2010 to 2023, lessons.

I went on a lacklustre date last night and then you texted and asked (again) whether I would drive down to your place. Start our days with coffee, end with you fixing drinks. Booze on the stoop, forever. I feel myself pull towards Yes, but then I remember why it will always be No when it comes to you and I.

Before she died, my mother laid it out to me in the form of brass tacks; there are people in your life who are going to love you for all of the wrong reasons. They will love you for the prettiest part of your face, the ideal part of your naked body, your best mood on your best day, the greatest heart-wrenching story you ever wrote, the most gorgeous dress you ever wore.

They are going to miss the burn mark on your right forearm from the first time you made gingerbread from scratch. They’ll miss the scar on your finger, when you sliced it open while cutting a paper snowflake at 7 years old. They’ll notice that you have great tits, but they’ll miss that your thumb tucks into their palm when you’re walking together, you steal glances at the bar, and that your eyes have darker circles when a migraine is coming.

(They won’t know you get migraines.)

They won’t ask where the story you wrote came from, so they’ll never know that it was true. They’ll simply love it because it feels real to them in a way they cannot discern. They’ll miss knowing the hoodie full of holes that they criticised you for wearing once was your mom’s, remarking that you looked unusually “dressed down”. You might tell them some of these things along the way in an attempt to reveal the real you, but they will choose to remember the Best things instead.

They will adore your good moods, your charisma, your sense of humour, but miss that you never turn to them, but rather to a shower or a pillow or the driver’s seat to shed tears. They won’t ever consider you strong.

When the parts that aren’t your best come out, they will shield their eyes as if you had just forced them to stare at the fucking sun for hours on end. They’ll silently make you promise to never show them that again, the rough edges, the imperfections. Those things are not to be shown. Be at your best so I can love you. I would love you more if only you never show me those things.

And you do not marry those people. You do not sit and sleepily drink coffee with those people. You leave those people and you remind yourself that they missed the better parts of you, and you fucking get on with it.

logan, 2007.

“I want to see how we fit together. Get on the couch,” he ordered, pushing me down onto said couch as he climbed on top of me. Who am I to argue?

It’s the dead of winter, those endless dark days and nights of February. I’ve got a vodka rocks in my hand, his long gone and then some. The apartment I’m in has absolute shit heat and a pair of those fake leather couches that are even colder than the dirty floor.

At that time I had (very) casually started seeing Logan; an incredibly smart manic type with a penchant for pornography of any genre. Long dark hair, piercing laugh and dark eyes. We met at a townie bar with a karaoke night, as one does. After exchanging numbers, we had been on some very nonchalant dates, but I was raring to get in his pants by this point. Was there chemistry? Was there throwdown?

We’re drunk, all over each other, feeling each other out for the first time and loving it. He’s aggressive like I am, his hands all over me, frantically pulling at my dress zipper. It’s so goddamned late, but it doesn’t matter. Time flies and the fit is perfect. He kisses my neck and I scratch him up a little right then and there, his big hardon digging into me as he thrust on my hip. I pull his hair and yelp a little in ecstasy as he bites my shoulder, leaving a mark.

I wish I didn’t have to leave so soon, but it was fucking 5am and my sister had already called twice.

Logan is an excellent kisser, deep and raw and passionate. The type of kiss that stays with you, deep in your bones. He doesn’t fuck around. Vicious making out, complete with groping my tits and grabbing his ass, him slowly removing my clothes and throwing his pants into the other room as if they had committed an offense. I go to grab his cock, and my damned phone buzzes insistently.

My sister, once again succeeding in killing the mood. Fucking hell… way too drunk to drive, I walked home from the neighbouring town in the bitter cold and was delighted to receive a string of lewd text messages to pass the time.

“You’re going to get punished the next time I see you.”

“I should have had you naked here. I want to cum in your mouth.”

“I’m going to fuck you like you deserve, like the slut you are.”

Watching the sun rise as I amble up to my house, I received a far more bland text from my boyfriend, whom I was set on breaking things off with later on that day. I am fucking exhausted by it all, but totally wired on that buzzing sexual energy only a good hookup can provide. There’s more to this story.

girls on film

watching me give myself to You
on repeat, flashing across my screen—
studying your face as you feel
Me, that first moment of warm lust
fulfilled. watching you slightly
slacken as we envelop each
other slowly, slowly now.

your strong arms around
me, grabbing, pulling
closer. feral and begging for
more, gliding sliding nerves
neverending. we find our stride.
smoky glances as you get closer
to the edge, that vast precipice to
dangle your
self over. hanging on by a
thread, snarl as your eyes roll and
narrow, deeper and
deeper please. guttural determination
washes into your voice, you
grabbing me as i
grip every last pulse while you
explode, pulling closer and
closer.

drag my finger across the screen as
on me, on repeat.

