Tag Archives: Don Draper

Mad Men: a Personal and Somewhat Premature Memoriam to Mid Century Modernism, Don Draper and Madison Avenue

I thought there were only going to be six series.

I have built myself up for the end of my regular thirteen week fix. I have bought the back series from Amazon. Sadly, I am onto Series Three already. This morning I settled in the tv room with a cafetiere of black coffee, overwhelmed by the knowledge that this was about to the end of my viewing life as I know it. Overwhelmed also by a visceral desperation to watch the episode and love Don one last time.

Mrs Carmichael's weekly fix (www.carlos.outpost.com)
Mrs Carmichael’s weekly fix (www.carlos.outpost.com)

It’s been a dark series, building, I believed, to a terrible conclusion that prohibited further episodes being made. With Mad Men’s production pedigree being The Sopranos top guns (RIP, James Gandolfini), I knew it would be executed to perfection.

My love for this series started with the decade it is set in. The 1960’s for me are far enough away to know most of their detail from history books but to also know that I was there. Yes, I was a child. Yes, I was in New Zealand but I remember my parents’ grief at John and Robert Kennedy’s assassinations. I remember the Vietnam War and licking envelopes for my father in his role as secretary for the Anti Involvement in Vietnam Committee. I remember my mother and father laughing about the fact that he was at Wellington Airport protesting Johnson’s arrival and our next door neighbour was at the same chain link fence cheering the President on.

I remember wanting an American accent and two tone shoes.

And I remember the Mid Century Modern furniture that features so exquisitely in Mad Men’s Madison Avenue offices and Don and Megan’s ‘to die for’ apartment.

Mrs C's next abode (landfairfunitureblogspot.com)
Mrs C’s next abode (landfairfunitureblogspot.com)

I remember the furniture because I lived it. My parents loved all things modern, had a split level, open plan house designed by Bill Toomath (Group Architects) in the late 50’s and filled it with Eames and Bertoia chairs, a Danish dining table, George Jensen cutlery and Lucie Rie pottery to name drop but some.

Yours ruly on the trike and ooh, look at the chair (Bill Toomath)
Yours Truly on the trike and ooh, look at the chair (Bill Toomath)

Thank you Roger Stirling for your love of great design and all things Saarinen.

And the clothes, we cannot, mustn’t forget the frocks. It’s all so perfect and polyester is queen. On the underground last week I saw a twenty something dressed like Joan, Mad Men’s super-secretary and femme fatale. Right down to the red hair.

still my beating heart (jezebel.com)
still my beating heart (jezebel.com)
I want, my mother had (dempeaux.com)
I want, my mother had (dempeaux.com)

The series appeals to way more than my baby booming generation.

Men too got into the act. Look right at Jantzen’s answer to Don’s wardrobe malfunction in Palm Springs.

Don, a word to the wise, fewer drugs, more swimsuit combinations please.

But of course, he’s excused. I excuse him everything. Because as you know (we’ve shared this secret before) I have been in love with him since 2007. Others pretend to his affections (http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/mad-love-a-halloween-message-to-don-draper/) but ya’all, Mrs C’s the real Mccoy.

I don’t see him as a father figure, oh no, although I do think he looks like my father. Perhaps there is something in that then and I did beat Sally to those eyebrows by quite some years. But I don’t see him as a father figure because, we can all agree on this, he’s not a very good father.

But it’s not his fault. We know that and as I come to the end of Series Six it’s obvious, to all but the most callous, that Don Draper is falling to pieces. He needs our help.

Get a grip Mrs Carmichael, you’re becoming a touch hysterical. It’s only a television programme. One that just happens to have got to you. Touched your buttons. Big time.

So as my morning’s viewing builds to a crescendo, I’m enjoying a three cup coffee high and Don speaks the truth in a Hershey presentation I see the script writers have done us all proud. They are tying the dying moments of this epic to its theme of themes, identity. Identity, or lack thereof, in all its guises: work, gender, role, background, love. Life.

