Kept Sane by Mad Men

by Jan on January 14, 2011

Some days we need a little escape. From cranky bosses, barking dogs, burnt dinners, mounting bills, and sometimes from life’s misfortunes. I had such a day recently. My husband had come out of the O.R. from a surgery for a recently diagnosed cancer. As his advocate, I sat by his side in a surprisingly comfortable hospital room but I had never before seen anyone fresh out of surgery and I became increasingly squeamish at the sight of his bloated yellow skin and puffy glazed eyes. Nurses in and out. Moans and groans. Blood and gunk. I needed to detach.

Fortunately I had bought and downloaded season four of the popular TV series Mad Men as I had missed it on it’s original airing. With a double click on the  “watch now” tab,  I walked down the halls of Sterling Cooper Draper & Pryce. I fit into the slim stylish 60’s dresses, ratted my bouffant, and even smoked a couple of Lucky Strikes. I understood at a deeper level why Joan was frustrated, Don discontent and around the 10th episode I decided that all the characters needed my help. Just a little assistance with the navigation of their lives.

Let’s start with Don. Oh Don, Don, Don. So filled with talent, potential and at the core of who you are, a genuine good heart. But could you be any more lost?? The problem is, you don’t know who you are. You think you know but are so wrapped up in the appearance of who you think you are, you have abandoned yourself. Come home Don. Come  home.

Joan, you have yet to see your true value. Such a strong amazing woman but the worth you give yourself is filtered through how other men see you. Stand strong Joan. And by the way, when you turn 60 and your back hurts, I hear breast reductions are a pretty good option.

Campbell. Why are you even in this show?

Peggy. You’ve got chutzpah to be sure. Look from whence you have come! Those bangs in season one were painful to look at and seemed to dominate each scene but your new doo and sense of style, especially in this last season, are perky as all get out. Other than that I’m not really sure who you are.

Speaking of fashion. Betty. Wow. So much like my Barbie. And just about as alive as my Barbie. Woman, what is wrong with you? Were you spoiled or neglected as a child because either one has led to and entitlement and narcissism that you so accurately display. Those are your children you self indulged ho-bag! When they are grown and gone, that’s what they are. Gone. And you will be left with YOU! Wake up. There is still time to become a decent human being you skinny, self-absorbed excuse for a mother.

And finally, Roger. I think I feel the most sad over you because of the fall you are going to take sometime in the fifth season. Pride goes before a fall. Often times people make bad choices out of good motives. My friend, this is not you. While I have shared that Don is lost, I believe you are far more so. I want to you ask yourself a question before every decision you make. “Who is this ultimately benefiting?” In fact ask yourself that question with every decision you have ever made. If the name starts with an R and ends with an r, you are a sad and misguided soul. So here’s what I want you to do. For the next two weeks, do a kind act every day that does not benefit you in any way and tell no one. Write down what you did and how you felt and we’ll meet next week.

I watched on and off thirteen episodes of Mad Men in three days. They tickled my ocular orb and kept my mind occupied from the current distresses surrounding me. Feeling somewhat mentally and emotionally assaulted in my present situation, they gave me a momentary way out that helped me enter back in. Back into the grueling fight of this new and foreboding territory called cancer.

Thank you Mad Men I’m feeling much better now.

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