Recently, like millions of eager women across the globe, I completed the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, although admittedly I resisted for as long as I could, until, as fate would have it, I buckled under the pressure of my girlfriends’ insistent plea’s to just read the damn thing. My curiosity tickled when even my sister admonished me to get with the program and join the ranks of the eager housewives club – with her kindle and all – “Mel, I just can’t put it down, it’s the most incredible love story!”
Uhm, no, that’s not what I heard.
So, not prepared to shell out my hard earned cash for an Exclusive Books entrance display paperback version, I borrowed from a friend who had borrowed from a friend.
It lay on my bedside table for at least three weeks.
Every night as I climbed into bed, I eyed it surreptitiously, not yet ready to flip the cover. Who puts a tie on a book cover anyway? So shutterstock-ish. And I’d heard that it was no literary masterpiece either. I needed to be really bored, so that there would be a reason for Chapter One. And then, my husband’s disdainful look –what does she need THAT book for, she has me - made me feel slightly guilty for wanting to indulge in, well, the characters’ kinky going-on’s. What’s more, I have the most wonderful husband who delights in nothing more than ravishing me… on a daily basis, I might add. There is no lack of anything raunchy within the confines of our bedroom walls. Heck, I don’t fit the profile of a fifty shades of grey, stuck in a rut, middle aged, frustrated kind of housewife. But, finally, one Saturday afternoon, I found myself with absolutely nothing to do and so, I began to read.
Typical. The first few pages were stock standard Mills and Boon narrative. Innocent eyed, virginal (improbable), sweet but feisty girl runs into devastatingly handsome, wealthy, yet mildly arrogant tycoon. Enter Christian Grey. I sighed. Not particularly taken with the plot thus far, I bookmarked and placed it back on my bedside table.
Another week passed.
I continue. Hey, what’s happening here? Am I actually enjoying this? Suddenly I am intoxicated, head-over-heels for these two characters. I read day and night, awake from my sleep, immersed in my fantasy tale of two lovers, wondering what will happen next. I read while I am supposed to be working, I read waiting outside my children’s school, I read in the orthodontist’s waiting room. I simply live to read. I am pulled in, hook, line and sinker. I am a fan. It’s full of propositions and contracts and sex, lots of it. Suddenly I realise what everyone is on about, why a friend of mine made a Fifty Shades of Grey hat and wore it to my 40th birthday party. I am smitten.
And it has nothing to do with BDSM. While I think for some, this lifestyle may be appealing; it is not the reason for my devotion. It certainly makes for an interesting storyline, a refreshingly stimulating , albeit taboo subject matter, usually thought to be confined to the perceived sex-addicted members of society with fetishes for things more deviant than mere housewives dare dream of. Alas, kinky as it is/was, what enthralled and captured me, (I hear my sisters echo) was… yes, the love story. Oh! The passion, the chemistry, the lovemaking…
You. Are. Mine.
*#%K ! Who does not dream of being possessed by a man who wants you so completely and simply cannot live without you! Surely this is every woman’s fantasy? To be truly desired in every sense of the word? But alas, tis’ not enough to only be loved. We, as women, yearn to find a wounded man and love him so deeply; to give him everything he needs but did not realise he needed… until we came along! So that he, through the nurturing power of our divine adoration, is ultimately, utterly and totally healed! Yes, this is our mantra. It is this mutual craving for another person’s devotion that fills that little void in our hearts we have when we are single. It is this shared connection that satisfies our innermost desires. Love is not love until it is shared. Unconditionally and completely. It’s the basis for Christian and Ana’s tale.
I know, because I have this beautiful, all-encompassing and punch-drunk kind love with a man. I felt it when we met and I still feel it now. Just because I have never been handcuffed to a bed or spanked with a riding crop does not make my love story any less passionate. It is real, a tangible kind of love that sustains and nourishes both of us and keeps us entwined together. We are friends, companions, partners and lovers, forever more. And we still know how to get it on.
Yet, satisfied, fulfilled, have-it-all -in- the-relationship-department, me, frantically found myself driving to a friend’s house on a Sunday evening to fetch the “Darker” and “Freed” editions – heaven forbid I would not be able to read that night and have to wait for the book stores to open on a Monday morning! I just couldn't stop. Enraptured, I sped read through the remaining pages, feasting on every word. And then, panic coursed through me: is there life after Fifty?
What a novel! I loved it, flaws and all. I am motivated, excited, I am high. Think less of me if you must. I am not ashamed, even as I phone screen printers to get my own Fifty Shades t-shirt done.
You guessed it.
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