Don stands with his three children outside the whore house in which he lived as a teenager and he does something he hasn’t before. He tells them the truth.

Judy Collins sings Both Sides Now and I cry. I cry because I love Don Draper, because the choice of music is perfect, because this is a sublime ending to the series and because I’m devastated that its over.

And then I read there’s to be a Series Seven.

I don’t know what to think.

I’m discombobulated.

I’d said ‘goodbye’.

Our parting was perfect.

I so hope the final series isn’t a mistake.

On Discovering I Am Nominated for Blog of the Year 2012 and Choking on My Morning Mango

utterly chuffed
the stars are shining bright tonight

It’s tipping it down in The South East of England and I’m informed by pretty girl on the TV that it shall be thus until and through Christmas day :(. But as I rush to a) imbibe my morning hit of black coffee while b) catching up on Don’s antics in series two of Mad Men (yes I’ve started from the beginning again. I love you, Don. You know I do) and c) surreptitiously checking my overnight blog hits (#ourlittlesecret) I nearly choke on the first of my five a day. Because Exceeding the Speed Limit has nominated me for my first star in the blog of the year 2012 🙂

Oh yes, air punch quickly followed by dance round the kitchen, extra piece of toast for the one remaining dog (he loves good things happening to me) and another pot of black coffee to retain the good feeling high.

Now the Milkwaukee mum who has made my day writes a blog that I can identify with. She writes about her family, her beliefs and her country and always speaks sense. Her last post, The Blue Tissue Paper Christmas, brought a tear to my eye (in a good way) and made me realise that although her memories are American and mine a combination of English and Antipodean, although she has sons to my daughters, we have shared a similar time in this life and have much in common.

the one
the one

I can remember the first time I heard the term ‘blog’. Rather idiotic word, I thought and parked it away because I was busy doing other things. But this year, determined to get back to writing more than shopping lists and because I had some things to get off Germaine’s eunuch that is my female chest I enlisted help from Sweet Thing who knows a thing or two about things. She pointed me towards WordPress. And the rest, as they say, is history. I love blogging and I love the friends I’ve made. Yes, that’s you. You in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, Japan and of course, America. And all those other countries that I want to visit as well.

An aside: I am not nominating Sweet for this because she still hasn’t replied to my Liebster award and there have to be consequences, don’t there? This may be just the fillip she needs. Stick, carrot, carrot, stick.

The ‘rules’ for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award (from the creators of this award) are simple:
1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.
2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award –http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!). I took special notice of that rule.
4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…!
You can find the award designs here: http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

Here are my nominees for Blog of the Year 2012:

The Eternal Traveller  My Australian word/ photo buddy and I chat like friends now and her Justin Beaver posts make me laugh so much.

the dancing professor because almost every day I know there’ll be something interesting, insightful or just gear grindingly normal to digest and savour in my reader.

Tales from the Reading Room Victoria’s was one of the first blogs I followed and is still one of my favourite reads. A literary voice with an errant other half. Mr Litlove (her present husband) needs, I believe, the same firm hand as Mr Carmichael (#femalebonding).

Dianne Gray author I love reading the musings of a published author. Dianne’s posts and comments are real value for money. I am also enjoying being part of her ‘new’ life in Darwin.

Where’s my backpack? Every week I try to enter Backpack’s Travel Theme photo spot and love doing it. This and the WordPress weekly photo challenge has made my handbag heavier (#cameraonboard). Ailsa’s recent journey through the Badlands of America have reignited my desert desire. I am not talking about puddings.

Backpackology I’ve got a backpack theme going here! The photos of Kazakhstan are amazing and show there’s so much more than Borat to that country.

And finally Victoria Elizabeth Barnes ⋅ who I’m sure has stars aplenty but whose blog I adore. Also she has been gracious enough to concede that I have won the battle for Don Draper (#donlovesawinner).

I shall smile through the wet dog walk, the food shopping, restocking the empty toilet roll holders round the house and, sans doute, wine time this evening.

Thank you and congratulations.