All Hail the Moneydick of Pain: Chapter 12 of EL James’s “Grey”

terror

Previous Post.

The last chapter ended with Christian going home and then getting an e-mail from Ana that implied she was upset. This chapter opens minutes later with Christian still staring at his computer screen because their e-mail back-and-forth took place around midnight. So we’re in the middle of the exact same scene, which was cut in half for no reason other than time. It’s almost like EL James didn’t really think this chapter organization through.

Anyway, Christian sends Ana an e-mail asking her why she doesn’t like him anymore because he’s a child, and then gets up to open a bottle of SPARKLING WATER because only Dickensian orphans drink still.

Minutes later — that I’m sure feel like an eternity to this entitled baby — she replies that she doesn’t like that he never stays with her. Which shocks him, even though — as you’ll remember from the last chapter — she very blatantly asked him to stay, and he refused to do so to “manage her expectations.”

So he knew at the time that she wanted him to stay, but left anyway even though she had just had her first experience of BDSM “punishment,” which I’m pretty sure anyone within a kink can tell you is literally the worst time to leave someone.

And in an attempt to make Christian seem like he’s “softening” and being more understanding, EL James walks us through his itemized thought process:

I told her that I didn’t sleep with anyone.

But today was a big day.

She graduated from college.

She said yes.

We went through all those soft limits that she knew nothing about. We fucked. I spanked her. We fucked again.

Shit.

explain

RoboChristian… think… bad?

It’s not that EL James’s characterization has ever been anything other than horrible, but this is particularly pathetic. Because what she’s trying to do is convince you that while at the beginning he was definitely being purposefully manipulative and creepy, now he’s confused about her reactions and it takes him a while to figure out why she might feel the way she does. So his actions don’t change, but his internal thought process goes from entirely aware to totally oblivious.

I don’t buy it.

Anyway, Christian decides that the best thing to do is go running back to her, so he does (without replying to her e-mail or telling her that he’s coming), but first he must deal with her friend and roommate who — just as a quick reminder — he spent several pages admonishing for not being loyal and protective enough:

I knock quietly, and Kavanagh opens the door.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” she shouts, her eyes blazing with anger.

Whoa. Not the reception I was expecting. 

“I’ve come to see Ana.”

“Well, you can’t!” Kavanagh stands with arms folded and legs braced in the doorway, like a gargoyle.

So to recap, it’s Kate’s fault when Ana gets drunk, it’s Kate’s fault when Jose assaults Ana, it’s Kate’s fault that Christian was able to take Ana back to his hotel room — all because she wasn’t watching her friend closely enough. But now that she is being protective and concerned, she’s a gargoyle who’s in his way. And it’s all still her fault.

Poor Kate, man. I’ve reached a point where I think she might be the only decent character in the entire book, and yet nobody gets more shit than she does.

I try reasoning with her. “But I need to see her. She sent me an e-mail.” Get out of my way!

So… send her an e-mail in response. That’s how communication works.

“What the fuck have you done to her now?”

“That’s what I need to find out.” I grit my teeth.

Because nothing is ever his fault. This is basically a variation of “I’m sorry that you feel that way.”

“Ever since she met you she cries all the time.”

“What?” I can’t deal with her shit anymore, and I barge past her.

Can I nominate this for the worst moment in the series? Kate has identified the fact that her friend is unhappy in her relationship, so she’s trying to protect her friend from a guy she has a great deal of reason to believe is something of an abuser. And in the moment where Kate reveals that Ana CRIES ALL THE TIME since their relationship began, he dismisses this revelation and then forces his way into the apartment. That Kate owns.

Here’s the final straw:

“You can’t come in here!” Kavanagh follows me, shrieking like a harpy, as I storm through the apartment to Ana’s bedroom.

If only Kate had called the cops. But then who am I kidding — he’s rich and white. They would’ve told Kate to “mind her own business.”

I open Ana’s door and switch on the main light. She’s huddled in her bed, wrapped in her comforter. Her eyes are red and puffy, and squinting in the overhead light. Her nose is swollen and blotchy.

I’ve seen women in this state many times, especially after I’ve punished them. But I’m surprised by the unease that grips my gut.

I have nothing pithy to say here. It’s just too depressing.

“What are you doing here?” She’s sniffling. I turn on her bedside light.

“Do you want me to throw this asshole out?” Kate barks from the doorway.

