Thursday, June 14, 2012

MEMO TO MEN: The Don Draper Syndrome

TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: On those slick Don Drapers
DATE: June 14, 2012
First, it was a little syndrome known as the Peter Pan Complex. Now, boys, I've seen so many of you begin to drop like because of a different syndrome entirely: The Don Draper Syndrome.

Yes, that right. Don Draper. Yes, the main character on the AMC hit Mad Men, a period drama about advertising executives on Madison Avenue in the 1960s. And yes, it seems like more and more of you are falling ill lately. Frankly, it's always baffled me why Don Draper would ever be the yardstick by which you measure yourself.

But there's something that's been baffling me even more lately: Why are women, myself included, seemingly unable to resist the Don Drapers of the world? Don't we know that in the long-run, the fantasy will always be 100 times better than the reality? So why is it that we hold onto that fantasy -- even in the midst of our own frustration? And let me tell you, boys, that frustration level can get pretty high sometimes.
Don Draper thinks he's invincible and invisible and will never, ever get caught, and after last weekend's season finale, I'm more confused by his behavior than ever before. The only theory I can muster, boys, is that all that smoking and drinking on the job is giving him some sort of Superman complex.

Maybe we think we can "save" the Don Drapers everywhere and help them to see their full potential. But when all is said and done, do they really want to be saved? I'm not too sure. What do you think, boys...? xoxo


  1. Don Draper is a TV character from a totally different era. If you look at the show, most of the men have a sense of entitlement when it comes to women: from Nathan propositioning Joan to Harry having sex with his friend's girlfriend in his office. I don't know very many women who fall for the Don Draper types these days. Sure, he's sexy on TV, but when it comes to choosing long-term partners and mates, I think women are much smarter than that. Give women, and men, a little more credit.

  2. Well, I do think you have a point there Melissa.

    Even in this era there are men like Don, only the modern versions.

    And women keep falling for them.... trying to cure them.. that is so true! I've seen this happening with girlfriends of mine, always falling for the ultimate handsome bad guy, and it ain't pretty...

    ♥ Mandy (MENNEPEN)

  3. Yes, Melissa....this is a TV character.....and do you actually know any men personally that are like him???? I'll bet you don't. TV is not real life. I personally think you watch waaaaay too much tv.....there's a whole wonderful world outside your door. Get out there!!! Have some real-life experiences so you can blog about something other than Mad Men, Frasier, Glee, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and all the other nonsensical tv sitcoms that you seem to immerse yourself in.

  4. This is a little off topic, but was I the only one who was disappointed in the season finale? I thought the prior episode was much better (with Joan's and Lane's decisions).

  5. I don't know what you mean. What things are the men you're talking about doing that is Don Draper-like?

  6. Need to watch Mad Men. xoxo

  7. I can say from past experience that when I would date guys who didn't seem to care about anything (the closest I've come to dating anyone Draper-esque) the appeal was that if somehow this guy who was too cool for everyone and everything fell for me, then wouldn't that mean I was just absolutely extraodrinary to have been able to keep his attention and affection? Thank God that phase came and went quickly...

  8. Women, not all but most, will at some point or another fall for a man they think needs changing. They (we) want to be "that one" that has the bewitching power to change the Don Drapers of the world. I feel it's an ego thing - If he succumbs that makes you (her, us) better than the rest. In reality, you may as well be hitting your head against a brick wall. The odds of changing a man are slim to none (slim being there are a few that have managed to achieve this. I am not one of them.)

  9. I definitely fell for a Don Draper, pre-Mad Men, and the truth is that he desperately wanted to be saved from himself. It's one of the first things he said to me, actually, and while Don pulls a lot of shit I would never tolerate with John, there are a lot of men who think they're invincible and can pull off anything. Silly boys.

  10. Second Anon -- I had a pretty good real-life experience last week when I toured my childhood hospital. Here are the links in case you missed them...

  11. Sweet Posy -- YES! I was disappointed by the finale...nothing really happened. I hope we don't have to wait another year and a half for a new season!

  12. wendy, you've got a good point. we want to be the ones to save them -- wonder if men ever feel that way toward women...

  13. I understand what you mean! Although none of them ever looked like Jon Hamm (alas) I've cared for guys in the past who were charming, even cocky...but were hollow. The guy who seems hard to get but is actually just a jerk.

    I think we all learn this lesson a little too late. How many of we ladies heard our mothers growing up saying, "Why don't you date that nice boy Bob?" "Ew Mom, Bob is just a friend!"

    Then 10 years later you're like, Why didn't I date Bob? Bob was actually nice to me and kinda cute!

    And yes, there are some men who enjoy the feeling of saving women. My own theory is it's easier to feel needed when you're doing something like lending a person money, getting them out of crazy jams, helping them with emotional problems, etc, than something simplier like needing to hear someone's voice after a bad day.


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