Sunday, May 5, 2013

How Fifty Shades of Grey Gave My Kindle an STD

Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder. 
A much more innocent story.  Not to be
confused with Fifty Shades of Gray.
It's funny how things suddenly pop into your mind with little reason or familiarity.

Yesterday, I was in the middle of a rather eventful day and waiting to pick my dog up from the groomer, when out of nowhere, I thought about the time Fifty Shades of Grey gave my Kindle an STD for months...

Wait....I haven't told you about that yet? Well, sit right down, pull up your chair and listen close because this is a story that I will only whisper once. 

About a year ago, I think it was spring time, I was browsing the NY Sellers 10 Ten List, looking for a new summer read.  I often hit the Top 10 List to see what's going on.  I had noticed that this book, Fifty Shades of Grey, had been creeping it's way to the top for several weeks.  I remembered reading a book in high school by Carolyn Reeder titled Shades of Gray and it was a pretty good read.  I knew it was considered a "classic" so I wondered why it would be making a comeback all of a sudden.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

As I naively clicked Fifty Shades of Grey to read the reviews, I was confused at what I was reading.  The first several reviews touted this book as a "seductive look into the world of BDSM" and " a fascinating betrayal of life in the BDSM world."

Hmmmmm, that's doesn't sound like the Shades of Gray I read back in high school about a boy in post Civil War times.  And by the way, what the hell is BDSM?  Maybe I am na├»ve and out of loop, so I Googled it.  On my Kindle.  Big mistake!  This was a fatal error that would haunt me for months.

I clicked the first Wikipedia link and, boy was I in for a surprise!  The first picture that popped up was PG rated, much like this one to the left.  But I was shocked and confused as I read what Wikipedia had to say.  Bondage. Domination. (or Discipline wiki it's clear on what the D stands for.) Submission. (or sadism or sadomasochism wiki isn't clear on that either.) Apparently, the only thing that Wikipedia was clear on was that I was definitely out of my comfort zone. 

As I read the first paragraph of the definition of BDSM, I decided that this version of a beloved classic was not for me.  End of story.  I clicked out of the wiki page and kept browsing the NY Times Best Sellers List.  I purchased another book and moved on with my life.  Or so I thought. 

Later in the day, I must have come back to my Kindle in the evening to continue reading my "vanilla" book and as I opened the slide over password, my eyes nearly popped out of head, as the Wikipedia BDSM picture of the tied up woman appeared on my screen.  Big.  As if it were pulsating to be clicked on. 

I quickly clicked out of that screen and felt safe and cozy back at my home screen.  I realized that the Kindle must have saved the last search and automatically opened it.  "Easy fix," I thought, "I can just clear the browser history and it will go away." 

Thinking that the issue was resolved, the next day, I went to pick up where I left off on my new, wholesome, book and God-Damn-It if that wiki page with the BDSM lady showed up again.  Big and pulsating to be clicked.  WHAT THE HELL!!

Again, I cleared the browser history and tried and tried to get her to go away!  Every time I cleared the history, it showed nothing left in the history, but there she was.  Like an STD that couldn't be cured, all tied up and pulsating!!

I grew increasingly worried as the days went on and she was still there, every time I open my Kindle.  In the background, looming.  Waiting to be clicked on again.  I worried because I was running out of excuses as to why my kids couldn't use my Kindle to play Angry Birds.  "Uh, no, we have to go to the store now."  "Not right now, we're getting ready to eat."  "Maybe later, after your bath."  "Ok, you can't play on the Kindle because mommy broke it."

I even gave it to Super Husband to see if he could find the answer to the looming bondage lady.  This was really getting out of hand.  Even he couldn't fix it.  His answer was to install a password protected app so the kids wouldn't accidentally see the bondage lady.  That worked and I resolved that she would just permanently be there.  Looming.  Pulsating. Enticing.

Fast forward several months later...Fifty Shades of Grey becomes this huge mommy porn phenomenon. I revisit the Fifty Shades of Grey reviews on Amazon and decide that I should at least give it a try.  A million women can't be wrong, right?

I hesitantly purchased the BDSM book that had haunted me for months.  I pumped myself up for something amazing, fantastic, and memorable...  Only to be disappointed.  I read the first six chapters and laughed my way through it the whole way. 

I can honestly say that Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the most poorly written books of our time.  That speaks volumes since I once thought that A Tale of Two Cities was the most poorly written books of all times.  The author clearly needs a thesaurus and better yet, a reality check on how to write erotic novels.  The whole time I was reading the first six chapters, all I could think was how it read like a teenage girl wrote the book.  Example:  I don't necessarily think that erotica should use phrases like "he touched me down there."   And "I felt my inner Goddess emerging." 

Seriously?  This is what it has come down to, ladies?  Poorly written, unrealistic expectations of a millionaire, handsome, virtually, perfect man who gets off on BDSM?  If that is what you call good writing, I am writing a book tomorrow because I could be a millionaire.  I have even heard other women say, "Oh, you have to read all the books.  It's actually a very good love story."  What?  We must not have been reading the same book.  I could hardly get through the first six chapters and now you tell me I need to read ALL the books?  Screw that.  I will spend my money elsewhere.  If you want to read a good love story with a scandalous theme, read Bridges of Madison County.  At least it was well written with language that adult women can relate too.  There are no references to "touching down there."  Come on, what are we, 12? 

Ok, I've gotten off track.  So, I'm sure you are wondering if the BDSM lady is still on my Kindle.  I am happy to report that she is not.  Several months after the fatal day that I clicked on the wiki link, she mysteriously disappeared.  I don't know what I did, but thankfully, she has moved on.  Maybe she is haunting someone else's browser history.  In the meantime, I have learned a very valuable lesson about not following the reviews of others.  I will make my own judgments in the future based strictly on whether or not a book gives my Kindle an STD.  I should have known better.