lot of those in this chapter—or any, really. But enjoy the ever-present lip-biting thing:
“ ‘Stop biting your lip, or I will fuck you in the elevator, and I don’t care who gets in with us.’”
Yay, group sex!
Fucking English, how does it work?
1. “He gazes at me. He’s amused, his eyes dancing with mirth.”
Here, let me be nice for once and actually fix this sentence: “He gazes at me, his eyes dancing with mirth.” Notice the economy of phrasing. Simple. Direct.
2. “I despair at my clothes. Maybe I should take Christian up on his offer of clothes. My subconscious (reviewer: nope) purses her lips and mouths the word ‘ho.’”
I’m not aware of my own subconscious because, as we’ve established, you cannot be aware of your own subconscious, but if I was, it would probably be beating the shit out of your subconscious for implying that enjoying sex is something to be ashamed of.
3. “ ‘Dios mio! Ana!’ Holy crap, it’s José.”
I wonder what her first clue was.
4. “Taylor appears from… where? ‘Mrs. Grey?’ he asks. ‘Thank you, Taylor.’ He escorts her from the room and through the double doors to the foyer. Taylor was here the whole time? How long has he been here? Where has he been?”
Who actually gives a fuck?
Taylor, pictured here:
5. “He certainly doesn’t look like the multi-multi millionaire, billionaire, what-ever-aire, in these clothes.”
I refuse to believe this is actually a sentence, and you can’t make me.
6. “ ‘Safe trip, Mr. Grey. Miss Steele.’ Taylor looks kindly at me, though perhaps there’s a hint of pity hidden in the depths of his eyes.”
Taylor, pictured here:
7. “Beside the elevator, I can see the black 4x4 Audi, but it’s the sleek, black sporty number that blips open and lights up when he points the key fob at it. It’s one of those cars that should have a very leggy blonde, wearing nothing but a sash, sprawled across the hood.”
8. “He starts the ignition, and the engine roars behind us. He places his bag in the space behind our seats, presses a button, and the roof slowly reclines.”
9. “Boy this car can move.”
Well, of course the car can move a boy. It’s transport. It’s kind of its job.
10. “Crap… I have to deal with Kate’s persistence and tenacity, and I’m in possession of a legal signed document saying I can’t talk.”
Persistence and tenacity mean the same thing. I’m submitting this sample to the Department of Redundancy Department.
11. “ ‘My first time was horrid,’ she continues, making a sad comedy face.”
… Do we know what the words “sad” and “comedy” mean?
12. “Too obvious, Steele! My subconscious (reviewer: nope) glares at me, wagging her long skinny finger, then morphs into the scale of justice to remind me he could sue if I disclose too much. Ha… what’s he going to do—take all my money? I must remember to Google ‘penalties for breaching a non-disclosure agreement’ while I’m doing the rest of my ‘research’.”
Shut the fuck up, Anastasia
“My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.”
My inner goddess carefully selects a bat from her assortment of weapons and swings away at your inner goddess’ head.
Christian Grey, the Douche Knight
“He’s resumed his distant, polite, uptight persona, his mask back up and on show.”
Christian, pictured here: