The erotic fiction book that is currently sweeping the world has nothing to do with this retirement home… or any other retirement home, as far as I can make out. Shades of Grey here refer to hair color and sometimes skin pallor. That’s it. Nothing to get excited about.
The Fifty Shades of Grey causing a stir around the world, on the other hand, is a 2011 novel by British author E. L. James. Set largely in Seattle, it is the first installment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate and a young business magnate. It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism, all in all, a book designed to be a best-seller.
From the back row of the stepped auditorium at last night’s concert where I sat, I could look down and count many more than 50 shades of grey. We can boast every hue of grey from titanium white to African rhinoceros grey, which is about as close to black as you can get.
Shades of grey appears in other contexts as well: In certain parts of Tel Aviv there are still remnants of the old days of shady grey money, but here in the retirement home, grey means just like it sounds, good old grey hair, just like our grandparents had, before the dyes hit the market.
After I had counted the shades of grey, I counted the shades of pink, meaning the bald, me among them. 50 Shades of Pink would make a good book title as well…