Straight up, I'm a little late to the "50 Shades of Grey" party. Except, I most definitely wouldn't call it a party.
I'd like to start this by saying: I do not condone what happens in this series, I don't like it, and what I have to say doesn't really have to do with a review at all. I just feel like it needs to be said.
A few weekends ago a friend and I sat down to watch a movie. We chose "50 Shades" because we "wanted to know what the fuss was about".
We made it 20 minutes in.
In those 20 minutes, I came to totally LOATHE everything about the situation..but I also became very sad for those folks who see the series as a positive representation of what love is. Or even just a representation of what love is.
I've never been in love. I've thought I was. And possibly, I've been in love from afar (hey James from the 6th grade..!), but I'd like to think that I know what love is. I've watched my grandma keep my grandfather's ashes in her room because she doesn't want to be away from him. I've seen my parents wear the same pair of glasses at a restaurant to see the menu, and hike the Grand Canyon together. I've watched my niece kiss her new brother on the head, and then push him away a second later. And watched my best friend marry the man of her dreams when she wasn't supposed to beat cancer.
Those may not be what your idea of love is..but, it's mine. And it's a far cry from whatever "50 Shades of Grey" is spewing out.
Let's talk about real love..shall we?
"Love is patient.."
It doesn't burst into situations demanding that you stop whatever you're doing and take you home. Not even to your house, but to a hotel room where the next morning it looks like you've slept together.
It doesn't play with your emotions and make it seem like he's into you, only to find out that he is all about sex.
"Love does not envy.."
It doesn't see your friend and confidant and dismiss him as a threat.
It doesn't show you around his "home", shower you with expensive food and a helicopter ride. It's not wealth at all.
"It is not arrogant and rude.."
It doesn't force itself on you. Shoving you up against the wall to kiss you or automatically assume you'll be there at the drop of a hat.
"It does not insist on it's own way.."
There is no "my way or the high way" thinking. It doesn't require you to act or think or dress a certain way to please. You're not a toy.
"It is not irritable or resentful.."
You may have a bad day here and there, but a it doesn't have a permanent growl or stare.
"It does not rejoice at wrongdoing.."
There are no games. There is no pressure to do what you don't feel comfortable with. Even if you have no back bone to speak up on your own behalf.
"but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
(1st Corinthians 13:4-7)
The truth? "50 Shades of Grey" is crap. I learned that in twenty minutes. I didn't need to see the whole thing. Want to know why? Because it's a lie. It's a false truth that whatever you've gone through in life, whatever has made you the way that you are - you can treat people how you want to. You don't have to give them respect, trust, hope..because the world is too big, it's too harsh, and it rips you a new one every time you do something.
Mr. Grey thinks the world of himself. Thinks that whatever he says and does and thinks is the gospel truth. I know I'm talking about a character, but there are men and women out there who think the same of themselves. And they are unable to love someone how they should. They just aren't. They don't know what true love is. The kind that died on a cross. The kind that keeps ashes close. The kind that plans elaborate birthday parties and sings "your song".
They've never been apart of that kind of love, and it's heartbreaking.
And it makes watching a movie hard. It makes seeing our culture scream for protection for rape victims, but celebrate this movie in the theater. I wonder how we've come to this. How we can see it one way, but turn a blind eye to another.
We have to be better. We have to write characters that triumph. That see the dark in their lives and overcome it - and love. We owe that to the next generation..those that go after us.
The poet Ahbez once said "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved." And not the watered down, forced, warped beyond measure story of "love". You know the lowercase, in parenthesis kind..because I can't stomach calling that real love.
So look for love. You may have to look hard at times, but our kind has always sought it out. We're always drawn to love, and to be loved. That's just the way we are. And I'm thankful for that every day.