Fuck you, Kavanagh. Raising an eyebrow, I pretend to ignore her.

IT’S HER APARTMENT. FUCK YOU. You just forced your way past her into HER apartment to continue assaulting HER friend. And the non-stop dehumanization of Kate is even worse — she’s barking like a dog, shrieking like a harpy, glowering like a gargoyle… it’s just gross. And it’s all presented as her not “understanding” the situation, because he’s already controlled Ana’s ability to communicate with her friends through the NDA.

Ana shakes her head, but her watery eyes are on me.

“Just holler if you need me,” Kate says to Ana, as if she were a child.

Are you fucking kidding me.

“Grey,” she snaps, so I’m obliged to look at her. “You’re on my shit list, and I’m watching you.” She sounds shrill, her eyes glinting with fury, but I don’t give a fuck.

Of course he doesn’t. Besides, once he successfully moves Ana into his apartment, he’ll be able to completely isolate her from everyone, and particularly people like Kate who recognize his behavior for what it is. Yay — isn’t this a fun, sexy story? Aren’t we all having a lot of kinky fun?

“Why are you here?” [Ana’s] voice is shaky.

I don’t know

You said you didn’t like me.

“Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am.” Nice save, Grey. “And yet I find you like this.” You weren’t like this when I left. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?”

I kept trying to divide that passage up to react to those lines individually, but it all just amounted to one long stream of head-bashing. And because I trust you to understand why every inch of that is vile and disgusting, let me instead say that this thing EL James does where she has him internally admit that he knows exactly what’s going on — but he’s too insecure to voice it aloud — is perhaps the worst possible way to humanize him. Oh, inside he’s just an unsure little baby munching on his moldy cheese? That’s sad. I’ll be sure to forget how he broke into her apartment and screamed at her roommate. That’s all fine now that I know his secret sad thoughts.

And, of course, all of this is presented as, “Why is she doing this to him? Why can’t she just go with it?”

Ana asks Christian to clarify his desire to “punish” her. He explains that he enjoys the control — which as a rich, white male CEO, he obvi doesn’t get enough of in every other aspect of his life — and that ultimately he just enjoys the punishment aspect and his ability to “correct” her behavior.

They go back and forth for a bit, where she asks if this means that he doesn’t like her the way she is. He says he has no desire to “change” her, he just wants her to behave in a way that pleases him. Which is, of course, the definition of “changing” someone, but fuck it. Ana finally asks him to explain why he needs this particular form of control, which is a fair question given that — from what I understand — most kinks are about power reversal, ie. someone with very little power likes the idea of role-playing as the Dom, etc. I might be wrong there, but I do think it’s odd that a billionaire dickhead “needs” control in the bedroom as a kink because that seems counterintuitive. I do genuinely invite anyone to correct me there if I’m misunderstanding things or unfairly profiling the kink. But in the meantime, let’s hear Christian’s explanation:

I sigh. “It’s the way I’m made. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t–” My mind drifts. I find it arousing, Ana. You did, too. Can’t you accept that? Bending you over my knee…feeling your ass beneath my palm. “I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.”

All of his internal asides make me wonder whether EL James realized, on a second glance, just how bad he sounds in the original, and that trying to explain his kink as an emotional defect might have been problematic. So she gives him these moments of going, “Well, plus I find it arousing,” which would make sense if it didn’t contradict everything he says out loud.

Yet at the same time, she also takes great pains to make him even worse in his asides, so it’s a bit of a wash:

“So it’s not the pain you’re putting me through?”

Hell.

“A bit, to see if you can take it.” Actually, it’s a lot, but I don’t want to go there right now. If I tell her, she’ll throw me out.

And so we continue the never-ending cycle of his deliberately withholding information from her to trick her into consenting to something she’s not comfortable with.

Why do all of us 50 Shades critics hate sex so much? Why are we being so mean about this harmless erotic book that’s just about BDSM. Why do we keep seeing it as abuse?

“Look, I’m not explaining myself very well. I’ve never had to before. I’ve not really thought about this in any great depth. I’ve always been with like-minded people.”

More gaslighting. He flat-out told the reader that ALL of the women he’s had relationships with wanted to move beyond BDSM into more traditional dating. So this is a blatant attempt on his part to make her believe that she’s failing in comparison with his previous Subs by forcing him to “explain” himself — which he shouldn’t have to do, apparently.

“And you haven’t answered my question–how did you feel afterward?”

