Fifty Shades of Costco

I’m only on page 132, but I have to get something off my chest about  Fifty Shades of Grey. I know I am supposed to be enthralled by the kink factor or whatever is going to happen in that “Spanish Inquisition” room over the next 350 pages, but I am so distracted by the fashion in this book that I can’t get excited by any of the other parts.

Call me repressed or shallow (I have been called worse), but who gets hot knocking boots in Converse tennis shoes? I don’t actually want to have sex within 2 floors of a Converse tennis shoe.   There have already been five references to Anastasia’s Converse shoes. Those shoes are a lot of things (retro, comfy, whimsical), but they are not hot.  Maybe when Anthony Edwards wore them to play basketball with George Clooney in 1993 on ER after a particularly harrowing surgery they were sexy.  But, I actually think it was the green scrubs that made that scene sexy.  And George Clooney.

Outlaw Mama's X-Rated Shoes and SOCKS

Outlaw Mama’s X-Rated Shoes and SOCKS

I have Converse shoes– navy– that I wear to the park. The sexiest encounter I have had wearing mine was diving into the sandbox to keep Simon from eating a cat turd. You will have to ask Jeff how sexy that was.

And the outfit Anastasia wore on her first real date with Christian which began on his helipad?  Her “black jeans” and a “mint-green top”?  Oh for the love of whips and chains, it makes my imagination bleed because it sounds so ugly.  Somehow I don’t think she’s talking skinny black jeans like Sofia Vergara wears on Modern Family. I can’t help but picture the stiff, slightly faded black Guess jeans I wore in high school in suburban Dallas. Believe me, they may have been trendy in 1989, but they weren’t hot. If ever they were steamy it was only because Dallas, Texas is hotter than the hinges of hell.

What’s this “soft mint-green shirt” she wore?  Why am I picturing a fake Izod piqué polo shirt with the collar upturned?  It’s doing a lot for me (like convulsions of distaste) but it’s not turning me on. I can only hope that “Kate’s black jacket” that Anastasia borrowed salvaged this outfit, but that is only possible if it was a very long black trench coat that acted as a curtain for her ensemble (and also covered her shoes).

People, when Christian first deflowers Anastasia, she mentions that he removes her shoes and socks. (“[H]e grasps my foot and undoes my Converse, pulling off my shoe and sock.” p. 114.)  SOCK?  I just lost my erection.  When was the last time you wore socks on a first date?  In the book, it was May, so it’s not like they hiked through a snow mound.  I am a boring old married lady, and even I don’t wear socks when Jeff and I go on a date to Chipotle a local bistro for free-range veggie burgers.

And maybe it’s sexy in Seattle to workout in gray sweatpants as Christian did (p. 65). But did anyone else picture John Goodman from Roseanne when you read that?  Couldn’t he have worn black wind pants or some Adidas striped ones? Lululemon has a man branch– wouldn’t a billionaire have some $180.00 wicking pants?

I know I am missing the forest for the trees here, but I can’t get past the Costco-inspired wardrobe.  I don’t want my soft-porn littered with tube socks, tennis shoes, and gray sweatpants– that’s what my weekly trip to Costco is for.  I want a full escape, E.L. James.  I want some Prada heels or at least an Ann Taylor Loft sweater set in a better color than Girl-Scout-cookie green.

Only one question: Should I keep reading?

read to be read at


135 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Costco

  1. It’s worth it to keep reading if only for the hilarious posts it inspires in you! I’m somewhat taken aback that my ratty grey sweatpants aren’t considered sexy … who knew?

  2. Oh thank God! Everyone has been telling me to read this freakin’ book, but I won’t. Mainly because it’s trendy and I hate being trendy, but now I can tell them it’s because the wardrobe is hideous. Thank you so much for giving me a reason!!! Now back to Veronica Rath’s Divergence book instead.

  3. I LOVE THIS; hysterical! I haven’t read it yet, but know enough from your post and the negative amazon reviews to wait until I can borrow from a friend.

