Why This Pastor's Wife Recommends Reading "50 Shades of Grey" Excerpts to Your Partner on Valentine's Day

Welcome to the first installment of "Keight Reviews of Books She Will Never Read, and then Immediately Stops Talking in the Third Person."

You may have gleaned from the title that I'm a Christian woman married to a professional minister, and, yes, that's right!--I think you and your partner absolutely should read passages* from 50 Shades of Grey aloud to each other this Valentine's Day. But not for the sexy....for the hilarity. Because if you tell me this book isn't a comedy I will tell you your pants are on fire.

Feminism/porn elements aside--for a brief moment only, because they should be/have been considered by people smarter than me--let's talk about the abuse of the English language that is running as rampant in this book as an outbreak of the STDs that it has surely contributed to.

Here are some selected favorites from the book itself:
 sourceI added my own commentary because it's just too easy and fun, but theirs is definitely worth reading too.

"I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto."  WHAT?!? NO. BAD. Why drag Karl Marx into this?

"And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain - probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells - comes the thought: He's here to see you."  I think there may be very large parts of your brain that are underused, sweetie. And from a part of my stomach where all my bile dwells comes a sensation: gag.

"My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba."  My very small intestine is swaying gently at the sight of all this crap in need of passing.

"I can almost hear his sphinx-like smile through the phone." This guy sure sounds like a raging sphinxter to me!

"His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something." FUN!: a choose-your-own-adventure simile for your readers to DIY. That's like as fun as like...something. Somebody, quick, get me a PULITZER!

"I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious - she's doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his."  Does Sherwin Williams carry Communist Manifesto Hula Skirt Red? Because it sounds like it would look real primo in my scrapbooking studio.

I mean is this butchery of the English language supposed to be part of the naughty, naughty bad girl pain? Because it hurts worse than if someone locked my brain in fuzzy handcuffs and whipped it with just horrible, horrible metaphors (as turns out my brain is old fashioned and just isn't into that).

If the writing sounds like Twilight fan fiction, that's because it is. Seriously. How on earth that fact alone didn't stop this book's publication in its tracks is beyond me. And, yes, I purchased and read all volumes of the Twilight saga in about a week. They were no Ulysses, yet they were still harmlessly, addictively enjoyable. Like delicate cardamom-dusted plantain chips...OR SOMETHINGBut as Sir Salman Rushdie said, "Fifty Shades of Grey makes Twilight look like War and Peace," so I cannot be faulted for indulging in those, right?  (to be fair: I read War and Peace last year--just to have actually done it--and I hated it, so what do I know about anything?).

Even if this was somehow a book on biblical marriage (and, spoiler alert, I'm like 60% sure it's not)--written in this "style" of prose, I would still find it offensive just for its terribleness-of-words (with phrasal gems like that, clearly I should be writing all the books). 

I was reading some lists of the top awful/ridiculous quotes from this series, and something kept tickling (in a G-rated way, I assure you) my memory. And then I found the perfect article, and it hit me (figuratively/platonically) why the syntax seems so familiar. OH! Because it's exactly the method of essay-writing that I used in the eighth grade when I wanted to sound fancy and smart like those writers from the Seventeen magazine.  

This misuse of the noble thesaurus smarts more than a riding crop.

The offense: "He puts down his cutlery and regards me intently, his eyes burning with some unfathomable emotion." Cutlery?! Who died and made you the manager of this Olive Garden, ANASTASIA!?

The fix: "He puts down his fork/knife/spoon and looks at me intently, his eyes burning with some unfathomable emotion."

The offense"To be honest, I prefer my own company, reading a classic British novel, curled up in a chair in the campus library. Not sitting twitching nervously in a colossal glass-and-stone edifice." Oh buh-ruth-er

The fix"To be honest, I prefer my own company, reading a classic British novel, curled up in a chair in the campus library. Not sitting twitching nervously in a giant glass-and-stone building."

source: Vulture (many other facepalm-worthy examples found therein)

As when I go back and read my middle school feelings journal, the constant appearance of these kinds of sentences is cringeworthy, and I am embarrassed for the author. You can just feel the affect: she was writing and decided "hmm, it's good, but it needs to sound smarter," and then just flung in a handful of highfalutin words (leaving one to wonder what exactly ended up in the editor's trashcan when all these, PLUS 183 repetitions of the word "Crap!" and 173 "Oh my's!" stayed in the published series).

It is for these reasons and many more that I am giving my endorsement for this book as date night fare: Two enthusiastic thumbs up...and directly into my eyeballs.

Such levels of LOL-inducing nonsense are sure to have you and that special someone laughing yourselves silly, and should guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy your evening. Because laughter is an even better aphrodisiac than oysters or torture[d phrases].

The only safe word you'll need when considering seriously reading this book and/or seeing the movie:  is NO...or something.

*Online. from websites that mock it.  For the love, do not spend money on this.


  1. You had me at "Twilight fan fiction"

  2. I agree, you should be writing all the books!

  3. I just from laughing too hard at this post.

  4. Fun fact... or something: I recently got the communist manifesto red hula skirt for my inner goddess to perform her gentle victorious samba. Too absurd.

  5. Yes!! I forced myself to make it through the first book because so many women I know loved it. I'm no longer friends with any of them because of their poor taste. Haha just kidding (sort of). My biggest pet peeve - and there were many - was the constant use of the word "murmured."

  6. I just came across your blog (thanks to mention by Tara Livesay, plus the phrase "love at first shart" on Instagram), and I couldn't not say hi. This is by far my favorite of the manymanymany posts I've seen about 50 Shades. "Raging sphinxter" just might be my new go-to insult for everything. Plus, if anyone objects, I can tell them I got it from a pastor's wife, so... :D