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  • Toni Anita Hull

I need to be a little more like Don Draper


I have been to two weddings since we last spoke. I also went to comedy camp (where I was awkward AF), and visited my brother. I have had approximately 1000 alcoholic beverages since then, and have gained 17lbs, but lost maybe like 8 of them. I have cried a lot. In fact, I am just coming off a solid Monday evening crying session…

In 18 days, I will be 36. I just had to borrow $900 from my brother to cover my rent (a paycheck is coming… I SWEAR!), I am going to yet another wedding alone at the end of the week, and every single person I know is either with child or is in Europe. The highlight of my day is going to 7-Eleven for my 99c iced coffee and/or diet cokes. I have vowed to get myself organized/motivated by downloading a $5 app recommended to me by a fellow camper. I have yet to complete one task on the app.

Last night, I delivered Postmates to a moderately famous person, so there’s that. But, they have yet to tip me, so there’s also that.

I lay here on my couch, thinking about how hard it is to start over. I am not sure what the next step is. I am full of doubt and anxiety. All. Of. The. Time.

Amid this angst, I have decided to re-watch Mad Men and guess what… I am almost done with the series. I am in Season 7. I actually haven’t watched Season 7 as many times as the other seasons because I would re-watch the series from the beginning every time a new season came out; hence, I don’t know if I have seen Season 7 more than once. I swear there’s a point to this Mad Men digression. And that point is: I think I need to be a little more like Don Draper.

TONI, WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

Yes, we all know that I love Jon Hamm. And yes, we all know that I think Donald Draper is a decent human being, who is a product of his shitty upbringing because I love tortured men, but hear me out here. At the beginning of Season 7, Don Draper is being pushed out by his partners because he totally blew a pitch to Hershey’s at the end of Season 6. Side note: In my humble opinion, I think talking about growing up in a brothel and the nice sex worker who would give you a Hershey bar when you brought her a dollar in change by rummaging through her clients’ pockets should have been a homerun. Anyway, Don’s being pushed out. Instead of being like, “This sucks! I’m giving up!”, you know what he does? He takes the offer to be the underling, to start basically from the bottom, writing stupid tags for evil Lou and power-hungry, Peggy. I shouldn’t say that about Pegs… I can’t blame her too much, she’s trying to just do her best and rise to the top through hard work.

So, Don is writing tags and being shit on, but he wants his agency back. Don loves advertising because I think he loves manipulating people, but damn he’s sooooo good at it. That “It’s toasted” shit was pure gold. Nobody puts Don in corner! So you know what he does? He crashes a meeting with some cigarette people, which was a total no-no because the partners pretty much told him he couldn’t talk in meetings, but Don doesn’t care about rules!! Do you think Don Draper became Don Draper by following the rules? Hells to the no. Don - aka Dick Whitman - carves his own path… forges his own river… colors outside the lines! Don gets back in at SC&P and all that jazz, and bam! It’s sold to McCann-Erickson, Don becomes rich and then makes one of the most well-known Coca-Cola commercials ever. Don Draper is a hero!**

In short, I need to be little more like Don Draper. I gotta work hard here at the bottom – write every day, hustle, and be grateful that I am here. I should not take no for answer. And I need to break the rules sometimes. Color outside those lines. Forge my river even though I may die of dysentery.

I realize that there are probably many other characters – both fictional and actual real people – I could have learned these same lessons from. But for some reason, right here… right now… it’s Donald Draper that’s penetrating my heart and soul.

Yeah, I wish he was also penetrating my vagina.

**Don Draper isn't a hero. He is a womanizing alcoholic who tends to treat people like trash. He isn't really a hero. Some may even go as far to say that he is a bad guy. But that makes me even more attracted to him. This is one of the many reasons that I am in therapy....


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