Five Facts Friday, 2

I liked last weeks so much I’m doing it again. This works because a lot of times I have stupid things to share but don’t because blah that’s not worth a whole post and how do I tie it into the other stupid thing I feel compelled to put on the Internet because they don’t “go together” at all? I take things too seriously and I like this format. Plus, my love for alliteration makes sure I keep this somewhat short and weed out the really stupid anecdotes. So away we go.

 

1.  I still haven’t decided whether I like “fitness fund” or “muscle money” better which makes it really sad that the month is [practically] over.  I made myself $25. Yeah! I meant to take a picture of my wonderful jar full of dolla dolla bills y’all but I forgot and it’s at home and now I’m at work and I know you’re sad that I’m starting your weekend off by denying you such a joy. I don’t go to the gym on weekends usually because I like to go the one near my work, and not the one near my house, BUT my DVD player now works and last month I bought myself fitness DVDs that I’ve been doing on weekends so that’s why my number is so high. I liked this jar thing, except it took me  awhile to get going as I kept forgetting to put $1 in as I never have any cash on me so I had to keep writing “IOU” notes to myself. I think I am going to reward myself for all my hard work and go get a manicure or something. My nails are atrocious. I was drunk one night and saw how chipped they were and so I “filled them in” myself and it looks like a two year old did it. I’m embarrassing.

 

2. I’ve been talking about going to BodyCombat forever but I haven’t done it because the only time it was offered was inconvenient and got me to work too late. BUT…the location I go to is now offering it Wednesday nights! I am so, so, so excited. It goes to show that if you take absolutely no action and complain about it enough inside your head, things will happen. I think that’s the mantra they advocate in The Secret or something. It’s offered at night, which throws a wrench in my schedule because when you get off work at 3:30…and the class isn’t until 6…there’s not much to do. Refresher, as I live downtown, and work 25 minutes outside of the city and the gym location I like to go to is near work because it’s so much less crowded and the people are nicer. It makes no sense to go home, then drive back and get stuck in rush hour with all the commuters leaving the city. And the pool has closed so there goes that option. So I’m going to have to figure out my Tuesdays too because no way in hell am I giving up my fun Zumba and the adorable teacher.  I’m probably going to go to all of the wonderful shopping in the area [yay! uh oh?] or just make Sarah hang out with me. O hai gurl.

 

3. The Baltimore Grand Prix is this weekend and I can’t hear the sound of all the newspapers and all the interviews from city officials spouting off about how wonderful it is for Charm City’s PR and how lucky we are to be “chosen” and be in the spotlight over the reality of how effing inconvenient it is. They closed alllllll of downtown and it makes getting in or out of the city mission effing impossible. I loathe it with the passion of a thousand trillion suns. I hear Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy) is participating or something so the only way this is acceptable is if he finds me in my house and offers to give me a bunch of money he doesn’t want anymore. Otherwise, if anyone needs me I will be locked in my house this weekend with a pillow over my head [in an ideal world i would be asleep beneath it but], whispering “come and get me when it’s over!” Dramatic party of one? maybe,  but it really is the worst ever ever ever ever.

 

4. You know I love to read. It’s like my full-time job.  I made the mistake of reading Gone Girl [by Gillian Flynn] last year on a 5 hour car ride to New Hampshire to visit family friends, which in hindsight, was a terrible error. Because I was miserable all weekend, you know, being social and stuff with people we haven’t seen in years, when all I wanted to do was be left alone on my air mattress so I could readreadread and figure out what the hell was going on and how it would all end. I know people are “eh” about Gone Girl but I loved it because the plot [to my eyes] was so original and fresh, and I really had NO clue how it was going to end. Nada. SO…where is this going…I’ve been looking for a book similar to that and haven’t found any but my boss Sharon introduced me to Jeffery Deaver and the Lincoln Rhyme series. I am obsessed. I’ve torn through 7 of them, and they are lengthy. This is a blaring signal that I need a life. My two favorites are “The Vanished Man” and “The Cold Moon”. Buy them. It’s not the kind of series where you need to read them all or even read them in order. You think you know what is going to happen, then you’re wrong and you think this is going to happen, then you’re wrong, then you think oh! I’ve got it! THIS is totally going to happen, then you’re wrong, then you think okay the book is almost over this is totally how it’s going to happen and you’re fifty shades of wrong.  Then the end comes and you’re still surprised. So….get them.

