Friday, June 28, 2013

He Said/She Said: Our Weekend Away

Even apart, we’re together. Last weekend, we both had spontaneous and separately planned mini vacations to the same small resort town, Paul with his family from Thursday to Sunday and Anya for camping from Friday to Monday, because that’s just how melded our lives are. Welcome to He Said/She Said!

Vacationing with family is always...something...but this weekend we got extra lucky with the straight up crazy being thrown our way. No amount of texting “save me!” in the world really made this okay, but we’re reunited and it feels so good. Also, ready to publish the notable quotables, because why else do we do these things if not for blog fodder? Also, we love our families. Usually.

Weekends with the family rarely end well.


My grandma is almost 93. She is deaf, mostly blind, barely able to walk, diabetic, and slightly demented. She is thus unable to care for herself, but thanks to a heaping dose of Catholic guilt, she goes back and forth between my parents’ house and my mother’s sister’s house, desperately avoiding being tucked away in “the home.” Last week my mother made the three-hour trek to my aunt’s in Small Resort Town to drop my grandma off at my aunt’s. Upon realizing that my aunt’s husband (AKA Universally-Hated Uncle) was out of town, she decided to stay for a few extra days and convinced me to drive up and visit. My aunt has a child who is six and a hyperactive Hell fiend. My mother does not often swear, but upon my arrival, I was greeted with:

MOM: Between the young one and the old one, it’s a fucking zoo.

Which accurately set the tone for the trip. Highlights include fixing the lawnmower from the at-home tune up the ever unhandy Universally-Hated Uncle attempted, listening to my grandmother’s half-assed threats of suicide (remember the Catholicism), and an in-depth discussion about my mother’s first period at my super foreign great-grandmother’s house when she was ten. Further points of amusement/contention/sadness include:

GRANDMA: Paul, while we’re alone, I wanna ask you something.
ME: Okay?
GRANDMA: How come you don’t have a girlfriend yet? I’m not being nosy or anything, but you’re old enough now that you should be looking for one!
ME: Haha...
Extra great because for awhile Grandma thought that Paul was sowing his wild oats with both Anya and Swiss Miss. We are discernibly different to her based solely on our hair color.

GRANDMA: Where’s my purse!?
MOM: We’re looking for it!
GRANDMA: I don’t see anybody moving!

GRANDMA: I didn’t bring my comb; I look like a wild (adjective as noun) from Borneo.
AUNT: Ma, it’s a casino, nobody cares!

I will close with the exchange that I can only imagine occurs biweekly:

COUSIN: Do you still love me?
AUNT: I don’t like you.
COUSIN: But do you love me!?
AUNT: Not right now.


I love my boyfriend and his family, but sometimes they kill me. The family is this insane combination of the nicest, most giving and generous people you’ll ever meet, and a pervasive and willful blindness of their white privilege that I have never before seen manifested in person. Not to mention what I would call problematic political and religious views. You’ll find yourself nodding away in sympathy as they’re telling a story, and then it takes a sudden political turn that veers into the “holy shit stop moving your head in agreement territory”. Worst case scenario, it’s fucking offensive, best case scenario there is some serious oddity going on. We decided to take a camping trip up to Small Resort Town to visit with the family, where a lovely time was had by all, minus, of course, these moments:

THE UNCLE: I guess she still wants to be a doctor. I think she should do radiology, being a radiologist is a good career for a girl that’s going to get married and have kids, you can just work Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

All you can hope for a daughter...

THE MOTHER: Oh yeah, their milkshakes are really good but I think they cook with some kind of weird oil, because last time I went there it was...not...good...digestively you know? So I would stick to the desserts.

THE FATHER: Well, we have running water in here, but it’s a limited amount, so just don’t use too much of it?
THE MOTHER: Otherwise we have to go get some and we really don’t want to do that, so maybe just use very little.
THE LIBERTARIAN: I mean, I could go get some more.
ANYA: I’ll just use the showers that are like twenty feet away?

THE UNCLE: For the past ten or fifteen years the crops haven’t been ready at quite the right time. It’s always something!
*ten minutes later*
THE UNCLE: Yeah, I mean look at this weather! Ha, global warming...right.
ANYA: *under her breath* it’s called goddamn climate change.

Tell it to this guy, asshole.

THE UNCLE: I can’t believe that they never really released his birth certificate, and it just took so long. I think we should impeach him with two weeks left in his term, just to send a message, you know? That we’re not taking this crap.

