Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fifty Shades Shadier: Chapter 5 part 2

Ana and Christian go to Christian's house. Ana draws on Christian with lipstick. 

When last we saw our heroes, CG had just finished carrying Ana around downtown Seattle while simultaneously spanking her. That was pretty gross. Then EL displayed some woeful unfamiliarity with American gun culture. See, EL thinks that you get a concealed weapons permit, and then you get a gun. If you're dangerous and unstable, you probably just get the gun, right? Probably. But anyway. I guess we can't assume yet that Leila has a gun. She's maybe the most polite, Washington-style gun owner ever, and is going to get a bunch of permits first and then maybe get a gun later. But hey. A gun has entered our story. So probably somebody is going to get shot. I know I've got a particular "somebody" in mind I'm hoping for, but I will not tell you his name because I am superstitious like that.

But where were we, exactly?

Our story thus far:

Ana is a naive college student who dated a billionaire for a couple weeks but broke things off with him because he spanked her too hard.
  1. Ana starts her new job at a publishing company and agrees to let Christian give her a ride to José’s art show. It turns out they both miss each other or whatever.
  2. Ana and Christian eat steaks at a restaurant. They rekindle their “romance” and Christian says that they won’t have to have rules anymore and he won’t punish Ana. They drive back to Seattle and Christian gives Ana back the expensive gifts that she'd returned to him when they broke up, along with a new iPad.
  3. Ana goes to work. She is confronted by one of Christian's ex lovers on her way out for drinks with her coworkers. Christian picks up Ana from the bar, and then they venture to a grocery store so that they can cook dinner at Ana's house. But then they get too horny to cook so they have sex.
  4. Ana and Christian eat dinner and then have ice cream sex and then in the middle of the night Ana has a dream about Christian's ex lover Leila, which worries Christian. Later, Ana and Christian fight about money, eat breakfast, and then go to a hair salon where the woman who introduced Christian to BDSM works.
  5. Ana is upset by the sight of Christian's ex-lover, Elena, and storms out of the salon. Christian insists that Ana come to his house because his other ex-lover Leila may be armed. Christian picks up Ana bodily when she disagrees with him. 

So they stop by Ana's house to pack up a few things before driving to CG's place to hunker down. Here's a little of their small talk in the car:

"Were all your submissives brunettes?"

He frowns and glances at me quickly. "Yes," he mutters. He sounds uncertain, and I imagine him thinking, where's she going with this?

"I just wondered."

"I told you. I prefer brunettes."

"Mrs. Robinson isn't a brunette."

"That's probably why," he mutters. "She put me off blondes forever."

"You're kidding," I gasp.

"Yes. I'm kidding," he replies, exasperated.

You know what's creepy? Let's talk about two creepy things. I expect that, at some point, I've already complained about the sexist convention of referring to women by the color of their hair. I've probably done that, right? Well, let me just repeat myself then: it's gross. And need to stop.

But here's the other gross thing: "I told you. I prefer brunettes." Ugh. Yeah anybody who has a "type" is a bad person? I don't know why I put that as a question mark. Let me rephrase: anybody who has a "type" is a bad person. Which is not to say that you're a bad person, necessarily, if a gathering of all your exes doesn't look like the UN. It's just to say that if you express a preference like CG's here, out loud, you're gross, and you should stop doing that. You're basically saying, "Yeah, I pretty much just tell my girlfriends to do whatever pleases me? So their inner lives are pretty unimportant to me, so yeah. This is purely a kind of sex-object thing for me, and I prefer my sex objects to look a certain way, probably because of some unresolved issues I have with women that date back to my strained relationship with my mother." 

Just giving you CG's subtext here, folks. Just filling in the subtext. 

I don't know what this part about ELena is about. And I don't really care so I'm moving on. (Editor's note: that's not a typo. We've decided to always write Elena as ELena as a reminder that we think that ELena is EL's representation of herself within this book, and as part of our theory that EL has a thing for younger guys. Much, much younger guys. Ew.)

