In 'Fifty Shades of Grey,’ Christian Grey Thinks These 11 Things Are Classy (For Whatever Reason That’s Beyond Us)
If you've read Fifty Shades of Grey , you know that Christian Grey is just about as classy as literary men come in modern-day terms. Fancy-schmancy wine selections? Check. Helicopter? Check. Impeccably tailored and absurdly expensive suits? Check, check. Grey seems pretty versed in all things highbrow and swanky. Sure, money can't buy class, but it can buy plenty of upgraded airline tickets and expensive kitchen appliances, which kind of fit in with the wealthy vibe.
As familiar as Christian is with the lifestyles of the rich and the famous, though, there are some things he assumedly thinks are upscale that I'd have to disagree with. But then again, what do I know about what's posh? I've never been whisked away by a multimillionaire, so for the most part, I have to take Christian's word about what he thinks the upper class' finest are about.
But I can't go along with all of it.
After all, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey is a mere mortal like myself. I'm sure the hit book was well-researched, but there are a few things the cynic in me caught throughout the book as being pretty average at best. Here are 11 things in Christian's high-end lifestyle that aren't as classy as the book makes them out to be.
"Grey takes his hands off me and passes me a handkerchief. Only he would have a monogrammed, freshly laundered linen handkerchief. CTG. I didn't know you could still buy these."
Classic? Sure. They're old fashioned and traditional. Classy, though? The jury's out on this one. What's wrong with the fanciest pack of tissues money can buy? However, it was a classy move to offer it to Ana, who had just drunkenly puked on a flowerbed outside of a bar. I'll give him that. Perhaps people, i.e. Christian, are starting to sneakily disguise them as pocket squares just in case an intoxicated and lightweight love interest needs it. Who knows.
Giving Inappropriately Expensive Gifts
"I inspect the books closely, three volumes of Tess of the d'Urbervilles... They must be worth a fortune, and I know immediately who's sent them."
A book is a perfectly acceptable (and lovely) first gift from someone you're sort of dating. A set of first edition books that cost upwards of $14,000, as Ana came to find out? Not so acceptable. Even though they'd only known each other for about a week when Christian sent them to her apartment, he didn't seem to care much — he went on to give her a smart phone, a laptop, and for a graduation gift, he presented her with an Audi. Not to shabby, but very over-the-top. Whatever happened to an overpriced floral arrangement?
Flaunting His $$$
"I'm a very wealthy man, Miss Steele, and I have expensive and absorbing hobbies."
Slow clap, commence. Congrats, Christian. As you are responsible for a massive mergers and acquisitions empire, one could assume you weren't living paycheck to paycheck. But thanks for clearing that up for your future partner as she interviewed you for a college newspaper.
Being a Regular Sherlock Holmes
"Your body gives you away. You're pressing your thighs together, you're flushed, and your breathing has changed."
Well, well, well. Look out, Benedict Cumberbatch, because Christian Grey is coming for you with his shrewd and slightly invasive personal observations. Sit down, Christian — yeah, you're hot. We know you know your effect on people. No need to go boasting your detective skills to Ana at dinner — your beautiful face is already an unfair advantage.
Introducing Your S.O. to Mom... While She's Wearing Your Shirt
"Anastasia, you could be wearing a sack and you'd look lovely...I'd like you to meet my mother. Get dressed. I'll just go and calm her down."
OK, so in the book, Ana is wearing her clothes from the night before when she meets Christian's mother, who pops by for a surprise visit in, ahem, an inopportune moment. In the movie trailer, though, Ana is decked out in Christian's shirt. If it were my judgement call, I'd wait to make the first introduction.
The Word "Abreast"
"They want two? ...How much will that cost? ...Okay, let's do it. Keep me abreast of progress."
When Christian used the word "abreast" in a business phone call, I couldn't help but think that the author might be a little out of touch with how regular people talk, classy as they may be. This isn't the first time in the book I thought this — while the distinctions between the uses of "shall" and "will" are impressive, they're not conversationally realistic. I'm not sure classy businesspeople prove their status by using words like "abreast," so if it were me penning Christian's interactions, "updated" would have sufficed. As Mark Twain famously said, "I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city." But maybe classy people do like the word "abreast."
Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999
"'Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999, an excellent vintage,' he says with relish."
The price of a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999 appears to range from about $150 to $250, so it's far from the bottles that many college kids celebrate their graduations with. But then again, many college kids don't celebrate their graduations with multi-millionaire suitors. I don't quite understand why Christian wouldn't have gone with a more well-known classic, like Cristal or Veuve, though. But hey, what do I know about swanky champagnes?
Keeping Orgasm Tallies
"Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You've had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me."
So, I know Christian is wise beyond his years enough to have built his own company from the ground up, but this seems a bit childish, not classy. Yeah, he likes to control/possess/have power over every area of his life, but doesn't counting a sexual partner's orgasms over the course of a couple of weeks seem a tad crude? Again, what do I know about swanky orgasms?
Having an Extremely Friendly Relationship with Your Cradle-Robbing Ex-Lover
“One of my mother’s friends seduced me when I was fifteen... She's a very good friend."
While talking about Christian's short submissive past over lunch (casual conversation topic, naturally,) he reveals that his introduction to the BDSM lifestyle was through his mom's friend, or Mrs. Robinson, as Ana nicknames her (a reference to The Graduate.) Oh, and that they're still good pals and business partners. Um, what? Calling it. This is not classy.
Silk and Satin Pajamas
“Is this what you sleep in?... You should be in silks and satins, you beautiful girl. I’ll take you shopping.”
Evidently, Christian did not approve of Ana's sweatpants and camisole ensemble for bed. But, excuse me, if Ana wants to wear sweatpants to bed, Christian criticizing that is not classy. There's a better way to change what someone wears to bed. It's called a gift. I believe Christian is familiar.
“'What have you been doing in here?' 'Showing Anastasia my rowing trophies,' Christian says without missing a beat, completely poker-faced."
So as you may have guessed, Christian and Ana were not admiring the fruits of his rowing labors in the boathouse after dinner at Christian's parents house. But the fact that rowing trophies were his cover-up for indulging in a little scandalously located sexy time speaks volumes — I guess rowing trophies are classy.