Tonight I shall be going to an orchestra with my husband and our daughter.
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses  A 90-piece orchestra, and is the visuals are anywhere near as stunning as rePLAY: The Art of Video Games that we saw earlier this year, then we’re in for a treat.  So I’ve got something to look forward to after finishing this recap!

By the way, there’s scientific evidence that the louder the male, the more he’s compensating for a small penis.  I’m looking at you, Grey.

(Directory of recap links)

Last time we had yet another pleasant flashback-via-dream to Grey’s childhood, and it was a happy one.

And now he’s waking up to the smell of something “sweet,” and it’s Ana.  I think it’s kinda heavy-handed that we’re supposed to have comforting feels the way a lot of us get over the scent of an apple pie on a cold, rainy autumn day.

Apple pie

Doesn’t work.  I can’t imagine her smelling of anything other than semen at this point.

He’s unsettles, the poor bastard.  He’s unsettled because he slept in a new room of his two-story penthouse.  After getting up, he retrieved Ana’s panties from the playroom, and has a “wicked idea.”  Since James has no idea how first-person narration works, Grey’s thoughts are hidden from us.

Grey wastes a page doing stuff, and then decides it’s time for Ana to get up.  Oh.  I forgot about that dinner party.  He wakes her up by telling her to wake up, and leaves the room, smug with himself that her undies won’t be with the rest of her clothes.

He spends a couple pages doing nothing worth taking up two pages, just waiting for her, until she comes out of the room, and oh lord, I guess these idiots think not wearing panties is just so scandalous.

Ladies, gents, other people: Panties are a very recent invention.  Truly.  Unless you’re planning to spread your legs in public while wearing something short, no one will ever know if you’re wearing undies.  In the summer, I sometimes skip them when wearing skirts and dresses because any breeze I can get helps cool me off, and, to be blunt, circulation lessens the chance of yeast infections.  Nothing sexy about it, nothing scandalous.

Furthermore, I go to more dressy events in a season than most people do in a decade (my husband owns a tux, I own more than a dozen formal gowns, even out daughter’s got a collection of ultra-formals for nights at the opera), and most of the time I don’t wear undies since I really don’t  care to wrangle with them when I need to pee.  It’s easier to hold up my long skirts and petticoats and not to have to worry about getting undies down or back up.  Thigh-high stockings and garters were literally made for this reason.

But Ana and Grey think they’re being naughty.  She thinks she’s being sexy by not mentioning that she’s got no undies on, and he’s practically hyperventilating with what he calls anticipation.  They’re acting like teenagers who managed to find themselves home alone.

They dance to Sinatra, and it can’t possibly be more clear that the “love” he feels for her is arousal.  There is literally nothing else they have in common, and sex in’t enough to build a relationship on.  He’s in lust, and that’s all he’ll be.

Grey thinks she’s gutsy because they’re getting ready to leave, and she hasn’t asked for her undies back.

Good GOD, I SWEAR this is nothing scandalous.  I can’t even recall if I bothered with undies on my wedding day, but these two act like they’re about to secretly have sexual contact while people are watching who might not know what’s going on.  Not this book, folks.  That happens in the next one.  Nope, I’m not making that up.  Ana will give him a hand-job in front of his grandparents while at a fundraiser ball, and we’re supposed to see it as sexy instead of as incredibly disrespectful.

They leave, and Grey is literally not able to think about anything else.  A typical hormone-crazy teen boy is more capable of thinking about other things than this supposedly in-control “man.”

I catch a glimpse of Union Lake; the moon disappears behind a cloud, and the water darkens, like my mood.

LOL.  Purple prose.  “The water darkens, like my mood.”  HAHA!!  Excuse me while I go have a good laugh!

Why am I taking her to see my parents? If they meet her, they’ll have certain expectations. And so will Ana. And I’m not sure if the relationship I want with Ana will live up to those expectations.

We already know Ana’s an idiot.  They aren’t even dating, and she knows he doesn’t want to date.  If she has expectations that their fucky-buddies relationship will suddenly become serious, then she’s dumber than we though.

