Christian Grey Hates Condoms, Loves Condiments: Chapter 24 of EL James’s “Grey”

plain chicken

Previous Post.

So. We now have two chapters and 12 pages left to go, but this next chapter is 11 pages and the final chapter is one. I feel that you’ll be okay with me splitting the page count right down the middle and ending somewhere around the six-page mark. Because I promise you the very last chapter is absolute garbage anyway and not worth its own post.

Anyway, let’s wrap this up.

We open with Christian having ANOTHER moldy cheese dream. The last 5 chapters must’ve just involved doing a search and replace with breakfast terms and the names of random staff members. But this is a very different dream, you see. Because this is the dream where Christian, as a toddler, discovers his mother’s lifeless corpse in the living room, licks a bunch of moldy things in the freezer, gets yelled at by the bad man, and then gets taken away by a police officer. That’s all I’ll bother recapping, because Jesus Christ it’s dark. And not in an edgy or an interesting way — just in the same cheap, horrible, lazy, and offensive way as always.

Fuck EL James.

Scene break.

Christian wakes up from the sad dream.

I wake breathing hard, taking huge gulps of air, checking my surroundings. Oh thank God–I’m in my bed.

As opposed to where.

Slowly the fear recedes. I’m twenty-seven, not four. This shit has to stop.

ONLY BABIES DREAM BAD DREAMS. NOT MONEYDICKS.

monopoly

I used to have my nightmares under control. Maybe one every couple of weeks, but nothing like this–night after night.

Since she left.

Oh, okay. So now EL James is manipulating the reader by implying that Ana has made his problem worse by leaving.

Great.

Christian realizes he needs Ana in his life, even though that’s not a realization. He knew this whole time that he wanted to be with her. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was whether or not the relationship was good for Ana — which it isn’t. But the baby-man needs his human virgin night light, so he’s done with wondering whether or not he’s any good for the virgin night light herself.

When she slept beside me, I slept well. I need her in my life, in my bed. She was the day to my night. I’m going to get her back.

How?

Wave an iPad in front of her nose and then lure her toward your apartment with a trail of diamonds?

But no. Christian remembers Flynn recommending that Christian try doing things “Ana’s way.” Which is shorthand for no kink. Which, again, was not the problem. But whatever.

She wants hearts and flowers. Can I give her that?

No. You’re awful.

I frown, trying to recall the romantic moments in my life…And there’s nothing…except with Ana. The “more.” The gliding, and IHOP, and taking her up in Charlie Tango.

So his top 3 moments of romance are 1) The time he showed her his big fancy glider. 2) The time he took her to eat pancakes at IHOP, and 3) The time he showed her his big fancy helicopter.

Stripping her unconscious body naked didn’t make the list? Stalking her at work isn’t on there? Fingering her at his parents’ house? No?

To be fair, they were only together for 2 weeks. He didn’t even get to show her all of his cars yet. Or an entire room of his apartment, apparently.

Maybe I can do this.

You spent the last two weeks having a normal relationship. You’ve already done this.

I drift back to sleep, the mantra in my head: She’s mine. She’s mine…

Gross, but not surprising.

and I smell her, feel her soft skin, taste her lips, and hear her moans. Exhausted, I fall into an erotic, Ana-filled dream.

Poor Gail.

Christian wakes up again. There’s no scene break, so it makes it seem like he closed his eyes and then immediately opened them. But apparently he slept. He’s now awake. Try to keep up.

My scalp tingles, and for a moment I think whatever’s disturbed me is external rather than internal.

What? But nevermind, because it’s Leila. This isn’t clever or interesting. It’s just Leila. And yes, it’s creepy and awful that Leila keeps sneaking into his bedroom, but if EL James thinks she’s being subtle and ominous here, she isn’t. It’s Leila. And that won’t even be revealed in this book anyway.

Back to the text: Christian realizes that it’s nothing (it’s Leila), and smiles at the fact that he managed to avoid coming all over himself again.

Elena would be pleased.

Cool.

She texted yesterday, but Elena’s the last person I want to talk to–there’s only one thing I want to do right now. I get up and pull on my running gear.

scream

I’m going to check on Ana.

Of course. Can I just start copy-pasting these recaps? Because I’m just going to have to say the same things to the same fucking content over and over and over.

I’m losing my mind.

11 more pages.

Page break.