 

5. Al, the maintenance man who works in our office building is the cheeriest, nicest guy ever. When I started at this job, he asked me my name and I said, of course, “Caitlyn” and he nodded, and said okay. He then started addressing me as “Hey Hayden!” At first I assumed I had heard him incorrectly because I spent my teenage years blaring my i-pod on the loudest possible headphone settings and my hearing ain’t so gewd. Then by time I realized no, he really is saying Hayden, I didn’t know how to politely correct him because though I am awkward, I do try to at least be polite.  So for months, he’s called me Hayden whenever he sees me. I figured it wasn’t a huge deal if some man I see every other day or so calls me by the wrong name.  Then on Wednesday I’m waiting for the elevator with my company president, and of course, who walks up but Al. “Hey, Boss man! Hey Hayden!” He sings out. I turn scarlet red and suddenly develop an intense interest in counting the dots on the ceiling tiles. The president turns to me and says “Hayden??? Really, CAITLYN? You are something else.” He chuckles for a long time. I sheepishly turn to the maintenance guy and I’m like “I’m so sorry I didn’t know how to correct you!!!” Al thought it was hilarious that I let him call me the wrong name for so long. I was mortified. I feel really bad. I wasn’t trying to be deceitful or anything (although I do like giving out fake names at bars). Blah. I haven’t seen the company president since but I am really hoping this doesn’t turn into some kind of inside joke where he  calls me Hayden. Le sigh.

Tuesdays Are My New Favorite Day

Aside from the fact that it is so freaking far from Friday.

After last week’s attempt at figuring out my new Tuesday evening gym routine, I think I’ve got it down. I left work at 3:30 and made a pitstop to Walmart to buy a visor ($3!!) because I burn to a crisp. Never tan, always burnt. I got to my gym around 3:45, changed, and made my way to a lounge chair. The pool at the gym just opened two months ago and…….I approve.

pool 2

I need to get in shape so I can buy a bathing suit and go down those slides.

It’s a “family pool” so there are lots of kids around but I don’t mind. I dutifully put on my 70 SPF sunscreen and settled in  reading
“Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not The Answer.”  I thought I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t post the full title. I’m only 18% in so I’m not sure if I love the actual book yet, but I knew by page two that I love Jen Lancaster, the author. I’ve never giggled aloud so many times while reading a book and did I mention I’m only 18% in? Jen is absolutely hilarious. Anyone who writes “I’m not lazy. I’m simply judicious about excess movement” is meant to be my friend. Seriously.

 
Anyway. I noticed they had $5 sangrias and I stood there for a good three minutes engaged in a heated debate with myself about whether or not I should get one. Sangria was practically invented for 90 degree days at the pool. I thought that with a little liquid courage, I would most likely be adventurous and more self-assured so I’d  stack tons of weight onto my bar at BodyPump and convince myself #yolo and that it made for a more productive workout. Hey maybe my newfound strength would impress hot body pump guy. Then, I would probably throw my back out because I was not in fact ready for all that adventurous weight on my bar, crumple to the floor in a writhing drunken heap, and the hot body pump guy would sweep me off into his arms and carry me off to the party room to tend to me because nobody is ever in the party room…..and yeah. Probably no sangria.

I was so relaxed that in any other situation it would have been difficult to peel myself off my chair and turn my Kindle off but I was so excited for Zumba. After about an hour and a half, I headed back inside to check in for Zumba at 6 and BodyPump at 7. It’s really weird to see the gym so active at this time. I’m normally there twelve hours earlier. People were just sitting around chatting in the lounge or watching TV whereas normally everyone is off to work in a rush and doesn’t have time to hang out and chat. The kids playroom, which is usually locked and dark at 5 a.m, is alive and vibrant with tons of kids running around.  I was standing in the hall waiting for yoga to end so I could get to Zumba, and a girl taps me on the shoulder and says “Have you gone to this class before?” She explained this was her first fitness class ever and she was really nervous. Ha! Lucky her, she unknowingly  was talking to the one who would be the most sympathetic person to her plight. I gave my passionate spiel and was very comforting, but I  think I pissed off a few people who were standing around when I declared “If you’re good at Zumba, you’re in the minority”. Thinking about it now, that sounds meaner than I intended it to.   I guess I went overboard on the trying to comfort her thing. I was trying to say nobody in the class is a professional dancer (that I can tell).

