When I was on a family vacation in Spain and the Italian and French Rivieras I loaded my Kindle with the entire Fifty Shades of Grey series to read. Within 3 days, I had nothing left to read for the following two weeks. I’ll be the first to admit, its captivating. But it really is a poorly written book that kind of makes you want to question literature. I read it on my Kindle simply because I was embarrassed to associate myself with the book in public, and when you’re on a cruise ship with mostly retired folk (my sister and I were probably the youngest “kids” there), a Fifty Shades of Grey book is probably the last thing you want to chat about and book swap.
I had no intentions of seeing the movie in theaters. But a few girlfriends on Valentines Day convinced me otherwise… mainly because there was promised wine, which, no matter the context, is always appealing to me. So I found myself at 9:30p.m., in the theater waiting in line to see the movie.
My first lesson learned: People shit their pants for this shit. I don’t even know what to call it… porn? Love stories? Masochistic plot lines? Whatever it is, middle aged women have their literal and figurative panties in a goddamn bunch over this. As I waited in line, this 30+ year old woman was running around maniacally because she wasn’t the first person in line for the theater. She was briefly behind me, and we were only 20 people (if that) into the line. Panicked, she phoned her friend and told her the TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, OUTLANDISH predicament she was in. Turns out, her friend was in another theater already, seats saved, hormones ready.
Then we get into the theater and I observe the crowd. Sure, the obvious 20-30 something women. But then there were also people on dates. Mind you, this is VALENTINES DAY. Do you know what I would rather be doing if I was happily coupled on Valentines Day? GETTING LAID. Not watching people get laid on the big screen. Was there really, absolutely nothing else to do than see a godawful movie with your loved one on the day you celebrate your love? Apparently not. Have mercy on the rest of your relationship.
The boxed and bottled wine begin to flow and I am feeling more comfortable being in that theater. Especially when the trailer for Trainwreck plays. This is probably the most memorable part of my night. Amy Schumer’s new movie looks perfect. Absolutely relatable, hilarious, and I really want to see whether LeBron can actually act. I’m all in. AND THEN, the opening notes to Ginwine’s Pony starts playing while showing a man…. idk working with iron or like in a wood shop. I have no idea. Then he starts dancing and unmasks himself to reveal Channing Tatum. As you can imagine the audience there was flustered and giggly and sighing over the sight (personally, the part where Joe Manganiello sprays a can of Pepsi everywhere, conveniently located in his nether regions did it for me …. sarcasm). So thank you Magic Mike XXL and Trainwreck, for providing me for a bit of SOMEWHAT DECENT snippets of KIND OF acting the entire time I sat in that movie theater.
Another thing I quickly learned, probably before the second sex scene of the movie was do NOT get in the way of a 18 year old girl and her enjoyment of a sex flick. This is a v.v. important movie for teenagers and college kids everywhere who couldn’t wait to feast their eyes upon mainstream BDSM. Not that I’ve ever experienced it first-hand… although my Sophomore year roommate at NYU was a dominatrix so… I’ve seen things to say the least. It’s not that I got giggly during the sex scenes, but I did get hysterical during the stalker scenes / awkward “romantic” scenes that the 18 year old girl and her friend sitting next to me would swoon and “awwww” over. Meanwhile, I laughed, scoffed, middle fingers to the sky and all (you can use your imagination for the last one). I hadn’t been punished as fiercely as when I got shushed at Church by a grade school teacher then when my audible displeasure with certain scenes were HUSHED and THROAT CLEARED by the avid fangirl next to me. Which of course, only made me laugh more. Only when my friend checked my wineglass resting in the arm rest and told me to shhhhh, did I get a hint.
Tipsy or not, I know one thing. Someone clearly flunked every stranger danger lesson. As someone who is very adept at recognizing Stage 5’s and actual stalkers, I’m very familiar with alerting authorities about suspicious behavior (I thank Law & Order: SVU and the paranoia of living in the city for four years). When I lived in SoHo a few years ago, I met an attractive author while walking on the street who wanted to walk me home (RED FLAG RIGHT? WHO DOES THAT?). Being the savvy city dweller I was, I declined and took some round about, turn, twisty way home to get him off of my trail (he didn’t follow me I’m pretty sure). The next day I saw him with his bike standing on my block. I told my dorm’s building security Look out for that man. He’s been soliciting the building. I think he’s waiting for me. Seeing that I was at NYU, they did not take this lightly. I was vigilant and no one was going to follow and stalk me around if I had a choice! I saw that movie One Hour Photo for fuckssake. People are sick freaks! Imagine my embarrassment when the next NYU building security man on shift let me know that he lives in the building across the street… Fantastic. But in all seriousness, I’ve had a few ACTUAL creeper problems like this that really puts you on edge with this shit.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, Anastasia Steele or whatever the bland, lifeless character’s name is, is missing a little something called COMMON SENSE that made me cringe. Oh how endearing, he found out my workplace, phone number, and where I live! You know what I think about that? RUN. RUN THE FUCK OUTTA THERE. RUN AND NEVER LOOK BACK. In the theater after the chick next to me let out an “awwww omg!” when Christian Grey shows up at her apartment randomly, I gave the screen a, “OH HELLL NO!”, which prompted a 18 year old side eye.
Lastly, maybe most importantly, I learned that its 100x more attractive, albeit probably unproductive, when a man takes his shirt off by grabbing the collar. Someone explain. Does that method work better? Would like some light shed on this.