Recently I went on a college-visiting trip to Chicago. The trip itself was awesome, but I want to focus more on the journey there, if I may. (Reading back this post makes me realize it’s probably tremendously dull to other people, but this is my blog, and the experience was interesting to me, so I’m posting it anyway like the Internet rebel I am.)
Now, I don’t think I need to explain to you lovely readers what the phenomenon known as Fifty Shades of Grey is about. How it got to be the fastest-selling paperback book in history is beyond me, but I suppose today’s public no longer cares how explicitly erotic or terribly written their bestsellers are. What’s even further beyond me is how people expect it to be okay when they read it in public. It’s as if they think that nobody else knows what it’s about unless they’ve read it, too.
I have a message for those people: everyone knows what you’re reading. I’ve never read the book and never will. I know perfectly well what you’re doing as you sit on the beach or in the subway. You’ve got to be pretty gutsy, I’ll grant you, but it certainly makes me uncomfortable. Truth be told, seeing that kind of thing- and adapted from Twilight fanfiction, nonetheless- knocks my hope for humanity down a couple of points.
This leads me to the gate of our flight to Chicago, when the woman waiting in the seat across from us was thoroughly engrossed in her copy of Fifty Shades. Here I was with my giant paperback edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books, and there she sat with that black cover on top of her lap in a horribly fascinating example of what passes for reading these days.
Needless to say, it put me off a bit. I even considered moving seats so as not to have to be faced with the display, but eventually settled on sitting quietly on my side of the aisle and minding my own business. I figured it was only until we boarded the plane, anyway. And looking back on it, I suppose she wasn’t bothering me directly. But still, it was the principle of the thing.
Well, we get on our flight eventually. It’s just my mom and myself who are taking the trip, and the seats are three to a row, but there’s no one sitting in the seat next to me. We were pretty far back in line, so I’m hopeful that I won’t have to sit next to a stranger for the two-hour flight. I wouldn’t have to worry about them falling asleep on top of me. I could use the armrest and not have it just sitting there between us because each person is too polite to claim it from the other one.
Alas, I dreamed too big. No sooner am I taking my seat than I notice there’s a book lying in the seat next to mine. Surprise, surprise: it’s a black paperback. Instantly I recognized it (my fellow book nerds will attest that we have the ability to identify many books we’re familiar with from just a bit of the cover). Of course, I could have had any other person on that flight as a seatmate, but no. With my luck, I ended up spending two hours with the very person who had made me squirm at the gate.
The flight itself passed uneventfully, and I’m sure she was a very nice woman, but I will never in my life understand how it’s acceptable to read Fifty Shades of Grey openly in a public place.