peggy in the year 2000 mad men
By hippie girl
Peggy just wrapped up speaking at Princeton University. The graduates adored her speech. She had fifty of them follow her afterwards to Starbucks for an autograph.
She was simply awestruck as they formed a line around her patio table as she sat nursing an iced caramel macchiatto with extra caramel.
She had those kids captivated by her words. Usually at the few college graduations she had attended (none of them her own),the kids and parents alike looked bored shitless,as an unsuspecting speaker droned on like Kevin's annoying teacher from the Wonder Years.
Peggy received a ten minute standing ovation at the end when she quipped,
" If you don't like what's being said about you, change the conversation."
She'd lifted that gem from a former boss and carried it around for years.
She had the grads in stitches with the joke about the penguin,the intern and the priest that walked into the bar. Peggy hadn't thought it was that risque, pg-13 maybe.It was innocent compared to the garbage she heard daily while working as a girl friday on Madison Avenue forty years ago.
The president of the college and several female board members were outraged,faces beet red with anger as she finished.The audience and the students were still clapping enthusiastically as Peggy was asked to exit the premises immediately.
Which was pretty much sucked for two reasons.One,was it really her fault that at least one college administrator was too idiotic and lazy to skim through her notes ? They could have told her ahead of time what had to be edited out.Peggy's assistant had only faxed it to them three separate times.
Two,she'd snuck downstairs earlier where the reception would be held and stole a peek at the terrific looking cake . The red roses on top were calling her name. Now she wouldn't get any.:(
Maybe it was Peggy's dark sense of humor or her no bs approach to life that got her into so much trouble. Or that for the past 60 years, every day had been a bad hair day.
It always seemed to be women of her social standing and age that couldn't stand Peggy. She got along with older adults and younger people ,especially the gothic ones with all the piercings. They were usually kind of shy like she had been when she was young and her dad had passed away.
Peggy wanted to say to these woman, who pointed and whispered then split up whenever she came close,
" Hey gals, we are the same woman,different packaging.We play for the same team. I marched for woman's rights all the way to Washington, too. I still don't wear a bra but probably should have for gravity's sake.Let's work together and make something beautiful! "
Before passing away from breast cancer last fall.Joan, one of Peggy's fellow partners at the ad agency for almost three decades came up with a theory. When Joan was fading she hadn't wanted to chat about the horrible things the cancer was doing to her body, or what a bummer it was she wouldn't live to see her son get married. So they talked about everything else.
" You are much too smart and intense for you own good. People,especially other women hate being showed up. That's why I always play dumb. Also with all your money ,your plaid clothes are (gasp) interesting.That is why I was so mean to you when we first started working together.I was threatened and scared you were there to take my job. "
It is so weird how relationships end up. Peggy had been one of a handful of folks who knew Joan was on her way out and not on an extended vacation in the Poconos like mostly everyone else had been told. Joan despised being pitied more than anything in the world.
Just then, Peggy made a decision not stew in a mass of self pity like she usually did. Who cared if a few politically correct strangers were mad at her. She was lucky.Most of the people from Peggy's old neighborhood were on assistance of some sort,three generations stuffed into an apartment the size of a walk - in closet. Many of them hadn't graduated high school . Quite a few couldn't read. Everyone thought she arrived when they found out Peggy poured coffee for rich guys and got to pull the mail cart.
How blessed she was that one of the execs from middle management was impressed when she described the trashcan full of lipsticked tissues as a basketful of kisses. That Americans liked the Dunkin Donuts slogan she and a team of skilled professionals came up with. She had made her life a success story and nobody could take that away from her.