When Don puts on the Revolver LP it is like I’m back in my childhood bedroom asserting that it is not the 1990’s. When the Beatles terrorize his penthouse apartment, I wish I could sit on his lap and sing to him. Don says, “Having a dream is admirable.”
He can drink all he wants, as long as when “And Your Bird Can Sing” comes on he promises to dance. Whiskey could do the trick. Those Drapers are pretty predictable. Drapers do whatever they want. Even if Don is an “ideas man,” he knows better than to say no to a woman.
Don says, “I was raised in the 30’s. My dream was indoor plumbing."
Megan says, “Don, You’re everything I dreamed you’d be and more!”
Let’s not talk about my dreams…
I thought I’d hate Don, like everyone else, but I don’t. I long for him the way kids long for the turning of the Ice Cream Man. I hear that elevator door DING and I rise on up.
Sure, he’s troubled like the rest of them, but beneath that designer suit is a good, strong man. He’s a warrior. He treats Joan like she came out of that goddamn Trojan Horse with the soldiers, all woman, all beauty and all power-hungry as hell. She’s everything a man is and more. Don can’t plead with Joan; she’s a woman who’s ready to kill her darlings.
I know advertising is based on moments, but so is life. Don has changed this moment for me.
When Don falls asleep on Peggy’s lap, you can feel the continents shift. He almost tells her she’s beautiful, but doesn’t, which is good, because she doesn’t need that from him. When her number’s called, she gets gone.
When she gives her notice, he takes her hand like she is royalty. He is tender and sensual. It is almost erotic in the way he lingers there in the twilight of her moment. She is rejecting him and he won’t let go of her hand. She feels his lips, not on her face, but on the top of her hand; her fingers; and her nails.
He is proud of her; she’s her own glory now. She’s got the guns and the ammo, but inside, I bet he’s thinking: I’ve created a monster.
Peggy resists all the clichés and wraps herself in strength. She takes Don on in a way that children learn how to fight back tears.
This is tough-love at its finest.
It’s a man’s world, but not for all of us.
© Umansky 2013
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