I close with an excerpt from a typical conversation:

THE MOTHER: This woman worked with me, and she was just not quite right. Like during her second wedding. Third wedding? Second wedding, third long term boyfriend? Anyway, she like couldn’t walk she was so drunk. She used to put alcohol in her coffee every morning, but she worked with kids! And her license was always getting taken away. But then I drove her sometimes because I wanted to be nice, but she was like addicted to working out. Once I was on the treadmill next to her, and her mother was having surgery and there she was at the gym! And tanning. All the men liked her, but I think she started doing cocaine too. Where was I going with this?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Impossible Trifecta

Last week, we told you about our friend Swiss Miss, who thinks she’s basically the greatest human to live in recent history. It’s not a stretch to say that if you asked her, she would tell you that she’s prettier than Natalie Portman (because who likes brunettes? ugh), she’s smarter than that one guy who studies shit in space (because who cares?), and she’s nicer than anyone else she knows or has heard of, including Mother Teresa (just because she’s a nun, it doesn’t mean she’s the kindest, most generous soul evar). Her presence is a present, and all that.

No one man can have all that power.

What Swiss Miss doesn’t understand (well...that list is actually endless but ONE thing she definitely doesn’t understand) is that no one is genuinely nice, smart, AND pretty. It just doesn’t happen. Having spent an inordinate amount of time studying this phenomena, we are here to tell you exactly why no one is really the total package. The answer is so simple, and yet elegant in the way it captures the human condition. People are not all of these things because: it is way too much work for no discernible payoff except perhaps higher attendance at your funeral.

Yes, we know, it’s upsetting. Some of you are probably either saying “but I know someone who IS all three of those things!” or “I AM the total package!”. You are all lying. Sorry, not sorry. The important thing to remember is that all of these traits involve a spectrum, personal taste, etc. What we’re saying is that everyone is just enough of each to get by in life. Or they’re delusional and confused about why they have no friends/their coworkers hate them/their relationships never work out.

So here’s our hypothesis and reasoning:

You’ve all played The Sims. You know how you can assign points on each spectrum for their personalities? So when you make your Sim a genius, you have to sacrifice points in the neatness/social aptitude/work ethic category. That shit is real life, people. But here we have only three categories, and a much wider spectrum.

Everyone has to be at least one of these things to get through life. You can be extremely beautiful in a way that appeals to the vast majority of people but not terribly intelligent or nice (Kim Kardashian), you can be a genius who is also an ugly asshole (take your pick on this one), or you can be the kind of person about whom people say “but he’s so nice” (Xander Harris). All of these people have something to rely on in their dealings with other people. They all have currency, whether it’s sexual, intellectual, or moral.

“Hmm, I know you don’t, that’s ‘cause you’re my friend. You’re my Xander-shaped friend.”

You can be two of these things, and most people are, since they’re not on the extreme end of gorgeous or saintly. We would posit that this is why old people have a reputation for being assholes. They grew up relying on pretty/smart ratio that outweighed their personality, and never adjusted once their looks faded (I already know this is totally going to happen to me, and I’m fine with it. I look forward to being a bitchy old lady who is only nice to service people and her dogs. Like the Queen, if she were nice to service people).

Some people are smart enough to function in life, fairly normal looking, and generally nice people. They have extremely evenly distributed Sims points. And they’re boring. You can think of a dozen people like this off the top of your head, because there are millions of them in the world. Other people are good looking and nice, but kind of stupid. They’re nice to people because they know they can’t get by without some intellectual assistance. Still others are smart and nice, because they’re pretty heinous looking and they can’t get away with the kind of assholery that seems to come specifically with good looks. And then there’s our combo: apparently smart and pretty enough to get through life successfully despite the distinctly dark color of our hearts/souls. Anya’s mother despairs, but until she gets uglier or dumber, she doesn’t have to be nice.

Out of all of these traits, only once is choice (which is why my mother despairs that I don’t choose to be nicer). But, for once we will follow the logic of our co-workers and say “Why put in the work when I get everything I want without doing it?”. Embrace it, people!

But if you have enough money, you can be none of these things and apparently you’re still fine.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Top 6 Looks from Mad Men S6 E13: In Care Of

And the people around the world collectively exhaled. While we are sure that Don getting “laid off” was not a surprise to everyone, but we can’t imagine that anyone out there could have predicted the act that would be the final nail in his SC&P coffin. Don’s “pitch” to Hershey led to a many a mouth agape in our viewing party, as we sat there trying to process the words that were coming out of his mouth. It’s been one hell of a ride this year, huh? Weiner and friends managed to nicely tie up many of Season 6’s storylines, while leaving us all intrigued for what’s in store for the next and final season of Mad Men.

-What the hell is Pete Campbell doing? He, admittedly, had a pretty rough episode, with both personal (his mother) and professional (Chevy) losses. But when he told Trudy he was going to California and was then absent from the SC&P Partners meeting, a gigantic red flag went up. We have no idea what his plan is, but it can’t be good. Maybe the 7th Season will go in a new direction: a California-set sitcom featuring Don and Pete as a jolly pair of pranksters who won’t let the overly-serious Ted get any work done. Maybe not.