Mad Men s4e11: Chinese Wall

“Lee Garner Jr. never took you seriously because you never took yourself seriously.”

Welp, the cat’s outta the bag re:Lucky Strike and everyone at SCDP collectively shits themselves. Don, Pete, Peggy, Roger and Joan all get a certain sense of fulfilment from their work that their home lives just cannot seem to provide; having the possibility of SCDP being no more really scares the bejesus out of everyone, but especially the aforementioned guys and gals.

image courtesy of Tumblr

Sunday night. Kenny is out with his fiancée and her parents (including Leland Palmer), and inadvertently gets the Lucky Strike news and blows shit up. The partners (sans Lane, who’s still in London picking up the pieces) all anxiously gather at the office as Roger puts on a show, faking a phone call to Lee Garner Jr in an attempt to save face and pretend he’s in the dark. He’s sat on the news for whatever reason, mostly embarrassment and booze I’d guess. Nada on the new business horizon, apparently.

image courtesy of Monsters of Television

When he fakes a last plea/flight down to the North Carolina HQ and rings Joan from his Manhattan hotel hideout, she understandably ain’t impressed. Somehow, Roger thought that maybe this crisis on top of the alleyway mug-bang would bring her back to him; instead, it’s reminded her of why she keeps her distance. Candor isn’t inherently negative, but when it’s rooted in some vague form of lazy self-immolation tinged with pity party, it’s a bad look.

Oh hey, Pete has a daughter! Then he hits up the most cringe-worthy funeral on the entire planet earth. A big account dude from a rival company died, and the partners deemed it astute to try and poach clients at the funeral; a desperate decision. The guy’s former colleagues are telling old war stories, as his widow and daughter look on; they appear glazed over as if they’ve all heard this work junk a thousand times before. They talk about David Montgomery The Man, but seem way more interested and animated when talking about David Montgomery The Adman. Clearly, the guy devoted a lot of his life to his work.

Granted, there’s truth bombs here — nobody on their deathbed wishes they’d worked more, and this sentiment washes over Don and Pete. I mean, look at Pete; missing the birth of his own daughter to chase a hearse. I know it wasn’t uncommon in the 1960s for fathers to be absent for the birth of their children, but this is pretty bleak. It’s one of the shittiest times they’ve experienced to date, business-wise, but hitting up a funeral for this purpose is grasping at straws. The last days of Rome.

Shocking statement: Don Draper is a self-loathing guy with a whole heap of fucking mommy issues. With his continual banging around, he seeks out the unconditional love he never received from a mother figure, and will go after anything that even vaguely resembles love like a moth to a light.

At the same time, he ends up blowing nearly every relationship he has straight to hell. This is usually either because the woman won’t give him what he wants — i.e. Rachel won’t run off into the sunset with him, Bobbie Barrett won’t put a sock in it — or because they WILL give him what he wants.. and then he won’t respect them for doing so.

image courtesy of Giphy

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Either way it’s some manpain horseshit.

With the loss of Lucky Strike, Don is tense as hell and Faye is dunzo.. she’s pretty much stuck in a lose-lose situation with Don at this point. If she doesn’t break through her own Chinese Wall of business ethics, to Don it looks as if she does not care about him enough and wants him to fail. Pretty damned big leap there, Donnie, and real unfair to put Faye in that position.

image courtesy of Tom & Lorenzo

And in the end when she throws him a bone in the form of non-ketchup related Heinz, Don is very happy for the meeting.. but he also loses any remaining respect for Faye. Ugh. I mean, I never thought they were a great match to begin with, but he doesn’t need to be such a shitheel about it.

These two conflicting feelings are a fucking mess. His unrelenting thirst to be unconditionally loved and the unwillingness to actually accept unconditional love out of self-hatred means Don is probably going to be banging around for the foreseeable future. But this yearning to feel something and glimpsing it in rando beds is grounded in the very core of his character.

Meanwhile, here’s Megan saying all the right things at the right times. She even fixes the busted Clio Don hurled across the room post Glo-Coat exit call. She’s interested in the inner workings of his job and how it all works at SCDP, which Don is obvi totally into.. and they have an office bang. Megan is modern and savvy, letting him know point blank she understands this has nada to do with work (unlike Allison) and won’t have a fucking meltdown (also unlike Allison). Go girl, get it.

image courtesy of AMC

Speaking of banging, Peggy is seemingly unflappable in her post-bang lavender haze despite walking into the Lucky Strike apocalypse the next day. I guess Abe learned to put less of his foot in his mouth. She even uses her encounter with him to flavour her Playtex gloves presentation, just like Don has used his personal life in past work. Ooh la la!

