Let’s face it, girls talk. For the most part though, I believe, that of all the things they might say about me, one of them would not be that I am promiscuous or some sort of sexual wizard. And what my husband might say I won’t confess, or at least not publicly. Some days I think it would be fun to be that girl, or any other girl for that matter other than straight-laced, two drink maximum, with the same man (happily) for thirty years, but then I come back to earth and realize that my reality is a pretty darn good place to be. And then a book came out – a book with a title very close to my own and my life and reputation has changed. Yes Fifty Shades of Grey has changed the way people look at me in the grocery store, restaurants and airplane. My own children have had to defend their darling mother’s standing, when in truth I’m quite sure they haven’t any idea how drastically different the two books are – because they will never be allowed to read hers.
Now don’t get me wrong, I too have read two of the three of James’ trilogy (I’m pacing myself) and have taken a few notes along the way, but I am not sure I appreciate the insinuations on all levels. When I went to the local library to donate my novel and the librarian tried to pocket it until she realized that it wasn’t the shade of gray she was hoping for, I chuckled. When a woman at the deli counter heard that my novel came out and asked the title I knew immediately from the way she turned the color of the tomatoes and leaned in to whisper in my ear, “You wrote that?” that there was a bit of confusion brewing. At a parent-teacher conference when the teachers congratulated me on my book I smiled, until one of them asked if I really thought it was appropriate for my thirteen year old to be reading it. Ah, she too thinks I am Ana rather than Olivia only I profess to be neither.
So, what does one do when her reputation has been abruptly skewed (I said skewed, not screwed)? Well, I’m not entirely sure. I suppose I could just sit back and bask in the glory of my new found erotic domain, false as it may be. I could learn to be a better winker when people look at me perplexed, because they too can’t believe that is what has been going on all this time in my little house in the suburbs. I could hang a pair of hand cuffs from the rear-view mirror of my mini-van (I don’t really drive one, but it seems to fit the demure image I am trying to resurrect here.) I could go out and buy some very provocative clothing to accompany my new image? I’ve always coveted that bombshell bra. Or….and more likely…I could wait patiently for all this sex talk to smolder, because that is, in reality, going happen eventually and hope that those same readers will then be up for a good book that is uplifting in a whole different way. Besides, Tom and Christian have more in common than you know.