way harsh

I can’t say enough how much I love the Zumba instructor, Brian. He has the perfect personality for a Zumba class. You can tell he is having so much fun and is really sassy. He gets up off the stage every so often and will start dancing with a random member of the class for a few seconds. We all know I get intimidated at the drop of a hat or by a glance, but it’s fun. He said to this one older woman, “Drop it low, hot stuff!” and she did and it was hilarious. A new personal trainer dropped in to the class for a little to try it out and Brian pulled him up on stage with him. It was pretty comical to see this 6’4 guy with bulging muscles fumble around with the choreography to J. Lo’s “Papi”.

The class is always packed. Attendees started asking the gym managers if Brian could add another class, so they did! It’s Saturdays though so I’m not sure how often (if ever) I’ll get there. But yeah, Brian’s Zumba is apparently legendary, another classgoer told me.

After Zumba, it was time for BodyPump. The Tuesday night instructors switch off and on every week between a woman named Lori (last week) and Ashley (this week). I didn’t like Lori because she kept rushing us, urging us that “ya gotta move more quickly!!” when we were adjusting the weights on our bars after tracks, since she had to leave right after class ended to go somewhere for her son and I do not like to be rushed in situations like that. It makes me feel panicky. Ashley is mid 20’s and seems new, but I like her a lot more than Lori.

I think this is interesting…there were 18 in last week’s class, and this week there was 10. NONE of which was Hot Body Pump Guy. 😦 I’m intrigued to see if the attendance is a trend, if more people prefer Lori, who is older and who is clearly a veteran, as opposed to Ashley who’s new and you can tell still figuring out her teaching style and such. Of course, it could just be coincidence. In other BodyPump news, I was able to plank for the entire time which has happened all of nada in my lifetime.

dancemoms

Anyway I’m really pumped about my new Tuesday routines. The only thing I’m still unsure about is BodyCombat. The gym near my house offers BodyCombat at 5:45 on Tuesday mornings.  I really, really want to try it and that’s the only option I can make it to. I just don’t know if three fitness classes in one day is too much? Remember I was all impressed with myself when I did three fitness classes that one time? Haha. I’m leaning toward the thought that it will be fine as it’s not 3 fitness classes in a row (there’s literally a 12 hour break ha), but I don’t know. It will get me at work a good 30 minutes later than usual which I’m not happy about but from work’s perspective, is a non-issue. I also will  need to figure out how I am going to handle dinner each week.

So, I had a great time last night at my two classes and am a bit amused that I now look forward to Tuesdays, of all days. I just hope  it never rains.

 

1.  favorite group fitness teacher ever?

2. ever worked out with a nice alcoholic buzz? it’s probably all kinds of bad and not safe but…i’m sure it’s happened before.

3. who makes your have fitness clothes? i am looking to buy (surprise surprise) capris for the new longish reebok tank i just splurged on.

Back At It With Big Ideas, a Vengeance and a Partial Fail

For as well as I was doing at the gym, June was a mess. An absolute mess. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been really struggling with sleeping in the heat lately. I’ve never been a great sleeper, but paired with the heat, it’s horrible. There was a string of three days where I downed a glass of wine before crawling into bed and that knocked me out, but I hated my monster headache the next day. Such a lightweight. Sleep, why you be so elusive. When I was back at my parents for the 4th I had my air conditioner cranked up high and was out within 30-40 minutes. It was bliss. Now it takes me a few hours to fall asleep because I’m so hot, so I’m finally drifting off around 1 am, and when my alarm goes off at 4, there’s just no way. I have to be at the gym at 5 to get to work on time (my “on time” is by 7, so I can leave at 3:30 to comfortably beat most city traffic).

The only day I have consistently gone to the gym, no matter how pitiful my sleep was the night before, is Thursdays for BodyPump. It is incredible to me how much I like it and look forward  to it. Will wonders never cease? I’m slowly adding more weight to the bar, though I’m still way lower than everyone else I’m getting better at not letting myself feel embarrassed about that, and I really love the class and how I feel after it. I walk out of the class, sweaty and aching, but I feel awesome, strong, ready to take on the world (and win) and so confident after seeing and feeling my muscles work. I never really paid ‘strength training’ any mind and convinced myself it was not important. I just assumed I wouldn’t know how or wouldn’t be able to, because I was weak, intimidated, ignorant and too embarrassed to ask to learn. So, to feel my muscles that would have gathered dust if they were able to tremble or my legs begin to ache is such a cool feeling. You know how Cosmo always asks their cover girls “when do you feel prettiest?” I think my answer would be “after BodyPump”.  Just so you know Cosmo, whenever you want me, I am ready.