-This takes us right to: What the hell is Don Draper doing? We’ve figured that he was going to get out of the advertising biz, one way or another, eventually, but we now have a (basically) unemployed Don and entire season to get through. Will he spend some time in sunny California (with or without Megan)? Start his own agency or get hired by another firm? Reconnect with Midge in some Village crack den? Finally get off the drink and focus all his energy on being a good Dad? Don certainly was “going down,” but it’s all up from here, right? This episode was a bit of a game changer for Don. We’re interested in his next step for the first time in a very long time.

  • DON: Los Angeles is not what you see in the movies, it’s like Detroit, with palm trees.
  • ROGER: Well you know what they say about Detroit, it’s all fun and games til they shoot you in the face. (Some things never do change)
  • SALLY: Well, I wouldn’t want to do anything immoral.
  • PETE: Honestly, I have bigger problems than this.
  • JIM: Chanel No. 5?
    PEGGY: It’s all I wear
  • TED: I told your neighbors I was a cop.
    PEGGY: You should go before they kill you.
  • CAROLINE: I’d invite him to my place for Thanksgiving, but Ralph stopped drinking and you know little Ralphie’s spastic... I think both are too much for him.
  • DON: Happy Thanksgiving, sweetheart.
  • BUD: Did they check the beaches?
    MAN ON PHONE: First of all, there are a lot of sharks.
  • MEGAN: I used to feel pity for them, but now I realize we’re all in the same boat. 
  • LOU AVERY: Going Down? 

6. Megan Steely Blue Reserve Outfit

This bottom slot was a tough spot to fill. Honorary mentions go to Trudy, Margaret, and Joan’s Snow Leopard outfit. Megan doesn’t wear a lot of a blue, which is a shame because it looks so great with her eyes, but in this episode it was the only actual color that she wore (also on her nightgown and final ensemble). Megan always takes it just a little bit too far, doesn’t she? The funky-printed blouse and leather vest combination wasn’t enough for her, she just had to throw on the scarf. Regardless of her taste level, she always looks young, hip, and wealthy, and this is no exception. Megan’s future seems to be a bit up in the air, but we’re hoping that this is not her final entry on our list of favorite looks (Well, at least one of us is!). 

5. Stan Suited Up

Man with a plan Stan look looked mighty fine in his dapper little suit. Sure, Don may have stolen Stan’s great idea to talk the partners into giving him the Californian Sunkist position, but Stan can rest easy knowing he is adorable in a tie. This brown and blue suit is still very Stan, with its patterns galore, and would also have been a great first piece for a new West Coast wardrobe. Don’t cry too much, Stan, looks like Pegs is a free woman again, maybe the two of you can finally get on the same page? Just keep on doing you, and enjoy that sandwich. Also, how nice does the newly-named SC&P logo look? 

4. Clara’s Pink & Purple Print

We can’t believe that Clara has worked for Pete for as long as she has (perhaps a crippling shopping addiction has prevented her from even thinking about getting caught applying for other jobs?), and we hope that we are able to continue to feature her fun and fresh outfits in the season to come. For whatever reason (really nice Christmas bonuses?), she seems to respect and even like Pete enough to be rooting for him to succeed. We give her a hard time, but we can't complain about the presence of Clara because she has treated us to some truly great clothes this season. This pink and purple dress may feature a bit of a busy print, but it is completely working for us. We prefer Clara with her hair up, mostly so we can focus on her jewelry, in this case those great hoop earrings. 

3. Peggy in Pants

Peggy also had a bit of a rough time this episode (Did anybody besides Joan have a good time?). Luckily for the world, when Peggy is faced with personal failures, she usually responds by focusing all of her energy on her work. This scene saw Peggy spending Thanksgiving at the office. At first we only see the top half of her outfit. We see the strong and powerful red turtleneck and the bold graphic vest. And then. AND THEN. The camera pans down to reveal a pair of motherfucking polyester pants! Peggy is at work, IN PANTS. Women’s trousers would finally become an office staple in the 70s, but leave it to our girl, Peggy, to get that much-needed trend started at SC&P. Also, can we all reflect on that Ah-mazing shot of her at Don's desk, framed EXACTLY like the one of Don every week? 

2. Joan’s Holloday with her Boys

Granted, a redhead in green isn’t exactly a revelation, but why fuck with perfection? Joan looks spectacular. She changed out of her serious suit from the partners’ meeting and let her hair down to spend her Thanksgiving holiday with the most important men in her life: her son, her son’s father, and her best friend. Who doesn’t want to spend Thanksgiving listening to “Moon River” with Joanie? Love, love, LOVE the gold peacock brooch. Roger’s gift of Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Sauce was a great touch and we also had quite the reaction to Bob Benson’s apron. Wish we could have seen Gail’s hair.

And our favorite look from the season 6 finale of Mad Men is... 

