Friday, April 19, 2013
I want to be Don Draper. No, really. I want to be Don Draper in a dress. More specifically, a floral-print, fit 'n flare number sported by the likes of Mrs. Betty (ex) Draper or a brightly colored, mod shift dress frequently worn by the current Mrs. Draper, the lovely Megan.
As you can see, I'm in love with Mad Men. In fact, with each episode I catch on Netflix, I'm becoming more and more obsessed with life at an advertising agency in the 1960s. Hey, what can I say? I was an advertising major in my former life, and the show combines my love for creativity and fashion. What more could I ask for in a TV drama series?
The only thing (well, one of the things) that bugs me about the show is the way women were treated back in that era. (The other is all the infidelity! Geez, was every married man sleeping with his secretary?!) Like I was saying, either you were a housewife, or if you worked, a secretary. Even Peggy overcame the odds when Don promoted her to a junior copywriting position. I don't mean to get up on my women's lib soapbox--in fact, I'm far from what you'd call a "feminist"; however, I do believe women should be given equal rights in the workplace.
Thankfully, things have changed since the 60s--although, it's still difficult as hell to land any job at an agency--much less, a creative job. Believe me, I'd settle for a starting position as a secretary at an ad agency any day of the week just to get my foot in the door. Little did I know how cutthroat an industry I'd chosen. Imagine my naivety as a college student with big dreams of a becoming a copywriter at a well-established ad agency in a fancy corner office with a view. To this day, I can't tell you the number of times I've scolded my mother for allowing me to choose advertising as my major. Even knowing what I know now, though, I still don't believe I would have gone any other way. I truly have a passion for all things creative.
I'm sure the TV show glamorizes life at an agency. I mean, who really drinks bourbon at 9:30 a.m.?! Ad men in that era drank on the job, smoked a couple packs a day, took long lunches to wine and dine clients, and then left the office early on occasion with no one to answer to for doing so. What a life! No wonder they could crank out amazing creative for account after account. Of course, they probably all have lung cancer and saddlebags for faces by now.
In reality, or at least today's reality, (from what I hear) agency life is some serious hard work. It's all about deadlines, writing and then re-writing (and re-writing again) to please the client. It's many late nights and lots of weekends. You practically sell your soul when you commit your life to an agency. But how exciting to do something everyday that you love and that you're truly good at.
While I'm thankful to have a current position as a copywriter for a large retail company, I still long for a creative, agency job. I guess I need someone like Roger Sterling to give me a chance to prove myself. So if anyone reading this blog has connections (wink wink), hook a girl up! In the meantime, I'll just continue to dress in vintage-style clothing and head off to my office job in a 6x6' cubicle everyday with dreams of someday making it to the big leagues as a MAD WoMAN.