And then the next couple lines:

I stare impassively out the window, spying brunettes everywhere, none of them Leila, though.

So, he only likes brunettes. I wonder why? Did Mrs. Extraordinarily-Glamorous-In-Spite-Of-Being-Old Robinson really put him off blondes? I shake my head - Christian Mindfuck Grey.

Gross. Is Ana seriously entertaining this as a possibility? "Yeah I had kind of a weird thing with an older woman who happened to have blonde hair when I was in high school, and so now I'm not interested in meeting anyone who resembles that lady in a totally trivial capacity. Sorry!" But when CG raised this idea himself, Ana said "You're kidding" like this was a crazy idea, which it was. And then he says that yes, he's kidding, and Ana's all, "Ooh maybe he's not kidding." OMIGOD WHO CARES. EL is just so repetitive, too. The conversation plants this weird, nonsense question in the reader's mind, but then Ana insists on doing it again. You know. In case we missed the point the first time. Whatever that point was. 

At least Ana doesn't have to worry about all the sexy ladies working for CG at Big Grey Enterprises and the Holding Company or whatever his business is called. Remember that? Way back at the beginning of our trilogy, Ana noted that all the women at CG's office had blonde hair and she figured that's cause he was way into them. But no! It turns out he uses discriminatory hiring practices on the basis of hair color to avoid office romances! Because he's like, "Ew blonde hair gross! Ew Ew Ew!" Remember that one time that Gaddafi spoke at the UN? And he had this entourage of lady soldiers all wearing badass blue / black camo? What I'm suggesting here is that CG basically operates like a hated dictator in every aspect of his life. Fun!

So what were we talking about? Oh. They're driving to CG's house. Right. 

CG tells Ana a little more about Elena and I'm super enthralled just kidding. So the story is that CG dropped out of Harvard (OMG what a genius!) and then Elena loaned him 100k to start a business. No mention of the nature of that business. I guess he was just in the business business then, as now. Whatever. 

"So she's rich?" I murmur.

"She was a bored trophy wife, Anastasia. Her husband was wealthy - big in timber."

He smirks. "He wouldn't let her work. You know, he was controlling. Some men are like that." He gives me a quick sideways grin.

Hehe Elena's husband is terrible, just like Ana's boyfriend is terrible. Fun! Ugh. 

Soon they're back at CG's place. A quick hello from Taylor, CG's manservant, and we learn for no reason at all that Taylor has a seven-year-old daughter. Ana says she's intrigued but c'mon. Who cares? 

I only point out this detail because it's basically fanfic within fanfic. This is the sort of shit that fanfic writers love--filling in backstory details about side characters, particularly details related to their sex lives. There are whole entire novels written (Editor's note: by novels we mean book-length internet postings. Don't worry! These aren't at your bookstore.) about Taylor and his romance seven years ago. 

I'm amused that EL is kind of doing this preemptively. It's going to get weirder, though. Another quirk that's reminiscent of fanfic: EL has a bizarre need to make sure that every named character not already married at the beginning will finish our territory in some version of committed, heterosexual normativity or whatever. So don't worry, Taylor fans! He's gonna get busy with somebody before the end of this disaster. If you've been paying attention, you can probably already figure out who the lucky lady is going to be. Just ask yourself this: "Well, if I had no imagination, which other character would I choose as Taylor's mate? What's the laziest choice?" And then you'll have it!

Ana goes to her old room and looks in the closet and checks out all the dresses CG bought her. They still have tags on them. She looks at one: $2,998. Now, I don't go to places that sell dresses that cost that much money. But I do question the idea that they have tags with prices on them. At a certain point, fancy places get too fancy for prices and you're just supposed to be rich and not care. I'm pretty sure that's how CG shops. But whatever. 

Here's a fun moment:

This isn't me. I put my head in my hands and try to process the last few hours. It's exhausting. Why, oh why have I fallen for someone who is plain crazy - beautiful, sexy as fuck, richer than Croesus, and crazy with a capital K?