Her street is quiet except for the rumble of a delivery truck and the out-of-tune whistling of a solitary dog walker.

Fuck this tuneless prick. He probably can’t even play Chopin on his piano of sadness.

Her apartment is in darkness, the curtains to her room closed. I keep a silent vigil from my stalker’s hide, staring up at the windows and thinking.

In case you’re wondering just how much Google Street View went into this passage, the answer is a lot.

Or, you know, the normal amount. Either way, here is the “stalker’s hide” that Christian is sneakily huddling in while watching Ana’s bedroom window early in the morning:

hide

So now you can get a full picture of Christian huddling away in there like a secret masturbator looking up at Ana’s bedroom window. One of these bedroom windows, I assume:

hide2

I apologize to anyone who lives in either of these two buildings. Direct your complaints/fears to EL James.

I need a plan–a plan to win her back.

A clear conversation that states your intentions, your wants, and your expectations where she’s allowed to share her own and the two of you can come to a mutual understanding and consensus going forward?

Please?

But what am I thinking — trapping her into an interaction is a much better idea.

As dawn’s light brightens her window, I turn my iPod up loud, and with Moby blaring in my ears I run back to Escala.

YOU GUYS SHE ACTUALLY WROTE IN THE SUNBURST IN THE ACTUAL WINDOW FROM GOOGLE STREET VIEW. I love it.

Also, Moby.

Scene break.

Hold me, you guys. This is almost over:

“I’ll have a croissant, Mrs. Jones.”

Every single fucking chapter cannot be: I have a dream, I wake, I’m covered in some bodily fluid, I go for a run, I stalk Ana’s apartment, I take a shower, I have breakfast. She cannot do this four fucking times in a row. She just can’t.

Gail says she’ll heat a couple up for him. Which… what? Does Christian have a stockpile of croissants at his apartment? Are they frozen? Don’t baked goods have to be reasonably fresh? I thought he couldn’t handle wasted food.

“Thank you, Gail.”

She smiles. Is it because I’m having croissants? If it makes her that happy, I should have them more often.

She’s probably just glad you didn’t come all over them.

None of this is important. None of this matters. Everything is garbage.

Scene break.

In the back of the Audi, I plot. I need to get up close and personal with Ana Steele, to begin my campaign to win her back.

Just call her and invite her for coffee you absurd weirdo.

He calls Andrea at 7:15am because he know she won’t be at her desk yet. She isn’t. He leaves a voicemail telling her to be ready to run through his schedule when she gets in. Even though it seems like that’s what she does as soon as he gets in every day anyway.

There–step one in my offensive is to make time in my schedule for Ana.

Right — because the one problem I spotted in the last 549 pages was the fact that a multinational business-owning billionaire wasn’t spending enough time with his girlfriend. That really seemed to be what was holding them back as a couple.

Also, that is not step one of a plan. Step one is a plan is what happens after you check your schedule and are able to form a plan.

What the hell am I supposed to be doing this week? Currently, I don’t have a clue.

Because you farmed out that task to your personal assistant.

Normally I’m on this shit, but lately I’ve been all over the place.

But you’re not normally on this shit. You pay someone else to be on this shit.

Now I have a mission to focus on. You can do this, Grey.

His motivational pep talks are the best. Stalk that bitch, buddy — you have it in you! I really hope we’re able to squeeze in another scene with Claude before this ends to really get Christian into fighting/stalking form.

But deep down I wish I had the courage of my convictions. Anxiety unfurls in my gut. Can I convince Ana to take me back? Will she listen?

You mean, “Will she agree — because she’s a consenting adult and not a child who needs to listen to her parent”? Ugh, this guy.

This has to work. I miss her.

C’mon, bitch — he misses you. Fall into line.

Scene break.

We open with Andrea announcing that she’s cleared Christian’s entire schedule for the week. Man, that must have taken her seconds — minutes, even.

But wait — there’s one item in Christian’s schedule that she wasn’t able to clear:

Your calendar says Portland, that’s it.

Yes! The fucking photographer!

Again, the text doesn’t bother explaining so I have to: It’s Jose’s art show. To which Christian and Ana will arrive in a helicopter because fuck Jose and his shitty photography ambitions. Ana’s with the big man now.

monopoly

Christian grins. Andrea looks surprised. Christian dismisses Andrea and tells her to send in Sam (no clue). She says sure. Then she asks if he wants his coffee with milk:

“Yes. Latte. Thank you.”

