He’s Not Who He Says He is: The “Mad Men” Edition”


I’m an avid “Mad Men” fan, it’s no secret. So *SPOILER ALERT* because we’re going to talk about last night’s show. Here’s the link to the video recap if you need it…

Betty Draper, not my favorite character, — because she reminds me of my dire fear, becoming a vapid housewife with no identity outside of giving birth and yearning for male attention — finds out, after washing her husband, Don Draper‘s, clothes, that he’s got a key to a secret desk drawer in his study. What’s in the drawer? Wads of cash and a box full of old photos and documents, including a divorce decree from another Mrs. Draper that Betty’s never heard of and military dog tags of a man named Dick Whitman.

What does Betty do? Shocked, she sits at her kitchen table awaiting Don’s return to confront him about the mysterious box, except Don’s busy banging their daughter’s school teacher so he doesn’t come home.

The next morning, Don calls Betty, who’s cranky after waiting up only to replace the mysterious box in the drawer and return the key to a coat in their bedroom closet, from his office. He reminds her that she’s got trophy wife duty at a company dinner that night and is going to pick her up later, and instead of screaming, “I’ve found out about your secret life you bastard,” Betty explains her crankiness by saying, “I don’t feel well.” Don replies something like take a nap, then put on your party dress, chic.

This made me think — though as a viewer I know that Don’s real name is Dick Whitman, and the real Don Draper died in the Korean War and his widow knows all the info already, having confronted D. dizzle in season two, which is why there’s a divorce decree stuffed in that mysterious box — if I found a sketchy box in my husband’s secret stash, how would I handle it?

As a journalist, I think I’d quietly make copies of EVERYTHING in the box, meticulously research this Dick Whitman, hire a P.I. to follow Don Draper (if that is his real name) and bide my time, until I had all my cards stacked and then call or visit the original Mrs. Draper, so that when she called Don to alert him to my researching, I’d already be ready to throw down.

Then, as an angry mother of three, which Betty is, I might even go MORE violent and hire someone to knock Don around a bit, without it leading back to myself and confusing him. Because, in all honesty, I’d be extremely angry that I’ve had children and shared a life with a fraud.

But here’s the drawback…while Betty’s situation is cut and dry regarding retribution against her philandering husband, her character isn’t.

Though Betty Draper is a beautiful Grace Kelly knock-off, she’s also a not-so-bright, attention-starved housewife without much to do. She’s so bored that despite caring for an infant and two older children, with the help of her black maid Carla, that Betty finds time to teeter on the edge of an affair with a politician who flirted with her while she was nine months pregnant (WEIRDO!!!). Still, Don is bonking their daughter’s school teacher (which is about to blow up in his face), so I’m softened to Betty’s cheating but I’m not forgiving her laziness and lack of ambition outside of acquiring compliments. Woman up Betty! Do some kegel exercises!

But back to the original question: If you discovered your man wasn’t who he said he was, what would you do?


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