WORDS BY ELIZABETH BARKER & LAURA JANE FAULDS, IMAGE BY JEN MAY
This spot was supposed to be Bob Benson's, but then Bob Benson had to go and RUIN EVERYTHING for EVERYONE by being a maybe-accomplice in this sketcho-boyfriend's- creepy-Pete-Campbell's-mom-getting-murdered-on-a-yacht can of worms we've recently opened up, although SHOUT-OUT TO HOW COOL THIS OUTFIT IS & ALSO I FIND IT VERY ENDEARING WHEN HE LISTENS TO SELF-HELP RECORDS IN HIS OFFICE:
I've always had a soft spot for Glen. I recently re-watched the ep from Season 1 where cool 9-year-old Glen walks in on Betty Draper peeing and then asks for a lock of her hair, and I was like "Damn, some people are just born cool"- James Dean, Keith Richards, and Glen.
Glen is one of those characters where every time he comes onscreen I get really pumped to catch up with where his creepiness levels are at and how his burgeoning sexuality is treating him and so on and so forth. He certainly delivered in Season 5, when he rocked a teen-stache and wore that chill parka to the Museum of Natural History on the day Sally first got her period. I like how Glen is always a little bit distant, disconnected from the world around him. He's an only child's only child.
But Season 6 Glen totally brought it home. I love what a neat surprise he always is- just when you think you're never gonna see Glen again, Glen reappears to remind you that he is AWESOME, all uber-politicized in his bangin' peacenik jacket. He loves a good jacket, that Glen.
I bet Glen's a Bob Dylan fan, and I bet his favorite song on the White Album is "Yer Blues," and I bet he thinks it's so cool when John Lennon shouts out "Dylan's Mr. Jones." I imagine Glen thinks very little of anyone who doesn't catch that reference. What do you think happens to Glen? Like, in the future? I was thinking it about Glen's final outcome on the subway today, and it made me very nervous. I was scared that Glen might die. But Glen probably doesn't die! I am looking at his Wiki and he was born the same year as my mom. It's nice to think of Glen being my mom's age, just being some chill twenty-something writer's cool old hippie dad somewhere. I feel like he probably ended up working for Apple computers. (LJ)
7. STAN RIZZO
Really Michael Ginsberg should have gone here, but then he went and grew that fucking mustache and I just can't. (I really hope he's lost his virginity by now, though - that kid's a firecracker.) And I actually don't have it that bad for Stan, but I'm impressed by his evolution from skeevy, pompous tormentor of Peggy to chill, handsomely bearded Peggy-ally who's also dude enough to go ahead and plant one on her when he's feeling it. Plus it was so hot when they were all on speed and Stan volunteered to do the William Tell thing and got the X-Acto knife stuck in his arm. Look at that tie! It's great enough on its own, but that 1960s-frat-boy move of wrapping a necktie around your forehead always undoes me. Apart from stuff about the Beatles, the only reason I would've liked to have been alive in the '60s is so I could've dated a guy in a frat-rock band. (Liz)
6. KEN COSGROVE
Three summers ago I was hanging out with my friend Jackadory on a patio at a bar called Sweaty Betty's here in Toronto, and there was a very adorable busser working. He looked like Kenny Cosgrove, and he was wearing a Wu-Tang t-shirt. You know, just a plain black t-shirt with a Wu-Tang logo on it. I nicknamed him "Kenny Cosgrove in a Wu-Tang t-shirt," and became obsessed with him in my head, and then Jackadory and I went back to Sweaty Betty's a few weeks later and I got her to inquire about his schedule for me, which was a really bro move of her, but then I got this really bad eye infection that haunted my life for almost half a year and I couldn't go out to bars for awhile, and then when my eye was all healed up and I could leave my house again, Kenny Cosgrove in a Wu-Tang t-shirt didn't seem to work at Sweaty Betty's anymore! Then I got over it, because what more could I really do?
So that's a big part of my loving Ken Cosgrove thing, imagining him as a present-day version of himself wearing a Wu-Tang t-shirt. 2013 Ken Cosgrove would also wear a wide-brimmed baseball cap and a slim-fitting pale pink button-up with khakis rolled up to mid-calf-length and boat shoes, and a Wu-Tang t-shirt on his days off. His co-workers and young women in line at Starbucks would probably tell him he reminded them of Macklemore, or think he was like Macklemore, and he'd know a lot about viral marketing and social media. He'd like Odd Future and the TV show Workaholics, and he'd have a Bodum, and a really hot girlfriend, and a really nice phone. You wouldn't want to like his Instagram but it would genuinely be amazing and you'd just have to hand it to him. He'd be weirdly good at photography and often hilarious. You'd just have to give him that.