What's uh, what's going on here? What's with the K part? Ketamine? Potassium? Krazy? Is Ana saying that CG is not crazy but rather Krazy? What does that even mean? He suffers from the clown-version of a particular malady? I guess the capital is for emphasis? And the deliberate misspelling is, what? Can't even follow.

But I also like this list of complaints. 1. My boyfriend is dangerously unstable! Point taken! No argument! I think you could phrase it better, but you've basically just been kidnapped again so I forgive. 2. My boyfriend is too sexy! Omigod I'm so sorry! Maybe there's like, some kind of support group in your area? For people who have boyfriends who are too sexy? Check craigslist maybe? 3. My boyfriend is too rich. This one, honestly, is kind of valid, because most of CG's assholery is directly related to the fact that he owns everything around him and is actively arranging to buy the other half. It still sounds braggy, though, and I will remind you that that weird "Croesus" bit was used to describe CG in the previous novel. It's not that weird to describe a single character using the same phrasing more than once. It's often how writers develop a theme. But it's such a specific, out-of-place line that it feels repetitive even though this is only the second time we've heard it. There's a lesson in there, maybe, right? The more natural a line feels, the less we'll notice repetition. 

Ana decides to call her mom. Let me share the entire conversation with you because it's super fun!

"Ana, honey! It's been so long. How are you, darling?"

"Oh, you know..."

"What's wrong? Still not worked it out with Christian?"

"Mom, it's complicated. I think he's nuts. That's the problem."

"Tell me about it. Men, there's just no reading them sometimes. Bob's wondering if our move to Georgia was a good one."


"Yeah, he's talking about going back to Vegas."

Oh, someone else has problems. I'm not the only one.

Christian appears in the doorway. "There you are. I thought you'd run off." His relief is obvious.

I hold my hand up to indicate that I'm on the phone. "Sorry, Mom, I have to go. I'll call again soon."

"Okay, honey - take care of yourself. Love you!"
"Love you, too, Mom." 

Ana's mom is the worst! Right? Ana is offering every possible indication that she's in an unhealthy relationship, but only three people know about it. Kate knows, and actually tried to help, but has been AWOL for our entire novel thus far and doesn't even know her bestie is back with her ex so I can't blame Kate for not being more useful. (Editor's note: Miss you Kate. Hurry back!) José maybe-probably knows, but also knows that he was really shitty to Ana himself, and so isn't in a very good position to be helpful, even if he wanted to me. If he questions Ana's relationship it'll likely be viewed as self-serving.

That leaves Ana's mom. I forget her name but I think it was something weird like Veronica. Carla? Maybe it was Carla. I'm not looking this up. Let's say Carla. Ok so Carla has seen Ana acting super weird! Late night calls, all upset! And maybe I'm unclear on the timeline here, but does this conversation make it seem like Ana never told her mom about the breakup? Not that Ana should have. Not anybody's business, necessarily. But does that also mean that Ana hasn't talked to her mom since before the breakup? Why isn't mom asking about the new job? Or the new apartment? Or any of the many aspects of Ana's life not related to her boyf? What the hell is Carla's problem? 

And then Carla immediately spins things around and makes the conversation about her own dumb problem. Bob wants to move back Vegas? HOLY SHIT YOU MARRIAGE IS A SHAM CARLA! I also like Ana's response to this pretend revelation: "Oh someone else has problems. I'm not the only one." Is that sarcastic? I feel like it might be? Let's compare Ana and Carla's relationship problems. To be fair, we only know a little bit about Carla, but let's go by what we know:


  • In a relationship with a dangerous stalker who seeks to control every aspect of her life.
  • He taken her places against her will on more than one occasion.
  • Kinda-sorta-definitely had non-consensual sex with her.
  • Is worried that her boyf maybe-probably has a little action on the side.
  • One of her boyf's exes is maybe trying to murder her. 
  • Her husband thinks living in Georgia isn't that great.
He's probably right, too! I mean, if I had to choose between Georgia and Vegas? That'd be a real prisoner's dilemma. So I'm not totally on Bob's side. But it's still ridiculous the way that Carla hijacks the conversation like that. Ugh. Get it together, Carla.

