Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And She Told Two Friends....

The other night we ate at a very trendy South Beach restaurant.  A restaurant where boldface names are frequently spotted by the tabloids.  Unfortunately, we were there for a work function and were shuttled to the restaurant, along with 25 or so of my husband's colleagues and their spouses, in a massive tour bus.

Like a mortified teenager, I contemplated asking the driver to drop us off a block away from the restaurant.  Unfortunately, by the time that idea occurred to me we had already stopped in front.

Dignity dented, I had no qualms about securing a good spot inside-- "good spot" being wholly defined by who I would have to talk to all night.  It's my best-developed survival skill.  I surrounded myself with people I like, no whammies.

Before the waiter could even take our drink orders, one of my friends leaned in and asked if I was reading "that book."  What book?  "The mommy porn," she said.

She explained that she had been on vacation a few weeks earlier with a couple of other families and that the other women, close friends of hers, had been so engrossed in their Kindles that they would barely speak to her at the pool.  When she called them on their rudeness they blamed it on the book, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Intrigued, my friend had downloaded it and then found herself up all night reading.  She was asking me about it because there had been a story about the book-- about the secret cult-like phenomenon of the book-- on the Today show.  I had never heard of it.

I can't stand feeling like I'm out of the pop culture loop. Back at the hotel I went straight to ibooks, pausing for only a brief moment to contemplate what impact downloading something categorized as "erotica" might have on Big Brother's cookie profile of me.

Fifty Shades evidently started as Twilight fanfiction.  It is a thinly-veiled retelling of that book's ordinary girl tames the unattainable god-like man story, with an emotionally unavailable/sexually deviant billionaire taking the place of the vampire. Unlike Twighlight, this book does not have an abstinence agenda.  Quite the opposite.

But there's got to be a ton of downloadable erotica out there (I refuse to search ibooks to confirm that!)  Why is this book getting all the attention?  The media coverage seems to suggest it's the nature of the relationship, which dabbles in S&M. 

That could be it.  I don't know.  My old roommate used to ask me to edit her Smallville fanfiction for her.  She wrote slash stories about Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, so let's just say that it takes a lot to shock me.  It's all pretty repetitive and I wind up feeling embarrassed for the writer and myself.  And yet...

I emailed my friend this morning to tell her that I think I must be a masochist: I'm now reading part two of this wretchedly written trilogy because I have to know what happens in the actual story.  It's truly painful.

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