Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Kinder, Gentler Betty Draper



I've been pondering, lately, why the kitchen is positioned in the darkest part of this house.

I've been pondering the sanity of the person who puts carpet in the mudroom and kitchen, and linoleum in the bedrooms.

I told Cory two nights back that I believe I may have lost my Mojo. I blamed the house. As I explained it to him, "I'm happy here. I'm fine. I just don't feel very creative or inspired. I'm ambivalent." (I meant that in the most "I know a blessing when I see one" sort of way.)

I am happy here. It still feels a little vacation-y. I love that we're in confined quarters. I do. But it's a little different, somehow.

I miss rolling cinnamon roll dough on my island at 1o pm. I miss living in a shell that feels like my own. I've lost the will to create. Totally lame, I know.

As fate would have it, we came upon Season 4 of Mad Men streaming on Netflix the very evening of my confessed Mojo displacement. SCORE! In no time flat, I had a brand new perspective.

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/culture_test/justin_jul23_bettydraper_post.jpg

I'm living in Betty's world. I'm living in her world if she had lived in rural Indiana. Without "Help".

For reasons I can't explain, this epiphany has caused me unending comic relief and cheer over the past two days.



I find myself thinking, "Betty would rock this hooked-to-the-wall can opener!" "She would love my gold starburst shower tile! It was probably all the rage!"

I feel compelled to dig my proper housecoat out of storage. It's true, I own a proper housecoat. I bought it at the Salvation Army a year ago because I simply loved it. It's a size XL and quilted and it snaps all the way down. You just wait 'til I find it.

I may also buy a package of those pink foam rollers.

Betty would.



Maybe I'll take up equestrienne sports. Maybe I'll meet Cory at the door with a perfect Old Fashioned in hand. Maybe I'll buy a girdle and some candy cigs. I'll have my hair set at the beauty parlor. I'll buy pinafores for Ruby and short pants for the boys. I'll throw trash out the window after a picnic. Maybe I will.

It's true, I'm the kinder, gentler, more sober, less catatonic Betty Draper.

I'll bet you had no idea.

49 comments:

  1. Love this post and season 4 of Mad Med. Wait a minute...am I the first one to post?!? Yes, yes I am.

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  2. It was only a matter of time.

    Please ask Corey to install some sort of temporary garbage disposal before you lose it completely.

    Feel free to whip up a banner for Keek's party you shan't be attending to kick your creative juices in the rear. Unless you are conspiring to attend, in which case, still feel free to make the banner. It just seems to be haunting me. Or taunting me. Either way, there's no banner in sight.

    There will be no extra charge for this advice today. None at all.

    xxoo

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  3. You have tapped in to me and hubby's guilty pleasure. There were weekends we couldn't rest until we finished a season at two in the morning. I look at my scalloped trim differently, I do ;) and yes, you are definitely a kinder, gentler Betty. There are some moments I could jump through the screen and punch her. Kindly, of course.

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  4. you stop it. you stop it right now. i am the ONLY one of my friends who is crazed for mad men. ummm. i love you 32 times more now you should know.
    i am notorious for getting into historical drama/fiction and forgetting that i don't actually reside in that time. this year alone i have gotten lost in the 1500s, the early 60s, and of course me and magnum kick it in 1983 like all the time. :)

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  5. i love that bath tile.
    also, count me in for drinks.

    and you totally have your mojo. i read it every day.
    xo

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  6. That is the best shower tile I have ever seen in all of my life.

    My Mom had a can opener JUST like that until they moved last summer. Just. Like. That.

    I don't know who Betty is, but I think you are so cool it should be illegal.

    Buy a candy cig for me too.

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  7. Thanks for making my heart smile,,,I needed that today :)

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  8. Rolllling on the floor laughing at you, Betty! well, not really on the floor, but seriously laughing! Mad Men is my fave! i have a secret (but serious) crush on Don...and Betty just needs to get happy, doesn't she?? Anyway, you rock it girl! I know you will :)

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  9. Live it up Betty!!!
    This scene is ONLY temporary. Praying for you as the curtain slowly rises on BIG exciting part 2, 6 or 10 whatever number it is of this AMAZING screen play God's got going on {as someone once said - paraphrased of course;)}!
    I do believe there's room for that apron-skirt somewheres long side of that can opener! :)

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  10. well all be darn! you are betty! that's why you're my hero.

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  11. I love quirky homes....ours is, and after some time, I have come to love every inch of it.

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  12. i loved it when they just tossed that trash after the picnic. how about when the grandpa let that 7 year old drive!

    oh how i love mad men. i hope this means season 5 is on the way.

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  13. Ok, laughing out loud over here! You go rock that housecoat and pink rollers! ;)
    Jo-Anna

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  14. Such a cute post!
    I have only seen that show once.... a little too sexy for me! (Only saw it once, maybe I got the wrong impression?)
    I had completely forgotten about those attached to the wall swing out can openers!
    You must take a pic and post on your house coat!
    xoxox
    Alison

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  15. Can I tag along when you go girdle shopping?
    Please?
    So, Mad Men, eh? Do I need to hop on the Don Draper bandwagon?
    Or should I just keep watching my FNL dvds over and over and over again?

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  16. I'm hoping you are also 'smarter" version of Betty. We watch Madmen on Netflix too. I think we'll be just caught up for when the next season begins again. It's a naughty addicition. Tsk tsk...but I completely understand.
    Dana

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  17. funny, i lose my mojo about once a week & we haven't moved in over 6 yrs. ;) but i still keep creating... just power through it!