And now I kinda want to come to the defense of "men" for a minute here. Wait! Stay with me! Please?

Ok. Carla's daughter calls her, all upset about her shitty boyfriend. And Carla's answer is to be like, "Ugh, men, right? Don't share any specifics with me! I'm just going to assume that you're complaining about men in a sort of Mars / Venus kind of way, and not involved in a dangerous relationship." 

Because c'mon! On the one hand, yeah: men are the worst. Sure. I was going to write a whole thing about like, my own navel-gazey efforts to police myself and not be a chauvinist and whatever but I cut it because who cares. Yawn. But in a world where men are in charge of absolutely everything basically, sure, there probably aren't any of us (Editor's note: by "us" he means men.) who don't have some work to do, and some apologies to make. (Editor's note: Alden feels really bad about a bunch of things and hopes you can still be friends.) 

But when Carla is just like, "Ugh, I know, right? MEN," she sets up this ludicrous false equivalency that basically forgives CG for being a criminal. Your boyfriend is trying to control your whole life, and my husband has raised concerns about living in Georgia, and these things are effectively equally worthy of complaint. 

I don't know why I got stuck talking about this for so long, but it kind of sums up a lot of EL's biggest problems as a writer in just a few short lines. Carla is criminally stupid in this conversation, which is a frequent character trait for a number of people in EL's books. Carla also manages to kind of normalize CG's dangerous behavior by talking about her own tiny complaints, and this book simultaneously paints CG as a unique outlier, but also frequently suggests that maybe he's just like all men, just with a little more money and more sex toys. And, the way that CG appears and Ana immediately gets off the phone sort of feels like proof that Ana fears for her own safety. A person in a healthy relationship says, gimme a minute geez I'm talking to my mom, but Ana hurries off the phone. And of course Carla thinks nothing of it, even though in real life? When somebody calls you and then is like "Gotta go!" fifteen seconds later? You think that's super weird, particularly if you're the caller's mom. 

Ugh moving on geez gimme a minute.

But let's talk again about how Ana is a unique and special snowflake because we aren't all sick of that! Oh, we are? Oh well.

He runs a hand through his hair. "You are one frustrating female."

"You could have a nice brunette submissive. One who'd say, 'how high?' every time you said jump, provided of course she had permission to speak. So why me, Christian? I just don't get it."

He gazes at me for a moment, and I have no idea what he's thinking.

"You make me look at the world differently, Anastasia. You don't want me for my money. You give me... hope," he says softly.

What? Mr. Cryptic is back. "Hope of what?"

He shrugs. "More." His voice is low and quiet. "And you're right. I am used to women doing exactly what I say, when I say, doing exactly what I want. It gets old quickly. There's something about you, Anastasia, that calls to me on some deep level I don't understand.

This section is ticking a lot of boxes for me! We've got some weird, sexist language: "one frustrating female," "nice brunette submissive." Grand! 

But more than that, we're just told again that Ana is special with no explanation. I don't even think that Ana is necessarily repulsed by CG's wealth. She's repulsed by the way he always uses it as an implicit threat. It's not just that they're from different classes. They're from different classes, and everything that CG does that involves money has an air of menace. Everything says, "I can buy you and you can't stop me." So it's not just that she doesn't want him for his money! She's scared of his money. 

