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Oh, (Petals On The) Wind, A Blowing All Day Long: Chapters 9-12

Erin continues to recap the clustercuss known as V.C. Andrews' Petals on the Wind (Ch 9-12).

Oh, (Petals On The) Wind, A Blowing All Day Long: Chapters 9-12

Guess what, you guys! GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT! I read some more of Petals on the Wind! I KNOW! I can't believe it either! I guess I thought things were going really well for me, like, personally, and that I should somehow punish myself? Maybe cause it's Lent and I'm supposed to be suffering? I don't know. What I do know is that I "lucked out" and happened to read the chapter in which Dr Pervert and Cathy romantically thow caution, the law, and basic human decency to the wind and DO IT. Lucky me!

If you want to catch up, Chapters 1-5 (plus drinking game rules!) are here and Chapters 6-8 are here. Let's get incestin'!

Chapter Nine: Sweeter Than All the Roses

Number of Drinks Taken: 43
Number of Drinks Chugged: 5
Number of Shots: 18

Chapter Summary: Oh, goody, it's time to celebrate Cathy's 16th birthday! Sixteen, mind you! Still not legal to fuck her, just in case you were wondering. Just in case you, like Dr Pervert, were thinking, "Damn! There is nothing good on tv tonight and I've had a long week of saving lives in my extremely tiny town's GP practice! I think I'll go fuck my underage ward!" I would remind you that IT IS STILL NOT LEGAL.Got it? Good.

For Cathy's birthday, Paul throws her a surprise party. She thinks that the family is going out to dinner so she goes upstairs and primps for three fucking hours before finally Chris comes up to get her. In her bedroom, he spends some time making sex eyes at her, which frustrates Cathy, cause, damn! She's 16 now! It's time for her to be fucking lots of people, not just her brother! When Chris and Cathy come downstairs, surprise! All of Cathy's friends from school and dance class are there. MAN. I would be SO PISSED if someone promised me that we were going out to dinner and threw me a surprise party instead. THAT IS THE WORST. First of all, NOTHING is better than a good dinner you don't have to pay for, and said dinner is certainly better than having a bunch of bitches in your house that you now have to entertain and be a good hostess for with no planning or preparation! Does this make me weird? I don't think it does. Quick poll! Would you guys rather go out to a nice dinner for your birthday or have a surprise party (in your own house!!) organized by your father figure/sexual molestor in which you have to play nice and make idle chitchat with every guest? I mean, it's a simple choice, no? Also, if someone promises me a fancy dinner and then it turns out I'm stuck eating vaguely warm finger foods and bakery cake, I'm gonna be PISSED. WHERE IS MY SEA BASS?

Also, I don't like surprises. I think people have probably figured that out by now. But also I just really like dinner. I think most of you have figured that out too. (Side note! I want to write a memoir one day that's just titled Eat. I can totally get to my stupid spiritual awakening through food alone, Elizabeth Gilbert, you awful cow. I needn't pray or fuck my way through half of Asia as well.)

Anyhooskies, let's get back to this awful surprise party and not dwell on the fact that Cathy and, thus, ourselves, are being denied the fancy dinner we were promised. Julian comes to the party and spends more screentime oiling around and promising Cathy that if she moves to New York with him, he won't rape her. MAN. Julian is the WORST. I mean, you can't offer her anything better than that? Like, daily pretzel croissants from City Bakery? A living arrangement that includes a door man and an elevator? Access to the parts of City Park where the drug dealers aren't milling around? Tickets to a Knicks game, maybe? Noooo. All he can offer her is the semi-vague almost-promise that he might not rape her, sometime in the near or distant future. Well, sign me up. Someone should write that into their marriage vows.

Chris, because he is always creepin' on his sister, gets pissed off that Julian's hitting on her, and the two of them get into a fistfight, ruining the party. Hilariously, Dr Pervert sort of doesn't care, and just sits around in his leather armchair, sipping scotch. Dr Pervert, when you aren't repeatedly raping your wife, porning after your underage ward, treating your live-in help like shit or being gross about everything, you're kind of alright, dude.

