Previously: Grey admits that he’s fifty shades of fucked up. Instead of running away, Ana lets Grey spank her and then has a really sore butt.
Lorraine: E.L. James likes to end scenes with falling asleep, because it’s quick and easy and because she learned all her writing skillz from the second grade. If the last page of this book says “it was all a dream,” I QUIT LIFE.
We start chapter 17 with -shock- Ana waking up. She was dreaming of a candle flame and she’s a moth flying right for the light. She says, “I’m flying too close to the sun,” and even though she doesn’t mention Icarus, that’s like a copy paste from two pages ago.
Ana realizes that she’s dreaming of hot things because Grey is draped across her and his body is making her hot. I know this is really nuanced writing here, but try to keep up.
We’re told that Grey’s body heat is suffocating Ana. If we’ve learned anything from all the times her breathing has failed her, though, it’s that Ana lives not by oxygen alone. I think she actually breathes gray eyes, abusive relationships and hating Katherine Kavanagh. She proves this by taking a moment out from suffocating to be really happy that Grey spent the night in her bed.
Ana tries to sneaky touch Grey but he’s instantly awake because he knows, dude. He knows.
Grey, realizing that he’s all up in Ana’s grill, says that he’s drawn to her even in his sleep. Seeing as how they are sharing a bed, I’m thinking this is not a valid statement. Like, if he ended up in Kate’s bed? BIG DEAL. This? Not so much.
Ana gets all blushy when she notices Grey’s morning wood, but he says they have to wait until Sunday to have sexy times. Ana murmurs that Grey’s hot (meaning body heat) and Grey murmurs that she’s not bad herself. Har, har, har. She flushes, telling us she feels “seven shades of crimson.” Whatever. Get back to me when you have at least 45 shades.
Grey’s late for an 8am meeting so he’s scrambling around. He says he “doesn’t do late” and that this is “another first.” I’d scream, “being late cherry!” to join my previous “helicopter cherry!” and “sleeping with a woman cherry!” but I call bullshit. C’mon Grey. Never late? Never ever? Pfft.
Ana dresses for her last day at work, feeling good and forgetting the whole spanking thing because he slept with her and he never sleeps with anyone. Totally worth a little spanking to wake up to some dude suffocating you with his body heat, amIrite ladies?
To kill some time before work, Ana writes the email to Grey about why the spanking thing confused her. The subject of the email is “Assault and Battery: The after-effect.”
Hold on. Really? Give me a moment:
In the email, Ana explains that she “felt demeaned, debased and abused.” And that to her “mortification” she was also aroused. “All things sexual are new to me- I only wish I was more experienced and therefore more prepared.” Ana, girl, you could’ve previously slept with 3961 men, and all of that would not have prepared you for Christian Grey.
She goes on that what she felt post-spanking was really, really confusing. “I was happy you were happy,” she abuse victims. “I felt relieved that it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be,” she amnesias, forgetting her sore butt. “And when I was lying in your arms, I felt -sated” meaning she probably drank up all those tears she was boo-fucking-hooing and got really full.
She ends by saying that feeling sated made her feel guilty and uncomfortable and that it doesn’t sit well with her.
Grey replies with an email subject-ed “Free Your Mind.” It makes me want to free his body of, you know, life.
He compares Ana to Tess Durbeyfield again, because we’re still going with that metaphor and ignoring that homegirl goes all murder-y at the end of that book. Grey asks if she truly is feeling these things or if she thinks she should be feeling these things. Not that it matters because either way, his advice is to “embrace” these feelings because that’s what a submissive would do. Just hug the abuse Ana. Hug it.
Grey goes on to say that he likes her inexperience because it means she is his in every way. (This makes Ana’s breath hitch. I wish I could remember the commenter who pointed this out to me, because now I notice her “breath hitching” EVERY TIME.) He says he’s not happy, that beating her has actually made him ecstatic. Grey writes not to waste her feelings on guilt because they are consenting adults and what they do is totally up to them. She needs to “free her mind” and “listen to her body.”
Ana writes back. New subject: Consenting Adults!
LIKE SHE’S SURPRISED. LIKE SHE CAN’T BELIEVE IT. LIKE THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION.
Ana says that if she listened to her body, she’d be in Alaska by now.
Grey replies and clarifies for her, because she’s 21 and this should be a total thing she has to be hand held through, that she is an adult and has choices.
He negates this very statement by saying that clearly her body is stupid.
“Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you.
I can track your cell phone – remember?“
GUYS. I wish I could forward this fictional email to everyone who ever bought this book, just as a gentle reminder.