  4. I disagree; keep reading. I will admit that the actual writing is horrendous at times (most of it) and the story is completely ridiculous and hardly believable. But there’s something intriguing about the whole situation and I can’t stop reading it. I just finished book 2 and can’t wait to find out what happens in book 3.

    • A friend just called to tell me she’s on Book 3 and I have to keep reading. I pretty much assume I will keep reading because I hate to leave a book half-finished. I can’t say it’s boring, because it’s certainly not boring. I bet my therapist would say I am distracted by the fashion b/c I am avoiding the “other issues.” To which I will say, sweetly, “What other issues, Doc?”

  5. WHY DO PEOPLE READ THIS CRAP, seriously? Nothing about these stories entices me to pick up the books (except possibly the fact that everyone in the world is reading them). Cannot compute.

    What made you start reading???

  6. By the way, I am NOT a book snob and I enjoyed The Hunger Games (although I can’t seem to get through the first 5 pages of the second). I think I’ve mentioned that before, but I wanted to restate the facts.

    • Fair enough. I can’t decide if I am a book snob or not. Probably I am. Depends. If I end up liking a low brow book, then I will say I am reading it ironically. Basically, I am full of sh*t, which should not be news.

  7. HAHA! I also kept picturing that little upside down Guess triangle that was pasted on my left ass cheek in the 90s when I wore black jeans. Who the hell wears black jeans????? I read all three of the books and enjoyed them- they are NOT literary works by far, but being pregnant means that I can’t read anything overly heady or I spend the whole time crying or obsessing about meeting the same fate as the protagonist. I will say, in the second book, I skipped the sexy parts and went for more plot. Though it is fairly predictable and somewhat ridiculous, it is fun to read. I liked the characters, especially in book three.
    PS, this is by far the best/most original blog/article I have read about 50 Shades. And holy f are there a ton out there. So freaking funny.

    • It’s so hard to read when pregnant. I read a book about the Vietnam Wat and flipped out thinking about war and death. If I get pregnant again, I am going for these even if I read them now.

      Thanks for the props!

  8. Hahaha…I’m more of a vampire girl if I’m going to indulge in brain-numbing literature that might raise my heart rate to the point where I can justify not working out. Also… Based on what i’ve heard, borrowing this book seems on par with borrowing underpants. Electronic lend would be more hygienic. Love your writing & your ability to work Costco into almost every blog.

    • Omg. Someone get me my hand sanitizer. Stat. I think your points are excellent. So after I download the book, I think I will give this back to my friend.

      And if there ain’t no Costco reference, I didn’t write it.

  9. I suppose people could be called a snob about anything they have opinions on, or infatuations with – coffee, clothes, child rearing, books, etc. Maybe the problem only comes when we “snob” our own opinions into a corner and become less adventurous (or, perhaps, less open-minded/accepting) because of them. I have to say, snob or not, I was gut-laughing while reading this post. I had to start a few sentences over because my eyes were starting to tear.

      • Ok, I am a book snob but what’s the hate on for black jeans?? I never even had a pair in the 80s. My jeans were pinstriped and later acid washed….we thought they were so cool!

        Speaking of sneakers, my husband and I bought a pair of comfy white and blue sneakers last week. We were trying to avoid those awful sparkly jogging sneakers with purple, orange, etc trim. When he got gome, he put them on, then suddenly asked, ‘Why do I feel like Michael J. Fox in Back to Future?’ ‘Huh?’ I looked over at him in his sneakers, Levis, and jean jacket and burst out laughing. We bought 80s sneakers! Okay….I’m burning my black jeans.

      • Pinstripe jeans were classic!!! I had those too.

        Jean jacket? You gotta post the picture. It’s too good! And what is with the sparkles on tennis shoes! That’s odd.

  10. Hilarious!! You have to realize the author is English…..and unless you’ve visited England for London Fashion Week, you would know the English aren’t exactly known for their sense of style (sorry, to my English friends!)!

  11. That post was hysterical. I don’t think black jeans are evil if done well, I think it’s the mint chip combo. I will say that I saw a clearly Parisian family picnicing in Paris a couple of years ago, and the youthful mom, who was completely, casually chic in that way only the French can be, was wearing black Converse with her otherwise totally put together outfit, and she looked fabulous because she was gorgeous and could pull it off, and it made me want to go home and buy the Converse immediately, and I still think about it, but I haven’t because I’m not chic and I need to wear socks.