She blinks. “Confused.”

“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia.”

You have an inner freak, Ana. I know it.

So well hidden that even SHE isn’t aware of it. Because you already know how she felt afterward — she started sobbing as soon as you left her. But let’s instead convince her that she doesn’t know or understand her own feelings, and that deep down she wanted it.

Closing my eyes, I recall her wet and wanting around my fingers after I spanked her. When I open them, she’s staring at me, pupils dilated, her lips parted…her tongue moistening her top lip. She wants it, too.

It’s like EL James is writing an actual textbook on rape culture mentality at this point. Her body said yes — right, bro?

And, because he needs to keep her as intimidated and uncomfortable as possible, he warns her not to look at him “like that” — although how she’s looking at him isn’t really clear — because he’s all out of condoms and won’t be able to fuck her. What a prince. Then he tells her that he’s annoyed that she can be “honest” with him over e-mail, but clams up when they’re talking in-person. Almost like he’s deliberately intimidating her and then twisting anything she says to suit his purpose. And then fuck-punishing her if that doesn’t work to make her understand just how little she has control over.

Almost.

Anyway, Ana says this crazy bullshit instead:

“You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus, flying too close to the sun.”

This metaphor was a recurring theme in the original book, and it never made sense then either. Christian makes sure to spin it around, however, because he can’t possibly take responsibility for the way he makes her feel:

Her confession floors me like a swift kick to the head.

“Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way round,” I whisper.

“What?”

“Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me. Isn’t it obvious?”

That’s why I’m here.

She’s not convinced.