That’s not what a fucking latte is, but fine. Fine. Because I think this may be the last infuriating coffee order of the whole book.

Celebrate good times, etc.

party

This is it! My in! The photographer! Now…what to do?

What? Just offer her a ride to the show. What do you mean. Who are you. What is this. Stop.

Scene break.

We open with Christian complaining that his morning has been crazy busy, which… sure it has, hun.

My morning has been back-to-back meetings, and my staff have been watching me nervously, waiting for me to explode. Okay, that’s been my modus operandi for the last few days–but today I feel clearer, calmer, and present; able to deal with everything.

The fact that EL James made the hero of her story a shitty, awful, dictatorial, cruel boss is just perfect. I need to hate Christian from all angles and EL certain delivers. He loves Ayn Rand? He’s rude to waiters? Mm, yes. Perfect.

But anyway, it’s lunchtime now and Christian deserves a break from all of the “work” he’s been “doing.” First, he had a workout with Claude (YES!) but we skip over that scene (BOO!) in favor of another scene with Christian being a flaming, freshly-shaved asshole to his other-other personal assistant, Olivia.

You’ll never believe what she did.

I’m famished. Olivia sets a plate down on my desk.

“Your sandwich, Mr. Grey.”

“Chicken and mayonnaise?”

Chicken and mayo? Slow down, you fancy moneydick.

“Um…”

I stare at her. She just doesn’t get it.

Neither do I.

Olivia offers an inept apology.

What is a skilless apology, exactly?

“I said chicken with mayonnaise, Olivia. It’s not that hard.”

Now, God forbid I side with Christian, but did Olivia just set down a plate that consisted of a slab of chicken in-between two pieces of bread with absolutely no mayo or lettuce or anything? Because sis, what the fuck even is that? Did she make it herself? Who would stock such a sandwich?

Is this like his coffee thing where he thinks “coffee with milk” is understood to be a latte, rather than a coffee with milk? So chicken and mayo is secretly a chicken salad sandwich, even though that’s not the same thing? I don’t know. I suspect Christian doesn’t know, either.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Grey.”

Is that an inept apology?

“It’s fine. Just go.” She looks relieved but scrambles to leave the room.

I really, really hope that that’s the last scramble/scuttle/skitter of the book. Fuck this misogyny.

Anyway, Christian “buzzes” Andrea and tells her to get rid of Olivia. Because even though Christian must have control in all things, and even though he said very clearly that he got to where he was through knowing how to hire the right people, he’s too much of a coward to fire his own assistant. So he makes his other assistant do it. What a shitbag.

Andrea pulls herself up straight.

“Sir, Olivia is Senator Blandino’s daughter.”

A quick Google search tells me that Senator Blandino is not, in fact, a real person. Which makes sense because that name definitely reads like a placeholder.

“I dunno, uh, Colonel Beige? Lord Randomtitle?”

“I don’t care if she’s the Queen of fucking England. Get her out of my office.”

Queen Elizabeth II

Said the 27 year old American man in the year 2011.

“Yes, sir.” Andrea flushes.

“Get someone else to help you,” I offer in a gentler tone. I don’t want to alienate Andrea.

Yeah. Wouldn’t want to risk that.

Also, help Andrea with what? Get someone to help her with firing, or does he mean that she should also go ahead and hire Olivia’s replacement? I thought Christian was the world’s best hiring person because he’s so good at recognizing potential and reading Ayn Rand, etc.

“Thank you. That’s all.”

She smiles and I know she’s back on board. She’s a good PA; I don’t want her to quit because I’m being an asshole.

But you won’t actually stop being an asshole.

She exits, leaving me to my chicken sandwich–no mayo–and my campaign plan.

Ugh, fucking Olivia. He can’t plot his stalking without healthy fats you idiot!

I know the form of e-mail address for employees at SIP. I think Anastasia will respond better in writing; she always has. How to begin?

Dear Ana,

I hope you never ask me how I know your work e-mail address.

It’s because I bought your company even though you asked me not to interfere with your job at all. But now I am your job. Surprise!

But since you’re a 22 year old woman in 2011 without her own e-mail address, I was forced to contact you at your work address to leave you this private message.

I hope nobody at work reads your work e-mails, even though they’d be legally allowed to do so because you’re using company property and a company address.

As you can tell, everything’s changed and we should definitely get back together.

