Fifty Shades of You

So, I’m new to this bloggin stuff, right?  Misty is my mentor, God Bless her patient, spell-checkin’-techno-geek heart.  I should be sitting here, getting right to the point and wowing you with my intellectual prowess, correct?

Well, I can’t right now.  Because I just finished off half…yes HALF…of a 8″ chocolate cake that sinisterly seduced me while I sat here and stared pathetically at the UPS package that is taunting me because it holds the bathing suit (size L.A.R.G.E.) I ordered for our Disney Trip next week.  WTF??

Okay, just thought I’d share my agony.  Coping Mechanism #1: Binge Eating…My mommom (that’s grandmother to you) taught me that food fixes EVERYTHING! Lots of it, and I believe every word she said!

Now onto my words for the week.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the hub-bub over the new trilogy by EL James, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Free.  This trilogy has been touted as the latest and greatest in “Mommy Porn,” a dark and forbidden look at BDSM.

In my opinion, it is a thought-provoking look at the human mind.

The star of the phenomenon is one, Christian Grey.  He is every woman’s dream: drop-dead gorgeous, sexy, rich, sexy, good at everything, sexy, a phenomenal lover, sexy…Did I say sexy?  This is what draws women to reading this newly acclaimed series.  Oh, and the pushing-all-the-naughty-boundaries sex.  But as his beloved heroine explains, he is also fifty shades of fucked-up because of a terrible childhood.  

Christian’s coping mechanisms for his fifty shades? Lots of rough sex, BDSM.  Most of the BDSM, he (and James) leaves in his backstory.  What little freak he does let fly with the love of his life is edgy, sexy and all-out romantic.  How many men do you know who would lay you out on a bench and make love to you to ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ crooning on the surround sound…blindfolded?  I get tingles just thinking about it. Hold on…I’ll be right back……

Ah. That’s better, sorry. (a little mommy-porn humor)

In my own humble opinion, it’s the naughty, adult version of Twilight.  Shy, awkward heroine saving the forbidden, hotter-than-hell superhero from the darkness.

But this post is not about the book…it’s about forever pondering the psycho-analyst-wanna-be in all of us. I loved Fifty Shades for the simple questions:

How fucked up does our childhood really make us?  

 Is it Nature or Nurture?

I once worked with a woman. I often passed her in the halls, in the restroom and at the cafeteria.  She was about 60, with long straight hair to her waist and thick coke-bottle glasses that rested on her plain features.  She dressed impeccably in suits and high heels.  The paper towels she wore taped to her hands to ward off germs from the surfaces she touched, might have been a bit of a fashion faux-pas, but the wet puddles she left behind each time she left the restroom after she washed her shoes and the ends of her hair in the sink to avoid germs was completely understandable. Hey, restrooms can be yucky. 

WTF?  What made this poor woman like this?  Was it an inherent biological OCD gene? (Nature) Or did her mother beat the shit out of her everytime she got dirty so that’s how she copes?  Or maybe her brother died a horrible death from infection. (Nurture)

The human psyche is absolutely amazing.  I believe, it can either work with us…or work against us.

I myself should be about 100 shades of fucked up if human experience (nurture) is to blame.  In my childhood, I’ve out-maneuvered alcoholism, bigotry, mental illness, nervous breakdowns, being deserted, “pull that finger,” the metal yard stick, “I’m so hungry I could eat the asshole out of a dead skunk.” ‘Daddy envy’ and molestation all before the age of 10. During my teens and later, I upped the ‘nuture’ challenge with drinking, drugs, physical abuse in my early twenties, a rape in my mid twenties, and my own personal battle with bipolar disorder and the assundry of medications associated. 

Since then I’ve attained two, 4.0 college degrees, a wonderful husband, 2 awesome functioning kids and my parents and sibs are my best friends – go figure! Personally, I think I’m perfect just the way I am.  I’m who I was meant to be.

My coping mechanisms? An obsession with counting my steps when I walk, rocking back and forth when I read, eating my stress away (sometimes when nobody is watching!  SHHHH!), flicking my hair in my ear (don’t ask…), cerebral OCD (yes…that was a professional diagnosis I recieved!) and having vivid dreams of different eras in time as if I really lived then.  Not too shabby, I’m thinking. I’ll let you know if I cross to the dark side and start wearing men’s clothing and call myself Joseph on Mondays and Fridays.


