When Your Grandmother Reads Fifty Shades of Grey Jill Kushner

My grandmother called the other day to wish me a Happy New Year. The Jewish kind. She’s not senile. But she might be horny, because she told me that she’s on the third Fifty Shades of Grey book. And then she giggled. Since I can’t un-know this information, I need to do the next best thing … tell everyone this information. My grandmother is devouring the Fifty Shades of Grey books and I can’t stop thinking about it. In fact, my sister told me that she asked my grandmother if she wanted to have lunch with her and the kids the other day and my grandmother told her that she couldn’t because she couldn’t put down her book. It’s simple math. My grandmother’s into bondage.

I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey. Or, the second and third books: Fifty Shades of Greyer: A Lot of Grey and Fifty Shades of Greyest: The Most Grey Possible. Those might not be the right titles. My grandmother, mother and sister, however, have read them. Which is why I’ll likely never read this trilogy. Because while I’m an ummm … let’s just say, a fairly sexual girl (you guys, I’m a tremendous whore), I now know, for a fact, that I will only see these books through their eyes. And I will be metaphorically blinded.

My grandmother, my mother and my sister. This is the worst trifecta ever, the unholiest of trinities, my new definition of The Rule of Threes. Which basically goes something like this – If my grandmother, my mother and my sister have all read the same erotica, I’m going to pass on reading said erotica. Oh my god, what if my grandmother went back and reread certain parts!? You know what I’m saying. Agghhhh! I need to be The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-ed right now! I feel like if I read the same erotic novels that my family’s reading, I will turn into a pillar of salt. Which is what really happened to Lot’s wife. It had nothing to do with turning around and looking at the city of Sodom itself. If you google this incident a little further, and throw in a little Wikipedia for good measure, you’ll see that it was way more specific what happened to her that day. Lot’s wife had actually turned around because she realized that she had left her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey under her Tempur-Pedic pillow and she was about to go back to get it, because she NEEDED it. It was at this moment that she saw her grandmother, as topless as Kate Middleton, reading that very copy of Fifty Shades of Grey under a Clementine-Blood Orange Hybrid Tree. Seeing her topless grandmother reading her jacked copy of Fifty Shades of Grey- turned that girl into a pillar of salt faster than you can say, “Ew, my grandmother is reading my sex book.” It’s like, if you want to get deep about it, her grandmother cockblocked her from ever being able to read that book, again. So unfair. Incidentally, this is where the term “cockblocked” actually comes from. As she was turning into a pillar of salt (which I hear is about as much salt as is in most Trader Joe’s pre-packaged food items) she yelled in her grandmother’s direction, “Such a cockblock!!!” And then poof, she was a pillar of salt. By the way, I hear, and this is just hearsay, that her grandmother stared at her now pillar of salt granddaughter and shouted back, “I guess this means I can keep the book?!”

In writing this I’m realizing … hey, what if I’m jealous? What if I want to read Fifty Shades of Grey and my grandmother, my mother and my sister have taken that away from me? Will I ever get to a place where I can be comfortable knowing that my grandmother, my mother and my sister and I have all read and imagined the same hardcore sex scenes? How many hours of pre-reading Fifty Shades of Grey therapy do I need to prepare for this shared family erotica experience? There must be others out there like me. 4-8-15-16-23-42? The Others, the ones who realized the women in their family all read this damn book before they did. Look, maybe it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I mean, it’s not like my grandmother dreamed up and wrote Fifty Shades of Grey. By the way, Grandma, if your pseudonym is E.L. James, please never tell me. You know what? Thanks to my grandmother, my mother and my sister I’m not going to read the books. I’m going to just live the books. That’s right, while you three ladies are all caught up in the trilogy that is Fifty Shades of Grey on the page, I’ll be out there living it! You can’t take that away from me!

Wait a minute …

*Note: No Clementine-Blood Orange Hybrid Trees were harmed during the writing of this column. Mainly because there’s no such tree. Yet.

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  1. I’m 14 and didn’t know what it was, so a while ago I googled it. Well, never doing that again..

  2. I have zero intention of reading it. Apparently it’s really horrible writing and basically the main character keeps getting forced into sexual situations from this unpleasant man. *shrug*. There is better smut out there!

  3. Yep, don’t need to know if any relatives ever read this book. Except for my sister since she’s my best friend. And we’ll probably laugh hysterically over it :)

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  5. My grandmother suggested I should pick up a copy of the book and read it. As the time I knew nothing about it and found it best to google what it was about. Boy, was I surprised.

  6. OH! That would be so awkward if me, my mom and grandma both have read Fifty Shades Of Grey! Good I have the only copy and my mom and grandma are both not very literate people:) + it’s my classmates copy. It’d be alright if my brother read it but I doubt it cos he only reads fantasy books like harry potter and books in English class:)
    Reading this..I could imagine my grandma talking, in an alternate world, about having to read this book, to me….ugghhh…

  7. I haven’t read 50Shades of Grey, nor do I intend to, but it’s all over the Internet, I couldn’t help but know what it is about. The other day I was walking on the street and there was this old man selling books on a bench on the pavement. As I passed by, I glanced, beacuse I like books, and there it was! He started calling after me, like “here, here, 50Shades of Grey, nice book” and stuff. I stopped and asked him if he’d read it, he said no. He was just a Greek old man, white hair and cap and everything. I told him, smiling “Do you know what this is? It’s porn!”. God, he looked horrified! :D

  8. I was at Costco with my Grandma, and she picked up 50 Shades and said (and I quote), “Oh! Dr. Oz said that this would help ramp up my sex life!” She then put it in her cart, and walked away. AS IF NOTHING HAD JUST HAPPENED. And here I was, scarred for life, wondering why in the world my Grandma was taking advice from a TV doctor about buying bondage erotica. I will never ever be able to read those books. Ever.

  9. I was on a long train journey the other day and met a granny reading the third in the series, we got chatting about it and she told me that it was “rather tame” and she had told her son “if you haven’t tried these things then you haven’t lived”.

  10. Fifty Shades of Grey is pretty much a lame copy of everything Marquis de Sade wrote. Having read him in a class about evil in literature, books like these can only make me shrug because, well, it’s been there before. Two hundred years earlier. It’s neither new nor shocking nor anything, just a boring copy of the same motives. (I’m sorry, but I really don’t get it. Why not read de Sade instead where you have a lot of philosophical thinking about the role of mankind behind all the violence-sex-stuff?)

  11. My mum read it therefore I cant. I totally understand!

  12. OMG, this was hilarious! and thank you for the LOST reference, i love that series!