But the best part for me is where CG is all, "Yawn. I'm tired of women doing what I want all the time." It's such a transparent lie! He totally loses his shit every time Ana shows any independence! Ugh. But also, if he's sick of women doing what he wants all the time? Maybe he should quit insisting, in writing, that they do what he want all the time! Earlier today, I was like, "Do I really want to eat pho again? Am I tired of pho? I've eaten it like eight times this week." And then I was like, "Hell yeah I do! All I want to do is eat pho and buy records." And then that thought made me sad so I cheered myself up by eating pho and buying records. Why do I bring this up? To brag about how much pho I eat all the time, mostly. But also: we are what we do. CG insists that Ana does whatever he wants all the time, so it's bullshit for him to be like, "Ugh I'm sick of everyone doing what I want all the time in an effort to keep me from spiraling into one of the blind rages that I get into all the time."

Next, Franco shows up to give Ana a haircut. "Franco is small, dark, and gay. I love him." Ugh. Mutterblushing of course he is. EL never met a cliché she didn't immediately squeeze into her book somehow. I'm not going to quote further from the hair scene because I want Franco to hold on to a little more dignity. But anyway. In EL's world, gay men are all goddamn eunuchs who exist only to serve straight-guys' girlfriends and wives. It's gross. 

So right before the haircut, Ana's phone chat with her mom was interrupted so that she could have Relationship Talk Time with Christian. They have some more RTT right after the haircut too because this book is basically just about repeating the same tired conflict over and over without moving it toward resolution. Oh well!

Basically, CG is like, "Oh snap I don't understand boundaries or human emotions! Why don't you tell me why you are feeling, how do you say, angry?" And then Ana goes through a list that's different from mine above but overlaps a bit and also I guess that earlier, at the hair place, Elena touched CG and Ana is strictly verboten from touching CG--she can only hold still while he touches her. When Ana brings up that one, CG allows as how he will explain it all to her "One day" and I'm like OMG can't wait j/k. 

Then he addresses his stalkeriness. And his justification is basically, "NBD! I stalk all kindsa ladies!" and then he invites her to go look at his stalker room. 

I dutifully follow him, dazed. From a locked filing cabinet, he pulls a manila folder.

Typed on the tab: anastasia rose steele.

Holy fucking shit. I glare at him.

He shrugs apologetically. "You can keep it," he says quietly.

"Well, gee, thanks," I snap. I flick through the contents. He has a copy of my birth certificate, for heaven's sake, my hard limits, the NDA, the contract -  Jeez - my social security number, resume, employment records.

"So you knew I worked at Clayton's?"


Fun, right? Also has EL never heard of computers? Whatever. Still gross! Oh and is this the first time we learn that Ana's middle name is Rose? Now I wish that that were her first name instead because Rose Steele would be even more unlikely and horrible. Also, he admits what we assumed already: that he didn't stop by Ana's work (Clayton's) by chance that past spring just to by sex dungeon supplies. His stalking process was already well underway. EL is filling in lots of background details from the first book, by which I mean she is confirming all of our obvious suspicions. Yawn.

CG's justification is cute:

"I don't misuse the information. Anyone can get hold of it if they have half a mind to, Anastasia. To have control - I need information. It's how I've always operated." He gazes at me, his expression guarded and unreadable.

Right? I've always done this so it must be fine. And I need to be the boss, so I need to do things that help me be the boss, and don't question my need to be the boss. 

Then Ana brings up her annoyance at him for pretending that her car sold for $24k and CG claims to make $100,000 per hour. Presuming he's working full time that's like 200 mil per annum. Seems like he's doing ok for himself! I don't know why I included this figure, honestly. I'm just bored by his pretend money. I dunno. Maybe it's his terrible taste in basically everything, but I never quite believe CG as a rich guy. I mean, he's a jerk, so that helps. But I think EL doesn't really understand money exactly and so CG just kind of seems like Richie Rich. Rich for no reason. He just is! Ok? Geez!

But anyway. That's his excuse for being a jerk about money and not respecting Ana's wishes. Basically he's like, "Oh but I'm so rich that I literally don't know how to not spend tens of thousands of dollars on you all the time, even though you've made it clear that you don't want me to. I'm too rich to be considerate!" Good save, guy!

