We went on a family outing to Barnes and Noble yesterday late afternoon. My husband took the kids to the childrens’ section while I walked up to customer service and asked the college-aged guy behind the counter if he had the following books: My Life in France – Julia Child, Mexican Enough – Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Caramelo – Sandra Cisneros. And then I said firmly, “And I’m sure you have 50 Shades of Grey.” To which he replied, “Right this Way.” There was no eye contact.
I stuck Grey in-between my other books and wondered if I could even bring this book – that none of the moms I know are talking about at the pool – up the steps into the childrens’ department where fairy-tale murals are painted on the walls and my own kids are innocently picking out more summer reading. I lingered long enough at the bottom of the staircase and soon enough was joined by the rest of my family where we headed over to check – out.
Before getting in line, I put the book back on a shelf. Standing next to my husband, he notices I am holding My Life in France and Caramelo and says, “Where’s 50 Shades of Grey?” I explain that the books I have will help me become a better writer. And then he says, “Yeah, but, I thought you told me the author of Grey is fearless?” Hmm. He got me. I was chickening out. From what I’ve heard, the author is fearless and that is why she is successful. I dumped Julia and quickly reclaimed my copy of Grey.
The kids dropped their books on the check – out counter one by one. I put Caramelo down first and then I dropped Grey wondering if the middle-aged woman with strands of white hair dividing her other-wise brown waves would look up at me and wink. I really wanted her to wink at me. I was ready to wink back. No eye contact. Maybe I am making too big a deal about buying this book. Maybe the author isn’t as fearless as I desperately need her to be. The cashier put all our books in the same bag and we were on our way.
After another errand and then a stop for dinner, we went home where we put on our pajamas and all of us climbed onto the couch to watch America’s Got Talent. All I could think about was the book lying in the bag on our kitchen table.
Bedtime came for the kids and for me. We all kissed goodnight and headed upstairs. My husband, not ready to come to bed stayed downstairs on the couch. After tucking the kids in their beds, I headed to mine, got under the covers and began to read.
I only made it half-way into chapter two when my eyes began to close. The author is building up this guy Grey to be a powerful, wealthy, gorgeous, manipulative control-freak – it’s obvious where this is going. I am surprised and disappointed to learn that he is not even 30 years old yet. She is using the word “grey” and “steel” to describe a lot so far. His eyes, his office. Her name is Anastasia Steele for Pete’s sake.
It’s nine o’clock in the morning. Twelve more hours until I can get back to this book.