Archive | November, 2010

Mad Men Me

22 Nov

Everyone loves a good theme party so when I decided it was time to officially Christen my new and temporary digs back in my hometown of Western New York, dressing ala Mad Men came to mind. Those on the invite list also had fun gathering old time wares and attitudes for a night of appropriate behavior, for the early 60s that is.

Pay attention to the details, rhinestones and pearls

Mad Men on AMC is now post the JFK assassination and headed into the throws of the Vietnam War. It was common for the Drapers and Roger Sterling’s at the time to smoke a Lucky Strike and down a Moscow Mule. Therefore, if you are going to have a Mad Men party, be sure the bar is stacked and ashtrays are abound.

Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Price

Conveniently, the styles of the early ‘60s are coming back into fashion so finding a dress, gloves and art deco costume jewelry, is easy to do. Still, thrift stores and vintage shops are the way to go. Additionally, ladies should not be too timid to beehive the hair or wear red nails and lips.

The perfect 1960s couple

Guys, fedoras are great and you can wear a skinny tie with pants and a jacket; or be one of Peggy Olson’s flacks and don the sweater vest and button down. Just make sure the pants are a little tight and on the short side.

Planning the menu is probably the most involved. From deviled eggs to pork (since not many people like lamb) kabobs, your guests will need to eat with the strong cocktails being served. It is most important the food is retro. I even turned my shrimp cocktail sauce into a Bloody Mary sauce.

Taking a break from secretarial duties and waiting on the men

Betty Draper Francis wouldn’t skimp on the details and neither should you. Make sure you have party favors for your guests to take. I made up little candy bags with retro treats, such as Blackjack, Beemans and Clove stick gum.

Martinis and other stiff drinks

Don’t hold back on the party games either, Operation, a stack of cards and even Tarot cards can be fun. The decor should also be from the past, dig out the old manual typewriter and put paper in it to record highlights and quotes from the evening. A rotary dial phone and old LPs are also must haves for a night of ‘Mad’ fun.

Oh Canada

12 Nov

Was something lost in translation or am I too old fashioned? Being a daughter of the Feminist Revolution, women my age often forget that time and biology (and every matchmaker or television therapist) proves to us over and over again, men are the hunters/the gathers and women must surrender to the bountiful harvest that only they can provide.

I recently engaged in conversation with a dashing, educated and successful Canadian man. He actually resembled my fictional dream man, Marc Darcy, European suit and all. The ink in my Bridget Jones’ diary dried up however, when I was hesitant to cross the border into Canada to meet him for coffee at a museum, yes, my little creative, artistic heart and over caffeinated self was excited to make the journey; which in fairness was half-way between us. However, that little voice in the back of my head was ever present. Traveling across any border nowadays is stressful on any seasoned globetrotter and having to answer those probing questions from border security would only give me more pause. “Why are you crossing into Ontario today . . . to meet a first date?”

After expressing my hesitation and providing other locations to meet for an equally satisfying cup of Joe, I was shocked when my northern beau said he would feel more comfortable in Canada. Well, it didn’t even warrant a response. I ceased communication. Was he not worried about my comfort? Then my imagination took over, could he not cross into the U.S.? Does he not have a passport?

Usually, these scenarios have a reasonable explanation. I studied Interpersonal Communication with some of the brightest minds in sociology and communication at New York University. During my Master’s program there, my colleagues and I were referred to as scholars. At 23 years old, I shooed away such a title. Though, as time went on, I eventually became an academic myself, and I now often refer to the theory of human nature; but also remember what my teachers taught me, “Rules cannot be proven scientific when it comes to humans interacting with one another.”

This thought process, combined with conversations with a happily married girlfriend who did the online dating thing says, “Whenever I made the initiative it was always bad – they never wanted to put any effort into dating.”

My experience, studies and cocktails in the field, can only lead me to believe that I saved time, a trip and a potential international situation.