My heart swells. This is it, the crux of his Fifty Shades, surely. He can't put himself in my shoes. Well, now I know.

That's right, Ana! CG is unable to feel sympathy. It's called a personality disorder, and it's a very serious mental illness. Our medical advisor notes that this is perhaps the most serious mental illness, as it is one that no one really knows how to treat. But by all means! See if you can heal him with your love or whatever.

Oh hey this'll be fun! Let's learn about antisocial personality disorder together, ok?

Here's a link to Pysch Central, an internets website that is teaching me about antisocial personality disorder. Let's see how close CG fits the symptoms! And I'm not even going to talk about the sex stuff because that's not fair to regular, non-dangerous kinksters.

Quoted from the link:

  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
Yeah stalking is a crime so sure. 
  • Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
Hm. I gotta give CG this one. He's pretty open about all his shittiness. Not really a liar.
  • Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
This one is a push. He's impulsive, but also frequently makes incredibly detailed plans. 
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
Yes. All the time. 
  • Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
Hm. Well, he claims to do everything so that Ana will be safe but he himself seems to be the most dangerous of all. I call this one a push as well. 
  • Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations
Well, he's not this, I guess. But also is there such a thing as being "too rich" to have a personality disorder? That doesn't seem fair, right? 
  • Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
Yeah this all the time.

So he doesn't quite fit, but he's mutterblushing close.

Moving on! EL never hesitates to take the easiest way out:

"I just want you, Christian. Not all the add-ons."

"They're part of the deal. Part of what I am."

Oh, this is going nowhere.

"Shall we eat?" I ask. This tension between us is draining.

He frowns. "Sure."

I love that for one, short sentence, Ana and I are in complete agreement. "Oh, this is going nowhere." The difference is that I think it all the time and she thinks it only sometimes of the time. But yeah. Nowhere, is where we're going. The terms of the debate remain unchanged, so let's change the subject and eat lunch! Or whatever meal it's time for. I've long since lost track.

Anyway. CG's housekeeper is off so Ana volunteers to cook. What does he usually do on the weekend, then? Left to his own devices? "My submissives cook, Anastasia." 

Really? Is that another weird sex thing? Where he gets off on telling ladies to make him dinner or whatever? Or is he just a dude who's like, hey call me old fashioned? But I think ladies belong in kitchens. Once again, another intersection between CG's radical, edgy lifestyle and plain ol' patriarchy. HOW CONVENIENT!

Ana cooks and puts on Beyoncé and dances around. Yay. It's basically identical in every way to the last time she cooked for CG at his place, which was about a third of the way into the first book. This book is embarrassingly similar to its predecessor. I mean, I'm embarrassed, at least, as a member of the book-reading public. Can't speak for anybody else!

After "Crazy In Love" the next song our heroes listen to is "I Put a Spell on You" because EL's musical choices are either 1) probably from some CD she bought at a drug store called "Sensual Classics" or 2) the most obvious. See, they listened to "Crazy In Love" because they're like, in love, and they're kinda like, crazy, you know? And then they listened to "I Put a Spell on You" because like, they like, put spells on each other? Engorgio! 

Speaking of being repetitive! Here are some other words we've totally read before:

I watch him, enthralled as slowly, like the predator he is, he stalks me in time to the slow sultry beat of the music. He's barefoot, wearing just an untucked white shirt, jeans, and a smoldering look.

This is the kind of thing that actually could be kind of cute, you know? CG semi-dancing. Trying to be sexy but kinda coming off all goofy? It could kind of work except for how he keeps getting called a "predator" which he is and also it's just the same thing as that part in the previous book where Ana said he was stalking her like a panther or something. EL only has like, three tricks, so no character in this book gets more than two.

Also: once again we get this weird phrasing in which we learn that CG is wearing basically nothing but all of his clothes. Besides the white shirt, and the jeans? TOTALLY NEKKID. 