HE IS NOT JOKING. He is not joking because he CAN track her cell phone and HE HAS tracked her cell phone. So, the jist of the Kool-aid Grey is selling is “you have choices but if they don’t include me, I WILL FIND YOU.”
(Side note: There are an alarming number of girls dying their hair with Kool-aid on Tumblr. Strange.)
Anyhow, instead of realizing that he just threatened to find her in a mother-fucking igloo if he has to, Ana keeps email-flirting about… therapy? Grey sees a dude named Dr.Flynn and apparently he is the second opinion. Brilliant. The rest of this book will clearly just be a marathon of seeing how many more ways James can make us uncomfortable. Therapy banter? Check
Ana finally goes to work. She acknowledges to herself that she wants Grey but not his baggage. Well, honey, I want to eat a box of zebra cakes everyday and not be obese. I want to not go to work but be rich. I want to write a book but not really have to write it. But I’m also an adult so I understand that sometimes we want things that aren’t realistic.
While at work Ana gets another package and this time it’s a BlackBerry from Grey. A gift from Grey, but Ana receives it like a bomb. Her heart sinks and she is not happy at all.
I’d yell at her for having the worst reactions to gifts, ever but this is Grey’s explanation for why he sent the phone:
“I need to be able to contact you at all times and since this is your most honest form of communication, I figured you need a BlackBerry.”
He probably wants to make tracking her cell phone way less complicated too. I mean, she did threaten him with Alaska. This isn’t actually a gift to Ana, it’s a gift Grey gave to himself. “Here self! Stalk your girlfriend with ease. Why self, you shouldn’t have.”
Ana emails him a few times but then decides to put the phone away and ignore it.
At four, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton gather all the other employees in the shop, and during a hair-curlingly embarrassing speech, present me with a check for three hundred dollars.
In that moment, three weeks of – exams, graduation, intense, fucked up billionaires, deflowering, hard & soft limits, playrooms with no consoles, helicopter rides – and the fact that I will move tomorrow, all well up inside me. Amazingly, I hold myself together. My subconscious is in awe. I hug the Claytons hard. They have been kind and generous employers, and I will miss them.
1.) GUYS IS THAT AN AMPERSAND IN THAT PARAGRAPH? SERIOUSLY. IS THIS REAL LIFE?
2.) So, her hottie billionaire boyfriend gives her a phone and her heart sinks. Her employers giver her a check and she’s overwhelmed with warm fuzzies. Because even Ana secretly knows that Grey’s “gifts” are messed the hell up. Not that it’ll matter at all, I just wanted you to notice what a shit show this all is.
3.) I write some crazy things, and I’ll admit to murder-y and subject-ed in this post alone. But “hair-curlingly?” Dear Lord.
After work, Ana goes home and finishes packing with Kate. Taylor the Bodyguard shows up to pick up Ana’s old Beetle and to also inform us, in case that whole stalking Ana all the way to Alaska thing made us iffy, that Grey is a good man. WHATEVER TAYLOR. I thought I liked you.
That night, Josecob (‘member him? You ‘member.) comes over with Chinese take-out and beer and they all celebrate meeting this chapter’s alcohol quota. Oh, and graduating and stuff. Ana informs us that the “attempted kiss” aka when Josecob tried to take advantage of a drunk Ana, is forgotten, “swept under the run my inner goddess is lying on, eating grapes and tapping her fingers, waiting not so patiently for Sunday.” One can only hope Inner Goddess is lying flat, chokes on a grape and dies.
Someone knocks on the door and Ana’s all, GREY?! But no, it’s his brother Elliot. Ana takes 0.01 second to get judgy when Elliot HUGS Kate.
“I’m appalled at their lack of modesty.”
I’m appalled at Ana standing on a soap box right now. I know she’s standing too, because her ass, the one she let a man spank? Is probably still too sore for much siting.
Jose and Ana are really uncomfortable with the PDA so they high-tail it out of the apartment and down to the bar. Ana appreciates how uncomplicated Josecob is, which just goes to show you that Ana’s perception of men, just as a whole, is royally fucked.
Josecob reminds Ana about his artsy show and she promises to be there.
Ana gets home late at night and hears rather than sees Kate and Elliot. She runs into her room and checks her email. Of course there is one from Grey wondering where the hell she is. Ana’s all OH CRAP MY PHONE, because she forget about the thing entirely, very unlike 99.9% of college students I’ve ever met. She has five missed calls and a voice mail.