“Every time something good happens, something bad happens.”

Mad Men s4e2: Christmas Comes but Once a Year

“In a nutshell, it all comes down to what I want versus what’s expected of me.”

Just about sums up life, eh? Let’s see how much of a piping hot mess Don is in this episode..

Sally runs into creeper Glen at the Christmas tree lot. Hating living in the house on Bullet Park Road without her dad there, she expresses how strange everything is; Glen can relate. He takes it into his own hands when the Francises are all out one night, trashing the house with food and junk.. save for Sally’s room, where he leaves a friendship keychain similar to the one she complimented him on at the lot. He tries to make the house as uncomfortable for everyone as it is for Sally.

personalitytest

image courtesy of Tumblr

At the office, enter Dr. Faye Miller, one of the psychologists SCDP is using for market research. In an intro with a personality test for the senior staff, Don dodges another opportunity to divulge any sort of information about himself.

A man allergic to intimacy, it’s clear that Don’s in a darker place than his usual existential loneliness.. and this is his first real Christmas sans family to boot. He ain’t handling it well; he’s hitting everything too hard. Women whom he would otherwise effortlessly charm are rebuffing his sloppy advances with ease and a touch of pity. Score one for Faye and neighbour Phoebe, I guess.

donallison_work

image courtesy of Tumblr

Allison reads out Sally’s letter to Santa (c/o Don Draper), and it’s a heartbreaking reminder of the damage the divorce has caused. She tears up at Sally’s wish to have Don there on Christmas morning, knowing that it’s not a possibility.

xmasconga

image courtesy of Huffpo

The vile Lee Garner Jr is in town, and is miffed he wasn’t invited to the SCDP Christmas party.. which now has to become an actual party much to Lane’s dismay. Faye and Don spar about how someone’s past can influence them today, a point with which Don disagrees. She aptly brings up that his celebrated Glo-Coat commercial is heavily steeped in nostalgia, a certain longing for someone’s childhood.. but not Don’s. He tries to change the conversation by asking her to dinner, and gets shot down.

Natch, he forgets his keys at the office, and Allison does him a favour by running down to the Village to let him in. It’s noteworthy that younger employees have always gossiped about Don, but it was always in the admiring from afar sense, with some sense of wonder; mimbo Joey calling him ‘pathetic’ sheds light on how trash Don is at this point in time. And I guess in an effort to feel something (or anything at all), Don comes on to Allison; she reciprocates and they have a bang on his couch. Awkward.

The next morning is nothing short of a disaster with how Don handles (and not handles) things. He goes to his rhetoric of “this never happened”, so much so that he doesn’t acknowledge anything in the least, and gives Allison her Christmas bonus of a hundy in cash. You can tell he doesn’t feel great about it as she walks out of his office, but not guilty enough to not be a prick. And plus.. you shouldn’t shit where you eat.

So Freddy Rumsen is back, and he’s dry as a bone– but Peggy is thrilled to see him and to work on Pond’s. Freddy has some comically oldschool ideas for the cold cream, whereas formerly oldschool Pegs has moved forward quite a bit. He’s focusing on the marriage aspect of Pond’s, but Peggy wants something more, something deeper that speaks to women.. women like her whose be-all end-all isn’t getting fucking married. She wants to make an ad that speaks to everyone!

peggy_desk

image courtesy of AV Club

BUT, even though her life in the office is super forward thinking and progressive she’s being weirdly old fashioned with her boyfriend Mark. Apparently they aren’t banging because she’s playing virgin.. yikes. Last I checked, she ain’t been no virgin since 1960.. maybe she’s just not so sure about the guy?

Why is Peggy dating this dolt anyway? Freddy peppers her with some absurdly old fashioned advice, firmly saying that she shouldn’t bang the guy if she wants to marry him, since he’ll never respect her.. Y I K E S.

I guess that cemented her opinion of Mark, cause she throws him a bone that night.

Maybe Allison is that gal looking to get hitched, and thought there was something deeper to her tryst with her boss.. as she stares off into space while typing, it’s hard not to feel her pain and humiliation. So uncomfortable. Don may have fucked it up with his best and most competent secretary yet.

“I don’t hate Christmas.. I hate this Christmas.”