Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mad Men Cocktail Hour - The Highball

Good Evening Lovelies!

The Highball...oh, the Highball.  How I LOVE the Highball!  I do believe anyone who does not love the Highball has never had a Highball.  Even Port is a fan!

The Highball is simply spectacular - it was invented in the late 1800's and according to the 1949 Handbook for Hosts, is the "high priest of tall drinks"!  Now, the Highball should not be confused with highballs, meaning Highballs are highballs, but not all highballs are Highballs...(I'm pretty sure this post has already broken any record that previously existed for the most mentions of highballs in any post ever!)  What I am trying to say is that for this week's Mad Men Cocktail Hour, Bridget and I had a mixed drink called the Highball which consists of whiskey and ginger ale over ice.  It's incredibly simple (which is good because neither one of us had the energy on Monday night after the long weekend to do any cocktail research and though I'm working on it, my liquor cabinet is still somewhat pathetic) and INCREDIBLY tasty!  This is probably the first mixed drink I was ever introduced to since it is a staple for Oma and The Ladies.

If I have never mentioned The Ladies before, they consist of Oma and two of her friends.  These three women all immigrated to this country from Eastern Europe in the late '50's and have been incredibly good friends for close to 60 years!  They are hilarious and their interactions are incredible to watch.  While the other two Ladies, Reska and Vera, are sisters-in-law (something I somehow did not know until just a few years ago), all three of them have become family.  It can be said of not just The Ladies, but the families, that rooms filled with any combination of us are always full of life, laughter, schnapps, and more often that not some Highballs!

So back to our refreshment of the week!  The Highball is something specific, while highballs (not capitalized) are a class of drinks which consist of a spirit and a mixer.  Simple - no fuss, no muss!  And that's why my beloved Highball is so fantastic - I always have these two ingredients at home.  Ginger Ale is the only soda that I always have on hand...since I never drink soda, this is in the fridge in case of an upset tummy, or a cocktail emergency!  While the Highball is my highball of choice, most drinks that people refer to as mixed drinks or even cocktails are really highballs - Gin and Tonics, Vodka Sodas, Cape Codders, Screwdrivers, Greyhounds, 7 and 7's, etc. all belong to this classification of drinks.  And while this particular drink is not part of the Mad Men Cocktail Guide that the others have been selected from, it is definitely classic in its own right!

And now onto the Mad Men portion of the evening...

This week's episode was fantastic!  Unfortunately, just when things start getting really good, I realize that there are only a few more episodes left in the season...this literally happens EVERY season.  And this one is especially difficult as it also reminds me that we only have one more season after Mad Men after this.  I am overwhelmed with sadness.  Seriously.

This episode was all about the endings and beginnings of relationships.  While I really want Stan and Peggy to get together (I think they would be awesome because he could really be the one to bring a little more fun into Peggy's life), I know that most people want to see her with Ted.  And a few episodes ago, it looked like we were going to get just that.

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While we haven't seen any other personal contact between the two since, we found out this week that just because Ted has not been overt in any way that does not mean that he wasn't affected by what happened when he loses it with Peggy after a meeting.
"You touched my hand...and then you smiled.  You can't smile at me like that!  I never should have kissed you..."
"I assumed we were forgetting about that."
"Well I haven't...what an old tune - the boss in love with his protege.  Is this all me?  Because that'll help.'
"I think about it..."
"Well, we can't.  I have someone.  You have someone.  And believe me, I've considered it a lot further than that."
"I didn't know you felt this way."
"I don't want to.  That's the point."

While Peggy does not instigate the breakup, she is not sad to see Abe go after he dumps her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital after she stabs him with a makeshift harpoon (I was kind of excited about the cocktail tie-in).  I never liked Abe...I thought he was pretentious and, much like Ted, far too serious for Peggy and she does that just fine on her own.  Having an issue with and wanting to end racial profiling by police is important, but not giving any type of description to the police after you have been stabbed, which puts other people at risk is incredibly irresponsible.  Although it IS quite fitting since I don't think we've ever seen Abe get off of his soap box in the entire time we've known him.  Plus - his remarks to Peggy are super douchey.  "You're a scared person who hides behind complacency...Your activities are offensive to my every waking moment."  Well Abe, YOU'RE offensive to my every waking moment!  After that relationship is over, Peggy goes to Ted's office and tells him what happened, hoping that perhaps it would open the door for something to happen, but Ted acts as if he never told her that he was in love with her.  Then he tells her that she will find someone else and mimicks a coach trying to pump his team up before a game: "You ready to get to work?  It's Monday morning Peggy - brand new week!!!"  While he was a total ass, this is not the and for the two of them.  I'd put money on that.

As if Peggy stabbing Abe was not traumatic enough, the most talked about scene of the episode was probably Don and Betty sleeping together.  Betty's body is back, and with it, Don's interest.  After they have sex, they actually share a very poignant moment.  I feel like Don has missed the comfortable interaction of a relationship where two people know each other so well, and in that moment, his guard is down and we learn a lot about how he views sex.  He asks Betty, "What are you thinking about?  Right now."
"I'm thinking about how different you are - before and after.  I love the way you look at me when you're like this.  But then I watch it decay.  I can only hold your attention so long."
"Why is sex a definition of being close to someone?"
"I don't know, but it is for me.  It is for most people."
"It doesn't mean that much to me..."

Then Betty asks if Megan knows that about him.  When Don asks why she's bringing this up, Betty utters the most insightful words that have probably ever come out of her mouth.  "That poor girl - she doesn't know that loving you is the worst way to get to you."  The next morning, Don sees Betty at breakfast with Henry and realizes that she is, in fact, happy with her life without him and it is this that pushes him to go back to Megan and attempt to save his crumbling marriage.

The last, and perhaps most heartbreaking failed relationship is that of Roger and Joan.  When a day spent with his grandson is a colossal failure it makes Roger want to establish a relationship with Kevin (his son with Joan).  Unfortunately, Joan wants nothing to do with that, telling Roger that she can't count on him - though I disagree with that statement.  He shows up unannounced at Joan's apartment with a present for Kevin, only to find Joan getting ready to go to the beach with Bob Benson from the office.  This is one of the rare times that we see Joan in a more casual ensemble (I especially love her hair loose with a headscarf) and I think we all commented on Bob's white short shorts!

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While I LOVED Joan and Roger together, I do want to see her happy, even if that's with someone else.  I'm just not sure that Bob is worthy of our Joan.  Yes, he's been around for most of the season, but what do we really know about him?  Cute?  Yes.  Not afraid to rock the short shorts with a watch?  Yes.  Sleazy opportunist?  Most definitely.

What did you think of this episode?  While I am fascinated with the inner workings of the agency, I've become so invested in these characters and love nothing more than seeing them outside of the office environment.  Cheers Lovelies!


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