1. Peggy’s Adultery-Inducing Dress

Four screencaps of Peggy vamping it up because why not? Peggy sure has come a long way from her earliest attempts at seduction. Peggy wore this little number after Ted’s wife showed up to the office, when Peggy had a date with a finance guy. Of course, this dress was put on purely for Ted’s torture/enjoyment. Peggy knew exactly what she wanted and knew that this getup would get it for her. She was not at all surprised to see Ted at her apartment, where she would quickly accomplish her mission (leading to tragic/for the best(?) results). We appreciated Ted’s rather human reasoning of “because I don’t want anyone else to have you,” and classic Peggy locking her dangerous apartment door as they begin to undress each other.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Half Baked Schemes: More Evidence That We're Underemployed

If you haven’t figured it out by now, we have quite a bit of time on our hands. Between fulfilling our job duties and managing our social obligations, we still end up with about four days worth of time with nothing to do but express our creative genius and talk shit to each other. If you weren’t jealous of our glamorous lives before, you definitely are now, sorry about that. Despite the outlet this blog has created for us, we’re full of schemes galore. Cooking up revenge fantasies for exes, ruining weddings, scamming our way into the professional world a la Bob Benson (minus the sexual slavery), etc.

We need to get out before we get this professional.

Nefarious schemes, one and all, none of which we can actually put into action without more or less destroying our integrity, and more importantly the moral high ground we seem to possess in every situation we encounter. We’re completely unbiased in that particular judgment call, of course, it just always happens that way! Crazy.

Many’s the time Anya has said “if only my job were more demanding, I wouldn’t have so much spare brainpower to spend on scheming and manipulation. It’s appalling how many fantastically evil things I have plotted and never put into action”. Alternatively, she could become a force for good but...ha. That’s boring. No, we’re not motivated by solving societal problems where the world’s greatest minds have failed. We’re more into coming up with some truly useless plots designed to make the world in our immediate vicinity more comfortable.

“Wouldn’t it be great if they had a thing where you just never had to leave the bathtub?” That kind of thing. “You know what we need? Something to just make us fall asleep at night without thinking and wake up feeling like a human at a reasonable hour. Like a nightmare zapper.” While those things will probably never come to fruition (guess we’re stuck with ineffective dream catchers and those trays you drape over your clawfoot tub to hold your erotica and/or snacks), we do have some slightly more thoroughly baked schemes in the making.

I’ll never leave!

If you make any of  these ideas happen and somehow make a bunch of money off of them...throw us a few bones or we’ll sue your ass(es). Unless it’s the child free ones, in which case please send us an engraved invitation and a free pass for life and we’ll let it go.

Our first idea was born of our opportunistic tendencies mixed with the impeccable timing of The Libertarian’s job interview. He was trying to decide on a place in his house to have this Skype sesh, one that looked professional and didn’t expose his bunkbed/tractor lamp/
kitchen/landscape wallpaper to the world. Which we just did, yay! Smelling a chance to make a few bucks off of the millions of unemployed people, we decided to manufacture a line of boring Skype backgrounds that send the right message to interviewers. Messages like “Look at all of these books behind me, I am an Educated Person!” or “I wasn’t lying about living in the area, look at this notable landmark out my apartment window!” or “Let’s both pretend I don’t need this job, at least for the duration of the interview!” We’re open to branding ideas. (Any thoughts on names for this product?)

Or you can use them to get out of doing the job you already have.

You’ve already read about our fake engagement videos on YouTube plot, which may not be a money maker, but then again who knows? Maybe Wonderful Pistachios will give us a commercial...”Anya and Paul do it insincerely!”. Faking a relationship is a slippery slope (especially in these dark days where even your grandmother can use Facebook), but in our situation it’s hard to resist the temptation. The demographics of our office are such that while a handful of co-workers have fully grasped our asexual, opposite sex but completely platonic relationship for what it is, and understand why there is no chance it will go further, most of the others are...well...over fifty and Republicans that really like Paul and can’t imagine that he’s not chasin’ skirts. You can see why we want to fuck with these people, can’t you?

We’ve dreamt up the worst office relationship you can imagine: fights at the office, having flowers delivered from other people giving rise to fits of public sulking, jealous rage inspired by talks with co-workers, confiding in all the wrong people about our issues, mixed in with an unhealthy dose of togetherness. Most tempting of all are those emails that our co-workers far too often send to their entire address book, possibly because they don’t know exactly how to use our email system, more likely because they’re widening the passive aggressive net for “To whoever left their coffee cup in the sixth floor sink for three days”. Reading the replies to those notes is always hilarious, but we’ve cooked up some truly cringeworthy “reply all”s that would expose our “relationship” to the office in terribly confusing ways.

But we kind of have to keep our jobs so...on the back burner it all goes.

