The Fifty Shades Walk of Shame

The only time a hair stylist is asked for 50 shades of grey…

Let’s talk Fifty Shades of Grey. Did you read it in public as big as you please or did you hide it away in the nightstand? Did you quietly download an electronic version and then read in a corner so that no one could peer over your shoulder? Or did you buy the book, avoiding eye contact with the clerk, and tuck it under the mattress when you got home?

Wherever a few ladies are gathered these days, Fifty Shades is sure to come up. At the hair salon we all shared impressions of the phenomenon before moving to a lively discussion of the casting for the upcoming movie. This lead to a pro/con review of all the actors rumored to be auditioning, supported by photos from the dogeared People magazines flipping below hair dryers. Besides the hair salon discussion, a recent girls’ night out included some revelations:

One mom of two babies in diapers confesses she had a date with Grey every night while her husband bathed the kids and put them to bed. We failed to clarify whether her husband knew he was on baby duty for the sake of Grey.

Mom with teenage daughters finished book one and is working on book two, although it’s not as good as the first one and “The first one wasn’t even good, just the good parts.” She soldiers on through the series with the books hidden away.

An I-Pad downloading mom regrets the $9.99 she spent to read the book privately. No plot to speak of, just pron (the filter-safe word for you know what), and she’s kicking herself because why would she have expected a plot anyway?

Hair stylist says the trilogy is great and has a great story. You just may have to “overlook some things if you don’t like them.” “Overlook them?” rises a chorus of foil-headed ladies. “What’s the point if you’re going to overlook them?”

Well-read mom of teen boy says she read enough of the book preview on Amazon to know Grey isn’t the type to merit her full attention, so she will just borrow it from the other Mom of Teenagers to “read the turned-down pages”.

Finally, a mom shares that she and her husband went to dinner with another couple who were casually acquainted. “So, have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?” asked the lady. My friend related, “Can you imagine asking someone that you barely know – over dinner with husbands, no less – if they had read this type of book? How has this all become okay now?” (Despite the mild outrage, she had indeed read the book.)

It’s a pop culture phenomenon, and since I have missed almost all such things since the birth of the first kid, I am determined to be informed. A quick read on Amazon was not promising. In those few pages our protagonist thinks silently, all within the space of one meeting: “Crap.” “Holy crap.”  “Double crap.” The “good parts” are going to have to make up for this.

So is your reaction to Fifty Shades a walk of shame or walk of shamelessness?