Fifty Shades of Resignation; A Vignette For Your Enjoyment

I mean to make a habit of updating this blog and posting more regularly, so to get myself started, I’m going to share a vignette I wrote for one of my college courses. The assignment was to write about an average day at work and since I work for a book distributor, my vignette was – unsurprisingly- about books. It’s just a short sketch to get the brain working. If you happen to be a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, please do not be offended.




Fifty Shades of Resignation

By Leah Dearborn

Unbeknownst to romantic women everywhere, booksellers have been making a lot of snide remarks about their taste in literature over the last few months.

“Are those things really still selling?” Jim, the store manager asked as I opened up yet another box full of Fifty Shades of Grey.

“Not as much as they were,” I responded, shifting through the package to pull out damaged copies. Some sort of hoopla had occurred in the store’s receiving department last week, and as a result I hadn’t been able to get my product out on time. Several of the books were waterlogged after sitting in the store room and would have to be returned to the publisher. “Even after sending these wet books back, I’m still going to have way too many to fit on the shelves.”

“There was this one woman here last week,” Jim began, and I knew he was about to launch into the same exact story I’d heard from about a half-dozen other retailers. “She was with her husband and they kept ducking around the isles, obviously looking for something specific.”

I nodded. I could probably finish the anecdote without him speaking another word.

“So finally I asked, ‘can I help you find anything, ma’am?’ Well, she just turned beet red. In the end, her husband had to ask me for her.”

I glanced skeptically at the handcuffs pictured on Fifty Shades Freed and knocked dust from the cover.

I didn’t get it. The Fifty Shades trilogy has been dubbed “mommy porn” by critics; a medley of outrageously bad writing and erotic sadomasochism that American women have gobbled like candy since their debut. Not my idea of a stellar read. But I continued to bite my tongue most of the time because as my boss said,

“It’s the shot in the arm we needed to keep sales up. I guess it’s a good thing women are still brave enough to go out and buy brain-rotting trash instead of reading it on a Kindle.”

I repeated this out loud for Jim’s benefit with a shrug of defeat.

“Good point,” he acknowledged. “But what about that new tell-all that’s supposed to be hitting the shelves this week- that one about the navy seal who helped kill Osama Bin Laden? Shouldn’t we have received a few copies?”

This time I had to look at the three dozen copies of Fifty Shades and laugh.

“They sent me these instead.”