I can always count on her for a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.
"So... why haven't you called?" she asks me.
"I've been too busy, mom," I tell her. "What with graduating and moving and not calling you."
"Too busy?" she says sweetly. "It's a good thing I wasn't busy 21 years ago when I GAVE BIRTH TO YOU!"
"I know, mom. I know," I tell her. "Thank you for giving birth to me."
"So... have you found yourself a boyfriend?"
"Hunh? Ah? Wha?" I hunh ah wha. Oh, sure... like I'm really going to tell her about the billionaire sex maniac I'm dating? "As a matter of fact, I'm dating a billionaire sex maniac with control issues who wants me to sign a contract to become his submissive."
"So... he's single? Well, if you want my advice..." she starts to say and I start to drift off.
I really don't want her advice, but when your mother is in the mood to give you advice, you're going to get it, whether you want it or not.
You see, my mother and I don't have what you'd call a good relationship. She never forgave me for the morning sickness I gave her. She got it after I was born. Soon after that, she took me to an orphanage for a playdate and accidentally left with another child. A boy. So, when she told me she wouldn't be coming to my graduation from college, I don't want to say I was ecstatic, because that would make me sound ungrateful for everything she's done for me, but, yes, I was ecstatic.
"...and that's how you get a man, sweetie. By putting out."
Hunh? Ah? Wha? I really should learn how to pay attention.
She then went on to explain the reason she wasn't able to make it. Bob. He tore a ligament or something. I don't really remember who Bob is, because that would actually take time and effort to look up, but whoever he is... what a wuss.
"Besides," she continues. "I don't like the way you constantly use italics."
"It's okay, mom," I tell her. "At least Ray will be there."
Ray's my step-father, but I don't hold that against him. He treated me like the daughter he never had, and I love him for it. Also for the money he used to give me.
"You do know he's not really your father, don't you?" mom says, breaking into my thoughtful reverie.
"Yes, mom," I answer, dutifully.
"I just want you to know because..."
"You love me?" I ask, yearningly.
"Don't be silly, dear," she tells me. "I just don't want you to grow up to have any confidence or self-respect. But I'll be thinking about you on Thursday, sweetie."
"Because I'll be graduating?"
"No, because that's the day I'll be giving Bob his sponge-bath. You're graduating? My, how time flies. I didn't even know you were in high school yet. One day I can't give you away at the orphanage, and the next I can't stop getting you to call me on the phone."
My mom... she's such a kidder.
"Okay. Bye, mom. I love you," I tell her.
"I love U2. Great band."
I get off the phone and immediately get on the computer. I am so fortunate to have such a full, fulfilling life. I feel so sorry for all those children in third-world countries who don't have their own computers. Well, at least they have their jobs with Nike.
Well, would you look at that? Another person with a full, fulfilling life. I sure hope it's not HAL, though. That guy creeps me out... um, for a computer I mean. I open the email. Nope, it's Christian. You know, for a billionaire sex maniac control freak he sure does have a lot of time on his hands to be able to wait by his computer for me to get on my computer just so he can diddle on it for a while. At least it keeps him from diddling on me, I suppose.
Dear Miss Steele, did you know there used to be a television show in the 80's called "Remington Steele"? I was wondering if you were related to that fictional character. He sure looked a lot like the James Bond from the 90's. The actor who played him went by the name of Pierce.. I think he had a talk show on CNN that was cancelled when he accidentally said something nice about President Bush.
I immediately fire back a reply. Dear Mr. Grey, I tell him...
...may I respectfully remind you, kind sir, that the year is 2011? The only thing I'm familiar with from the 80's is the smell of liquor on my step-father's breath as he stood over my crib.
I click Send. Almost immediately, he sends back his reply.
Good point, Miss Steele. Well made, as ever. Your concise logic reminds me of my youth and the first dollar I ever made. It was in elementary school and we were studying about World War Two. I borrowed a pencil from a fellow student, and, instead of giving it back to him at the end of the class, I sold it to another student for 99 cents. When he asked for his penny, I apologized and told him I didn't have one, thus learning the value of salesmanship and a sincerely told lie.
I couldn't believe what I was reading.
You mean there was SECOND World War? Was that the one where we freed the slaves?
Leave it to Christian to change the subject.
Speaking of "slaves," I would like to inform you, Miss Steele, that you haven't signed our "contract" yet, and I would recommend that you "do" before I'm forced to use more "quotation marks." By the way...
1. A human being who is owned by and wholly subject to the will of another.
2. One who has lost the power of resistance or has surrendered that resistance to another power.
Leave it to me to change the subject back.
Just how many World Wars have we had?
Christian is brief, but to the point.
I'll see you on Wednesday, Miss Steele. Try to read a book before then.
I log out of the computer, and call my step-father, Ray. He's driving down Thursday for my graduation.
"Will I be staying in Kate's room, like last time?" he asks me.
"Oh, step-daddy, you can't. We're in the middle of moving and all our stuff is packed up."
