Fifty Shades of Embarrassment

Fifty Shades of Embarrassment

Compromise. Commitment. Patience. My 20 years of marriage have taught me many things. One of the most important was how to read. Sure, I knew how to read before I got married. For example, I was a voracious reader of the tabloids in the lines at the supermarket. I could pretty much tell you, which stars were secretly aliens set to take over the world.  But it really wasn’t until I married my husband  and realized that our TV viewing habits weren’t compatible (For example, I dislike the Rocky channel)  that I truly discovered the world of reading. On a good week, I read at least two books a week (some don’t even have pictures).  

The books I read vary. As a speaker about special needs parenting, I’ll often read self-help, psychology, or parenting books, though sometimes I need a break. “This depression book made me depressed.” On those occasions, I seek out fiction novels that usually involve suspense or legal dramas. Unlike a lot of women, I’m not usually a big fan of romance or Harlequin novels, as evidenced by my lack of knowledge about them. 

“Hey why is the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter commercial guy on the cover of that book?”

Since I started reading electronically, I find books to read fairly easily. Often this involves just reading the best sellers.  A few months ago, I did this when I downloaded a #1 book that I had never heard about. I had no idea what I was getting into,  nor did I envision spending the holy season of Lent in this manner. I also didn’t realize that the book was part of a trilogy, which would require some of my valuable time. “Mom, I know I don’t have my license yet, but I really don’t think it’s safe to read and drive.”

That book, was Fifty Shades of Grey.

I read a one line description that made it seem interesting about a young student who meets an enigmatic handsome entrepreneur. Instantly, I was intrigued. As an entrepreneur, I love learning from other business owners. The gray tie on the cover reaffirmed that it was an indeed a book about business. 

Of course, I had no idea that it was monkey business. Nor that the book should come with a warning label. 

In keeping with my philosophy to share wisdom from my imperfections I will share what I, a G-rated Catholic girl learned from reading this book. 


The Play Room in every house is not the same. In my Play room for example, you will toys and games, such as Candy Land. In Christian’s play room, you find whips, ropes, and chains. 

Christian Grey is not real. I am amazed by the number of woman who have fallen in love with this mythical character, making him the standard to which all men should measure up literally and figuratively. There’s pretty much nothing he can't do -- he’s wealthy, handsome, well endowed, successful, and he writes very pithy emails. My hairdresser proved by point when she summed up a recent date.  “He was nice and everything, but he wasn’t Christian.”  I want to say, “You know Christian isn’t real, right?” but felt that doing so would be like telling a young child that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist. 

Grey ties are not conservative. At least not the way Christian uses them. Note to my children: Do not buy Daddy a gray tie for Father’s Day. Also, men who are interviewing for jobs, you may want to go with the blue tie unless of course the interviewer is  female. 

Husbands who have no interest in reading, suddenly develop one. “Gene, Honey, why don’t you read to me tonight.”

I will choose my words carefully. You will never hear me say, “I’m too tied up to do something.”

If you have Catholic guilt, you will not want to read this book. You can imagine how I felt during my last confession. “Father forgive me for I read the Fifty Shades trilogy during Lent.”

If you have a short attention span this book is not for you. By the middle of the second book, I was so sick of the racy parts that I had skipped them altogether. At that point, they had done everything they were going to do and I was now an erotica expert.

Be prepared to be profiled if you read this book. So if you’re not embarrassed by having this book pulled out during a TSA security check, you might be OK. 

Though I finished the last book over a month ago, I’m still a little gun shy about making future book selections. I’ve decided to play it safe and go back to what I’m used to, though my husband is disappointed.  

“Gina, why are you so jumpy?”

“I’m sorry Mike. It’s that anxiety book. I think it made me anxious.”

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Written by: Gina Gallagher See other articles by Gina Gallagher
About the Author:

Gina Gallagher is an imperfect copywriter, speaker, blogger, and co-author of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid, a Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children, which she penned with her much older sister, Patty. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters, and countless carpenter ants.  

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