The End of Draperian Monogamy
by ELEANOR MORROW
As we await the third season finale of Mad Men tomorrow night, the best show on television appeared to have wrapped-up its Draper-related storylines by having Don stay together with his wife. Now she has to make a crucial decision between some weird-looking politician and her hunky Dick Whitman of a husband. All we can surmise from this glorious season is that Trudy is having none of it.
Incensed by the ministrations of wife Trudy, Pete Campbell killed President Kennedy. He did it with the candlestick, in Texas. Pete Campbell is the true mastermind of the Oklahoma City bombing, which we can only hope Mad Men takes great pains to emulate in roughly 2027.
What you share with your wife was of questionable utility on this week's Curb Your Enthusiasm. You should not share anything with your wife, especially not your finances, or secret Dick Whitman photos. Do me a favor. Dress like this:
And shut up. Pete Cambell was on the receiving end of a demotion. Pryce coos to Pete that his rival makes clients feel "like they don't have needs." Pete's initial paranoia is justified, and he is walking out an elevator while Peggy discusses banging yet another of his co-workers. "They're homos," Duck tells Peggy when he tries to get her to take her underclothes. Is he right?
Don turns off the TV, tells his daughter everything is all right. In his sweater vests and stagey sexuality we respected him so much more when he was telling Suzanne that she made him feel things he's never felt before. Now he's signed over his things to the kookiest blond on Draper Court. Don's wife's hoo ha smells like a nectarine.
Ms. Draper's peculiar political homo proposed to her, and now awaits his reply like an election result. He is perhaps addicted to this scent, or else as a graying old man he can no longer solicit the affections of single women. Ms. Draper made out with him in the car, which is like the only rest stop on the long road to unsatisfying infidelity. But cheating is by nature a displeasurable task.
Roger Sterling is a man of means. He once cribbed together a suitable wedding toast from the vast disappointments of his business partner and wife. His daughter is rendered happy in her institution of marriage. She is the only one. Roger makes phone calls from his wife's bedside, praises his first wife, wishes for another. Can nothing stall these unending dreams of desire?
If nothing else, a daughter knows how to control her parents. Examples of other demanding daughters include
Lee Harvey Oswald was a committed Communist, just as committed to his cause as any of us are to our own particular causes. Others know not want cause they should commit to, and end up in "marketing." Pete Campbell's future is bleak, just wait until he experiences the cagey unrest of the Y2K bug.
With a hard decision looming, it's best to boil things down to Ms. Draper's imaginative meeting with her father's estate lawyer. "Is he a good provider?" the guy asks her, as if he doesn't know the answer! I wish I could pay someone to slowly force me to accept the decisions I've made in my life through passive-aggressive rhetorical questions. Actually, I can probably secure the same lawyer- he's likely still practicing in the Long Island area.
Nevermind the accoutrements. How can we be happy in our own skins without legal aid? At least someone has figured out how. Perhaps she gives lessons.
Eleanor Morrow is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Manhattan. She tumbls here.
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