So Ana is woken up from her nap by her Mother, and beats us over the head with "IT'S ALL SO WARM AND MY MOM LOVES ME SO MUCH!" which is sketchy to me because, well, her Mother seems to be one of those people who makes a big show of being supportive and there, but you can't really count on. And maybe she is supposed to be one of those people who means well but just sucks at it, but honestly? Intention only goes so far. Sure, I'll cut people slack if they mean well, but there is only so far that will take you. Eventually you need to actually start being there when things matter.
*Ahem* Anyways, they naturally start talking about Grey seconds after Ana wakes up because her Mother sees the computer yadda yadda yadda.
“Has he emailed you?”
Oh double crap.
“Yeah.” My nonchalance is wearing thin, and I flush.
“Perhaps he’s missing you, huh?”
“I hope so, Mom.”
“What does he say?”
Oh triple crap.
Okay, EL James, we need to talk. Repetition is a good literary device, and I am all about keeping all tools on the table at all times, but you have got to lay off. You re-cap what has happened so far constantly, in great detail, and keep having Ana run into the same problem. You've gotta lay off. You are not illustrating how hard this relationship is going to be on Ana being unable to talk about it, as there are a lot of ways she could but is just too stupid to figure it out. That's right, I said it, Ana is stupid. She is incapable of problem solving or reading social cues at all, and when she does manage to read a social cue, she is so weird about it. Jose is into her, she knows it, doesn't feel that way, and is constantly initiating physical contact with him. He basically assaults her and then continues to do so. She doesn't realize that Kate's brother (who's name I apparently can't be shittered to remember or look up. Ian?) wants to touch her where she pees and she is so miffed and uncomfortable when the people she has decided are close to her show an interest in her life. Also, you know, pretty much every conversation with Grey.
Moving on. Ana's mother leaves her to get dressed and Ana sends Grey an e-mail back. I'm surprised she didn't do this before she took a nap. The e-mail she sends is short and just saying "Got it, it gave me warm fuzzies, will send a real response later". She could have, and arguably should have, done that before. Then again, EL James needs an excuse for Ana and Grey to e-mail (as to text/IM like normal 20-somethings) and in their usual obnoxious styling Ana slips in a joke about "Who spanks you when you roll your eyes?"
I press send, and immediately the image of that evil witch Mrs. Robinson comes into my mind. I just can’t picture it. Christian being beaten by someone as old as my mother, it’s just so wrong. Again I wonder what damage she’s wrought. My mouth sets in a hard grim line. I need a doll to stick pins in, maybe that way I can vent some of the anger I feel at this stranger.
So, I do not get Ana's open and violent hatred of Mrs. Robinson. If it was simply "I hate that she hurt him/molested him" which I think is a part of it, I might, but it often feels more like "She ruined him! She had sex with him first!" and it isn't just rage. She has, at least twice now, expressed an honest want to cause physical pain and harm to Mrs. Robinson. I... am really bothered by this. Ana is supposed to be this mature wonderful intelligent super special creature. I haven't seen it to start with, but then she does things like this, and it really, really doesn't sit right with me.
And then they start to e-foreplay.
Ana is all "I really need to get ready?" and Grey, being a classy man, offers to zip up her dress. It's short, so I'll just put it up here with some of the trimmings removed.
From: Anastasia Steele
I would rather you unzipped it.
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Careful what you wish for…
SO WOULD I.
From: Anastasia Steele
From: Christian Grey
Wish I was there.
From: Anastasia Steele
SO DO I
However they don't get to do anything fun as Ana's mother then calls her for dinner and she must dash! Oh thank god. I don't know if I could handle a sex scenes with all of the "TO: FROM: SUBJECT LINE:" after every fucking line. Can't it get trimmed at all? And as one of the commentators pointed out, Blackberry is known for their instant messaging. WHY are they not using that?!
“Why are you wearing Kate’s dress?”
“Well I like this one and she doesn’t,” I improvise quickly.
She regards me shrewdly while Bob oozes impatience with his hangdog, hungry look.
“I’ll take you shopping tomorrow,” she says.
“Oh, Mom, you don’t need to do that. I have plenty of clothes.”
“Can’t I do something for my own daughter?
Maybe like go to her grad? I also want to know why Ana's response to "Why are you wearing Kate's dress" is "oh no" and why her Mother gives a flip in the first place. I swap clothes with girl-friends at every opportunity. It's a fun girly bonding thing, plus, if I don't wear it/it doesn't fit right I'd rather see it getting worn then sitting in my closet unloved. As far as I know, this is normal enough that I'm confused as to why Ana's Mother is pursing her lips over it. Also, Ana has been totally broke during school. Jose fixed her beat up shitty car all the time, and she lived with Kate because the rent was super cheap (and they are BFFFs) and so forth. If Ana's mother is going to go "doing things" for her daughter perhaps kicking some grocery money to her would have been better? Maybe she did, the text never tells us, but I really don't think that she did, and this is just her wanting her daughter to be more girly. So, off to the golf club they go. We don't see dinner, instead we get a paragraph.
Seeing her at dinner, she was in her element, funny and flirty and amongst many friends at the golf club. Bob was warm and attentive… they seem so good for each other. I’m really pleased for her. It means I can stop worrying about her and second-guessing her decisions and put the dark days of Husband Number Three behind us both. Bob is a keeper. And she’s giving me good advice. When did that start happening?