“I think you need to learn to manage my expectations. I am not a patient man. If you say you are going to contact me when you finish work, then you should have the decency to do so. Otherwise, I worry, and it’s not an emotion I’m familiar with, and I don’t tolerate it very well. Call me.”
Only E.L. James could make worrying about someone else a selfish thing. I’m worried about you (aw) AND I DON’T LIKE IT ONE BIT (uh..?)
Ana feels suffocated, again, but this time by Grey’s weird overbearing tendencies. She’s worried he wants to “beat seven shades of shit” out of her. EWWWW. That sentence did not do what you intended, James!! EW. Also: STOP WITH THE SHADES WE GET IT.
She calls him, but he answers softly, so Ana forgets that whole overbearing thing and goes straight for swoon-y. She did not pass Go or collect $200.
Ana murmurs her hi and assures him that she’s fine. He asks if she had a nice time, and Ana explains she was packing and eating with *coughJosecobcough* Grey let’s a long silence do his talking.
Ana whisper-says that she wishes he were there with her. He murmurs at her a bland “do you?” Holy mackerel, Ana thinks. I just think it’s funny that she just said “holy mackerel.”
Grey confirms that they’ll see each other on Sunday. Ana murmurs her RSVP. He says goodnight and Ana says “goodnight, Sir” which makes him all happy in the pants. It’s like that one time Grey called Ana Ana instead of Anastasia and she was so happy she agreed to be his punching bag.
We pick up again after Kate and Ana are moved into their new place. Elliot’s setting up their TV.
“Kate and I flop on to the couch giggling, impressed by his prowess with a power drill.”
Uh, power drill prowess? For real? Like he’s mastered the power drill? Mmkay.
Ana extends her hate of all things Kate to now include all things Elliot. She hates on their hugs, on their banter, on the their touching. She admits it’s ’cause she’s jealous. Elliot must only be like 32 shades of fucked up. Some girls get all the luck.
Someone buzzes their apartment and Ana’s all GREY? but no, it’s another delivery. This time it’s a bottle of champagne (booze for the future!) attached to a helicopter shaped balloon and a note signed “Christian Grey.”
Kate thinks he’s creepy. I mean, she doesn’t say that, but she does wonder why he can’t just sign “from Christian” and at least try to hide his weird murder-y vibe. Ana then gloats about Grey having flown her in his helicopter.
Ana wakes up the next day to her subconscious nagging her to unpack but her inner goddess is busy hopping (?) in anticipation.
Grey sends Ana ANOTHER EMAIL OMG. This time it’s gate codes and parking instructions and elevator codes because we need all the details, ever.
That night at his apartment, Grey shows Ana a picture in the newsaper, the one of the two of them at her graduation ceremony. For some reason this reminds Grey that he hasn’t mentioned food in like, ten whole pages so he asks if she’s eaten, and because Ana survives only on the voices of her subconscious and inner goddess, oh and on alcohol, she has not in fact eaten.
He asks if she’s hungry and Ana whispers “not for food.” See! Told you!
Oh, wait. She means sex. But, she can’t do the sexy times thing until she sees the doctor, whom Grey calls the best Ob/GYN in Seattle. She’s listed that way in the phone book.
Grey invites Ana to dinner that night with his family and says Elliot is inviting Kate too. He adds that it’ll be odd to introduce her to his family seeing has he’s never brought a girl home before. Bringing a girl home cherry!
Some time during that exchange Grey rolled his eyes and Ana asks why he’s allowed to do it and she’s not. Instead of yelling, “do we really need to go over this whole dom/sub thing AGAIN?!” Grey says he didn’t even realize that he was eye rolling. Ana snaps that she usually isn’t aware that she is either. Well, someone’s butt is a little sore.
One guess what my reaction to an entire conversation dedicated to eye rolling was.
YEP. GUYS. LOL. I ROLLED MY EYES.
Dr. Best in Seattle is here, now, though, interrupting our rousing eye roll dissertation.
Ana’s worried Grey is going to come watch her vaginal exam and he laughs and says that even though HE WOULD PAY GOOD MONEY TO WATCH, the doctor probably wouldn’t approve.
EW. FUCKING CREEPER.
He pulls Ana down onto the couch and kisses her and whispers that he can’t wait to see her naked. I’m really glad we didn’t actually get sex in this chapter, though, because I’m still getting over the fact that Grey would pay to watch Ana’s pap smear.
Murmur Count – 5
Whisper Count -5
Favorite comment last post: “Reading this in the company of my in-laws made me more uncomfortable than being spanked by a grown ass man with mommy issues. ” -BelleRenee