I mean, no one is. You spend 99% of this book explaining how much you want to dick-slap her for calling you gay. And I love his use of the term “bewitched,” as though she’s working some supernatural force and he can’t control himself.

~~~~bewitched

Anyway, Christian and Ana spoon instead of having more crazy sex — not because it would obviously be a bad idea after an emotionally difficult evening, but because he’s out of condoms. Then Christian has another Baby Christian dream, this time about right after he was adopted by the Greys where he’s being chased by Elliot around grandpa’s apple orchard, and then the apples fall on him or something and it’s all very Biblical I’m sure.

When I open my eyes I’m wrapped around her, our limbs entwined. She’s regarding me with a tender smile. Her face is no longer blotchy and puffy; she looks radiant. My cock agrees, and stiffens in greeting.

My cock loves the way your skin looks after I make you cry, girl.

I kind of do wish that EL James had just gone whole hog and made his cock more like the Inner Goddess, complete with triathlons, sun shields, and chaise lounges. It would break up the crushing sadness of the rest of the narrative.

But unfortunately, Christian’s Inner Cock God must be stowed away because Christian has to leave for important business. With Kate’s Dad, which would be awkward — if he thought of Kate as a human being.

I put on my shoes while I’m driving.

Does Christian Grey have special driving shoes? That he keeps in the glove compartment? And puts on as he’s driving? Does he actually?

Once they’re on I open up the throttle and weave in and out of the traffic heading to Portland. I’ll have to meet Eamon Kavanagh’s associates in my jeans. Thankfully this meeting is via WebEx.

WebEx? Holy shit no way. You guys he is so business right now. Skype is for poor people. WebEx is for science space business solar Africa.

I burst into my room at The Heathman and switch on my laptop: 8:02. Shit. I haven’t shaved, but I smooth my hair and straighten my jacket, and hope they don’t notice I’m only wearing a T-shirt underneth.

Who gives a fuck, anyway?

You do. Because you just stated that you were concerned about it.

All of this “but I don’t give a shit” stuff is so weird. Am I meant to think that he’s insecure and in denial, and it’s a defense mechanism, or does EL James think that in order to not give a shit, you must first think very intently about the thing that you supposedly don’t care about?

I open WebEx and Andrea is online, waiting for me. “Good morning, Mr. Grey. Mr. Kavanagh is delayed but they’re ready for you in New York and here in Seattle.”

“Fred and Barney?” My Flintstones. I smirk at the thought.

What am I even reading at this point.

Christian demands that his personal assistant/receptionist/whatever order him a bagel and a coffee, which was important to mention in the middle of this already pointless scene, because he’s gotta keep ’em guessing. Today he ordered his coffee black. Some people order coffee based on what they like, but preferences are for weak pussies. Real men only order coffee as a way to fuck with their staff.

No, I will never get over that.

Anyway, EL James feels the need to narrate literally every detail of this WEBEX TELECONFERENCE OF THE FUTURE, but I’ll only give you the gems:

To business.

Yes. He actually said “To Business.”

Kavanagh says he wants to upgrade his media network to high-speed fiber-optic connections. GEH can do it for them–but are they serious about buying in? It’s a big investment up front, but a great payoff down the line.

g

But even though Christian is definitely doing business, and his job isn’t fake at all, he gets distracted because Ana starts e-mailing him. And so in the middle of his WEBEX FUTURE CALL, he takes a moment to be a condescending prick to his girlfriend:

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Assault and Battery: The After-Effects

Date: May 27 2011 8:05

To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey,

You wanted to know why I felt confused after you–which euphemism should we apply–spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me.

A tad overdramatic, Miss Steele. You could have said no.

I want to launch him directly into the sun.

Well, during the whole alarming process, I felt demeaned, debased, and abused.

If you felt that way, why didn’t you stop me? You have safe words.

Who cares? She’s telling you NOW. And the whole issue with “safe words” is that she’s still not completely comfortable with this brand-new lifestyle, on top of her brand-new lack of virginity, and her brand-new very first relationship. She’s told you that you intimidate her, and whenever she says “no,” you turn it into a yes. But it doesn’t matter, because you immediately undermind anything she says and turn it into “her problem.”

And much to my mortification, you’re right, I was aroused, and that was unexpected.

I know. Good. You’ve finally acknowledged it.

I’m going to kill him. Also, this is yet another instance of textbook rape culture mentality because often children and women who’ve been abused feel guilty and ashamed if hey enjoyed at least part of their abuse. As a result, they tend to believe that that means that they can’t call the rape or assault “rape” or “assault,” even if they didn’t consent to it. So let’s be clear: a physical sensation of pleasure or arousal does not replace consent.

While introductions are made and Fred talks about what GEH can offer, I type out my reply to Ana. I hope to those on the other side of the computer screen it looks like I’m taking notes.

Taking notes on a member of your company explaining how your product works? Yeah, I think they’ll buy it.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Free Your Mind

How dare you tarnish En Vogue with your gaslighting bullshit.