"Don't worry about it, sweetheart. I'll just drop in on a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting. That always works."
He then begs off the phone. He's in the middle of watching The Simpson's marathon on TV, and is afraid he'll get lost if he misses an episode. I miss his quiet fortitude and the way he once cuddled with me in the middle of the night when mom threw him out of her room. She threw him out because earlier that day she caught him naked and dancing to Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks..
"Holy crap, Ray!" I remember her yelling. "Will you get inside the house!"
I could use some of his fortitude in me when I meet with Christian on Wednesday.
Afterward, Kate and I finish packing our stuff, getting ready for our big move. We share a bottle of cheap wine because we like the feeling of being hung-over the next morning. When I'm finally ready to go to bed, my room is almost done. I'm so tired, I accidentally pack Kate into a box. She's so drunk, she doesn't even notice.
No matter, in the morning she'll just assume she was on another successful date.
Oh my gosh!
Paul is back!
I'm hard at work at his brother's hardware store eating some Chicken McNuggets, when Paul walks in through the front door, and, boy, does he look awful! He looks so bad, the Elephant Man would pay to see him.
His hair is kinky and sticking straight up, smoldering as if he stuck one of his sausage-shaped fingers into an electrical outlet. His clothes are ripped and torn and singed on the exposed edges. His face and arms are smudged with soot and ash. Wisps of smoke are emanating from every part of his body, as if he walked through a burning fire, just like we used to do when we were kids. And--can you believe it?--he's missing one shoe.
What a dork.
I can't help but think this is all some elaborate ruse to get me to go out with him. He's always asking me out.
That Paul. He's kind. Treats me with respect. Brings me little gifts of food. He's nice. Is always asking how I am. And brings me more food. He's what every girl says she wants in a man.
What a dope.
"Holy crap, Paul!" I cry out. "What the heck happened to you?"
"I... I..." he stammers. "I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?"
I'm not really interested in what happened to him, I just don't feel like working. If his brother--my boss--sees me talking to him, well, what's he going to tell me?
"The last thing I remember is leaving Clayton's," Paul says. "I was walking toward my car, when someone asked me if I had the time.
"'The time for what?' I asked him back.
"And then someone hit me on the head. The next thing I knew I was in Albuquerque and stuffed into the trunk of a car. The next thing I knew after that, I was in some guy's basement. A bicycle lock around my neck secured me to a rather convenient pole in the middle of the room. Some bald man with a goatee and glasses was yelling at some young guy he called Jessie, and telling him to do something he didn't want to do. Jessie was crying. Jessie was always crying. The next thing I knew, we were upstairs in the second-floor bathroom. Jessie was pouring hydrochloric acid in the bathtub. I asked him what he was going to do.
"'Shut up, bee-yotch!' he yelled at me.
"He kept calling me 'bee-yotch!' for some reason. I was tied up, so what could I do? And then, once the tub was full and smoking from the acid, he put me inside!"
Paul went quiet for a while. Apparently, still upset from his ordeal.
"And what happened next?" I ask him, trying to make his story eat up as much time as possible. Sorry, but if you ask me the whole thing sounded like a scene from some bad cable TV show.
"I fell through the ceiling!"
"You fell through the ceiling?"
"I fell through the ceiling. You see, the acid had eaten through the bottom of the tub and floor, and when he put me inside I just fell through to the first floor of the house. When the floor broke, it broke bad. The acid had burned my skin, my hair, my clothes, but it also burned the ropes I was tied up with."
"So what did you do?"
"What did I do?" he repeated in disbelief. "What did I do? I ran! That's what I did. Jessie was chasing after me, yelling, 'Mr. White! Mr. White!'. The old bald guy with the goatee and glasses was chasing after me, yelling, 'Jessie! Jessie!'."
His head and his hands were bobbing all over the place, as if reliving the nightmare.
What a wuss.
"Did you escape?" I ask him.
He gives me an I'm-here-aren't-I? look, and then says, "But that's not even the worst part. The worst part was when..."
The time-clock's minute hand makes its final click, and it's time for me to leave.
"Sorry, Paul," I tell him, clocking out. "But you can finish your story later, I've got to leave because..."
He stands there with an unbelieving look on his face, his hair still smoldering.
"...I've got a date!"
Once home, I see Kate has TWO dresses laid out for me to choose from for my date with Christian.
"Thanks, Kate," I tell her and give her a grateful hug.
"They're not for you, they're for José," she tells me. "It's his night to perform in the drag show at the Old Plantation. Aren't you going?"
"I have a date with Christian," I remind her.
"Well, don't do anything I wouldn't do," she tells me.
Which isn't much, I think to myself.
What I say is, "Have we got any Chicken McNuggets? I'm starving."
When I'm done eating, I go into my room to dress for my date. Should I shower or at least shave? What's the point? I finally decide. Christian hasn't shown any discernment yet, why should he now?
As I leave, I ask Kate how I look,
"Ooh, you look just like Marilyn Monroe," she gushes. "I mean, how she looks now."
