Stella Cretek

Mad for Donald Man

By - Sep 19th, 2008 02:52 pm
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I’m in love with Mad Men. It’s my era, the age of nipped in waists, crinoline petticoats and Merry Widow waist-cinchers, and well, yes, rubber girdles that steamed up at the drive-in movies. These were actually pure rubber and they came packaged in long tubes of silver and (I think) pink. Getting out of them was akin to wrestling with a window shade that wouldn’t roll up properly. If you lost control, you could strangle in the thing.

Fashions aside, I don’t recall ever having sex in an office, though I too slaved as a secretary, accounts payable person, and switchboard operator. It wasn’t easy walking to work in high heels, pounding forward in the Missouri heat (ice in winter), up the concrete hill, dressed to kill. My job in accounts payable (for a major corporation specializing in baked goods), meant I often opened letters of complaint from persons who found a rat turd or a fingernail, or worse, in their particular slice of bread from the ovens of Patterson Bakeries. My switchboard job involved riding the bus from Detroit to the burbs of all-Polish Hamtramck, where I smiled sweetly for my car dealership boss at Shore Chevrolet. He personified jerkiness, though I never actually saw him having sex in the office, and he didn’t drink, at least not so you’d notice. In those dim days, I paid a babysitter 50 cents per hour to take care of my little girl. The sitter rode the bus in from the dismal bowels of distressed Detroit. Always on time, she never missed a day of sitting, and even dusted my small apartment window sills which were eternally black from the stuff Detroit belched forth. Later on, I lived in a bona-fide housing project where the trashy neighbors let their kid crap on my doorstep, and threatened to slit my throat if I objected. Believe me, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

My life back then, except for two shirt-waist dresses that I alternated wearing, wasn’t at all like the fashionable lives of the denizens of Mad Men.

Where the guys in this television fluff find enough energy to be constantly performing in the sack, and/or pouring endless streams of booze into crystal glasses, is beyond me. But I love the cast, one and all. The bitchy red-headed head-secretary, Peggy the Catholic mouse and her frumpy family, and all the others sashaying about in tight skirts and tighter sweaters. The retro sets are amazing, almost like I remember things, except for the over-the-top sex and what seems like a bunch of people forever sworn to drink till they drop.

In one recent segment, there was actual attention paid to ART, specifically a Mark Rothko painting hanging in the office of the aging boss, who is some kind of great actor. The Milwaukee Art Museum has a Rothko, just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Categories: Dem Bones

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