Date: May 27 2011 8:24

To: Anastasia Steele

Interesting…if slightly overstated title heading, Miss Steele.

fuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyoufuckyou

To answer your points:

  • I’ll go with spanking–as that’s what it was.
  • So you felt demeaned, debased, abused, and assaulted–how very Tess Durbeyfield of you. I believe it was you who decided on the debasement, if I remember correctly. Do you really feel like this or do you think you ought to feel like this? Two very different things. If that is how you feel, do you think you could just try to embrace these feelings, deal with them, for me? That’s what a submissive would do.

If I was going to rage-quit this book, this would be the moment to do it. Quickly, through my cyclone of anger and sadness, let’s clearly state that what he’s saying is: “So you’ve told me very clearly how you feel. Are you sure that’s how you feel? It probably isn’t. But if it is, could you just shut up about it? For me, babe?”

And what kind of insane asshole uses bullet points in a casual e-mail?

It gets worse:

  • I am grateful for your inexperience. I value it, and I’m only beginning to understand what it means. Simply put…it means that you are mine in every way.

NO IT DOESN’T. For the millionth time, that’s not how consent works. She still belongs to herself. You didn’t fish a magic key out of her baby cave so now only you can spelunk at will. She still owns her own cave, or however this metaphor is meant to work. I’ve kind of lost the thread at this point.

  • Yes, you were aroused, which in turn was very arousing, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Except that’s not what she said, chief. She said that she was aroused — to her mortification. Meaning she was not comfortable with it, which in turn means that she needs time to process and understand her own reactions to decide if SHE is comfortable with them.

  • Don’t waste your energy on guilt, feelings of wrongdoing, etc. We are consenting adults and what we do behind closed doors is between ourselves. You need to free your mind and listen to your body.

But she IS. Her body — and her mind — is telling her that she’s uncomfortable. Aggghhhh.

Then Ana replies by saying that if she DID listen to her body, she’d run away to Alaska to escape him. So again, she is telling him that she was not, and is still not, comfortable with what happened, even if she was aroused. Which is not consent.

But let’s see how calmly, rationally, and respectfully Christian replies to this. Please note the subject headings, which keep changing even though these are two 20-somethings in the year 2011 and not Boomers on AOL in 1996:

From: Christian Grey

Subject: You Didn’t Call the Cops

Date: May 27 2011 8:35

To: Anastasia Steele

Miss Steele,

I am in a meeting discussing the futures market, if you’re really interested.

Nobody is. You don’t have a real job.

For the record, you stood beside me knowing what I was going to do.

Even though she’d never been spanked in her life, and so had zero frame of reference for how it would feel. And you knew that. Fuck you.

You didn’t at any time ask me to stop–you didn’t use either safe word.

You are an adult–you have choices.

Why does he sound like her dad so much of the time?

Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the next time my palm is ringing with pain.

His pain, because he’s the only one who matters.

You’re obviously not listening to the right part of your body.

scream

Alaska is very cold and no place to run: I would find you.

I can track your cell phone–remember?

Go to work.

AREN’T WE ALL ENJOYING THIS SEX ROMP. ISN’T THIS SO FUN. WHY DO FEMINISMS HATE SEX SO MUCH?

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Stalker

Date: May 27 2011 8:36

To: Christian Grey

Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies?

Ana

I smother my laugh. She’s funny.

Actual sociopath.

He laughingly informs her — for the first time — that he is indeed in therapy for his stalker tendencies. And again, I have to wonder why she doesn’t gently open a window, dispose of her laptop, change her name, and move to a foreign country because this guy is absolutely going to murder her.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Expensive Charlatans

Date: May 27 2011 8:40

To: Christian Grey

May I humbly suggest you seek a second option?

I am not sure that Dr. Flynn is very effective.

Miss Steele

Damn, this woman is funny…and intuitive; Flynn charges me a small fortune for his advice.

Like… intuitive because she knows you’re insane, or intuitive because she knows your private therapist — like all private therapists — charges money for his services?

I’d also like to believe that Ana is writing this with deadly seriousness, which she should be. But I know better, because EL James is awful.

Anyway, Christian continues to laughingly discuss his therapy with his girlfriend while ignoring his important WEBEX SPACE CALL and, when it ends, his “second-in-command” gives him shit for it. As she should. Because he’s meant to be working. At the job he obviously doesn’t really have. She tells him what anyone could have told him, which is that constantly typing and smirking while on a conference call with live video feed doesn’t fool anyone into thinking that you’re “taking notes.”

TO BUSINESS!

But Christian doesn’t give a fuuuuuuck. So instead, he takes this moment to investigate all potential publishing houses that Ana might be interviewing with later in the week so he can see if any of them with be available for purchase. That happens now — before she’s even interviewed at any of them. Just so we’re clear.