On weekdays that are not Thursdays, I’ve occasionally dragged myself to the gym near my house a handful of times in the afternoon but the gym was crowded, I was intimidated (my own issue), and so basically I just walked/jogged on the treadmill for 30 minutes before making my hasty exit and vowing “tomorrow I’m getting up early!! I can’t do that again!!!” I know. Excuses, excuses. It’s all on me. I’m not proud of it. So June was pretty much a wash.

Thus I have  been determined to make up for it in July. Not sure what to do about the sleeping issue, but I really need and want to get back on track so I’m going to figure it out. To get back into things, I came up with this brilliant idea that since I feel more comfortable at my gym location near work I’d try to incorporate another BodyPump at that location into my brand new weeks. On Tuesday evenings, they offer Zumba at 6  and BodyPump at 7. My genius idea  was to run to my gym from work, which is 2.2 miles. I’d leave my car in the parking garage at work, run to the gym, take BodyPump, and run back to work and drive home from there. I didn’t want to do that every week but since I have a 5k on Sunday, I decided I’d run there and back just this once.

I got changed into gym clothes at work, went to my car and dropped all my bags off, transferred my ‘must-haves’ into a drawstring bag to carry with me (ID, banana, water) and I was off. Walking. The drawstring bag was a dumb idea because …. duh. It bounced all over the place and was annoying. So I walked/jogged on and off.  Again, I didn’t really plan this epic voyage so the socks I grabbed off my floor were of course the tiniest ankle socks I own, and I started getting blisters. I went to Target, which is thankfully right in the middle of my route, and bought new socks as well as a cute shirt because, obviously. I resumed my nice leisurely walk, cursing myself for being an idiot because it was hot and this plan was stupid and why don’t I think anything through and why did I saddle myself with the drawstring bag?

photo-45

At least there were pretty flowers on my route.

Longest 2.2 miles ever. I love a good walk but this one was annoying. I was hot, tired, and one of my blisters was bleeding. I eventually got to the gym where I saw what could have been. My gym has a brand new, beautiful outdoor pool. I could have been reading, relaxing and laying out. I think they also serve alcohol. Man. Next time. I got to the gym at 6:25 and took this stupid selfie to commemorate my achievement.

photo-43

I was so relieved. And sweaty.

I sat in the hall outside the group exercise studio peering into the Zumba class. I used to take Zumba in college and LOVED it. I have no rhythm and no moves in my arsenal whatsoever, but so enjoy shaking it, thus I need choreography to help guide me. I went to a Zumba class a month ago but the instructor was lackluster and the class left something to be desired. I think I can unofficially declare that my search for a Zumba instructor is officially over. I only saw 5 songs, but the instructor Brian, was my kind of Zumba instructor.  He threw a freaking party. The songs were all songs I knew and the choreography was fun. The class, jam-packed, was full of people of all ages who were smiling, laughing, and most importantly, DRENCHED in sweat. For the last song before the cool down, Brian divided the room in half and made the two sides stand and face off, and then he jumped in the center and it was a ‘dance-off’ of sorts, right side versus left side, demonstrating Brian’s choreography. Definitely want to try and go next week. They were having so much fun!

The BodyPump instructor was okay but more importantly, there was a super hot guy in my class. I nearly tumbled off the step thing after triceps trying to crane my neck and see if he had a ring on. No verdict. The cooldown song was Evanescence’ “My Immortal” which I found to be a hilarious throwback. God, remember them? I think that song was my default AIM away message when I felt like being ~deep~. After class ended, I was totally deflated to remember I had to hoof it back to the parking garage.

Not one of my brightest ideas. But this Tuesday evening class business is going to stick. I do want to get to that Zumba class and then do BodyPump after (hot BodyPump guy YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED). Maybe I won’t commute on foot anymore, haha. But I’m excited to get back on track and feel a renewed sense of motivation.  I got home at 9:20, and wouldn’t you know, after being out of the house for 15 hours, fell onto my bed and passed out.

