Saturday, February 21, 2015


No one in their right mind would pay good money to dine at a mediocre restaurant just because “everybody else” does. Yet that kind of herd mentality is deemed perfectly acceptable when it comes to what by all accounts is a badly-written book.

When 50 Shades of Grey was published last year, my wife briefly expressed an interest in reading it. This disturbed me, but not for the reasons you might think. My wife, you see, tends to be immune to the disposable pop culture trends that I’ve been known to be a sucker for. (You should’ve seen me in my ‘80s fashions back in the day. Actually, it’s better that you didn’t.)

In that regard, you might say I hold her to higher standards than I do for myself. But I would counter that I merely think of her as a better person than me, which any of our friends would heartily confirm.

Ming knew how to swing!
But as I thought it over, the idea started to appeal to me. Perhaps now, pushing 60, I could finally indulge in the kind of fantasies that had first swirled through my mind when, as a mesmerized eight year-old, I watched the sexy Dale Arden held captive by Ming the Merciless in the old Flash Gordon serials on Saturday morning TV.  (Oh, how I pity today’s youngsters who have only Spongebob Squarepants to dream about.)

The “experts” always say sex gets better as you get older. Well, here was our chance to prove it, and prove it good! I might not own a feather brush to run up and down her quivering body. But I had an oxtail attached to a carved wooden stick, courtesy of my mother’s trip down the Amazon, that could more or less get the job done.

I knew, however, I had to tiptoe around the subject first. “So about that 50 Shades thing,” I said casually, as if I were drawing up a shopping list. “Does this mean that you, uh, would be interested in, er, acting it out yourself?”

She looked at me as if I had three heads, if only because she usually looks at me like I have two. “No! Of course not.”

Her answer was as shocking as snow in winter. Most women, she informed me, prefer mentally indulging in certain fantasies without actually acting them out. To me, this makes as much sense as, say, her reading cookbooks while I do all the cooking – which, come to think of it, is the way things work around our home.

The subject was dropped until recently, when the movie version of 50 Shades of Grey was released. Once again, my wife made noises like it was her cultural duty to drop $15 to see something that had received the worst reviews since, well, the book version of 50 Shades of Grey.

Like a fish who knows what fate awaits him when he swims to the annual bass tournament, I willingly took the bait. Only now I waited until we were in bed. “I’ve read about the 50 Shades of Grey movie, and, you know, I’ve got a sleep mask you can use for a blindfold. And we can use my earplugs for… something or other…”
Maybe she'd find this fantasy
more acceptable.

After she stopped laughing hysterically – not the first time a woman has done so when I was lying naked next to her – she returned to the more important matter of reading her emails on the iPad.

I suppose it didn’t help that, the day before, my dermatologist had removed several unsightly “old man” growths from my body. Growths which were currently covered by even more unsightly bandages – one of which was stuck directly across my forehead, as if I’d been on the wrong end of a bush league William Tell routine.

Maybe the handsome, 30 year-old Mr. Grey could have gotten away with such a look. But when you’re the not-quite-as handsome, 59 year-old Mr. Blogger, you have to take your marital sex sessions as they are.

So it looks like I’ll have to be satisfied with making do without props during our moments of intimacy, relying strictly on what we came into the world with. That’s probably not a bad thing. Frankly, at our age we don’t have the energy to paint our room red, or remember our “safe words” when things start getting out of hand. I’m lucky to remember where I put my cellphone.

And as for my memories of Dale Arden… Well, we’ll always have the planet Mongo.


1 comment:

Kevin Thomsen said...

I'm waiting for 50 Shades of Gandalf the Grey.