Christian is such a gentleman, he graciously allows me to drive myself to our date.
I pull up to Jugalos, a very authentic Mexican restaurant. It's so authentic, when they bring you a glass of water, they advise you not to drink it. It's the fanciest restaurant I've ever been invited to. Aw heck, who am I kidding? Burger King would qualify as the fanciest restaurant I've ever been invited to, since I've never been invited to a restaurant before.
I park and walk straight to the bar area holding a duck under my arm, per Christian's request. The bartender stops what he's doing when he sees me.
"Hey," he says, rudely, "where do you think you're going with that pig?"
"It's not a pig," I correct him, rather annoyed. "It's a duck!"
"Excuse me, ma'am," he tells me, "but I was talking to the duck."
Well... I've never been so insulted in my life.
I immediately walk over to the booth where Christian is already sitting. He is nothing if not prompt. The trouble with being prompt is one might get the idea that you have nothing better to do than wait around for somebody else to show up.
He looks me up and down with a lustful sparkle in his eye.
"What are you doing with that pig?"
"Christian!" I say. "This is the duck you told me to bring."
"I didn't tell you to bring a duck."
"Yes, you did."
"No, I didn't."
Well... I don't know what to say.
"Yes, you did."
"My dear," he says, finally, "you must have misunderstood me. I said: viaduct."
"Yeah, that's what I want to know," I tell him.
"Why a duck?"
"Why a what?"
"A duck. Why a duck?"
"No, no. Not 'why a duck'. Viaduct."
"That's what I'm asking. Why a duck? Why not another bird, like a crow or a chicken?"
"Because I didn't say 'why a duck,' I said viaduct. A long bridge-like structure built across a valley or some other low ground."
"And why limit yourself to birds?" I go on, not really listening to him. "Why not a cow or a horse?"
Christian sits there and looks at me for a very long time. Finally, he says, "Because I need the feathers. That's why a duck."
Well...now he's finally starting to make some sense. I hand him his duck and tell him to go crazy. He hands the duck to the waiter and tells him not to bring it back until it's on a plate of nachos.
"Might I recommend a nice durkey instead?" the waiter suggests.
Christian considers this.
Me, I'm confused.
"A durkey," Christian explains, "is a duck stuffed into a turkey."
"Doesn't that technically qualify as bestiality?" my enquiring mind wants to know. Now it's Christian's turn to be confused, so I clarify: "A kind of inter-species romance?"
"It might," Christian says, "but the duck doesn't go in there willingly."
"Plus, they're both dead."
Holy crap! Bestiality AND necrophilia? What kind of a sick place did Christian bring me to?
"Mr. Grey," I tell him rather formally, "is this a taste of what's in store for me if I sign your contract and become your submissive?"
"No, Miss Steele," he answers. "This is just a date. If I wanted to give you a taste of what's in store for you if you sign my contract and become my submissive I would have taken you to where the NFL players go for dinner."
"Mr. Grey, I don't know what kind of girl you think I am..."
"Oh, I think we've already determined what kind of girl you are. What we're quibbling about now is whether or not you'll sign the contract."
I get up to leave. The waiter sees me and immediately brings me the check.
"Do you mind paying for this?" Christian asks me, patting his empty pockets. "I seem to have forgotten my wallet."
Once outside, the valet brings me my car, a sea-blue Beetle with a My Other Car Is A Mercedes bumper sticker on the, um, bumper. I tip the valet a dollar.
"Thanks," he tells me. "Now I'll be able to retire."
I don't know if he's kidding or not. I live in El Paso where the cost of living is cheap. In fact, our city's motto is: El Paso! We Go To KFC To Lick OTHER People's Fingers!
Christian has followed me outside. His jaw hits the pavement when he sees what I'm driving.
"Is this your car?" he asks incredulously. "I bet the last time you took it in for an oil change, the mechanic told you to keep the oil and change the car."
"What?" I challenge him. "Doesn't it fit your high standard for what a submissive should drive?"
"No, I'm just wondering how you fit inside."
Well... it seems this is my night to be insulted.
"It didn't bother the circus clowns who owned it before me," I tell him. "Besides, I bet you own a BMW because it's easy to spell."
Angrily, I get in my car, accidentally slamming the door on my hand in the process.
"I meant to do that," I tell him and drive off.
I'm still angry when I get home.
How does he do that?
Dear Miss Steele, I do apologize for my behavior this evening, and I sincerely hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. Also, you didn't leave a tip.
If I wasn't crying before, I am now.That Christian Grey, why does he confuse me so? On the one hand, I am so attracted to him. On the other, he disgusts me. And on the third hand, what am I doing with three hands?
Why a duck?
Why not a duck?
Because I need the feathers.
Everything he says is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enchilada.
Oh, why didn't I at least have dinner before I stormed out of that Mexican restaurant?
I hug my pillow tight, hoping from some kind of comfort. It doesn't give me any. With a scream, I punch it and then start beating it against the wall in frustration. It bursts open and a thousand feathers come flying out.
Fifty Shades of Funny