My Nurture – the experiences I had to endure, much like Christian Grey’s – pretty sucky.

My Nature – one strong-ass will and a determined personality to get it right, and lots of hard work and understanding into what makes me tick …. PRICELESS.   

So, who are you? A slave to your Nurture? Or submissive to your Nature?  What great quirks have you developed over the years as coping mechanisms? Time for some bonding gang!

No matter who you are and how the hell you got there…you’re perfect, just the way you are!

PS.  Just to let you know…that bathing suit I ordered?  Top too big…bottoms too small…Figures. Might as well go finish the cake and try again tomorrow.

Love, Josie



  1. Hey, Josie. I think I’ve known you long enough to say that I’m very, very proud to call you Friend. I’ve seen a lot of the good, a bit of the bad, and love the person you’ve grown into.

    As for myself. Hmmm. I’ll fight you for the rest of that chocolate cake. There’s a hair cut scheduled for this morning. Can I just say that I hate growing out a short cut. The mirror tells me what a disastrous mistake it was to go short, but I’m sure it’s my childhood that makes me cringe when looking in that mirror. Genes or the environment -doesn’t matter. I’m responsible for smiling back at the image facing me, and for carrying a positive attitude into every single moment of the day.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Hey Lucie! You ARE my hero and you already know that!!! I do like who I am. I think because of all my stuff Im more like fifty shades of the rainbow, a very colorful gal! Sorry if I got some of that color all over you over the years! 🙂
      That cake was damn good! And as far as that mirror goes? You smile honey…Cause you have my love and that aint easy! Im very particular with the brilliant amazing women I call my friends and you are one of my bestest!
      Love J

  2. Awww, Josie. I just love you more all the time. You are so brave, so honest, and so perfectly loveable in all your HUMANNESS. You take the whole phrase, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” to a whole new level.

    As for my own nature vs. nurture deal, I am by nature a peacemaker. I don’t like to rock theh boat. It came in handy when I was growning up because…well…because no one else was the peacemaker. Looking back, I see how unfair that was to put a child in that role, and I addressed that in my early thirties with the responsible parties. Hardest thing I ever did because that meant making someone else feel bad–on purpose–so I could heal. I still struggle with things like that because I want to protect everyone I care about. But I’ve learned that just leads to implosions that are personally devastating. I’m getting closer to self-acceptance and a big part of that is believing I’m worth making self-affirming choices. Hope that made some kind of sense.

    Awesome, awesome post. Like always!!! Love you! 🙂

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Hey pardner! I love your peacemaker persona…yes…I believe I can see you in that role. As a kid I was a peacemaker…a caretaker…hence the nursing career…but as I age, and get all ornery and opinionated, I tend to like to ‘rock the boat’ then run like hell!
      It IS hard to put YOU first, especially when it might hurt those you love. That is called ‘putting up boundries’. Some we have to explain, which creates conflict, and I hate conflict, but some we dont. Just put the boundry up and by process of osmosis…They get it. And you are healthier for it.

      Love U! J

  3. Ah Josie I love chocolate cake. We could’ve shared. My vice is chocolate chip cookies. I’ve fought hard to not be some of the things I grew up around and I’ve succeeded in those areas. However I do internalize ALOT. But according to one shrink I have trouble adjusting, big surprise there.

    Oh and the bathing suit thing. I wouldn’t worry. When my family and I vacayed in Orlando last year and was amazed at the body shapes in bikinis. And I’m not talking those itty bitty throw a cheeseburger at ’em cuz they look hungry bodies. These were grown women letting it all hang out. And we won’t talk about the one guy wearing a speedo. 🙂

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Hey Lynn! Im still rollin on the floor at the ‘throw a cheeseburger at em cause they look hungry-bodies.
      LOVE IT! AND THAT AINT ME! I dogged the sourcream and onion potatoe chips too last night. Gotta go to court for a ‘kid’ thing at work. Never pleasant to get the summons and the damn cake didnt numb me enough. Oh well, Ill try a mojito tonight! Or a red-hot-romance!!!
      Speedo! Gag! I think most of those guys are sporting a potato in that spandex. Who wants to see that crap flapping in the breeze….Ill take my imagination over that shit anyday! Let’s hit the beach and do fashion patrol someday…wouldnt that be fun? A girls weekend and we could people watch! Ill bring the cake and the chips.
      Love J

