My granddaughter was telling me that you’ve been getting some flack on the Internet about being a bad mother. I haven’t seen the show that Matt Weiner (he was such a cute little boy when he lived on our block, wasn’t he?) created about your family, so I thought I drop you a line. I’ve been where you are, sister. And you should know.
I’ll never forget Sally’s birthday party when I heard you and those biddies talk about how I took walks around the neighborhood. How odd I was! Why would I want to take walks? Let me tell you something, honey: Having a moody ten-year-old and a baby is never easy, but try doing it in 1960 when you’re divorced. Try dealing with the fact all you women thought I was out to get your husbands and the husbands thought I was easy. Although Don wasn’t like that. Yes, he was a hound, but he was always polite to me. I hope that’s some small comfort for you. I know it also doesn’t help that there are no “And Don Draper was a bad father” blogs, because although he was loving and tried to be a better father than the one he had, he wasn’t there for those children. You and I both know that.
However, apparently everyone is calling you a “bad mother” Well, Peggy, just between us girls, you weren’t really Mother of the Year. Hey, I wasn’t the mother of the year either. With moody Glenn and dealing with teachers who would say “Oh, that’s right, you’re divorced.” I had to go to the liquor store a couple of times after those meetings, believe you me. We also should mention the fact that locking Sally in the closet for smoking wasn’t the smartest move in the world. I know why you did it, Betty. I know how hard it is to try to control things. You can’t control things Betty. I learned that from my very enlightened therapist forty years ago when Glenn joined a commune. I’m happy to say that Glenn left the commune and is now writing a sports column in Northern California. He’s married to a swell gal and my granddaughter Harmony visits every week.
I wouldn’t have made the same choices you made Betty. First off, marrying that grandpa husband? What’s the deal with that? If that therapist Don paid for was worth his weight in salt, he would tell you something Freudian this way comes. In addition, he works for the Rockefeller administration? I can only hope that you were there for Happy Rockefeller when they found old Nelson in bed with that bimbo colleague of his.
Here’s what I would’ve told you what to do if you wanted my opinion in 1964: You should’ve gotten a job. I know you looked down at my jewelry store job, but it got me out of myself, along with working for Kennedy. You needed to get out of the house, you should’ve worked at the local Barbizon school and teach young girls how to model. Okay, you were overdressed at that cattle call, but you still had it!
I was angry for a long time at you Betty. I’m not anymore. The life I’ve chosen for myself is a good one. I’m living in Northern California in a nice retirement community named Rossmoor. As I mentioned, Glenn is happy and was very upset about how you are depicted on television. My daughter got married two years ago to her girlfriend Jamie. They have a ten year old daughter named Mary Helen. I teach pilates and yoga at the local community college. I hope you are well. I know one thing: It’s time that mothers stop judging one another and saying we’re “bad.” It’s time we start helping each other. I wish I helped you more back then. I hope this letter helps you now.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries