Lately, I guess I have been in a bubble. With so much fun going on at home, I haven’t really kept up with current events, or even local news.
So I just missed this one…
While shopping at Target yesterday (honestly readers, you would think I live there) I noticed a large display of books near the check-out. It was the new E L James’ book, “Grey”. It was brazenly on display, right where they place the “impulse items”. I snickered to myself and thought, how appropriate. Next to the guilty pleasures of candy bars, expensive Chapstick and individual Frappucino bottles, lurked the latest tome on the man himself, Christian Grey.
So this is a book written exclusively from Christian’s perspective. In his words. A work to further explore his sadistic mind. His quirky ways. His brooding intensity. I pondered purchasing it. But instead, I impulsively picked up the EOS Chapstick and a Frappucino, and made my way out of the store.
Driving away, I started thinking about the name “Grey”. I started thinking about the connotation behind it. I began to reflect on other movies who had a brooding leading man with the same surname. And it was distracting, so I pulled over, reapplied my Chapstick and finished up the Mocha.
One of my favorite independent films is 2002’s Secretary. Maggie Gyllenhaal played the role perfectly and the movie jump-started her career. And then there was James Spader….whew. His character was none other than, Mr. E. Edward Grey, an OCD attorney who plowed through secretaries faster than a Kardashian changes shoes. To me, he is who I think of when I hear the title, “Mr. Grey”. Since he was her boss, she always called him Mr. Grey, especially when he fashioned his angry red Sharpie to her work and bent her over his desk. Love that movie. It was so quirky and bizarre, but nonetheless, brilliant. And a happy ending.
If you take it back a bit further, you will find the character of John Gray, from 1986’s Nine 1/2 weeks. Back then, Mickey Rourke was the bad boy the good girls loved. And boy was he bad in the movie. Dark and mysteriously charming he seduced Kim Basinger and made her a wanton wreck of a woman in the end. A not so happy ending…and a terrible sequel, too.
And of course, there is the now infamous, Christian Grey. The ultra-successful billionaire who wears his jeans off his hips, likes his women submissive, his dungeons red and his ropes tight.
All of these similarly surnamed characters made me think…what is it about the name “Grey/Gray” that aligns with the aura of dominant mystique? The word literally means, the “color intermediately between black and white” (no surprise there) So is it because all of these characters embrace both the light and dark sides of their psyche? Is it because they are the balance of both good and bad? They have in some way mastered the place in the middle where those lines are skewed? Possibly? Thoughts?
But grey/gray also means “dull and nondescript without interest or character” and I wonder if that definition is a direct reference to the new book? HA! Just kidding!
Don’t fool yourself…I am sure I will pick it up on my next venture to Target…after all this pensive thought I need to go back, I am almost out of Chapstick.