Julian storms out of the party and shortly stops hitting on Cathy. Now he's hitting on another dancer and Cathy is jealous! ALL MALE ATTENTION MUST BE ON CATHY AT ALL TIMES! OTHERWISE, LIKE TINKERBELL, SHE SLOWLY DIES. Wank, males! Wank harder!!

Mean-to-the-while, Cathy's secretly been researching Bart Winslow and his fine mustache in nearby town Greenglenna's newspaper. She's slowly plotting her revenge on Corrine!

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: People love surprise parties . . . ? Or, um, fisticuffs? Or the society section of small-town newspapers? (Actually I legit love the latter.) Oh, I give up. WHY DOES ANYONE LIKE THIS BOOK?? HOW COULD IT HAVE BEEN A BESTSELLER NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE?! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO US? WHAT DID WE EVER DO TO DESERVE THIS BOOK? WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE!

Notes From the Margin:

I was sixteen in the April of 1961. There I was, at the blossoming, ripe age when all men, young and old, and most of all those past forty, turned to stare at me on the streets. When I waited on the corner for the bus, cars slowed because male drivers couldn't keep from gaping at me.

Really? REALLY? First of all, let me tell you what I looked like when I was sixteen. I had teeth that were too big for my mouth, a giant forehead that I kept burning with my curling iron, because, oh yeah, I also had bangs that I curled with a curling iron every day because that was the thing to do, I was always doing or saying something awkward, I had at least four zits at any given time, and my hair was stringy because I didn't yet understand about proper conditioning. A RAVISHING BEAUTY I WAS NOT. I mean, I'm no looker now and I'd probably kill a stranger if it meant I could have my sixteen year old body back, cause three hours of dance practice a day and a steady diet of cheese-its and mountain dew gave me a bangin' body and whhhhhy didn't I have sex then when I had the chance to look super hot (if they didn't look at my face) from every angle, but that's another story, but still: NOT ATTRACTIVE THEN. ACTUALLY MORE ATTRACTIVE NOW.

I mean, maybe it was just me. Were any of you super-hotties when you were sixteen? Well, I know Jenny was, but she's sort of a gorgeous freak of nature, so we can't count her in this survey. The rest of you . . . somewhere between awkward and cute, right? But certainly not stunning?

And second, OH MY GOD STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH OLD DUDES WANT YOU, CATHY. These feelings you are feeling are NOT NATURAL. PLEASE STOP.

Julian's eyes raged my way, for he was at me, demanding of me every second we were together, wanting me to accompany him to New York and be his mistress and dance partner.

That's . . . a bizarre proposal to someone. "Hey, hot stuff. Move to New York so that you can fuck me and also struggle to make a name for yourself amongst all the other talented dancers in that city. I promise you that I probably won't rape you!" Actually, come to think of it, that's the plotline of Center Stage. Where are Peter Gallagher's Eyebrows when we need them?

"Chris told me about the music box your father gave you and I tried to find one just like it. Did I succeed?"

Ugh, Dr Pervert, YOU ARE SUCH A CREEPER. Look, you can try to fuck your underage ward, or you can try to be her father. YOU CANNOT DO BOTH. (Psst. You're supposed to try to be her father.) ALSO, what is with people who search high and wide to replace a missing, cherished item from someone's life? I get the intent; really I do, but the point of a cherished childhood item is the memories that come along with it. It's like when someone tries to replace the worn, tatty old baby blanket that your grandmother knitted for you. The point is that your grandmother made it for you, not some nameless, faceless person in a blanket-making factory! Just . . . leave childhood possessions alone, people who are trying to score points with me. It's the person that gave me the thing that I miss, not the thing itself.