Out of all the schemes in all the stages of baked, one really stands out to us as a money maker and a lifestyle. Child. Free. Days. We think every restaurant/theme park/zoo/store/place in the world really, should have days where children are not allowed to be there. Can you imagine the bliss? The relative silence? The ability to curse without people staring you down with murder eyes for perverting their innocent children’s ears? Walking around without worrying about tripping over creatures crawling on the floor? Since we can’t legislate good parenting, can we just kick them all out for ONE DAY a week? Fine, a month? CAN YOU IMAGINE A FLIGHT THAT DOESN’T ALLOW CHILDREN? We would pay so much extra for that shit.

Keep. It.

Make it happen, internet.
Any other brilliant schemes we’re missing? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Perception vs. Reality

So, we have this friend. Let’s call her Swiss Miss. Swiss Miss played an integral role in our college experience, being a key player in some of the best and most of the worst memories from this time of our lives. We’re a little surprised that we somehow managed to go five months without sharing any anecdotes from this important character from our past (she spent a few seasons solidly in the the main cast, before the writers decided to reduce her role to special guest star), which we can only attribute to our doing our best to forget her.

Nobody’s perfect, but Swiss Miss has more than her fair share of flaws. We can look back now and (kind of) laugh about her numerous shortcomings because it is (almost) funny to look at them from afar (we can’t emphasize enough how not funny they are when living with her). By far and large, her biggest/saddest/most absurd problem is the extremely delusional disconnect between how she perceives herself and the reality of her questionable-at-best character.

You’re beautiful.

If you asked Swiss Miss to describe herself (but don’t worry, you will never have to persuade her to share her multifarious opinions with you), she would tell you that she is the full-packaged triple threat deal: pretty, smart, and nice (never mind that you can only ever, at most, maintain two of the elusive trifecta, of which Anya will tell you all about one day). Now, Swiss Miss is a pretty woman. Fine. We will give her that one. But smart? Not so much. And nice!? Girl has an ego and sense of entitlement that would cause her to fit right in with America’s Royal Family, the Kardashian Klan.

Never let fame affect what really matters.

We are all guilty of occasionally rating ourselves both higher and lower in specific areas, where a panel of experts would rank us rather differently. Maybe we’re extra harsh on the the state of our stomach fat or constantly insist that we are “such good drunks.” While this isn’t great, there is a huge difference between downplaying a weakness or playing up a strength (real or imagined) and having some kind of magical idealized version of yourself that exists ONLY IN YOUR HEAD AND HAS NEVER, EVER BEEN A REALITY.

That’s the worst thing about Swiss Miss. It’s not that she’s simply not a nice person. We’re not exceedingly genial people, but we’re also quite aware of this personality quirk (you say ‘flaw,’ we say ‘advantage,’ so... let’s meet somewhere in the middle?). The true issues arise from the fact that she operates on a level of cuntery and petty malice that even we can’t touch, all the while thinking that she is the greatest friend, daughter, roommate, sister, girlfriend, student, employee, and conscientious citizen in existence. She then spends an exorbitant amount of time lamenting on how unappreciated she is and how everyone in the universe is constantly taking advantage of her bottomless well of generosity.

Surely she’s not that bad you say. You’re just jealous because she’s got her life together (ha!) and you obviously don’t. She can’t be so bad that you have to make up a word like “cuntery” for her. FINE. You insisted. We hear you. Just keep reading.

Her deep-seated evil began in the womb, although it managed to hide itself rather successfully, not manifesting itself until Swiss Miss turned four, in what would infamously be known as “The Flower Incident” (alternative title: “Why Swiss Miss Will Never Be the Favorite”). On a lazy summer afternoon, young Swiss Miss was enjoying a snack of cookies. After finishing her reasonably-sized snack, Swiss Miss decided that she needed more. Her mother told her that she had eaten enough and that dinner would be served in another hour. Swiss Miss was unsatisfied with this answer and began to loudly protest, as children are wont to do.

While the beginning of the story may be a tale well-known to us all, this is where the plot diverges from the archetypal tantrum, fatherly intervention, and lesson learned, into something a bit... darker. Instead of screaming at her mother, running away, or throwing her toys around in a fit of rage, Swiss Miss quietly went into the living room. She climbed a chair, so that she could reach the top of the fireplace mantle. At the center of the mantle was a glass case holding a delicate dried rose that her father had given her mother on their first date. Swiss Miss took the sentimental flower out of the case and crushed it into a hundred pieces over the carpet.

Remind us again why we should have children?

Some of you might be apt to dismiss this singularly shocking and heinous behavior as “kids will be kids”. We might buy that if she hadn’t only gotten more diabolical with age. Also if she hadn’t destroyed something that she, as a four year old, knew was her mother’s most treasured possession, and purposely set out to punish her for limiting the cookie intake of a kindergartener. Therein lies Swiss Miss’s molten hot core of evil. Most of know people we dislike, or even hate. We have friends that hurt our feelings or siblings that make us seethe with white hot rage. What do we do about it? We suck it up, take a deep breathe, and dream up revenge fantasies that we never unleash in person. We type up vitriolic emails, wait twenty four hours, and delete them. We spend our lunch break bitching about the depravity, and then go back to work like professionals.

