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Watching ‘Mad Men’ Helps Our Relationship

It’s a bonding experience, and there’s whiskey involved. What could be better?

When Holly and I first started watching Mad Men -- whose new season recently premiered, for those of you who haven’t been waiting with bated (and alcohol-soaked) breath – it was purely for enjoyment. The writing, acting, cinematography – it’s all top notch. We even throw back a few Old-Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours while we watch; it’s impossible not to crave a cocktail watching them down drink after drink at work, in broad daylight. In reality, if I drank that much at work – if I drank at all at work – I’d be useless for the rest of the day. How do they do it with those three-martini lunches? Anyway, I digress.

After a while, I started to realize that our Mad Men viewing sessions started to resemble couples’ therapy sessions. The complex characters on the show – with their old-fashioned mentalities and flawed relationships – have been fodder for Holly and my discussions about life, love, commitment and betrayal.

Betty Draper Francis is Holly’s favorite character – mainly because she loves to hate her. She can’t understand Betty’s coldness for Don or the new husband, and it drives her nuts that the woman seems to hate her own children. I have to admit it gets under my skin a little when Holly tells me she’d be “anything but cold” if she were married to Don Draper. (Really, ladies, we get it but don’t need to hear about it.) But it gives me insight into Holly’s own feelings toward relationships, nurturing and even mothering – even though we’re not there yet. It also gives me an opportunity to explain the weird appeal that women like Betty have for men like me (I really can’t explain it fully, but I try. I mean, she’s hot, and she’s a challenge. Who’s with me?)

Holly says that my admiration for Peggy – the smart cookie who’s way ahead of her time and can hold her own with the boys – actually makes her more attracted to me. (It could be all the whiskey she’s drinking while I’m talking). It’s true though – while I’d love to have a fling with Betty, Peggy’s the one I’d want to be in a relationship with. Her strength, smarts and even her offbeat hotness are definitely my thing. And if it turns Holly on to hear that – or gives her a reason to feel like she made the right decision picking me (we all need a little reassurance now and then, right?), then all the better.

So, who else tuned in to see the season premiere of Mad Men? What did you think? And more importantly, are you (or do prefer) a Betty or a Peggy?

-- Jack