Chapter Ten: Owl on the Roof

Number of Drinks Taken: 19
Number of Drinks Chugged: 3
Number of Shots: 22

Chapter Summary: Oh, good, it's time to slow things down some and talk about boring Carrie. Boring, boring Carrie. When does she commit suicide, when she's like 20? God, that's SO FAR AWAY.

So, Carrie has been placed in Miss Emily Dean's School for Genteel Young Stereotypically Southern Ladies, because it obviously makes sense to place a child who has been simultaneously orphaned/rejected by both parents, has one dead twin, and has spent the last five years of her life locked away in an attic to a school where she doesn't know anyone and can't come home until the weekend. Oh, wait, no, that's not it. Dr Pervert just wanted some strange from his sixteen year old ward without anyone interfering. Right! I forgot!

Carrie does not get along well in the school, to absolutely no one with a brain's surprise, because she is quiet and shy. Also because she's so beautiful, so very, very beautiful. Except for how her head is eight times too big for her body, she's roughly the size of a three year old, and she has the mental accuity of a pile of broccoli. She is particularly bullied by her roommate, an ugly little snotfaced dickhead named Sissy who somehow still thinks she has moral or social superiority over anyone at all. And I mean, she really bullies her. Not this pansy-assed bullying we keep hearing about on Very Special Episodes of Glee* in which someone just doesn't want to be friends with someone else and we have to hold hands and sing a song about it. (And yeah, I know that bullying is a scurge these days and we're losing kids left and right, but it's also important to remember that a kid not asking your kid to join the kickball game is not bullying. It's just a kid being an asshole, and all kids are assholes, just to varying degrees.) It's important to remember that the ONLY reason that Sissy is bullying Carrie is because Sissy is jealous of Carrie's beautiful golden hair and big blue eyes. Sissy also wants to look like a shrunken Aryan muppet, but she can't, and she's mad about it! WE ALL NEED TO BE BEAUTIFUL LIKE CATHY AND CARRIE, OKAY. IF WE ARE NOT WE WILL BECOME BITTER HAGS.

One night, a fight breaks out after Sissy gathers a bunch of other girls into her room to point and gawk at tiny Carrie's tiny body. One girl, the fabulously named Lacy St John, sticks up for Carrie and Sissy hits her and then everyone gets into a ruckus and Carrie starts screaming. The headmistress punishes the whole class by denying them the permission to go home that weekend. To retaliate, the other girls steal Carrie's dolls and then tie her up, blindfold her, and march her out onto the roof. Then they leave her there. Carrie, terrified of roofs, tries to get back inside but ends up falling through a trapdoor and breaking her leg. The headmistress, who can't find Carrie anywhere, calls Dr Pervert and he, Cathy and Chris find Carrie. And promise never to make her go tothat school again!

* Didn't you like how Glee managed to tackle not one, but two leading causes of death in teenagers in their typical subtle, thought-provoking and in no way saccharine or capitalizing way this week? Yeah, that was nice.

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: They enjoy stories of eight year old girls being bullied by their peers? I got nothin'.

Notes From the Margin:

She said one thing, and one thing only, to express her feelings - and what a clue it was. "I like the carpet - it's colored like grass."

Well, I guess she could be referring to the many years she spent locked away from the outdoors and freedom, but I like to think that Carrie is secretly a giant pot fiend.

Sissy really began to shout, "Come one! Come all! Come pay your quarter to see the living sister of Tom Thumb! Come see the world's smallest woman! Come, pay your money and see the little one with the huge, huge eyes - like an owl's! Come view the huge, huge head on the little, scrawny neck! Come pay your quarter to see our little freak naked!"

Really? An EIGHT YEAR OLD said all that? I mean, I think my own kid is pretty smart, and her verbal stylings are kind of hilariously sarcastic and overly mature (last week she was sick with the stomach flu, and one time before she threw up she actually rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, great" before running to the bathroom. Then I was holding her hair back and she proceeded to tell me - in between retching, mind - that this stomach bug was "a total inconvenience" because she was being forced to skip her class's Valentine's Day party and that "this really couldn't have come at a worse time."), and I'm still pretty sure she'd never think to make fun of someone like that.