REMEMBER WHEN HE TAP-DANCED? That was pretty much the best thing that ever happened. Life was so sad, for awhile there, when Kenny Cosgrove wasn't on Mad Men anymore. I feel like now that's back, I kind of take it for granted, like it's no longer possible that he'll just be ripped out of my hands and taken away, but that's a foolish way to live one's life. Who knows what kind of crazy shit Ken Cosgrove's going to get up next??? Is he going to be blind??? I am very confused as to the severity of his eye injury. I initially thought that his eyeball had literally been blasted out of his face, but it seems like nope, it's sort of minor, and now he wears an eyepatch! Which is a cool improvement for anybody. I would prefer for any given human to be wearing an eyepatch. (LJ)
5. PETE CAMPBELL
A fun thing about my life is that sometimes men who are into me tell me I remind them of Peggy Olson - it's this thing you can only notice if you've got a crush on me. One night two autumns ago I saw Don Draper and Peggy Olson on a friend date at a bar in my neighborhood, and at one point Elisabeth Moss and I walked past each other and locked eyes, and she held her gaze longer than the standard famous-person-on-normal-person gaze-holding time. It would've been cute if I'd turned it into The Parent Trap and stopped her and asked, "Excuse me, have you noticed? We look like each other." But of course I didn't say anything, I just smiled and tried to radiate as much as warmth and adoration in her direction as I possibly could.
ANYWAY MY POINT IS: I used to love this guy who resembles Pete Campbell just as much as I resemble Peggy Olson. The two traits that guy and Pete Campbell have most in common are: (1) skin tone that very closely matches their hair color (2) a voice that seems more suited to a 14-year-old than a grown man. Sometimes when Pete and Peggy are together and sharing some weird hot moment, I'm like "Oh hey - it's us," and my heart flutters a little. There hadn't been any killer Pete-Peggy moments in a while, but that scene with the two of them and Teddy Chaough getting drunk in the restaurant more than made up for lost time. The sexual tension had this easy, ebullient kind of vibe, and I was way into the stray lock of hair sweeping down over Pete's sweaty forehead. All day the next day I had the words "PETE CAMPBELL'S SEX FORELOCK" stuck in my head, and that was pretty fun.
Pete was kinda gross this season. I mean Pete Campbell's always kind of gross, and smarmy and twerpish and infuriating, but I basically love him forever. I love his affinity for exclamation: "A thing like that!" "Hell's bells, Trudy!" "You have your fingers in your ears? It's a Chip-and-Dip!" I love in the first season when he's newly married and Trudy calls him at work to ask what he wants for dinner, and he thinks for a nice dreamy moment, and then tells her, proudly: "Rib eye, in the pan, with butter. Ice cream." I love his hunting fantasy, and I love how Peggy gets turned on by it and needs to eat a ham sandwich and the biggest cherry danish afterward. I thought it was fun when he threw the roast chicken off the balcony. I like it when he wears his pajamas and I like it when he wears a sport coat. I didn't like it when he fell down the stairs. Despite all the shit he brings upon everybody else, it truly upsets me to see Pete Campbell suffer any indignity.
Obvs the best Pete moment of Season 6 was Pete getting stoned on the couch and checking out that girl in slow-motion. I took a picture of that scene and made it the wallpaper on my phone, and now when someone beautiful and exciting texts me, it's extra-beautiful and extra-exciting. I also love playing the first 23 seconds of "Piece of My Heart" super-loud and watching that moment in my mind; it's such a rush. I never listen past the first 23 seconds of "Piece of My Heart" anymore - the rest of the song's got nothing to do with Pete Campbell, so I really just don't see the point. (Liz)
4. DON DRAPER
Obviously season 6 Don was supposed to suck a bit. The writers of this television show obviously went pretty far out of their way to force us all into quitting thinking he's so cool. Like I remember reading some interview quote of Jon Hamm's where he's sounding off on how we're all missing the point by making "What would Don Draper do?" a meme instead of pitying, or maybe loathing, Don Draper for being such a fucked up sadsack, which was somewhat condescending and ungrateful of Jon Hamm, but at the same time, I get it- Jon Hamm definitely understands Don Draper better than anybody else in the world.