 

Your Fave Fitness Reads?

baby reading

So as you may or may not know, I love to read. Love it, love, love it.

And as you most definitely know, I am attempting to get in shape and start leading a healthier lifestyle. Woohoo. And I have a lot to learn since pretty much the only thing I do know is that I don’t know anything.

I thought I’d combine the two and turn to some books to help. I’ve been prowling around Amazon, Goodreads, and good old Google, to see what some books are that I should look into, and then I realized: duh. must as well ask the awesome blogverse.

What are some of your favorite books or authors on health, fitness, exercise? Jillian Michaels’ name keeps popping up in my research (obviously). Oprah tells me about Geneen Roth. I don’t know anything about intuitive eating (or even really what it is) so should I be reading about that? My birthday’s coming up so I’ll be getting all kinds of B & N and Amazon giftcards from the dutiful relatives I have trained all these years. 🙂

i want to read and learn so surrender all your favorites. if you have them.

spongebob waiting

Book Review, “Back to You” by Priscilla Glenn

Back to You

This is a book that I did not see coming.

I bought it for the sole reason that it was cheap.

I read a lot of chick lit and love stories. I’m such a sucker for them. As I’m reading, I think things like “I don’t like the writing”, “This plotline is so stupid”, “This heroine is so damn annoying”, but devour it anyway because I just love love. Rarely does a love story totally grab me and leave me in awe. But Priscilla Glenn, making her debut, accomplished this with “Back to You.”

Second chance love stories are difficult. It’s the author’s charge to connect the readers with the characters in both the past and present, and make sure the reader understands why the characters are supposed to be together even though life saw fit to keep them apart at one time or another. In this book, the flashbacks and the present were so freaking well done. You fell in love with Michael & Lauren when they were in high school. You fell in love with Michael & Lauren when they were adults.

This book is beautifully, craftily written. Priscilla Glenn navigates this story with perfect pacing and timing. It’s heartwarming, gut-wrenching and goofy-grin-inducing. The plot grabs you and doesn’t let go. I read this in one sitting. And read it again the next day.

Yeah, this is a “bad boy/good girl” plotline but Michael & Lauren are different. They’re believable, amazing, flawed, relatable characters. They’re the kind of characters you want to be best friends with. You not only passionately root for them to be together, you passionately root for them as individuals.

One of Priscilla Glenn’s favorite phrases is “eyes darting back and forth” which the imagery of this phrase cracks me up. Do eyes really dart? Sure, eyes can bore into you and paralyze you, but if your eyes are darting, what are they darting back and forth between?

Also, this book has an epilogue. Which is awesome. I’m always a fan of epilogues. I invest so much in a book’s characters, I need to know how they wind up. I need to know they’re okay.

If you want to read a good story and a good love story, pick this one up.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Here We Go, 2013! Resolutions.

Image

I’ve never been one for resolutions mainly because I either forget them or lack the willpower & dedication to actually go through with them. But 2013 is going to be my year. I turn 24 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So gross) in the spring and I need/want things to get going. So to keep me honest and also so I don’t forget, here are my resolutions.

 

Work:

-Get a raise once I’m eligible for it in November. I NEED a raise. My pay is pathetic. It’s the price of doing what you love, I guess.

Engage .  I want to make “work friends” in 2013. I also want to become as knowledgeable as I can about the work we do and not be so afraid to speak up in our department meetings. I have good ideas & I want to share them.

 

Health:

-Learn how to cook, dammit.

-Lose 20 pounds.

-Develop better eating habits. I am a compulsive snacker & don’t like to eat in front of people. When I’m alone in my room, I eat A LOT even though as I’m putting food to mouth, I’m aware that I really am not hungry.

-Figure out a way to get fit. I want to make this work, but in all my research I’ve done so far, the gyms in my area are either A) sketchy and not in a safe area or B) out of my budget. I’m not sure I’d feel safe running alone with my I-pod either. I might just have to resort to Youtube videos, buy some weights and make it work on my own.

 

Money:

-Figure out a budget.

-Only buy cheap books for the Kindle unless I have a gift card. Since June, I have spent way too much money buying books for my Kindle. College did a good job of keeping this at bay since I’d have classes and internships all day, then homework, studying, meetings all at night. Now, I come home from work and read all night. During the weekends, I spend all day reading and since I’m a fast reader, I blitz through 3-5 books a week. A full year of coming home and reading all night has an extremely good chance of getting out of control so I need to rein this in.