Well, anyway, Sissy has a career as a circus barker, if she ever needs to fall back.

"Where is the man- the man?" cried out Miss Longhurst, the one in the scarlet evening gown with her bosom about to fall out of the lowcut bodice.

I want to read a book about Miss Longhurst. I bet she's not fucking her brother or her legal guardian.

"All my little dolls gone all turned to wood, so I knew God was never gonna let me grow tall when he would make my pretty dolls into only sticks."

Christ. Is Carrie, like, a complete moron? JESUS DIDN'T TURN YOUR DOLLS INTO STICKS, YOU FUCKING IDIOT. Now eat some damn vegetables and drink a lot of milk and quit asking God to make you tall.

To Carrie, all those shrouded girls in their long nightgowns with white hoods over their heads and the black holes for eyes were devils straight from hell!

Or Lady Klansmen: The Junior Edition? I guess it amounts to the same thing.

It hurts to write of how they took Carrie and blindfolded her, then tied her small hands behind her back, then pushed her out into the hall, then up a flight of steep stairs, and then suddenly they were outside.

Well, it hurts me to read how you construct a sentence, Cathy, so I guess we're even. Also, I say again: REALLY? EIGHT YEAR OLDS? Although I guess sometimes eight year olds beat people to death. We'll probably be hearing about Sissy on Dateline at some point in the near future.

Chris had a hot, homemade buttery roll in his hand, his lips parted wide to put at least half inside with one bite, when the telephone in the hall rang. Paul groaned as he put down his fork. I groaned too, for I had made my first cheese souffle and it had to be eaten right away. "Would you mind getting that, Cathy?" he asked. "I want to dig into your souffle. It looks delicious and it smells heavenly."

UGH. First of all, please stop trying to sensualize Christopher and his hot, buttery rolls, V.C. Andrews. I don't want to hear how he consumes him in one bite. Actually just avoid talking about Christopher and buttered rolls in the same sentence ever again, because I love the latter and abhor the former, and I don't want those sort of conflicting emotions going on in my head!

AND SECOND OF ALL, what the hell? Cathy doesn't get to eat her souffle that she prepared? So what, she goes through the trouble (to be fair, very little trouble) of making a souffle and she doesn't even get to eat it? Aw, HELL NAW. You do NOT be messing with a bitch's cheese souffle, Dr Pervert! That's actually WORSE than all the times you're putting your hands on her tatas! Denying a lady her cheese souffle. YOU ARE THE WORST, DR PERVERT. THE ABSOLUTE WORST.

Carrie's broken leg spoiled the long summer vacation trip our doctor had planned for us. Again I raged inwardly at Momma. Her fault; always we were punished for what she caused!

Huh? Man, Cathy, your mom is a shitheel and a half, no lie, but it's not like she broke Carrie's leg herself. Yeah, your sister is small because of your mom, but she's bullied for being small because people are assholes. That's not your mom's fault.

While I thought my vengeful thoughts and made my plans to ruin her life when I could, Chris was tenderly kissing me. I hadn't even noticed.

Oh, man. Chris is kind of the worst kisser ever! "Oh, did you just have your tongue in my mouth? Sorry, I was thinking about the errands I need to run this weekend."

He looked terribly wounded as he backed toward the door. "I was only trying to comfort you," he said in a broken voice. "Don't turn it into something ugly."

Yeah! "I was only trying to soothe your sadness by forcing myself on you sexually, sister of mine! I was only using your vulnerability to try to get with you while you were too sad or distracted to think about what you were doing! I was only trying to tenderly fuck your pain away! Don't turn that into something ugly!"

