“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
I caught myself wandering in the realm of 'being baffled', by questions coworkers were asking me yesterday. First off I'm the youngest employee where I work. I've worked here since graduating from high school, so the stigma of "Oh she's the 'baby'," sort of follows me wherever I go, especially as I've known my employer since I was 9 years old. At times it bothers me, but it can't be helped. Second, I'm inexperienced and have lots of learning and rocks to turn over in the world. Third, I'm typically conservative and quiet in nature . . . well amongst my acquaintances. The real deal folks are who see the real me, otherwise it is a waste of time, energy and vulnerability I have no desire to test any further.
Those observations aside . . . I was wondering why coworkers decided to ask me about 50 Shades of Grey. Oh 50 Shades, with all your delicate and gruesome subject matter, "Yes, let's ask Maddie, because I'm sure she will have the answers you are seeking. Either that or we'll get to see Maddie blush a thousand shades of crimson when we have her cornered." This is not subject matter for the work place folks . . . let alone ME. You try explaining what . . . yeah . . . is to your eager/waiting coworkers is and then wondering why you even know this stuff to begin with. I felt like a bumbling idiot and yes I blushed! :P
I have NOT read 50 Shades of . . . 'waste of my time'. I truly have no desire to do so for many reasons. However, I read and read and read until I'm a little grey faced myself, the numerous critical reviews, articles, funny parodies and whatnot. No, not because deep down I crave a torrent affair with the book. I crave knowledge, I own a used bookstore and obviously people find it necessary to ask me questions about books. I have to equip myself somehow, so I read everything there is to know about the book. Perhaps you view that as wrong. How can I form an opinion of a book without reading it? It is one of those cases; I don't need to taste shit to know it tastes bad.
Anne Lamott says in the quote above, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth.” Maybe this is why people ask me, because they realize this is true about me. And maybe this is why I won’t read 50 Shades, but everything else about it.
I'm also intrigued by the comments from many people, complete with dazed expressions:
"I don't know why I read it. It was poorly written and basically bound for the trash, but I couldn't put it down. I loved it!"
What makes this book different from any other erotica book out there? Erotica and all the other sordid content that comes with 50 Shades didn't come on the scene when E.L. James penned her story. It has been around the block a time or two . . . so why now the sudden bump with popularity; the sudden acceptance of not only trashy content, but ill used synonyms and 'rip your hair out' worthy analogies? Why are people (notice I'm not singling out the women) so eager to be led to the slaughter?