We can resume therapy with the gang from “Mad Men” back among us; they’re our shared past I think, a show in which that period stirs and comes once again to vivid life with the shimmery TV signal, the bright ugly knitting project thrown across the sofaback, the women in their girdles and white gloves and heavy clip-on earrings that hurt even more when you take them off and the blood rushes back into the poor pinched flesh.
Keep an eye on ten-year-old Sally, the child of divorce now, who seems to be wearing actual makeup this season, to me a sign she’ll soon be replaced with a fresh actress of the budding breasts sort since the little girl who plays Sally is only ten herself and you just know the writers are dying to grow her up some and grant her the rebellion she so richly deserves.
I’ve had my eye on Sally from the start in her short-sets, sitting cross-legged in front of the TV … and taking that Peace Offering Barbie Betty gave and throwing it out the window. My sister Nan and I did that ourselves with the dolls people gave us, the Ginny Dolls, the Tiny Tears babies made to wet from chaste openings at the base of their spines and those big-girl dolls especially with their more-than-budding breasts and their tiny waists. I didn’t see it then but watching “Mad Men” makes it clear: we didn’t want to be ladies smiling blandly and teetering in ridiculous footwear. We told people we were tomboys. We wanted something else, something we weren’t being offered. We loved only our poor kept court jester of a dog Penny and our stuffed animals, all of whom had a certain sad mute dignity; none of whom looked a thing like us.