Chapter Eleven: Momma's Shadow

Number of Drinks Taken: 18
Number of Drinks Chugged: 4
Number of Shots: 7

Chapter Summary: In what is possibly the most inconsequential chapter in this entire book, which I can assure you says quite a lot, Cathy sees Corrine and Bart in Greenglenna. That's pretty much it. They're walking down a sidewalk and she walks behind them and thinks about what she should tell Corrine and then she chickens out because she's not rich or famous yet, and therefore cannot get the proper revenge on Corrine. Um, Carrie? This isn't your high school reunion and she's not the prom queen. She's your mother who locked you away in an attic for five years and attempted to murder you. Just being alive is pretty much all the revenge you need. You should have just tapped her on the shoulder and been, like, "MOM! Oh my god, look at you! It's been YEARS, hasn't it?! Gosh, you sure do look like you're doing well for yourself! I guess all those years of torturing me, my brothers and sister, plus killing my brother, paid off! Oh, who's this you've got with you? Oh, is this your second husband? I've heard so much about you from other people! My, but you are much younger, aren't you! Well, I'm Cathy, and I'm this one's oldest daughter from her previous marriage to her uncle/brother. What's that? She didn't tell you she had kids? Well, you know how Corrine is, just full of secrets! It's how she manages to still look so young and pretty despite being well into her forties! You and I should really get together sometime, I'd just love to hear all about your marriage to my mom! How do you enjoy Foxworth Hall? Oh, it is a big beast of a house, isn't it! And that grandmother! Why! She and Mommy Dearest here wreaked havoc on mine and my siblings' lives for years while Momma had us hidden up in that attic so that she could inherit grandpa's millions! Say, that sure is a nice watch you have on, Bart - can I call you Bart? I mean, after all, you are my stepfather! - did Momma buy that for you? Oh, don't you worry, darling; just because you're being kept by the millions that Momma inherited after she locked away her children and tried to murder them all so that she could ingratiate herself to her mean old dad again is no reason to look so uneasy! Why, we didn't mind that attic one bit! We even got donuts sent up to us, every day! Of course, they were laced with arsenic - it killed my brother Cory, you know - but still, they were such a treat. Well, I don't want to keep you two; I have to get home to my legal guardian now! Ta ta!" Aaaaand scene, and we could have all ended this awful book. WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST DO THAT, CATHY? DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING??

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: The potential for a scathing, sugar-sweet Southern Belle take down was all there! We could have had it aaaalllllllllllllllllllllll, you guys!

Notes From the Margin:

His ancestors had arrived just about the same time mine had, back in the eighteenth century, and they too had been from England, settling down in Virginia in the part that was now North Carolina. I looked up and stared into space. Was it just a coincidence that his ancestors and mine had been part of that "Lost Colony?"

Um . .. yes? I mean. You both are from the East Coast. You're both of English descent. Your families both settled down in the middle-coast region. That's . . . pretty common, actually. I mean, my family didn't settle at the Lost Colony; my family were Mayflower voyagers on one side and Irish rebels driven from their land on the other, but then my family is cooler than yours, Cathy, and has not had any instances of incest for as far back as written records reach, despite settling in Mississippi.

I stared at every blonde I saw. I went into expensive shops looking for her. Snobbish salesladies would come up silently behind me and inquire if they could help.

How much better would this book be if it took a slight break from the gross incest, violent rape and statuatory rape and instead paid homage to the sweetest love story of our time that happens to include a prostitute and the man who bought her for three thousand dollars and seems to think that he now owns her? "You work on commission, right? Big mistake. BIG. Huge! I have to go shopping now!"

Chapter Twelve: A Birthday Gift

Number of Drinks Taken: 8
Number of Drinks Chugged: 8
Number of Shots: 9
BOTTLES FINISHED: 1

Chapter Summary: Dear Jesus, beer me the strength, because now is the chapter in which Dr Pervert finally has his way with Cathy. Ugh. Why am I writing this during the day? I need to be way drunker for this. Way drunker.