Calling your own mom "Fun and flirty" seems weird to me. Mostly because the thought of my Mom being flirty is deeply unsettling. Fun? Sure. Discerningly cheerful? Frequently! Friendly to the point of suspicion? That's my Mom! Flirty wouldn't be strange in that list, but it isn't how I can imagine picturing my Mom, and if she were, I think I'd find it embarrassing. "Mom, you're early 60 and married. Stop trying to pinch the waiters ass." Now, to actually consider this. I am now actually curious about Husband Number Three and am certain he will turn up at some point. I wonder if Ana's Mother legitimately didn't give good advice before, or if Ana never noticed, or if the only thing she's any good at is dating. I mean, she couldn't have been with Bob that long if Ana didn't even know how they were together (or know enough to be comfortable with her Mom marrying him) and to be able to go from dating to marriage without your kid being able to figure that out, I can't see that having been a long stretch. So Ana's Mother is probably very good at dating, which might also be why she was so eager for Ana to get a boyfriend. She knew that was her strong suit and wanted to finally feel relevant and useful.
Then Ana checks her e-mail and more banter Ana is coy about not knowing where they left off etc and then Ana mentions she ate too much and that she normally eats a lot but hasn't been around Grey because he puts her off her food. His response?
I’m sorry to hear that I put you off your food. I thought I had a more concupiscent effect on you. That has been my experience, and most pleasurable it has been too.
Sorry I made you nervous to the point of not eating but I had fun! DOUCHE!
More back and fort and then Grey signs off because he's going out for dinner with a friend.
Which old friend? I didn’t think Christian had any old friends, except… her. I frown at the screen. Why does he have to still see her? Searing, green, bilious jealousy courses through me unexpectedly. I want to hit something, preferably Mrs. Robinson. Switching the laptop off in a temper, I clamber into bed.
ANA HITTING PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU'RE JEALOUS IS NOT EVEN A LITTLE OKAY! EL JAMES SETTING UP YOUR "PERFECT EVERY WOMAN" CHARACTER TO BE JEALOUS TO THE POINT OF VIOLENCE IS NOT OKAY! Also, really, you didn't think he had any friends? She's probably right, mind you, but still. Dick.
So, Ana tries to go to bed, but can't.
Why can’t he see her for what she is – a child molester? I switch off the light, seething, staring into the darkness. How dare she? How dare she pick on a vulnerable adolescent? Is she still doing it? Why did they stop? Various scenarios filter through my mind: he had had enough, then why is he still friends with her? Ditto her – is she married? Divorced? Jeez – does she have children of her own? Does she have Christian’s children? My subconscious rears her ugly head, leering, and I’m shocked and nauseous at the thought. Does Dr. Flynn know about her?
I'm glad that the text has finally called Mrs. R a child molester, and glad that Ana is shifting from "Jealous" to "SHE FUCKING TOUCHED YOU AS A CHILD DUDE!" which is one of the most reasonable things Ana has gotten upset about yet. She springs out of bed, and does some e-stalking. She types Grey's name into Google images and then looks at ALL THE PICTURES hoping to find a picture of Mrs. R. She then remembers that GREY HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN WITH A WOMAN BEFORE! Which is why Kate thought he might be gay. She then finds a picture of the two of them together (arg) and after going through all eight pages of pictures of him on Google (ew) just sends him an e-mail. The e-mail is not calling Grey out for continuing to spend time with the woman who molested him, or trying to force him to confront that fact, but is just saying she hopes he had a pleasant dinner, and adds on an oh so innocent PS asking if it was.
So now it's the next day. We skip the shopping trip and go straight to the bar. Lolwhat?
She is offering more insights into the fragile male ego. It’s very disconcerting.
“You see, Ana, men think that anything that comes out of a woman’s mouth is a problem to be solved. Not some vague idea that we’d like to kick around and talk about for a while and then forget. Men prefer action.”
“Mom, why are telling me this?” I ask, failing to hide my exasperation. She’s been like this all day.
“Darling, you sound so lost.
Looooooool. I am loving this mental image of Ana, exasperated, staring into her drink at the "trendy hotel bar"* as her Mother natters on and on. She then starts to ask about Jose and she knows that SOMETHING is up with Ana! There is, Ana is upset because Grey hasn't e-mailed her back. Ana's Mother then exits stage left really abruptly because it's time for Ana to check her e-mail and get a response from Grey!
Yes, I had dinner with Mrs. Robinson. She is just an old friend, Anastasia.
Looking forward to seeing you again. I miss you.
He was having dinner with her. My scalp prickles as adrenaline and fury lance through my body, all my worst fears realized, crashing through me. How could he? I am away for two days, and he runs off to that evil bitch.
She’s not just an old friend.
Has she found another adolescent boy to sink her teeth into?
Did you get too old for her?
Is that the reason your relationship finished?
She's two drinks into the night. Two. And she's accusing him of running off with another woman? What? I think Ana has a point about "She isn't just an old friend". I think it's fair for her to call Grey out on this, but I hate how I logically agree with her and hate her in this moment. This is NOT how you should be trying to talk to him. Not while you're tipsy and mad and miles apart-
This is not something I wish to discuss via email.
How many Cosmopolitans are you going to drink?
Holy fuck, he’s here.
So he didn't answer all day because he was on a plane flying to Georgia. To stalk Ana. When he specifically said he was going to make a real effort not to. Which means he couldn't resist FLYING ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND HAS BEEN SITTING IN THE BAR WATCHING ANA AND HER MOTHER DRINK FOR HOW LONG?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?! I hope Ana's Mother starts to push for her to get a restraining order and-
Fuck this noise. I'm going to go drink wine and eat a baked brie. Comments make me want to shoot things less.
*Any hotel bars I've been to have been... just kinda there at best. Sort of dumpy, usually. Then again, I don't go to fancy hotels very often.