And his parents are stupid enough to think that, even though there’s a scene in Fifty Shades Freed that’s mentioned where his dad wants him to sign a prenup, while Grey says it’s the twuest of twue wuv, so no prenup.  It just doesn’t mesh that they’d be hung-ho with expectations while later being concerned.

They’re still in the car, and Ana wants to know who taught him to foxtrot.

Ah, the Tango Maureen.

Mark: Where’d you learn to tango?

Joann: With the French Ambassador’s daughter in her dorm
room at Miss Porter’s. And you?

Mark: With Nanette Himmelfarb. The Rabbi’s daughter at the
Scarsdale Jewish Community Center.

RENT is amazing.

Blah blah, Grey’s wondering what Ana’s thinking, but not enough to ask.  He knows!  They’ll talk about sex!  He likes the cable ties since they’re brutal, and he likes that.  He says brutal, I say nerve damage.  Tomato, to-mah-toe.

Ana glances toward the front seat, where Taylor can hear them, and Grey thinks, rather than says (see? communication has no place in anything):

Sweetheart, don’t worry about Taylor. He knows exactly what’s going on, and he’s done this for four years.

This just proves that the glances Taylor later gives Ana that she says are sympathetic really are in sympathy.  He knows that Grey plans to use her and dump her.  This also means that Taylor definitely knows about the former sub who Grey seriously hurt, and another former sub who he so mentally destroyed that she ended up institutionalized.

Finally they arrive, and meeting the parents is dull.  Suddenly Mia gets all TWEE! and starts squealing with excitement because she’s meeting Grey’s girlfriend.

Mia’s supposed to be petite, but, just for good measure, Ana’s smaller, which really plays up the adult man/child-girlfriend angle that James has gone for.  Int his chapter, he keeps calling her “girl.”  I didn’t think that was worth mentioning before now, but it does tie in.

The tweeness is painful.  It gets worse when she squeals over Grey and Ana saying “please” at the same time.

Just to set the record straight, Grey ORDERS Ana to sit.  Like a frightened puppy, she does as told.

I need to set an example for my overly demonstrative family.

We’re supposed to like this guy?

Daddy-Carrick makes small-talk, and asks Ana if she’ll be taking a break now that she’s graduated.  She tells him she’s thinking about going to visit her mom in Georgia (keep in mind she’s only considering it at this point), and Grey snaps her head off for not seeking his permission.  Her voice wavers, indicating fear, but Grey doesn’t care.  His vagina is leaving, and he won’t get sex for a few days.

His father does pick up on this, and tries to change the subject by toasting to good health.

Grey’s not having it, and turns on Ana wanting to know why the hell she didn’t get his permission and how long she’ll be gone.  She tells him how long will depend on how well her job interviews go.  Like the supportive boyfriend he isn’t, he gets pissed that she didn’t get his permission to go on some interviews.

Ana deserves a break,” Kavanagh interrupts, staring at me with ill-concealed antagonism. I want to tell her to mind her own fucking business, but for Ana’s sake I hold my tongue.

No, Grey, you mind YOUR fucking business.  Your whole plan is to fuck and dump her.  If anyone has a place in Ana’s business, it’s the woman who’s currently financially supporting Ana.

Carrick kindly asks about the interviews, and they’re for two publishing companies.

When was she going to tell me this? I’m here with her for two minutes and I’m finding out details of her life that I should know!

Grey, you have no fucking right to know all the details of her life!  My GOD, if my HUSBAND of almost five years insisted that he has the right to know every detail about my life, I’d divorce him!  There comes a point when it goes from a courtesy heads-up and becomes an issue of control.  He has no idea I’ll be hanging out with a friend on Tuesday and going to downtown Portland while he’s at work.  I might mention it in passing before then, but if not, oh well.  When he gets home that night, he’ll find out if it comes up. We have a right to our own lives, and, as I said, we are MARRIED.

Ana and Grey aren’t even dating.  They’re fuck-buddies, nothing more.  He has no right to know what she’s doing.  When she’ll be interviewing, he should be working anyway.  So what’s it to him?

Dinner’s done, and everyone heads to the dining room.

I let the others exit the room but grab Ana’s elbow before she can follow.

“When were you going to tell me you were leaving?” My temper is rapidly unraveling.

Go to hell, you controlling, abusive piece of shit.  What the hell is wrong with the people who think this guy is just so sweet and caring?