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  18. I must say I've never watched Mad Men, nor do I know Betty, but this post made me smile, especially the photo with the gold double-oven in the background. I used to have those.

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  19. Do check out the pinnies on the Dottieangel blog, I think they would be just the ticket!

    Would it help thinking of your mojo taking a break - just recharging, like your cellphone overnight? Enjoy having a break where there is no possibility or pressure for your home to reflect your true style, aspirations, be a statement of your vibe are and what you like, because when you do have that kind of space it can become a wierd kind of pressure all its own don't you think? All that space in your head can be used to do other stuff for a while, or just be. It could well be that this only makes sense to me!;) Sorry you feel a bit bereft, i really feel for you and am glad Betty is providing some comic relief! xx

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  20. oh woman, you know i love a good old anything. if you start dressing like Betty I am going to be jealous. I have a Ma Walton housecoat. It rocks... old plaid with a braided cord belt. I look hot (with the exception of the morning band hat hair)!

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  21. I love your fresh perspective. You should definitely invite a Betty Draper over for cocktails.

    My parents moved into their brand spankin' new home back in 1965 when I was three. They chose the blue tile for the guest bath and the pink tile for the master half bath. There was that or green and Mama hates green. In a cabinet underneath the brown wall oven there was installed a ice crusher. You would fill the top with ice and turn the crank then the crushed ice would fall into a cup that you would then unscrew and put in your glass. Voila! It was the same brand as your can opener and it's all I think about when I see it. When they moved from that home in 1997 they left that ice crusher. I wonder if I visit the owners if they would let me look at it or take it with me? I miss it.

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  22. Thanks! What a great way to start the day, with a laugh!or two or three! I have some pink foam curlers if you are in need of them!

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  23. JUST started watching Mad Men, literally 5 days ago so i can see the Betty-esque picture you are painting. i've actually had the thought that i really like her kitchen...like her double oven and the nice long counter...but maybe not all that plaid.

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  24. Eight months will fly right on by, Betty. Please post some self-portraits with the housecoat. PLease. Oh, and include the candy-pink rollers. Maybe you should make that your Christmas card photo.

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  25. Everything except the girdle sounds great!

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  26. I have no idea who Betty is, but what else is new? But the bath robe and curlers would go great in your new home. I remember when my folks got a wall mounted can opener, I thought it was great, you didn't have to drag the old one out of the drawer anymore!! It was so modern!!

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  27. Don't take this the wrong way, but I can totally picture you like that. :)

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  28. Glad you are able to count your blessings!

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  29. OH Shannan, that can opener cracks. me. up. It is just like the one my mama had in the sixties. I love your Betty-esque attitude. I cited Mad Men in my post today. (Which was written before I read yours, btw.)
    I have a brown silky short gown and matching robe which I just packed to take to my daughter's this weekend...thought it would be not only modest, but a hoot to wear.
    xo, Cheryl

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  30. you crack me up! After I finish Lost I'm totally going to check it out!

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  31. I love it! - You are such a great writer.

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  32. Good LAWD!!

    You ARE a kinder, gentler and sober Betty!! Your kitchen would have been all the rage for Betty. Glad you've found a way to enjoy it!

    Will be waiting on photos of you in that housecoat! I also recommend the book "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons"- LOVED it and I believe it took place in your rental's time frame. I think it was written by Lorna Landvik. Read it in your kitchen and ENJOY!!

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  33. I am literally roaring with laughter.

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  34. That's it - I'm going to check Netflix for Mad Men. Rock on Betty.
    ~FringeGirl

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  35. Candy cigs... both lung cancer and rotten teeth!

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  36. Vaccuum in heels! I do!
    In England, the mark of kitchen sophistication in the 60s was the Caddymatic, a rocket-shaped plastic machine which was wall-mounted and DISPENSED LEAF TEA AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON!!! I know, and you all thought we were behind the times.

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  37. By the way...we ARE totally like sisters...separated by birth and states! First we both liked FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (who wouldn't?) and now MAD MEN!(except since we don't have cable, I have to get it on Netflix a season behind.) Oh well. You're just as beautiful as Betty Draper, but I bet a bit less "out of control" with her kids!

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  38. I love that show! What a great post! I've found myself living in a lot of rentals as my husband is retired Air Force. Believe me I know all about what Betty would have loved too :)

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  39. I share this with you with a warning...

    it's completely addictive. Kind of like Don Draper.

    http://www.amctv.com/madmenyourself/

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  40. haha go for it! Hey it is a vacation not having to worry about kids spilling things on the carpet. Before you know it you'll be back to home repairs and trying to keep everything just so. So put on that housecoat and exhale! Time will fly by.

    Kathy

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  41. If you're really looking for the hidden potential in your mid-century rental, you must visit retro renovation. Guaranteed to inspire your inner Betty!

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  42. I love your spin/perspective of your experience. You're so awesome. I also understand your feeling of "displacement". We've been renting for the last 4 1/2 years, working on life while trying to get into our own place. We've ended up moving 4 times over those 4 years, due to our landlords going into foreclosure & short sales. It has been SO hard for all of us, especially our kids. I just want to get into my OWN place so that we will finally have control of our lives. We were just hours away (finding out which day was our closing date on our new house) and my hubby got laid off. Ugh!

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  43. What a wonderful paradigm shift! You rock!

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  44. Must see the housecoat and curlers! :D

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