Thursday, April 18, 2013
So Joe and I are possibly the last people on earth who haven't watched "Mad Men." Until now. Someone at school told me that it was an excellent show and thought I would enjoy it. That person was right. Sort of.
Set in the early 1960s (why am I telling you this since I am the last person to watch it?), the show takes place at an advertising agency in Manhattan, and the segments that we have seen so far (about six, I think) revolve around one Dan Draper, his family and neighbors, his coworkers, and their families and coworkers. There is a lot of drinking involved -- in the office, even, and certainly at lunchtime. Nearly everyone smokes. A lot. And the men fool around, as do some of the women. I am fascinated by it.
Because in the early 1960s, I worked as a secretary in an advertising agency in Philadelphia. Nearly everything in the television show is spot on -- the hair styles, the clothing (even the nightgowns and negligees and bras), the slang. But not only that, at the agency where I worked most people smoked (yes, of course I tried -- I wanted to fit in -- but I never could inhale). Martini lunches happened. Some people had bottles of liquor or flasks in the office. "Matinees" occurred. And none of these things seemed to be frowned upon. I worked in advertising for a few years, starting when I was eighteen and moving on shortly before I married at twenty-two. It was fun and it was exciting and oh! so glamorous.
But even then, it felt unreal. It felt like I was in a play rather than living a real life, and because I was less sophisticated than many (at least at the get-go), I flubbed my lines regularly.
Watching "Mad Men" has taken me back to that time and I'm just as fascinated and no less comfortable this time around!
Posted by Nancy Stevens on Thursday, April 18, 2013