Okay! Let's just all try to hold on to our lunches while we rush through this: it's Paul's 42nd birthday and Cathy plans a surprise dinner for him. She makes jambalaya as if it is this HUGE accomplishment (also she puts mushrooms in her jambalaya and who the hell puts mushrooms in a jambalaya? Y'all, I will put mushrooms in or on just about anything, because I love them, but even I would not put them in a jambalaya because why? Also, jambalaya? Nowhere near difficult to make.

Anyway, Paul is late because his flight home from a medical conference gets delayed, and eventually Chris has to go back to school (he's attending Duke now, by the way, because wherever Dr Pervert lives, it's in a small town in South Carolina that is nevertheless only a short 20 minute drive from Duke, which is in the northern part of North Carolina. I mean, I'm not wrong, right? Durham readers, I know there are quite a few of you guys: you can't make it to South Carolina in twenty minutes, right? Not unless you're breaking the sound barrier in a fighter jet. (Hilariously, I just did a Google search for Greenglenna, which I know to be fictional, to try to see if it was supposed to stand in for an actual town in South Carolina, and I FOUND THIS, which is a list of the circumstances behind the death of every character in the Flowers in the Attic series, written out as if they were actual obituary listings. AMAZING.)

Where was I? Right, trying very hard not to think about what's about to come (or not, as the case may be). Chris leaves, Carrie and Henny both go to bed, and Cathy's left to wait alone. Dr Pervert finally comes home and she tears into him for being late, and he's sort of a dick about it, all, "My flight was delayed! What could I have done?" Uh, phone home and say you'll be late? I mean, there were payphones in the airport back then. This isn't Downton Abbey.

They eat dinner, Cathy gets drunk on champagne, she and Dr Pervert go out into the garden (where apparently he has purchased reproductions of famous statues with the salary he makes being a general practitioner in a very small town!) and Cathy basically says that, in lieu of getting him a birthday gift he could actually use, she's going to offer up her body instead. Dr Pervert takes her up on it, of course, I wish powerfully that I hadn't given up drinking alone during Lent, and we all die a little bit inside.

I Can See Why People Like This Book, Because: Oh, fuck it. There is no reason. THERE IS NO REASON AT ALL TO LIKE THIS BOOK. It is poorly written, poorly paced, full of horrendous messages about sex, personal freedom, parentage and even ballet, and its lasting popularity is one of many, many reasons why we probably deserve to have someone like Rick Santorum running as a viable potential candidate in the presidential race. WE DID THIS TO OURSELVES, PEOPLE. WE UNLEASHED THIS MONSTER AND LET IT RUN UNTAMED THROUGH OUR MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES. AND NOW WE ARE PAYING FOR IT. Staggering teenage pregnancy rates, the head-scratching enduring popularity of abusers like Chris Brown and Michael Fassbender, Personhood Amendments and rapists gettings less jail time than drug offenders and petty thieves: these are our chickens coming home to roost. Congratulations, we suck.

Notes From the Margin:

I found Henny in the kitchen slaving over a gourmet menu I had planned - all Paul's favorite dishes. A Creole jambalaya with shrimp, crabmeat, rice, green bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms and so many other things I thought I'd never finish measuring out half teaspoons of this and that. Then all the mushrooms and other vegetables had to be sauteed. It was a troublesome dish I wasn't likely to make again.

Uh . . .it sounds like Henny's the one who's actually making it, no? Also, can we maybe avoid saying that an African-American woman working as live-in help in the 60s and being paid very fucking little for it is "slaving over" something, if you're going to say it in such an offhand way? Maybe? Just, I mean . .. just consider your word choice there.

ALSO. Why the hell is V.C. Andrews listing out every single damn ingredient that's going into this dish? I can only assume that it's because she had a prescient knowledge of everyone's favorite Cooking series: Cooking SuccessfulLee. In fact, I am now going to use my considerable influence over Lee (which essentially boils down to the fact that I know where she lives and also I promised to loan her my kitchen torch for her next cooking experiment if she promised I could watch [from a safe distance]) to force her to make jambalaya for one of her cooking segments. Who's with me?!?!

