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August 22, 2014

7 Reasons We Still Want to Be Don Draper

by Tom Conroy, posted Oct 29th 2009 5:37PM
Mad MenDon Draper used to have the world on a string.

Now, as the third season of 'Mad Men' is winding down, the world has more and more strings on him, and it seems that his carefully constructed façade may be crumbling.

Asylum recently ran an article entitled 5 Reasons Why We No Longer Want to Be Don Draper. They make some good points, but we still think there are plenty of things to envy about Don. In fact, we came up with two more than they did. The ball's in your court, Asylum.Mad MenDon Draper used to have the world on a string.

Now, as the third season of 'Mad Men' is winding down, the world has more and more strings on him, and it seems that his carefully constructed façade may be crumbling.

Asylum recently ran an article entitled 5 Reasons Why We No Longer Want to Be Don Draper. They make some good points, but we still think there are plenty of things to envy about Don. In fact, we came up with two more than they did. The ball's in your court, Asylum.

Mad Men1. He's still got it. Not only do women continue to throw themselves at him -- witness the stewardess on the flight to Baltimore and his daughter's schoolteacher -- but even guys sense his power. As soon as "the American millionaire" sat next to Betty at that outdoor café in Rome, the two locals who were hitting on her knew the game was over.
2. He can still get away with murder. He left that schoolteacher girlfriend ducking in the front seat of his car for what might have been hours, and the next time they spoke, all she wanted to say was that she was worried about him. Compare that with what happened to Joan's poor doctor husband: He started to express his doubts about his professional future, and she broke a vase on his head. Even the law is on Don's side: When Betty told her father's lawyer that Don had married her under a false identity, had been married before and was probably cheating on her, he advised her to stick with him as long as he kept providing for the family and she didn't feel physically threatened. Those are standards a man can live up to.

Mad Men3. He can break up with his mentor without getting fired. Kids, don't try this at your office. Though Don's friend Roger nurtured his early career and still outranks him at the agency, Don has spent most of season 3 either avoiding Roger or treating him with contempt. When Roger reached out to Don, Don told him that people thought he was a fool. And Don's still got a job.

4. He has a a permanent Get Out of the House Free card. All he has to say to Betty is "Hilton called" or just "Hilton," and he's gone for as long as he wants. It beats saying you're going out to hike the Appalachian Trail.

5. He's soon going to be rid of those annoying Brits. Though Don doesn't know it yet, the British parent company is planning to sell off Sterling Cooper, so that smug twit Pryce will be heading back to Blighty, and the Americans -- including Don -- can relax and resume padding their expense accounts and wasting pencils. How's that for a day at the office? If only all of us could get rid of our chief work annoyance so easily.

Mad Men6. He can cry like a man -- and he knows when to do it. When Don started weeping while looking at family photos and telling Betty about his childhood, he didn't seem weak, just sensitive about things that truly matter, and Betty responded. Apparently, if you've spent your entire marriage withholding emotion, a little goes a long way. What's more, Don was wise enough to delay the waterworks until he came to the photo of his half brother and Betty asked him about the little boy on the pony. (The little boy on the pony ... sob!)

7. He's getting a second chance. Now that Don has no more secrets with Betty (well, except for the adultery), he may be able to turn her from an enemy into an ally. As they say in criminal justice, he has the means, the motive and the opportunity to rebuild his most important relationship on a stronger foundation. While we don't envy how he got into this mess, getting out of it could be Don's first step toward filling his empty suit.

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