-Start paying for my cell phone. My mom & dad, knowing how dire my financial situation was, have been oh so generous but now I need to start doing grown-up things like this.

-Get my car registered in my new state & switch my license. This is pricey.

 

Social:

-Be more social. A few times since moving here, I’ve turned down going somewhere because I either: didn’t feel like it, was in the middle of my book, or thought going out would be a pointless expense that I could do without. I need to find the middle ground here.

-Stop relying on other people to make the plans. I’ve never, ever been a good planner. I always feel so responsible and worry that people think my plan/idea sucks, is stupid, or won’t be fun so I let others make the plans and just drift along.

 

(More) Personal:

-NOT BE SO DAMN MESSY. I need to figure out a cleaning schedule because my room and bathroom always look like a tornado hit. As dumb as it sounds, I need to learn how to clean. I just Chlorox Wipe everything usually. I want to be efficient at it.

-Become more organized at home and at work.

-Work on not being so freaking paranoid about driving and learn how to put air in my tires. One of my biggest fears of driving is getting a flat tire / blowing out my tire & flipping my car. This is somewhat ridiculous as my car shows me the “low tire pressure” icon-thing so if I learn how to put air in my tire, that alleviates that problem.

-Send snail mail more, like “happy birthday”, “thinking of you” or like “happy valentines day!” type cards. Today we’re so digital. How nice it would be to get a handwritten card?

-Start going back to church. My Catholic faith was so important to me growing up. I considered being a nun in 5th grade. In college, it slipped away. Now, I don’t go to church anymore (I still don’t know all of the new Missal translation, I know maybe 20% of it). This is due to laziness and not knowing where a good church is. I want to walk there, as again, I hate driving and parking lots. I ask God for a lot – and often don’t thank Him. I curse at God a lot. I don’t trust God enough and bemoan how awful my life journey is going, and if this is God’s plan, he better start paying more attention. I think going back to church will make me happier and more at peace.

-Not carry around so much resentment and so much bitterness. I KNOW it’s not healthy & weighs me down. I need to let things go and not get so bothered.

-Fall in love for the first time. With a normal, nice boy. I know this really isn’t up to me, it’s more “fate”, but I’d like it a lot if this could happen 😉

Holy cow, 2013 is going to be nuts. I have a lot to work on, but I’m determined to make 2013 my year. I love reading other peoples resolutions so if you wrote a post about it, comment with a link!

 

Wishing you all the best in 2013,

Caitlyn 🙂

Fifty Shades of Horrible

   Back in March, I read the entire “Fifty Shades of Grey’ series. While I wanted to gouge my eyes out a mere four pages in, I kept going. Why, you may ask? I’m a pop culture junkie. I’m fascinated by what our society clings on to. And also, I love to read and once I embark on a journey with an author, I just can’t quit in the middle of a story. I feel compelled to the author to keep on. And as much as I try to pretend otherwise, Fifty Shades is just not going away. 

 

          As a disclaimer, I read all of Twilight and hated that as well, so it may only be natural that I loathe Fifty Shades of Grey, which is online fan-fiction turned print turned phenomenon based off Twilight characters with the names changed.

          When I tell people I hate Fifty Shades, they immediately jump to “prude” status. I have absolutely no problem with sex in books. None. Nada. Zip. I’ve read plenty of books with sex in them. Also, zero problems with BDSM. 

 

                    Note to self: When the 1st line in a book is “I scowl with frustration in myself at the mirror”, put it down.  I dropped several IQ points while reading this horrible trash.

 

          E.L. James might be one of the worst writers to ever sit at a computer and the fact that she is a best-seller while so many amazing talents are constantly rejected makes me want to weep, but my problem with Fifty Shades isn’t the writing. It’s the fact that people are hailing this as “a love story.” That’s where my problem begins.

 

          I see countless Tweets, statuses and pins extolling main character Christian Grey as a romantic hero and pining over his fictional existence status. I’m seriously baffled, people. I’m beginning to doubt I read the same book as everyone else in the world, because I took completely different things from it.

 

          Christian Grey is 27, a self-established multi-millionaire, a sex god, an extremely accomplished pianist, a pilot, and supposedly the hottest guy ever with the most chiseled body known to man. Swoon, right? Oh yeah, and don’t forget a manipulative, controlling, creepy, sick psycho. 