Also also, dude. Jambalaya is my dad's favorite food too, and I super do NOT want to in ANY WAY find any similarities between my dad and Dr Pervert. Ew, ew, ew!

"I've been slaving to make you a cake that tastes as good as your mother's." I interrupted, "and then you don't show up!" I brushed past him and pulled the casserole from the oven.

Jeez, chill out, Betty Crocker. What are you, his wife? Also, not for nothin', but Cathy is SIXTEEN. Not sixty! Why the hell is she bitching about cakes not tasting as good as mom made and pulling casseroles from the oven? I mean, hell, I don't even do that, and I can't do anything as well as my mom can do it. (Except, actually, bake cake, but only because my mom doesn't bake. And I can't bake as well as my grandmother could, so I'm basically lacking in every area! If this is the natural degrading of domestic skills by generation, I hate to see what the munchkin's children are going to end up like.)

Thelma Murkel was a head nurse in the Clairemont Memorial Hospital and everyone there seemed to know she had her mind set on becoming the second Mrs. Paul Scott Sheffield. But she was only a nurse in a sterile white uniform, miles and miles away, and I was under his nose, with my intoxicating new perfume tickling his senses (as the advertisement had said, a bewitching, beguiling, seductive scent no man could resist). What chance did Thelma Murkel, aged twenty-nine, have against the likes of me?

Oh, Jesus. Can it with the flowery adjectives, Cathy. Also, aged twenty nine? TWENTY NINE? Uh, I'd like to think that there are TONS of 42 year old men who'd rather have sex with a 29 year old woman than a 16 year old girl. PROBABLY TONS. I mean, I'd wager, AT LEAST 90 percent. (Please God, let it be at least ninety percent. I'm accepting the 10% pervert stat because I'm a realist, but let's still try to minimize the fallout, hmm?)

"I want skills to see me through life so I'll never have to lock away my children to inherit a fortune I didn't earn."

Um . . . a lot of perfectly normal, unskilled people manage to make it through life without locking their kids up in an attic to inherit a massive fortune, Cathy. I think you're doing that thing where you think your life is normal, but I assure you it's not.

"A man likes to be leaned on, looked up to, respected. An aggressive, domineering woman is one of God's most fearsome creatures."

RAWR! WE ARE THE LADY BEASTS AND WE WILL MURDER YOUR SOULS ARRRGH! RUN FROM OUR COMPETENCY AND TAKE-CHARGE ATTITUDE!

My fingers sank into the thickness of his dark hair as I murmured huskily, "I wanted to give you a shiny silver Cadillac for your birthday, but I didn't have enough money. So I thought I'd give you second best - me."

Um . . . is it too late to get the Caddy? I think I'd rather have the Caddy!

(Also, girl, your sixteen year old lady parts are in no way second only to a Caddy. I can think of tons of things more valuable to me than raping my sixteen year old legal ward! Box tops, for instance!)

. . . I took his hand and put it where it would pleasure me most. He groaned. And groaned even louded when I put my hand where it would pleasure him most.

. . . The elbow?

With each touch of his lips, of his hands I was shot through with electrifying sensations, until at last I was wild to have him enter me, no longer tender, but fervent with his own fierce, demanding need to reach the same heights I was seeking.

"Catherine! Hurry, hurry, come!"

Aaaaaaaannnnnd you're gonna want to finish the rest of that drink there, folks. Do try to keep it down, despite this book's best intentions to have you hurl the entire contents of your spleen, because after reading all of this, you deserve to be drunk.

 

That's it for this round, folks. I thought I'd leave it on a high (?) note. I hope you all enjoy your weekend of lingering PTSD flashbacks and sexual dysfunction that follows any discussion of this terrible, terrible book. Just remember, kids - try not to have sex with your sibling. Or your parent figure. Or a sadistic ballet dancer. Just say no.

Happy Friday!

Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.
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