  12. Okay, I am totally with you. I am on the third one, don’t ask me why, but I have never tired of reading about sex before these books. Even porn stars do not have this much sex. Also, when you go a little bit further, she keeps wearing a plum dress. Never wear the same outfit on the first 5 dates. that is dating 101.
    Also, I am all for understanding that someone has a dependency complex, but come on, if someone tells me that I am his that many times it would make me run for the hills.

    My advice is to save yourself and stop reading now.

    • Funny! I want to see how this plum dress is presented!! I am getting intrigued about the psychology behind these characters. They should probably address that before their juvenile footwear.

  13. Hahaha I’ve seen a lot of criticism of that book…I think this is the first post I saw critiquing her wardrobe, though. I’m sure it’s awful. Like the writing.

  14. Omg, I have read so many reviews of this book now and I just can’t fathom why anyone would want to read it. Well now I have another reason not to. Apparently their fashion sense sucks as badly as their morals.


    Thanks for giving me another reason to avoid this book.

  15. I have read so many blogs complaining about different aspects regarding “50 shades” but your’s wins for funniness and uniqueness. I am such an idiot when it comes to fashion, I would not have noticed that what she was wearing was not sexy. Thanks for the education.

  16. I think this must be Costco-inspired clothing to go with the Costco-inspired reading list. I haven’t read this book, but I think every blogger on Yeah Write #61 can write circles around Fifty Shades of Grey. But I do thank FSG for the inspiration for this post, which I really did enjoy!

  17. The biggest issue I have with black jeans is that never STAY black.

    Maybe the title 50 Shades of Grey is in fact referring to what happens to Anastasia’s jeans???

    (And “I just lost my erection” pretty much slayed me. For the love of whips and chains…)

  18. You are hilarious! I agree, there’s nothing terribly erotic about Converse…and socks?! “She removed her moist socks and tennies…” That’s hot. Someone tried to lend me her copy of 50 Shades the other day, but she had the books all tightly wrapped up in a brown paper sack. I’m not sure I have time for such secretive reading with the kids home with me this summer. After reading this post, I think maybe the books will be good for a laugh, if nothing else!

  19. I have not been sucked into the 50 Shades craze. I refuse. It will not happen. No! The kink wouldn’t phase me but the bad writing and horrible grammar would surely cause me to have a stroke.

  20. Hahahaha!! I couldn’t get past page I don’t know what because the writing is so appalling but thank you for pointing out the atrocious fashion! I might have to go back to reading it just to pick up on that.

    That aside, NO, DON’T FINISH THE BOOK. If you want smut, at least read well-written smut (not that I know what THAT is, ahem).

  21. I’m in complete agreement with Alison@Mama Wants This: Reading filthy stories is great, so long as you read good ones.

    The clothing would bother me, too. It just seems so random. What is the point of the details other than mood-killer?

  22. It’s only worth reading if you want to giggle. I read the trilogy and the laughs were outrageous. Count how many times Christian “growls,” and Anastasia “mews.” Better yet? Make it into a drinking game.

    I can assure you that her wardrobe does improve. However, the writing does not.

  23. Pingback: 50 Shades of Housework « headabovelaundry

  24. This was absolutely the best post on 50 Shades of Grey! You go girl!
    P.S.- And yes, especially George Clooney.

  25. BAHAHAHA!! I am boycotting these books. For the sole purpose that I’m sick of hearing about them, plus many (like you) have written posts about how they’re not really that great. BUT your post about why they are not great is by far the best one I have read yet! The whole wardrobe thing is hilarious! I’m with you. Converse are not sexy and neither is “sock”!

  26. I love, love, love, LOVE this post! Did I mention that I love it? Because I really wanted to emphasize that. You should only keep reading if you want to write more posts like this one. Other than that, the book is a waste of time. I use mine as a coaster. 😉

  27. Haven’t it read and have to say that this post does not do much to inspire me to want to unless it is for the purpose of giggling trying to find more fashion references! 😉 So funny!

