If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably have a pretty good idea of how much I dislike the 50 Shades of Grey series. I did give it a shot back in April when Kaith suggested it to me, and I actually managed to finish three chapters of the first book. Why, I even skimmed over the (supposedly) good parts of all three books, in which Anastasia Steele (I know, right???) chewed her lower lip into what should’ve been oblivion and Christian Grey growled and smoldered and growled some more. Suffice it to say, I gave the books a chance, and that ordeal makes my distaste perfectly justified.
I am probably the last person in the world that could be called a prude, so no, the genre does not offend my delicate (har har) sensibilities. I’ve read Henry Miller, Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series, and even Lolita, for crying out loud; I’m no stranger to erotic fiction. In fact, I love erotic fiction. What I do hate, however, is erotic fiction that reads like it’s been written by a 14-year-old with a thesaurus and a trunkful of bad clichés. And this is exactly what 50 Shades is.
I could probably go on and on about the multitude of reasons why I find the series dumb and distateful, but I am loathe to give it more time and thought than I already have. I would say, however, that the thing that really bugs me about it is how people are reacting to it, like it’s the best thing since the clitoris. Still, I kept my peace because if people wanted to go off on a badly written book while trussed up on english saddles at TheEquestrianCorner.com (don’t ask), who am I to judge, right? I used to like the Twilight books, after all! (I can’t read them anymore without throwing up in my mouth. Believe me, I tried.)
No, what really pisses me off is how people are feeling compelled to drink Twinings English Breakfast Tea because Anastasia Steele (the name doesn’t get better with age, does it?) drinks Twinings English Breakfast Tea.
Now, I have been drinking Twinings English Breakfast Tea for over a year now. And though I am aware that I am not the only person in Cebu who does, I am also perfectly aware that it doesn’t fly off the shelves, either. Last week, however, I had to go to three different supermarkets just to find a box. To make matters worse, a couple of girls I know (who are not in any way related to each other) both posted photos of said tea on Instagram within hours of each other. And yes, both girls (shamelessly) credited 50 Shades for their purchases – like there’s a Christian Grey shrinkwrapped in every carton, or something. (Insert the obvious tea bag joke here.) This, in my opinion, is completely crossing the line.
I’m all for sexual expression, really I am. If you’re redecorating your house to include a red playroom and stocking up on whips and chains, good for you. If your boyfriend/husband/houseboy is now answering to ‘Christian’ or ‘Master’, hats off to you. Hell, if you think 50 Shades is a literary marvel, by all means, read it till the pages are stuck together. (Eww.)
But sweetheart, you leave my goddamned tea alone, you hear?