Genevieve A. Suzuki
Call my husband Fifty Shades of Happy.
I have been married to the same guy for more than 14 years and he has always been my main support system. He cheered me on in law school, encouraged me to survive the California bar exam, was a true partner when I was pregnant with my daughter and continues to be my most trusted advisor after a long day at the office.
And yet when I informed him we were spending Valentine’s Day at the Grossmont Center theaters watching “Fifty Shades of Grey,” his reaction was anything but supportive.
“What?! We’re not going to that movie!” he said, shaking his head in front of several of our friends.
“Why not?” asked a fellow husband whose wife had also announced their V-Day would be “Grey.” “What’s up with that film?”
“Yeah, Derek. What’s up with that film?” I asked.
“Uh, let me think now,” he said. “Could it be that the main guy basically debases the girl? Why would I want to watch that?”
I was stunned. First of all, I was impressed that he was actually listening when I told him about the book. (Spoiler warning — for those of you who have avoided any and all things Grey, the male love interest is interested in bondage among other rougher bedroom activities.) At the time of our discussion, he had a blank look on his face as he glanced up briefly from his favorite game on his iPhone. Who knew?
Second, I was pleased that Derek did not think hurting another person was at all sexy, erotic or sensual. While many of us may take it for granted, it never hurts to hear your partner confirm his disinterest in BDSM.
Just as I began to give him mental kudos, our friend asked how the character debased the woman.
“Well, he ties her up and throws poop at her,” Derek answered matter-of-factly.
“Really. He throws poop at her,” he repeated.
I peered closely at Derek as he stared defiantly back at me. I realized he was lying on purpose to make the film seem more horrible than it could be.
“Look, he may as well throw poop at her!” he said. “He’s not exactly a nice person, right? If you love someone you wouldn’t want to hurt them, right?”
OK, he had me there. I wouldn’t describe Christian Grey as “nice.”
“Ergo, he throws poop.”
Although Derek’s logic was clearly flawed, I admit I am finding it difficult to maintain my resolve to see the film. Truth be told, I want to see the film for the train wreck I assume it will be. Even more entertaining would be seeing the lines of hapless guys forced to watch “Fifty Shades of Grey” with their significant others.
Whatever the case, we won’t be in the theater on Valentine’s Day. Part of having a great partner is being a great partner, and not forcing Derek to watch Christian and Anastasia on the big screen may just be the greatest gift of all.
—Genevieve A. Suzuki lives in La Mesa and is an editor emeritus of this newspaper. She practices family law and can be reached through her website, sdlawyersuzuki.com.