Swiss Miss does all of the former and none of the latter. Those awful, completely below the belt things you would never *actually* say to your parents/sister/boyfriend/co-worker? She lets it fly. Angry at your best friend? Sleep with her boyfriend to prove a point. Not happy with your meal at a restaurant? Steal the silverware, make a mess, don’t leave a tip, maybe even bitch at the waitress for good measure. Annoyed that your roommate has her boyfriend over too much? Stop speaking to her, stop doing household chores, and knock all of her towels off the rack.

The thing is, she honestly believes that all of that behavior is not only justified, but necessary. How do you get someone like that to look in the mirror and say “oh shit, I should change something”?

Answer: You can’t.

If you’re worried that this article applies to you, it probably doesn’t. These kind of people never let those pesky thoughts cross their minds.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Top 6 Looks from Mad Men S6 E12: The Quality of Mercy

So, who else is not looking forward to the season finale of Mad Men? That was one nerve-racking/confusing/exhausting/infuriating episode. This episode did not have us gasping (sans Ken getting shot), but instead caused grimacing with an audible oof, after the numerous lines of the emotional gut punch variety. This show has prompted a lot of different reactions in us, but seething anger is a new one. Don, dealing with a whole slew of separate issues with his wife, (ex?) mistress, and daughter, took out all of his negative energy on Ted and Peggy. After last week’s truce, it was especially difficult to watch Don maliciously manipulate Ted throughout the entire episode, and after his “help” during the St. Joseph pitch, we were completely ready to go all Duck Phillips on his ass.

The most upsetting aspect of the episode was not Don’s terrible treatment of Ted, but what Don did to Peggy and his complete objectification of her. Peggy and Don have always had a special relationship. His protégé has surprised, challenged, and supported him in a multitude of ways over the years. Don had a difficult time accepting Peggy’s need to strike out on her own (and seeing it as a product of his own success and inspirational creative abilities), and things just got messier when she was once again working with him after the merger. What started as Don needing validation that Peggy still cared for or respected him (specifically over Ted), ended in his abhorrent behavior towards her in this week’s episode, interesting titled “The Quality of Mercy.”

Was Peggy and Ted’s infatuation getting a bit out of hand? Sure. But anyone who thinks that Don’s motivation was “for the good of the company,” is a fucking moron. In the most embarrassing way possible, Don “called out” their workplace romance (because he’s never dipped into company pool, well, except for Dr. Miller, plucky Allison, and... Oh! That’s right, his current wife) hoping to finally squelch Ted’s desire for Don’s favorite toy, Peggy. She was spot on when she stormed into his office and confronted him, calling him “a monster.” Don’s fetal response tells us that he knows it’s true, but we know better than to expect any real or lasting change from him.

Pete, after failing to expose Don, decides that it might be more useful to have Bob Benson working with him (and owing him?)? We’re still completely puzzled by that scene, from start to finish. After Pete’s super weird Bob conversation, we turned to each other and said “what just happened?” Pete was burned by his failed attempt to take Don out, but his encounters with Bob have gone from strange to absolutely bizarre. It’s kind of scary to see Bob put his serious face on and stare Pete down. Poor Clara bears the brunt of it, of course.

Greet week. Onto the (less un)fun!
  • PEGGY: Don’t, uh, let the name fool ya, they’re all delicious, my friend!
    TED: They are our one dried and one fresh fruit, for a new generation!
    (Oh these accents...)
  • MEGAN (dramatically whispered): Oh my god!
  • COOPER (on Pete’s “reluctance”): Crocodile tears? How quaint.
  • BOB BENSON (en Español): This Pete Campbell is a son of a bitch! I don’t care how nice she is. He’s a snotty bastard and he’s screwing with my future!
  • DON: What’s going on in there?
    MOIRA: Someone’s having a good time.
  • BETTY: I’d rather have you do it in front of me than behind my back.
  • SALLY: My father’s never given me anything. (Especially rough on Father’s Day)


6. Sally’s Stay at Miss Porter’s

We finally get to see the place where Joanne learned to Tango (RENT, anybody? Just us?). We have to admit, we were worried for little Sally when Mandy and Millicent (honestly you’re asking for your child to become a witch naming her Millicent!) starting their hazing project. We knew she could take care of herself, but after some serious trauma last week, we were worried about what shape it would take. She’s still in school girl plaid this week, but of a shorter hem and bluer variety. She looks more modern, and fits in with the other girls at boarding school. We were happy to laugh at Mandy’s Britney Spears circa “Hit Me Baby One More Time” look, stapled hem and all. Pulling it all together by tying that knot in the front, but wearing a matching cami underneath? They’re all still babies, thank goodness.