Then — and, again, Ana still hasn’t signed the contract — he calls his personal shopper to order “the capsule collection” in Ana’s size, which is code for the exact pile of clothes he buys all of his submissives. What could possibly make a girl feel more special?

Still no finalized contract.

She’s funny. I never knew I liked that in a woman. I’ll need to think about what we’ll do on Sunday in my playroom…something fun, something new for her.

No contract, and she’s said multiple times that she’s very uncomfortable and unsure with a bit of light spanking.

We’re treated to another fun text conversation with Elliot, though, so strap in:

You still in Portland?

Yes, but I’m leaving soon.

I’ll be there later. I’m gonna help the girls move.

Shame you can’t stay.

Our first DOUBLE DATE since Ana popped your cherry.

Fuck off. I’m picking up Mia.

I need deets bro. Kate tells me nothing.

Good. Fuck off. Again.

This dialog coming to you fresh n’ funky from 1996.

thumbs

At 11:30 I have another conference call, with our director of finance, to discuss GEH’s charitable giving for the next quarter. That takes the best part of an hour, and when it’s over I finish a light lunch and read the rest of my Forbes magazine.

business

Christian businesses a little more, and then he makes yet another decision about Ana’s body without her signed consent:

While I’m waiting for my car, Andrea calls to tell me that she’s found an OB-GYN to come to Escala on Sunday.

Poor fucking Andrea.

And yes, that’s right — Christian has made an appointment with an OB-GYN for Ana without speaking to her. To prescribe her birth control, which they haven’t agreed to. He’s going to now force-feed her hormones that she’s never had before. That’s a decision he made without her. Y DO FEMINSMS HATE THIS GRATE BOOK?

“Her name is Dr. Greene, and she comes highly recommended by your M.D., sir.”

“Good.”

“She runs her practice out of the Northwest.”

“Okay.” Where is Andrea going with this?

“There’s one thing sir–she’s expensive.”

ohno

What will a man, whose only defining characteristic is how wealthy he is, do? Is EL James trying to impress us by saying that Christian is sparing no expense to avoid having to use condoms? Is that meant to seem anything other than creepy?

I dismiss her concern. “Andrea, whatever she wants is fine.”

MY MONEYDICK MUST BE APPEASED.

His moneydick continues to spew, as he then decides that even though he refuses (for no reason) to help Ana and Kate move, he will send them a bottle of the pink ass champagne as a “housewarming” present.

And then we get to see the inception of this CLASSIC MOMENT from the original book:

“Anything else?”

“What do you mean, anything else?”

“Flowers? Chocolates? A balloon?”

“Balloon?”

“Yes.”

“What sort of balloons?”

A second ago you were ordering private health care deliveries, but now you’re baffled that there is a plethora of balloons to choose from?

“Well…they have everything.”

“Okay. Good idea–see if you can get a helicopter balloon.”

Yeah. That’ll really blow her mind. “I won’t help you move, but have this shitty balloon that reminds you of a thing I own.”

“Yes, sir. Any message for the card?”

“‘Ladies, good luck in your new home. Christian Grey.’ Got that?”

Of COURSE he calls women “ladies.” Of course he does.

“I have. What’s the address?”

Shit. I don’t know. “I’ll text it to you either later today or tomorrow. Will that work?”

Wow, he is slacking. He forgot to stalk her to her new apartment.

“Yes, sir. I can get it delivered tomorrow.”

How, if she won’t get the address until tomorrow? I’m sorry — I don’t mean to take this terrible writing out on Andrea. You say whatever you have to, Andrea.

“Thanks, Andrea.”

“You’re welcome.” She sounds surprised.

POOR FUCKING ANDREA. And let’s all marvel at the fact that what EL James really wants you to take away from this is that he’s changing for the better because he thanked his assistant for running a personal errand for him. And she now has to call another adult and ask for a helicopter balloon for a third adult, like some kind of asshole.

I hang up and floor my R8

MONEYDIIIIIICKKKKK.

Somehow this chapter is still happening. So we fast-forward to Christian getting ready for some fancy charity gala something something. He’s PISSED because Ana hasn’t e-mailed him yet, and I’m not even sure I can remember what their last exchange was at this point, or what he’s waiting for. But he’s pissed, and that’s all that’s important.

And because he’s sane, he calls her and leaves this message:

“I think you need to learn to manage my expectations. I’m 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.”

If she doesn’t call soon I am going to explode.

Wheeee! Everyone still having a great time?

Well, Christian isn’t. Because he fucking hates galas. And he fucking hates business. And he fucking hates women.

I’m seated at a table with Whelan, my banker. I’m his guest at a charity function for a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness of global poverty.

Awareness? Oh wow.

“Glad you could make it,” Whelan says.

“It’s a good cause.”

Nevermind, actually Christian is super great. He charities all the time so he can’t be a bad person.

“And thank you for your generous contribution, Mr. Grey.” His wife is cloying, thrusting her perfect, surgically enhanced breasts in my direction.

“Like I said, it’s a good cause.” I give her a patronizing smile.

I guarantee you that, when they go home, she’s going to spend like 20 minutes ranting about what an asshole he is. But sure, dude, she and her FAKE TITS (and he haaates when women alter their own bodies, but he’s more than happy to shove hormones down his girlfriend’s throat without her consent) are definitely coming onto you.

Malkovich Malkovich.

I look around the table at all the middle-aged men with their second or third trophy wives. God forbid this should ever be me.