          Ana Swan, oh wait, Ana Steele is a new college grad who wears her hair in pigtails and is a complete dolt. For someone supposedly as smart as she is, she’s incredibly immature and has no backbone. We’re supposedly the same age, but while reading, she sounded 16 years old. Never once while reading these books did I picture myself in her place because, oh, did I mention she’s an idiot? And what the hell is with the “inner goddess” crap? She is immediately enchanted by this amazing god. 

 

          Christian makes her sign a contract about their sexual relationship and what her “hard” and “soft” limits are. The girl is A) a virgin and B) can’t even say the word vagina, so how the heck is she supposed to set limits? She can barely form a coherent thought to him because she’s so intimidated and so full of lust.

Some gems from the parts about discussing The Contract: “I have rules, and I want you to comply with them. They are for your benefit and for my pleasure. If you follow these rules to my satisfaction, I shall reward you. If you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn,” or this: “It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you.”

 

          Aside from trying to control what she eats (He wants her to work out so she can keep up with his sex god escapades, but … he needs to watch her eat whole platefuls of food), he isolates her from her friends and constantly interferes in her career. He has a file on her, for God’s sake.

 

Another favorite part: She has to ask him permission to talk with her BFF/roommate about having sex for the first time because it goes against their contract. He doesn’t understand this because she can ask him anything, but because he’s such a romantic hero,  he allows it. WHAT A GUY.

 

Several instances from the book that make me rage, but no, don’t worry society, I’m not a Christian Grey. Okay, I’ll say they made me roll my eyes instead, OH WAIT, that’s worth a spanking of 9 times in Christian Grey’s sick, deluded world:

 

1) After Ana, celebrating her college graduation week, goes out to a bar and gets drunk, Christian says to her: “Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.” A 22 year old gets drunk at a bar and her boyfriend wants to punish her (literally) for it. Oh, um, okay. How dare you, Ana, go out like a normal 22 year old (almost normal, because we’re expected to believe Ana never wanted anyone sexually before) and celebrate a milestone?!

 

2) While debating whether or not to sign Christian’s contract, our heroine flies to Georgia to visit with her mother and try and sort her head out. This bastard finds out where she’s staying, e-mails her from somewhere across the resort asking accusingly “HOW MANY COSMOS ARE YOU GOING TO DRINK” and then of course, Ana goes running to him. He makes her vacation to see her mother—who she apparently never sees—all about him and his needs. His valet remarks to Ana, “I’m glad we’re here (in Georgia). He was intolerable while you were gone.” FOR A DAY! Clingy, possessive, crazy psycho much?

 

3) In the third book (I think, she has a pregnancy scare in the first book as well):

Christian: “Did you forget your shot?”

I just gaze at him unable to speak. Jeez, he’s mad- really mad.

“Christ, Ana!” He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over. “You have one thing to remember. Shit! I don’t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?”

 

Okay, Christian. It’s obviously all her fault she got pregnant. It’s not Christian’s fault because he doesn’t like to wear condoms so he obviously shouldn’t have to. WHO THE HELL IDOLIZES THIS MAN?

 

 

 Still swooning? Okay, I’ll stop at 3, but trust me, I could go on and on. There are many more where that came from. E.L. James blessed us all with 3 books of this. There’s also fun things like him showing up on her doorstep uninvited and barging in, because he’s afraid she might leave him. He tracks her everywhere she goes. And for a millionaire of this ginormous company, he’s never working because he’s stalking Ana. But IT’S LOVE! He stalks her because of love! He’s never felt this way before! C’mon people, you’ve seen the movies, you’ve read  the books, you’ve seen the Law & Order: SVU episodes. You know how stories like this usually end.

 

But alas, we’re in E.L James’ poorly narrated world. Ana and Christian get married two months after knowing each other. She has a baby. And unlike Twilight, she gets a career. That Christian buys for her. That she never worked for. That she got only so he can control who she interacts with and knows where she is at all times.

 

As I’ve said, I love reading. I get that reading is an escape where you can indulge in fantasies sometime. That’s fine, but when abusive relationships are sugarcoated under the guise of a love story and even worse, is being found in bookstores under YA fiction(!!!!!!!!!!!!!), that’s where I have a huge problem and why I had to post this ramble somewhere. God save us all.