  28. funny as hell and so true. besides, we all know that eau du converse is enough to make even randy baboons have second thoughts. I read ’em, the prose sucked, whatevs. It’s just another of these books where the heroine gets to eat like a pig and stays rail thin. Read Discovery of Witches instead. No sex but it’s sexy, and with smart people. Plus medieval manuscripts. Now THOSE is sexy.

    • Omg. You are so right. Every other page she’s eating bacon and eggs. Hilarious. Great insight. I didn’t expect everyone to trash the writing so savagely.

  29. Hysterical!! Haven’t read the book yet but want to see what all the fuss is about 🙂 And bad fashion just adds another dimension to the ridiculously-bad-sounding story.
    Glad to see you at yeahwrite…you’ve got my vote!

      • I did the challenge once and came in #34 out of 75 (back then they took 75), which I was extremely happy about! I was so afraid I would come in last…ha, ha. It’s very fun, I just honestly cannot commit to reading that many posts, so I prefer the hangout grid where there’s no pressure.

      • I felt like I was cramming trying to get all of those read. I was up late reading blogs. I didn’t realize I would be rated… That might sting. Hope I am not last.

  30. Nothing about that book gets any better – least of all the clothing – but if it leads to more blog posts like this? Keep reading. Please. (I had the same slightly washed black Georges Marciano for Guess jeans in college – with zippers on the ankles. Sweet.)

  31. It is the worst in every way. The fashion was bad. The incessant repeating of the same stupid words. How many times can a person be bemused? Seriously. And the worst part is that young girls might read it and find Christian sexy and think of that type of relationship as normal. Stop reading. Trust me.

    And don’t even get me started on the inner goddess…

  32. Says the gal whose blog is a tongue-in-cheek reference to such literary gems (sarcasm, there)… the wardrobe is not the only bit of unbelievable ridiculousness in the series. There were MANY an eye-roll throughout the read, but like you said, I’m not one to quit a book or series mid-way. And hell, at least you can contribute to the rantings with authority! 😉

  33. I only know what I’ve read about it, but stop reading. Mint green shirt reminds me of Natalie on The Facts of Life. Now that I’m picturing her hooking up with John Goodman, it’s all bad news in my brain right now.

  34. I am reading it too…I think the book is horribly written…and can’t get over the vocabulary. He pressed his nose against my sex. What are you a kitten? I find the sex scenes confusing. I have no idea what he is doing…until the foil wrapper is mentioned. I can’t belive this book got sooo much hype! I am not reading the rest of it. I am thinking that women that like this, have not read much like this so have no idea how GOOD it can be!

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  37. When I told someone earlier today that I haven’t read this book yet, her gasp pretty much sucked all the air out of the room. I felt bad, was planning on picking it up tomorrow. Thanks to your post I don’t have to. I wouldn’t be able to get past the clothes either. You’re funny, can’t wait to read more of your blog 🙂

  38. I just stupidly giggled-out-loud (GOL?) my way through this blog post. I’m a book-snob, and rarely read the trendy novels, which is why I enjoyed this so thoroughly. What I am most impressed with here is the frequency of your Costco visits. Weekly?! Bravo… bravo…

  39. Pingback: 2012 Book Review in 140 Characters (Or Less) | Outlaw Mama

  40. I know I’m a little late to the party to comment on this post, but did you ever finish reading it? It’s the only book I have EVER started and not finished.

    I started reading it the first time when it was a Twilight fanfic called “Master of the Universe” and the author was calling herself Icedragon Snowqueen or some other ridiculous screenname on Fanfiction.Net. Believe me, it was even worse then — she spent more time describing their outfits than the sex scenes!

  41. Coming to this blog late, but as I read the part about the sandbox, my breath hitched, and then I fell out laughing. I could barely finish this book (I still have flashbacks about trudging through it), but your hilarious blog just made it worth the read.

    • I have those flashbacks too. They are brutal right? His member this….her heavily lidded eyes… her stupid inner goddess…..Oh lord, that book. Thanks for letting me know you laughed!

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