For the first half of Season 6, I went in for all that anti-Don business. He reminded me of a cartoon of a perverted wolf. And Sylvia was such a scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel Don Draper mistress, like "THIS IS HOW FAR HE'S FALLEN, HE CAN'T EVEN GET A SOLID MISTRESS WORKED OUT," but then I started coming around once he locked her in the hotel room for a couple of days. I know you're not supposed to, but, you know, I've known my fair share of fucking idiots I find sexually attractive in my life, and what more can you really ask of a sexually attractive fucking idiot than to let you lock him or her up in a hotel room and be your sex slave. I mean, it's not Don Draper's fault that Sylvia chose to indulge that creepy whim of his. S&M is a thing for a reason.
I also really loved the time he took a sick day and poured booze into his glass of OJ and then got drunk watching daytime TV and turned off Megan's soap opera- I appreciated how his disdain for horrible art outweighs his (maybe-)love for Megan. And it was very adorable when he did that little hand dance routine thing with his son at summer camp the day of the night he boned Betty, I kept remembering that moment at work all week and smiling to myself. It was sunny.
Mostly, though, I really loved Don in the episode where they all injected speed into their bums and then he went on a wild goose-chase through the SC&P archives looking for an ad that reminded him of how prostitues have beauty marks, and he thought he'd found the answer to everything, and it was all that mattered in the WORLD? And then he woke up the next morning, didn't care at all, and was cold to Sylvia in the elevator.
I felt that so hard. I like how Don Draper's never afraid to quit agreeing with himself. (LJ)
3. TED CHAOUGH
Here is a screencap of my desktop background. I love Ted Chaough, and loving Ted Chaough is so important to me! I think that loving Ted Chaough over Don Draper implies that you are a person who would choose good over evil.
I have this butterscotch Faber-Castell I call my Ted Chaough pen because Ted Chaough's always wearing mustard, but pens are never mustard. I loved when he tried so hard to keep up with Don Draper's drinking and then just got embarrassingly drunk and passed out, and then told Don to have a drink before the Hershey's presentation because "My father was..." and trailed off. I loved when his little son climbed off the bed and onto his back and they were perfect blond angel little monkeys- I feel like one of his sons must be named Brent. Brent, and then maybe Jason- Jason was probably a very au courant name to name your child in the 60s. I even loved when Peggy came into work looking all frazzled and gnar the morning after she stabbed her cool moustache boyfriend in the stomach and he broke up with her, all sentimentally geared up to make out with Ted in the office and then he BURNED HER SO HARD in the name of having an efficient work day/ being a good husband to Nan but then still showed up at her apartment all feelings-y a few weeks later and you had to watch her peel off his polyester turtleneck. And I just thought, "Wow, imagine loving someone so much that you'd peel off his polyester turtleneck"- it's a really beautiful amount to love someone. Oh, and then there was the time he said "Let's have a rap session about margarine"! Cute. I'm bummed that Ted and Peggy aren't together at the moment, but I am SO JAZZED for "West Coast Ted"! You can tell that Ted has probably been a big Beach Boys fan since Surfin' Safari-era and he'll obviously fit right in, palm trees and convertibles and auras and pineapple milkshakes. Ted with a tan!
Oh and his nose is fucking LEGENDARY. It's an upside-down 7. (LJ)
2. JOAN HOLLOWAY
Heather Havrilesky from Salon.com once wrote something about Joan's "ability to cast all of her needs aside for the sake of her winning narrative," and I kind of think about that every day. FUCK A WINNING NARRATIVE, I want to say to Joan, who is my girl above all other girls. I love listening to "Hey Joni" and singing it as "Hey Joanie" and pretending it's about her (as in, "Hey Joanie, put it all behind you" and "Hey Joanie, now I'll put it all behind me too"). Whenever Joan cries I automatically start crying with her - like when she finds out Don broke up with Jaguar and gets all teary and says, "I went through all that for nothing?", I got all teary too and was overwhelmed by the urge to destroy Don Draper with my bare hands (and I never get mad at Don Draper).
But wait, this is supposed to be about crushes and hotness. So yeah: Joanie is really hot! I wish it'd been me and not Roger Sterling who said that thing about how a redhead's mouth is like a dollop of strawberry jam in a glass of milk. Her Serge Gainsbourg makeout sesh this season made me smile; whoever's responsible for picking "Bonnie & Clyde" for that scene is a hero. I'm in awe of her self-possession but when she loses her temper it's glorious, like when she smashes the vase over Greg's head, or throws the model airplane at the idiot receptionist. And one of my favorite Joan moments of all time is in Season 4, when she goes off on all the loser boys and does it so coolly and calmly and they all just wither.