Ana reminds him they have no arrangement, and she escapes into the dining room.  He remains pissed, and warns her they’re not done “discussing” this.

Over the course of conversation, it comes out that Kate has an internship at the Seattle Times, which Grey snarks was probably set up by her father.

pot kettle black

He has no room to snark when the only reason (and this is actual canon) that Ana will be a senior editor of a publishing company in another month (it takes many, many, many years to reach that position) is because Grey will be buying the publishing company and requiring her promotion.

So let’s say Kate’s dad got her an internship.  That’s nothing compared to Grey getting a half-wit the top position of an entire company.

Ana begs him to not be mad, and he admits he’s furious, and tells us how she deserves to be hurt.

I’ve agreed not to go too hard on her…maybe I should use a flogger. Or maybe I should administer a straightforward spanking, harder than the last one. Here, tonight.

Yes. That has possibilities.

Need I even address the dickery of his glee when considering hurting her though he agreed not to do too much?  I think that’s apparent.  But can you believe he’s thinking that doing it at his parents’ home, while they’re guests, is even remotely appropriate?  Don’t be surprised.  He has no consideration for anyone else.

Food is served, Ana licks her lips, and Grey is turned on.  Mother-Grace takes a phone call, and return to deliver a pro-vaccination spiel blaming kids who aren’t vaccinated for a case of the measles, even though most cases of measles are in kids who’ve had the shots.  (Do NOT turn the comments into a debating spot for vaccines–I am severely immunocompromised, and lost organs because of my body attacking itself so bad, can not get vaccines, and still support parental choice because it’s really terrifying to think that there are people who truly believe our corrupt government should be allowed to dictate what synthetic chemicals we are forced to inject into our children and our bodies.)

Even Grey thinks, “Give it a rest, Mom.”  And his brother is also eager to shut down their mother’s soapboxing.  He asks about the Mariners.  Carrick gets excited, and calls them the M’s.  Um, only one team in pro baseball goes by their first letter.

oakland a's logo

The A’s and the Mariners are both in the American League West with the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and Los Angeles Angels (that sounds so strange and redundant–California Angels and Anaheim Angels both sound better, but they’ve been Los Angeles sin 2005), and if another team were to try the letter, they’d be teased for trying to be like the A’s. /major baseball geekery

Grace’s “helper” clears stuff from the table, and Grey thinks about how her name isn’t worth remembering (it’s Gretchen).

The topic of Paris comes up.

“It’s a beautiful city, in spite of the Parisians. Christian, you should take Ana to Paris!” Mia exclaims.

I want to smack James for that underhanded, xenophobic comment.

“Barbados is beautiful place, in spite of the stinky people who already live here. We should kill them!” Christopher Columbus exclaims.

If you think a place is beautiful except for the native people who live there, go to hell.  They’re the ones who make that place.

Grey grips Ana’s thigh under the table, and talks about his itty bitty penis twitching.  His hand starts to travel up, and Ana, understandably, jerks away.  As you probably already guessed, this pisses Grey off.

Raise your hand if you want someone to touch your vagina in front of his (or your) family.

I bet all of you thought something along the lines of, “Gross! I’d kick my partner’s ass for even trying!”

Too bad Grey lacks discretion.  He really wants to “stroke” her with his parents watching.  There are few things less sexy that the thought of my parents or in-laws watching this.  Just typing that ensured I’ll have no libido for the rest of the month.

I’m skipping a few pages of absolutely pointless banter.  Most of it’s not important enough to really be described, and I don’t feel like translating bad French.  A few years ago, James admitted to me on Twitter (before she banned me) that she doesn’t know any French.  She probably used Google Translate or something anyway.

Grey starts thinking about how he needs to set more rules and put his foot down about things like Ana doing anything without his consent.  He wants to put his fingers into her, and so she’d better let him.  When he tries, she squeezes her thighs together to stop him.

That’s it.

I have to excuse us from the dinner table. “Shall I give you a tour of the grounds?”

You know what he’s planning.

Outside, my mood plunges south as my anger surfaces.

This won’t go well.

The rest of this chapter will be up sometime this week, just as soon as I stop wanting to slam a door on my head.