Ana tells CG very specifically that she doesn't want to do any sex, but then CG mopes and he lets her touch his face for a minute and she's like, "Fine, fine we can do sex" and I'm depressed, you know? Because she said "no" and then a page later is basically like, fine, fine, you win. You wore me down! And that's depressing, particularly when I stop and consider how frequently that doubtless happens in real life.

They start making out but Taylor shows up and I'm like phew and now I'm never going to call anybody a buzzkill ever again because sometimes what you really need is a buzzkill. Thank you Taylor!

Ana cooks in the kitchen, because she's a girl, and CG and Taylor talk about something in their secret clubhouse because they are boys and no girls are allowed in the clubhouse. 

Then CG returns to eat lunch. They converse for a few lines and are basically pleasant, and then CG turns impulsive and aggressive again. Yay. 

"Have you decided what you'll wear this evening? Or do I need to come and pick something for you?" 

His tone is suddenly brusque.

Whoa! He sounds angry. Why? What have I said? 

Gross. Once again angry about nothing for no reason. It's like 2PM or something! I'm sure she'll be able to find something to wear in time for an evening engagement! Ugh. CG splits to go talk about the extra security he has planned for their little soiree. How exciting!

I'm going to rearrange the order a tiny bit on a couple of things to make it easier for me to make some of my jokes. Sorry to any of you reading along! Not for rearranging quotations. Because this book is terrible and I'm sorry you're reading it.

She goes to pick out a dress. Turns out she's only choosing from three so how hard could it be?

Lying down on the bed, I gaze at my Mac, my iPad, and my Blackberry. I am overwhelmed with technology. I set about transferring Christian's playlist from my iPad to the Mac, then fire up Google to surf the net.

She is pretty overwhelmed! I can't help but imagine her with some weird coal-powered computer. Every time technology is involved, Ana seems to grow about a hundred years older. She makes using google sound like piloting a submarine. Also, when's the last time you read the phrase "surf the net" before right now? Was it before World War II or after World War II? 

What is she doing on the internets? 

What the hell was that about? He's like several different people in one body. Isn't that a symptom of schizophrenia? I must Google that.

And then:

I'm lying across the bed looking at my Mac as Christian enters.

"What are you doing?" he inquires softly.

I panic briefly, wondering if I should let him see the website I'm on: Multiple Personality Disorder: The Symptoms.

I'm glad this happened, in a way, so that we can clear up some common misconceptions. 1) The preferred name for the condition is dissociative identity disorder. 2) Dissociative identity disorder is not schizophrenia. 3) Ana should really be looking into antisocial personality disorder if she wants to better understand CG. I really wish Ana would read this blog.

CG, to his credit, takes this very well. Much better than I would have presumed. Of course, it might just be an indication of how little Ana's concerns mean to him. 

Anyway, pretty soon CG hands Ana a red lipstick that he owns for some reason and then they use it to draw a touch / no-touch map on CG's back and chest. I'll save you the details. Basically Ana draws a lipstick top on CG that more or less resembles the official uniform for women's beach volleyball. Or the top half of a muscle shirt. Does this make sense? Should I draw lipstick on myself and take a photo? Because I won't! Basically the rule is this: Ribs are off-limits, chest and back. Arms are ok. Neck is ok. Belly is ok. Everything else is not ok.

We get reminded of CG's cigarette-burn scars and this is basically another way of making CG out to be the victim in our novel, because of the trauma he faced as a youth. It's not making me feel any sympathy for him tho. I mean, I'm sorry all this shit went down, I guess? But like, probably, with help, he could figure out some way of not being an asshole literally all the time, like if he worked at it?

Oh and then they have sex but the chapter ends so we don't have to read about it. Just had to read about the whole lipstick part.

So what happened here, really? Well. They drove to CG's house. And ate lunch. And talked about the stuff that they always talk about. And that lipstick thing happened. SO we get all the same conversations, again and again, oh and also the lipstick thing. What a mutterblushing waste of time. 

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