Glen’s pin bedecked protest coat was another hilarious element to this tableau, made even better by his oh so original hippie lingo “Nice digs. I’m Glen, by the way.”. He was followed shortly by “I’m Rolo, by the way. Nice Digs.” in his douchey turtleneck and sexual predator sandals. We were so relieved to see Sally stand up for herself and put the kibosh on that hippie horror show. When Glen came out from his...entanglement with Millicent, to confront Rolo, we forgave him for most, if not all, of his past weirdness. Hooray for child hippies and preteen sluttish experimentation!

5. Peggy Rattled in a Recycled Dress

As depressing as the St. Joseph’s meeting was, Peggy looked pretty goddamn sharp. We’ve actually seen this outfit before, but were too distracted by her fantastic outerwear to comment on the suit. We love her in navy, and the turquoise accents are perfect. Anya would totally wear this to work, and not care that she looked a little too retro. It’s obvious that this is an important meeting for Peggy, and if you’re following the whole blue and green as signs of adultery theory, this look is extra significant. She and Ted had been strangely obvious in their flirtation the entire episode, and to wear those colors when we all watched Don basically out them? Another of our audible oofs.

We like Peggy in business wear, and we like the structure of her relatively new and grown up style. When she stormed into Don’s office and said “Oh, you get privacy?!”, she looked the part of a powerful and important part of the office. She is not under him anymore, in any way. Poor Peggy is just trying to get out of her dysfunctional relationship with a dysfunctional man, and in typical Don style, he can’t let her get away. He especially couldn’t lose her to a man that is in many ways the best version of himself. Ted is the “Don” of CGC, but with a moral compass that seems to function. People put up with Don’s bullshit because of his talent or charm, but Ted has it all. Peggy is the LAST person Don wants to hear that from, as probably the only woman besides Joan that Don likes and respects and hasn’t fucked. BUT HE JUST HAS TO RUIN HER DAY.

4. Betty’s Creamy Car Clothes

Betty makes a return to this list this week, in the classic Republican wife’s uniform. We noticed plaid when screencapping, and love it with the texture and the cut. Yes, it’s super boring and conservative, but skinny reblonde Betty is making it looks pretty damn good. Of COURSE this is her “my daughter’s boarding school interview” outfit. From top to bottom, Betty is showing us her campaign look, and it’s totally her. She is nothing if not a great mannequin for the total package. Seeing Betty have everything she ever wanted (on the surface, because what else has Betty ever wanted) is actually really satisfying for Anya, who loves this shallow bitch more than she should, and readily admits it. Not a hair out of place, and it’s actually nice to watch her sing Sally’s praises in front of her.

We don’t think it’s a leap to say that Betty knows something is going on with Sally, and is genuinely worried about her. We think it goes deeper than just being able to say her daughter went to Jackie Kennedy’s boarding school, she really does seem to want a connection with her daughter, and not just to get back at Megan. How did Betty (who gives Sally a cigarette, in case you had forgotten) become the good parent? As much as Sally wants to hate her mom, Don really nailed shut his own coffin last week, and if she wants any kind of relationship with either of them, she should start accepting Betty’s super weird motherhood advances. The poor woman doesn’t have the first clue how to parent, give her a break.

3. Megan’s Scarlet Letter

It’s been awhile since we last saw you around here, Megs! Luckily Megan managed to escape the terrible lighting that plagued her at the start of the episode (and the last three) and pulled it together with a great hairstyle and lovely red number. We turned to each other and said “that’s better!” as soon as we saw her pick up the phone. The skirt pattern is great, and matches the coat she wears to the movies (talk about money to burn!). She is accessorized well, wearing makeup THANK GOODNESS, and her hair is finally back to its old big and shiny ways. When we saw her wake up in the sad lacy beige number in the beginning of the episode, then stand looking at Don in the harsh morning light, we were not impressed. Another beige episode for the Draper women. Luckily, she pulled it together and reanimated herself for an early night out to watch Rosemary’s Baby.

Maybe we’re reading too much into it, but it was interesting to see Megan in such a bright red (a dramatic departure from the past few weeks) when she saw Peggy and Ted together (with her oh so subtle “oh my GOD!”), the same shade Sally was wearing last week when she saw Don and Sylvia together. Is red the adultery witness code color? Probably not, but it wasn’t a very subtle reminder. Megan’s barely repressed glee in the face of Ted and Peggy’s supposed affair reminds us how very detached she is from the reality of her own marriage. Ouch, girl.

