Whiskey and cigarettes

My husband and I are currently halfway through Season Five of Mad Men.  The thought that we are almost at the end is filling me with great sorrow.  We discovered this show a few months ago, and have ravenously watched it from the first season, some evenings watching two or three episodes in a row.  I am bereft at the thought that we only have a few episodes to go.  I don’t know what we will do when we are finished.  I don’t remember what we did before Mad Men.  I’m adrift, people. 

I know I’m late in the game to watching this, but the writing is so fabulous.  My favourite Don Draper lines are as follows:

Bohemian guy: How do you sleep at night?
Don: On a bed made of money.

Betty’s dad: You people.  You think money is going to solve all your problems.
Don: Well, it’s going to solve THIS particular problem.

Peggy: You never say thank you!
Don: That’s what the money is for!

Oh, Don.  You mercenary rascal.  I do wonder if all the actors are required to be smokers for the show, or if they had to learn to smoke, or if they are now addicted to cigarettes because of all the smoking, or if they had to sign a waiver about cancer risks and smoking before taking on the roles.  Also, do they need to shower after work?  Because you would think they would be pretty stinky and smoky after shooting scenes.  I find myself becoming obsessed with those little details, the same way I obsess about sexy scenes: did the guy get a boner when he shot those scenes?  Or would he be too nervous to in front of the camera crew?  Is that girl really naked?  Because she looks naked.  That would be weird, to be shooting a sexy scene while naked. 

Anyone who has any acting/tv/movie knowledge, feel free to answer my questions.  Otherwise, I’m going to keep wondering.

I do remember, when I first started working, that some people smoked in their offices.  I remember a professor of mine telling me that he used to smoke while teaching.  This seems so strange now, doesn’t it, given that the last time I tried to buy a lighter – to light birthday candles with – that the grocery store I frequent does not sell them because it is illegal to sell smoking paraphernalia in a location where pharmaceuticals are also for sale.  I just wanted to buy a damn lighter for the birthday cake.  Also, if Mad Men is to be believed an accurate timepiece, and I think it is, everyone must have been drunk half the time.  I wondered aloud to my husband what whiskey tastes like, which filled him with surprise that I had never had a whiskey.  Really, is that so surprising?  Whiskey is not a huge drink for the ladies nowadays.  In any case he pulled out a bottle of whiskey – we have whiskey in the house, how or why I do not know – and I will say this: it’s nasty. 

The thing I love most about Mad Men, other than the writing and the plot and all the awesomeness, is the clothes.  I covet Megan Draper’s entire wardrobe.  I find myself mentally trying on her cute little dresses, not that I have reason to have such little dresses, but they are adorable.  The dress that she wears to sing “Zou Bisou Bisou” is especially awesome:

I think this dress would look great on me.  I suggested to my husband that I could get something similar for his office Christmas party, a statement which was met with dissention.

Sigh.  I probably don’t need to think about shopping right now anyway, since I was rearranging my dresser last weekend, and the pile of sweaters on the bed led to a tense conversation about how many black sweaters are too many black sweaters.  And that conversation was before my husband discovered the piles of sweaters on the kids’ beds, because I had run out of room on our bed.  What?  I like sweaters.  I saw this sweater today and I did NOT buy it, which feels to me like a massive display of self control:

Looking at that now, I cannot believe myself!  I didn’t buy it!  It is a perfect black sweater!  I have enormous self-restraint!  Unfortunately I have no room in my dresser.

I did really need to reorganize my dresser, apparently, since I found at the very bottom of the very bottom drawer not only my old compression stockings and the bra and panty combination I wore to my wedding, but a pair of size large maternity pantyhose.


  1. Prop cigarettes, dear girl. Observe: http://ca.askmen.com/entertainment/special_feature_500/520_imad-meni-5-things-men-should-know.html

    They aren’t addictive, because there’s no nicotine, but they are just as stinky and bad for your lungs. THOSE PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING TO BRING YOU AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE.

    • PROP cigarettes! I had no idea there were such a thing. Now. About the sex scenes…any ideas?

    • I know a lot of this stuff because Halifax has quite a busy film industry, and several of my friends work on-set. So! Most men wear “modesty socks” which is basically just what you think it is – it covers up the business. Some do not. Alexander Skarsgard famously shoots all of his naked scenes for True Blood ACTUALLY COMPLETELY FULL-ON BUCK NAKED. *fans self*

      Apparently arousal is not normally an issue, as there are just so. many. people. and lights, and the director is talking, and it’s so clinical – it’s kind of like asking if a male OB-GYN gets turned on by all the lady-parts he sees all day long. There’s a certain distance there.

      There are exceptions. Rather famously, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton got carried away while filming a sex scene once and actually had sex on set – the director sort of waved everyone out of the room for a smoke break until they were finished.

    • Sweet mother of pearl! A modesty sock! Well well well. You are a wealth of knowledge, my dear, and you can bet that I will be now thinking about modesty socks and Jon Hamm’s, um, John Ham. *fans self vigorously*

      Those Taylor-Burtons! Such scamps! I guess it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of co-stars end up having affairs, with all the steamy scenes and such. “Hey, we’re not on set! Let’s get it on!”

  2. Man do I love Mad Men. Have been totally addicted for years now and want Roger Sterling to attend every social function I have to go to with me for the rest of my life. Not the actor, the character himself. Problematic as he doesn’t actually exist. Humph.

  3. Hannah! A fount of knowledge!

    I want to like Mad Men. I love mid century modern furniture. I use to be obsessed with politics during the 60s. I like imbibing spirits. But I can’t stand that show. The characters are either mean-spirited douchebags or pathetic habitual victims. Also there are too many white people.

    I remember people smoking on planes. ON PLANES! Yikes.

  4. After twenty minutes of googling the closest I can find to the Megan Draper dress is this. You are one of 20 women on the planet who could pull off that dress. It is you destiny to buy it and wear it to your husband’s office Xmas party. DO IT!!!!!!

    • I NEED TO DO IT! I don’t know why he’s against it. It’s not like I’m going to get drunk, grab a microphone, and start my very own burlesque show. Probably not, anyway.

      I remember people smoking on planes too! How disgusting is that? “non-smoking” section my ass. It’s all recirculated air!

    • Mary Lynn says

      OMG, it IS the dress. Nan rocks.

      (Did you buy it?)

  5. I need to start watching Mad Men. I think I’d really like it.

  6. I once saw an interview with Rene Russo where she was describing filming a sex scene, and she said she put tape over her nipples with some writing on it (the name of the movie, “Tin” and “Cup”). That way, she knew that they would have to film her discreetly, because they wouldn’t want the tape to show up on the screen.

    On the other hand, I once saw an interview with Sean Young (I think) where she was saying that during the filming of sex scenes, you can’t really tell your body to just knock it off, because it feels real and yes, sometimes excitement happens.

    So I guess my net sum of knowledge comes out at zero :).

  7. I read an article with the Mad Men people and they said their cigarettes are made out of cloves. Which would smell lovely but still be disgusting to smoke I would think.

    If you buy the dress, you’ll have to sing Zhu Bisou Bisou at the party. You do realize that. It’s a requirement. 🙂


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