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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Of Mad Men, Golden Globes, and Self Confessed Daddy's Girls or how Don Draper got me off the couch and Moving forward


Anyone who knows me, knows I am an obsessed Mad Men Devotee.   Tonight, I will be watching the Golden Globes live and it is my hope that Jon Hamm, January Jones and Mad Men receive just recognition for Season Three - particularly the last few episodes, in which Don Draper was forced by his wife, Betty, to reveal his true identity, sunk to the nadir of his business career and personal life, and learned to play well with others and truly move forward.  Thank you, Don for teaching me no matter what happens, you can rise from the ashes with the proper passion and a little help from your friends. I feel we are both at the same point in our lives.


My history with the show goes back to the beginning of Season Two.   An AMC marathon of the premier season coincided with some personal losses in my life.   My mother in law had died in May and four days later my beloved godmother, my mom's best friend and my confidante, also left this world.  I am sure it was more than all this that put me on the couch later that summer and made me decide to settle in for a full day of Mad Men. I love all things New York and all things 1960's, so it is no surprise that I was hooked.  This was more than a TV show:  it was it's own world and like real life, there are no easy solutions and no one knows what will happen next, except maybe the series creator, Matt Weiner.

With finely drawn characters, each with their own quirks and unpredictabilities, I was intrigued and on the edge of my seat.  I would be hard pressed to say who was my favorite.  Of course, Don Draper is the heart of the show, and as an adult, I relate in different ways to all the core players.  But, for this self-confessed Daddy's girl, it is Sally Draper who wins my heart. (I clearly wish there was a younger actress category. Then Kiernan Shipka could also have a chance for a Golden Globe.)


Like Sally, I clearly favored my Dad over my mom.   While my mom was not anywhere as cold a mother as Betty Draper, she was definitely not a let's hug and bake cookies June Cleaver type. Most of the affection I received was given by the handsome man pictured here in a Don Draper style grey suit.  Oh, how I adored him, more than enough to allow him, at my wedding, the pleasure of a father-daughter dance to that sappy favorite,"Daddy's Little Girl".  So totally uncool, but, if it made him happy, I was more than willing to accommodate him. 

For the record, Sally is about two years younger than I would have been in the early sixties.  So, it is with a child's eyes, I watch along with her as she sees history unfold.  Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech", the murder of Medgar Evers, the fear of nuclear war during the Cuban Missle Crises, the self immolation of a monk in Viet Nam, and the on air fatal shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald - TV brought all these events into America's living rooms.  How could Sally remain unaffected?  Or I?  The times they were a'changing and so too would the patriarchal society in which we both lived.  It makes me ponder what will Sally be like in the 1970's.  Will she become a Mad Woman under the tutelage of  the talented Peggy Olson, or will she marry young like me and find herself later in life ?  There is no way of knowing, which makes it all the more delicious to contemplate. 


Well, back to the couch tonight, but fear not. It is but a respite from my academic pursuits.  I am moving forward.  Thank you, Sally, for taking me back, and thank you, Don Draper for moving me forward.

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