A lot of my favorite Mad Men moments are the ones with Joan and Don alone (like that whole Ali Khan bit from Season 5), but one thing that always trumps Joan-Don alone time is Peggy-Joan alone time. The best Peggy-Joan scene is from the finale of Season 4, after they find out Don's marrying Megan: it's these two whip-smart and tough-as-nails babes rolling their eyes about a man they're each rightfully fascinated and exasperated by, and they're both so chill and funny about it, and I want them to start a band. Joan was kind of a heel to Peggy in the Avon breakfast meeting, but whatever, she's figuring shit out. And I started off this section all worried about her, but you know what? Joan's doing fine. Who knows what the hell's going on with her and Bob Benson, but hopefully she's getting something good out of it. Hopefully Joan gets something good out of everything forever.
God, how rad is her kid gonna be?
On the last day of June I moved into a new apartment. It is across the hall from my old apartment, in my same beautiful house. It is more perfect than any in-my-head apartment my imagination ever could have conjured up, with really tight Feng Shui on top of everything. Like you can totally just feel the lightness of its perfect Feng Shui energy surrounding your face like a halo the second you walk in the front door. I'll probably post pictures of it and write about what the pictures mean sometime soon but getting myself into it would definitely be a very fatal digression for me at this point.
The only very necessary information you need to know is that I moved into a new apartment recently, which inevitably necessitated an Ikea trip.
I went to Ikea alone last Thursday, because "going to Ikea alone" sounded like a stupid-fun and very #classicLJ thing to do. The last thing anybody needs on an Ikea trip is another person's dumb opinion clogging up the inherent stress of all Ikea-related activities. Plus I just wanted to go to Ikea at the time I wanted to go to Ikea and face no time constraints once I'd arrived. I caught a cab to Ikea at 3, and then arrived at 3:45. My cab driver drove at a snail's pace. I feel like he should have been given a ticket for driving 1,000,000 miles below the speed limit. It was seriously bonkers.
Once I got to Ikea I ate Swedish meatballs at the Ikea restaurant. I hadn't eaten Swedish meatballs since I was a kid and I was quite excited about it. Things had changed, though- the lingonberry, now, is a weird liquid that comes out of a pump. When I was a kid you could see the actual individual lingonberries in the dressing. And now it came with mashed potatoes instead of boiled baby potatoes. Tragically, I didn't eat a great deal of my potatoes, since I had dinner plans that night and wanted to save space for cooler food. But the meatballs delivered entirely.
Everything about my Ikea trip was perfect. It was very pleasant and empowering to a degree that motivated me to text most people I regularly text with about how pleasant and empowering it was. I was deeply impressed by my own efficiency- I thought things through in a really REAL and honest way, and made educated decisions based on those thoughts. I feel like having another person there would have muddled up my mental clarity. Everybody else's bullshit is all up in your grill constantly and I feel legitimately confused by it on a regular basis.
I was having a killer hair & mascara day and just felt really great about the miracle of my having been born as the enthusiastic life-lover I am and all the cooooool independent energy I was obviously projecting all over Ikea and its patrons. So many basics arguing over whether to buy the 10 or 3% whimsical bathmat and I'm just breezin' on by with my mandala rug and shoe rack and 2 trash cans and napkins and fish ice cube trays and lamp and etc. Then I got to the part where it was just me alone in the big Ikea warehouse, lifting a bunch of heavy boxes into my cart, like "Oooh, Laura, you're so strong," and then once I got it all loaded up and was waiting in line to pay suddenly all of it hit me, and I couldn't help but get a little bit, or rather very, sentimental-
I started thinking about my life. I'm a woman, and I'm twenty-eight, I have a job, my job pays me good money and I live in an amazing apartment all by myself; I use the money I get from working at my job to pay for my amazing apartment, and to furnish my apartment, and it's mine. And I saw myself as I am from the outside, as an entirely self-sufficient woman who's got everything she needs, or needs nothing, and I started thinking about all the suffragettes and Peggy Olsons, and then I started to cry. It was just so wonderful, realizing that I was exactly where I was because and only because of all the women who didn't have what I have, who couldn't have it and so devoted their entire lives to fighting as hard as they did to get it for me-
They did it. I'm here and I have it. And I realized that I'm not as proud as I am grateful. (LJ)