2. Don’s Casual Cinema Clothes

In an unusual feat for the men of the show, Don is taking second place this week on our countdown, in a mock turtleneck that Paul loved from start to finish. We always seem to get a little more excited about the men’s casual clothes, perhaps having built up some kind of tolerance to caring about suits, after seeing so goddamn many of them over the course of the show. Monster he may be, but Don never finds himself stuck in bad lighting for long. This look was a much-welcomed change from the awful hangover (still drunk?) slept-in clothes the episode opened on. While we doubt that the comments and looks made by Megan, Joan, and Moira had any major effect on Don’s actions this episode, they certainly did not do anything to alleviate Don’s fucked up feelings on the situation.

1. Peggy’s Bewitching Beige

We have never enjoyed a beige look so much. Not natural fans of what is perhaps the most drab color the world has ever seen, we were as surprised as anyone that we not only loved this dress on Peggy, but we gave her the top slot this week. Ted’s hand on her waist doesn’t hurt either. Great accessorizing, girl! Honestly, it might be because Peggy was so happy until the end of this episode, but she looked like a million dollars. The cut was perfect for her, and we loved the pearly buttons, cute pocket flaps, and collar. We’ve seen that scarf before, and we like it when that sort of thing happens. It lends credibility to characters when they mix and match other pieces of “their” wardrobe.

Elizabeth Moss gets an Emmy for effort in our book, not least because she looks so goddamn happy in the screenshot Paul captured. It’s sad how jarring it is to see Peggy overjoyed. We almost feel like we missed something! Ted went home to his wife and boys at the end of the last episode...and now this? No matter how it happened, they were too happy to exist in the Mad Men world, and were riding for a fall. We hope Peggy was wrong when she told Don “you killed it.” but she probably isn’t. /sadface/ Just look at the screenshots for her beige outfit and those for her navy one. Poor Peggy’s face tightened right back up into cat lady.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Dating Survey

A few short years ago, Anya found herself single after a long period of turbulent relationship bullshittery (is there any other kind?). When she was ready to start taking applications for arm candy, Paul decided to help her out by developing a very sophisticated screening system, that would keep out the Cheating Bastards, the Never Gonna Happens, and the Don’t Waste My Times. Twas a valiant effort.

And now behold, what could be a very helpful tool in your personal life. Feel free to add your own incredibly pointed questions, it’s done wonders for Anya.


Do you pronounce your last name correctly?
Describe your penis. Does it have any quirks/faults/piercings/diseases?
Do you like Ginny Weasley?
Were you born and raised in another country?
Will your family make good in-laws?
While returning possessions to an ex, have you ever “accidently” mixed in items belonging to your current squeeze?
Do you act your age?
How many people have you slept with? / Have you slept with more people than Natalie Portman has?
Have you ever been on a daytrip to/vacationed in/owned property in Crazytown?
Are your friends lame?
Are you on any medications? Is yes, list what and why.
Do you have any pets? If so, do they hate sex?
Are you from the south?
Do you have an opinion on anything?
Where is the most exciting place you’ve traveled to?
Do you have any life goals? Do I fit into them?
Do you regularly brush your teeth?
Are you capable of communicating your thoughts/intentions/feelings?
Do you watch Fox News for any reasons other than providing laughter?
Are you willing to accept that I’m right about everything?
Do you sing? If yes, should you sing?
Are you a ginger?
Are you currently involved with anyone else?
Is your main goal in life to see as many nipples as possible?
Are you from [Hometown]?
Are you age appropriate for me?
Do we work together?
Do you subscribe to a diet that is wholly incompatible with mine? If so, can I cajole you into sharing ice cream with me anyway?
Everyone lies. Agree or disagree?
Have you ever attended a fishuneral? (A funeral for a fish). If so, how did you feel about the experience?
Do you want children?
Do you look like you would fit in with the cast of Jersey Shore?
Are you actually just trying to exploit my numerous resources?
Will you be able to cope with the fact that I generally hate humanity?

Honest to God answers that were turned in via social media (we’ve cut the blah yes’s and no’s because they’re boring):

suprisingly straight (referring to his dick. yup.)
if i tell them too (like you can boss your family into being good in-laws...once religious conservative dickheads, always religious conservative dickheads)
only if a Crazy Train runs through it (NO excuse for living in Crazy Town, sir)
y-and we limit his poontang (his cat’s...poontang.)
n fuck gingers (acceptable)
fuck [Hometown] it smells like dick cheese

Another gentleman caller:
fantastic (this is a heinous lie, also, it’s shocking how many of them will address the penis question)
n - older (acts older than his age? ha.)
nowhere really (not well traveled)
yes - probably, though that's a bit crazy to ask (YOU’RE crazy for thinking it’s crazy that I would like an idea of whether or not a relationship fits in with your long term life goals!)
yes. i am. fuck you paul. lol (this very eloquent “fuck you” sort of undermines his claims of emotional intelligence)
n - gingers scare me (funny how this works)

Even Lindsay says no to this shit.