  4. marsharwest says:

    Josie, I think you are incredibly brave with a lot of self-knowledge. You’ve certainly taken the old saying to heart–when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Congrats.
    Here’s my ‘fession: When I was younger with small children, I’d buy a Sara Lee cheese cake and eat the whole thing. You know once I’d eaten half then the rest had to disappear, so nobody knew I’d eaten half. Could be some faulty reasoning there on my part, but as I said I was younger. Kids are grown now. However, while I don’t still eat whole (or half cheese cakes), there is a piece of chocolate cake in my refrigerator. You know the kind you can get at the grocery store. My hubby and I have each eaten a quarter of the piece with ice cream, and I can’t wait to finish it off! Despite what the devil possesd scale says. Loving ourselves as we are is imperative to a happy life. Doing that doesn’t mean we don’t want or can’t improve. As a retired educator, I’m all about learning and getting better and better. Thanks for sharing, Josie.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Marsha, May I say thanks…for being an educator. You guys dont get that enough. And I am so proud that you finish off the second half of the cheesecake so no one will know you ate the first. I never thought of that! One of my favorite indulgence binges during my ‘dark years’ as my family fondly calls it was Friendly’s Reeses Pieces Sundaes. I could go out in my pj’s on a bad night and sneak up to the take out window and order one like I was making a drug deal. Then of course I would have to eat it in the car and get rid of the evidence, but not because my sig other at the time would be mad I ate it. No…He would be totally pissed that I left our house without his knowledge. He was a cop…very possessive and abusive to say the last. But thats a whole book..if anyone wants the rights to the story just call me! Ill fill you in!
      But seriously…YES, we are awesome because we live and we learn!!!!
      Thanks for being with us! Love Josie.

  5. Josie,
    Boring people have boring childhoods. Bad stuff makes us better people, well that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s either that or write about it. I decided to fly my freak flag a few years ago when I decided to deviate from Normal ( read average) and just be myself.

    As for your dreams, keep in mind 80% of the world believes in reincarnation there has to be a reason why.

    Oh the swimsuit , I hear you girlfriend. I actually punched myself in the face trying one on yesterday. Not because I looked so bad, but I did resemble a floral print sausage. Some cruel employee put it on the wrong size hanger. I squeezed into a too small suit. Pulling it up took so much effort that my hand slipped and I hit myself in the face. Nailed myself good too.
    Almost as bad as the time I tried on the miracle suit that takes inches off and the lights went out in the store. I knew I would need the Jaws of Life to get me out of that suit in the dark.

    Have fun in Florida. I also noticed they started making size Large a lot smaller than it used to be too.

  6. Josie Matthews says:

    OMG! I am actually sitting here in Florida crying at how funny this post was Morgan!!! You crack me up!
    Id take you as a floral print sausage over some skinny pepperoni stick in bikini any day! I too am the owner of the MIRACLE SUIT. The kids laugh because they keep asking when the miracle is gonna happen. Brats….
    Reincarnation…Ive often thought about that. I think I may have been Marie Antionette…

    Thanks so much for making my day start with laughter! You are awesome Morgan!
    Love J

  7. Great post sister!

  8. Ok, so I bought this book because it was on the top bestsellers list for so long. I wanted to see what all the “buzz” was about.

    How surprised I was to find out it was the closest thing to female erotica that I have read. But my interest in psychology kept me reading. After just thinking, this guy is “F’d UP!” I began to think of the possibilities of how he got that way. That made me keep reading on.

    • Hi Jennifer! This is Misty, Josie’s blog partner. Thanks for visiting! I think I may just have to follow suit and check this Gray business out too! Like you, I love delving into the psychology of characters and how their backgrounds intersect with their current life choices. 🙂

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Hey Jennifer! Been on vaca but Im back now. I totally agree with you. Of course, having a cinderella complex, I loved the idea of a hot-sexy billionaire loving me up, but Grey’s character growth, as well as Ana’s from a psychological point of view was very interesting. I love seeing what makes people tick. The 2 sequels to the first book tended to get a little repetitive, but considering I spent hours daydreaming I was Anastasia Grey was worth it! Laters Baby! J

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