I have a very complicated history with Fifty Shades. Well, it’s probably not *that* complicated, but it does go back several years, back to the summer of 2012 when I was serving as an Orientation Advisor. I hadn’t even really heard of the books (apparently I was living under a rock) until I realized one day during my break that several of my fellow OAs were reading it (out in public – I don’t know how they managed to keep a straight face). I was mildly curious, but didn’t really give any thought to the book until my second roommate (we changed rooms every couple of weeks to mix things up) was getting frustrated that Amazon was having difficulty delivering her book. She was constantly checking at the front desk every day to see if her package had been delivered. That intrigued me – what was all the fuss about? So I did some sleuthing on the Internet and quickly found out that I most definitely did not want to read those books, even if they were Twilight fanfiction and there was still a very very small part of me loyal to Twilight (oh, past me, you so funny). I put all thoughts of the books out of my head.
Until about two years later, when one of my friends and I thought it would be *hilarious* to see who could read the farthest without cracking up. I had in the past jokingly asked my mom to buy me Fifty Shades of Grey one day when we were walking through Target and she looked at me with the straightest face and said, “Buy your own porn,” before walking away like she had just delivered the sickest burn. But there was one day that I was perusing Barnes and Noble all by my lonesome that I saw the book and bought it impulsively because I have no self-control (also, because the bet was still supposed to be a thing). Yeah. That never happened. But another hilarious adventure with that first book ensued. One day, my three closest friends and I got together at my friend’s apartment, where I proceeded to open the book to a random page and read out passages to them, all while trying to maintain my composure. The writing was just so awful. The scenes were uncomfortable. We actually looked up which chapter the infamous tampon scene was in and I couldn’t get through it because I was laughing so hard. We were also taking bets on whether or not the scene would make it to the movie that was coming out soon. Mind you, this was also the first time three of us had ever met our other friend’s roommates. Great first impression. This little ‘story-time’ also earned us the reputation that we were ‘too close’ for others in our friend group. Whatever. They were just jealous because we’re awesome nerds who were literally attached at the hip and just living up our last year of college the only way we knew how – hanging out at the local comic book shop, eating way too much P-Terry’s burgers, and playing Just Dance. (This is a very tangent-y post).
After that afternoon, my book stayed on my shelf, gathering dust. I thought I would never pick it up. Ho-boy was I wrong. It was early July 2015. I had graduated from college and was getting ready to go to nursing school in the fall. It was my first summer off since I had graduated high school. And I was all alone because my mom was visiting her parents and my sister (I had gone right after graduation) and none of my friends from home were in town. I became a hermit. And in that haze, I looked at my bookshelves, wanting something truly trashy to read because I had just read two books about autism (one was very scientific-y, the other was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) and a book about suicide/depression. I needed something light. And my other reasoning was that I was 22 and if you can’t read trashy novels when you are a hermit during the summer, when can you? My copy of Fifty Shades was like a beacon to me. I thought back to my now-dead bet. I wanted to know how far I could make it. Flash-forward to literally three days later, and I had read not only the original trilogy, but Grey as well. I was appalled with the state my life had come to. Had I *seriously* just inhale-read these horrific novels? Surely there was something wrong with me. The only thoughts that kept going through me head as I read were as follows: Surely this can’t get any worse. Oh God, it got worse. This is abuse. Why do people not see that this is abuse? Christian is a psychopath. How do people defend this? Why am *I* reading this? Why can’t I stop? I just have to know how this ends. Surely someone rescues Ana. OH GOD. DEAR GOD. NO. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING. THEY ARE NOT PROCREATING. OH GOD. OH GOD. THIS IS HAPPENING. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. You know, things along those lines.
And in my haste to find people who did *not* defend this abusive pile of garbage is when I discovered Snark Squad and their recaps of Fifty Shades. And I never looked back once I was on the wonderful journey that was reading those glorious recaps.
So yeah. That’s how I ended up reading the Fifty Shades trilogy + Grey. And apparently, I decided that I wanted to read poorly-written, problematic novels again this year. Hence my re-read of The Twilight Saga. And to think it all started because of my decision to become an Orientation Advisor.