All the best,

Christian Grey

CEO of Moneydick Inc. Master of the Universe.

But Christian doesn’t have my talent for breezy, witty correspondence. Keep in mind that Christian is a very important businessman with a very busy and important day:

Dear Ana.

No.

Dear Anastasia. 

No.

Dear Miss Steele.

Shit!

Now I see why it took him 8 hours to write 15 e-mails, and why he was very proud of that fact.

Scene break.

Half an hour later I’m still staring at a blank computer screen.

This is the most successful businessman in America, everyone.

What the hell do I say?

Come back…please?

Forgive me.

I miss you.

Let’s try it your way.

Now would be a great time to throw in the “I promise not to hit you again.”

I put my head in my hands. Why is this so difficult?

I just don’t know, buddy.

Keep it simple, Grey. Just cut the crap.

Yeah. Stop cluttering your fucking e-mails with flowery bullshit like “Dear Ana.” This isn’t a telegram motherfucker.

Anyway, he types out an e-mail that we don’t get to see right away. Then Andrea buzzes him. Ros is waiting outside. He tells her to tell her to wait.

Then he hits send on the e-mail. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. It probably revealed his innermost soul. What mysteries of the heart were there displayed?

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Tomorrow

Date: June 8 2011 14:05

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Anastasia

Nice choice. No bullshit. Just straight shit.

Forgive this intrusion at work.

Don’t ask how I got your address.

I hope that it’s going well. Did you get my flowers?

Maybe my ears are just so perked up for dog whistle abuse that I’m overthinking this, but I almost feel like there’s a note of censure in there about, “The polite thing to do is to acknowledge a gift, Ana!”

I note that tomorrow is the gallery opening for your friend’s show, and I’m sure you’ve not had time to purchase a car, and it’s a long drive. I would be more than happy to take you–should you wish.

Let me know.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Good. I’m glad he went for “feigned disinterest” and the classic Friendzone move of pretending he just wants to give her a lift when really he wants to be inside of her. Excellent. So he’s learned nothing. I’m glad.

Then Christian watches his inbox.

I watch my inbox.

And watch.

And watch…my anxiety growing with every second that crawls by.

Isn’t it her actual first day at work? Surely she has, you know, work to do?

So Christian gets up from his desk, but then goes back to his desk to check his e-mail.

Still nothing.

His COO is still waiting in reception, by the way. But fuck her. Daddy’s moneydickin’.

To distract myself, I trace my finger along the wings of my glider.

For fuck’s sake, Grey, get a grip.

I want you to guess how much time has passed from when he sent the e-mail to right now.

Please guess.

Everyone have their guess?

Come on, Anastasia, answer me. She’s always been so prompt. I check my watch…14:09.

Four minutes!

Still nothing.

Four fucking minutes.

madge

This guy isn’t a control freak. He’s not bossy. He’s not a micromanager. He is literally insane.

Getting up, I pace around my office once more, peering at my watch every three seconds, or so it feels.

No.

No.

EL James.

Please.

You’re making it too easy for me.

He’s looking at a literal watch.

It’s either every three seconds — which he can verify ON HIS ACTUAL LITERAL WATCH — or it isn’t. But a watch measures time. It either is that amount of time or it isn’t.

By 2:20 I’m in despir. She’s not going to reply. She really does hate me…who could blame her?

EL James, clearly.

Then I hear the ping of an e-mail. My heart leaps into my throat.

Hell! It’s from Ros, telling me she’s gone back to her office.

He is the actual worst.

And then it’s there, in my inbox, the magical line:

From: Anastasia Steele

And I’m going to end today’s penultimate post ON THAT EPIC CLIFFHANGER.

Oh my God you guys what did she write?

Join me next time for the final goodbye.

I plan to give this book the Viking funeral it deserves.

Next Post.

3 thoughts on “Christian Grey Hates Condoms, Loves Condiments: Chapter 24 of EL James’s “Grey”

  1. Pingback: An iPad is Forever: Chapter 25 of EL James’s “Grey” | Tea Leaves and Dog Ears

  2. Kudos for slogging through this unholy abomination while retaining a sense of humor (and sanity). I object to giving the book a Viking funeral however, as those were invented to reflect the high value of the deceased. While the book is certainly DOA, I suggest burning it in effigy to convey the frothy rage that E. L. James’ writing inspires.

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