You literally date women who all look the same and then dump them when they want to get more serious. You’re WORSE than that, you crazy fuck.

I’m bored. Seriously bored and seriously pissed.

Aw, charity dinners are SO hard.

Could I have brought her here? I suspect she would have been bored stiff, too. When the conversation moves to the state of the economy, I’ve had enough.

Keep in mind that this was written in 2011, so this means that Christian Grey — defender of poor Africans — is bored and annoyed when he has to hear about the financial crisis that affects the people he lives near. A crisis that he could probably help by paying his staff living wages (which you know he doesn’t), or investing into more local ventures (which you know he doesn’t), or by — you know — not firing people for violating his crazy random drug-testing in the middle of a massive job shortage.

And this chapter is still not over. He leaves, gets into his car, calls Ana again, gets no response, and then — for the first time — remembers that she’s busy packing. Not that this excuses her.

But he doesn’t go to help Ana. Instead, he heads home.

To brood.

I wander around my apartment, my footsteps echoing through the living room, and it seems achingly empty since I was last here. I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty. I pour myself an Armagnac and stare back out at the Seattle skyline toward the Sound.

Are you thinking about me, Anastasia Steele? The winking lights of Seattle have no answer.

melan

Water is the essence of wetness.

His life is one long, tragic Armani ad. Even his depression is designer.

Ana “finally” calls, and confirms that she was FUCKING BUSY PACKING HER APARTMENT JESUS CHRIST, but then “lets slip” that Jose helped her. You know, because her actual boyfriend refused to help.

Oh, this just gets better and better. The fucking photographer again. That’s why she hasn’t called.

KEEP HER AWAY FROM ALL DICKS! ALL DICKS ARE THREATS TO THE ONE TRUE MONEYDICK!

They have a breathy conversation, then they both refuse to hang up because they’re that fucking couple, and finally Christian — in the middle of their hilarious back-and-forth — says:

“Do you ever think you’ll be able to do what you’re told?” I ask.

NO YOU HANG UP. OR YOU DIE.

“Maybe. We’ll see after Sunday,” she says, temptress that she is, and the line goes dead.

Anastasia Steele, what am I going to do with you?

I assume it involves a large tarp and some shovels.

Actually, I have a good idea, provided that riding crops turns up in time. And with that enticing thought I toss down the rest of the Armagnac and go to bed.

And on that haunting, designer threat, this chapter is FINALLY over.

Next Post.

4 thoughts on “All Hail the Moneydick of Pain: Chapter 12 of EL James’s “Grey”

  1. “Why do all of us 50 Shades critics hate sex so much? Why are we being so mean about this harmless erotic book that’s just about BDSM. Why do we keep seeing it as abuse?”

    Oh yes, why, indeed?!

    This book is so far gone, so badly written, so superfluously researched – it’s laughable, if it weren’t so tragically abusive. Why do we read this? How can we find this romantic? How can grown up women seriously long for someone like Christian Grey in their life???

    On the other hand. I doubt, the reader is identifying with Ana. The identification would probably go something like: ‘Poor Christian, stupid Ana, let me have a go – I would be the perfect submissive and turn him around to be loving ONLY me.’
    Like, all those women who try to get married with a serial killer.

    “Malkovich. Malkovich.”

    As for the BDSM kink, I highly recommend the following:

    Penny Armstrong: London Leather.

    And thank you so much, for reading ‘Grey’ so we don’t have to. Reading your blog entries is much more fun – hilarious, entertaining, and thought provoking!

  2. “Ana finally asks him to explain why he needs this particular form of control, which is a fair question given that — from what I understand — most kinks are about power reversal, ie. someone with very little power likes the idea of role-playing as the Dom, etc. I might be wrong there, but I do think it’s odd that a billionaire dickhead “needs” control in the bedroom as a kink because that seems counterintuitive. I do genuinely invite anyone to correct me there if I’m misunderstanding things or unfairly profiling the kink.”

    My understanding is that this is largely a myth and there’s no significant correlation. There are certainly Type-A personalities who find it liberating to submit in private, and people who are ‘beta’ at work and dominant in their private life. But there are as many or more people who tend towards dominance in both sides of their lives. Ditto people with submissive tendencies.

    Christian seems like he is extremely dominating in all aspects of his life as a reaction to feeling so profoundly helpless as a child.

    It should be noted that good, responsible Dominants understand the difference between expressing dominance in a mutually agreeable, empathic way and being a self-centred, abusive asshole.

    “He flat-out told the reader that ALL of the women he’s had relationships with wanted to move beyond BDSM into more traditional dating.”

    Not exactly. He’s told us that all the women he’s had BDSM relationships with have ended up falling for him and wanted more than BDSM and empty sex. The two aren’t automatically incompatible though. It’s entirely possible to have a caring, loving BDSM relationship and I figure that’s probably what they wanted from him, not to give up all their personal tastes just because they wanted something beyond robodick Christian.

    Then again, EL James, so…

    “undermind”

    undermined. (Tell me if you don’t like or want typo corrections, BTW)

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