There is a lot of hullabaloo these days surrounding the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. I haven’t read it of course, but based on my very limited research, it is a poorly written book about a bland, naive young woman who falls for an older gentleman and enters the magical world of BDSM and multiple orgasms. Ladies are going nutso crazy over this book. I think they realized that Bella only got to bone her sparkly vampire husband once and needed something naughtier to whet their housewife desires.
After reading a great post about the novel over at Mommy Shorts, I commented, “I haven’t read this shit, is it the new Wifey?” to which Ilana replied, “Oh my god— I used to sneak into my mom’s room and read that book when she wasn’t home. I knew exactly where she hid it.” WE ALL DID THIS. If you say that you haven’t sneaked into your parent’s room and found this book hidden in your mother’s underwear drawer you are FULL OF LIES. FULL OF LIES.
For those not familiar with Wifey, it is a novel written in 1978 by the incomparable Judy Blume. It is the story of Sandy, a bored, depressed housewife who has her familiar routine shaken up by the appearance of a masked man, who jerks off by her bedroom window, then takes off on his motorcycle. This incident sets off a bit of a sexual revolution for Sandy and she decides to experiment and give into her fantasies.
I revisited Wifey recently and found it to be both funny and depressing. More than just a sex romp, it’s a tale of self introspection and marriage. It is more chaste than I remember, but the sex scenes are painfully realistic and hilarious. Though I enjoyed the book, it has its faults. The main character, Sandy is weak and while you want to root for her, she is naive, thoughtless, and has no growth by the end of the book. Wifey is also a bit dated, with it’s mentions of diaphragms and what not, but nevertheless, the story is still relevant and well written.
I guess as it turns out, the best part about Wifey is reminiscing about reading it when I was younger. Sneaking around, reading the dirty passages out loud to my friends in the back of the school bus, it was all so illicit! That is what makes Judy Blume such a great author. Everything she writes is real, easy to relate to, and eminently shareable. I didn’t intend this post to be a love letter to Judy Blume, but I am glad it turned into one. More people should revisit her novels instead of reading some of the tripe that is being offered up as fiction these days. Never mind that most of her books are for young adults, that just makes them quick reads! If you ever come up to me and tell me you don’t like Blubber, I promise I will roundhouse you right in the face.
Several of Blume’s works are on the list of most commonly challenged books because she doesn’t shy away from topics that are supposedly taboo. Deenie touching her “special place”, Margaret praying for her period, Katherine from Forever going on the pill, are all situations that teens and preteens really go through (well, I can honestly say I never asked God for my period to come, but I did want to increase my bust.). It is up to parents to decide when they feel it is appropriate to share these books with their children. I have been thrilled to introduce different books from Blume’s repertoire to my niece Alyssa as she grows and matures and am happy to report that she has enjoyed every Blume novel she’s read. Just so you know, Banned Books Week is September 30-October 6 this year. 🙂 Thank you Ms. Blume for writing and sharing.