Tuesday, May 8, 2012

'Mad Men' martini luncheon

As fans of the TV show "Mad Men," and the 1960s era Madison Avenue workplace excesses it chronicles, my friend Susan Triantafyllides and I hatched our plot at a recent charity event: We would have a martini lunch on a weekday just like our favorite characters from the show indulge in and see what happens.

We picked Capital Grille uptown because it had that sophisticated, classic vibe we were looking for. And, as modern party girls, we know not to drink and drive, so it was within walking distance of my work and convenient for the designated driver who chauffeured her to and from our rendezvous.

We both looked through our closets for the perfect modern "Man Men" lunch attire. She wore a twin set and pearl jewelry. I wore a black pencil skirt with a demure silk top. We felt we looked the part as we walked through the bustling restaurant filled with business people. We knew we picked the right spot when our waiter immediately asked if we would like a cocktail or martini. We both ordered vodka martinis straight up (she's a Kettle One girl, I'm Stoli through and through). I'm not going to tell you how many we had - only our waiter knows for sure.

We analyzed the most recent "Mad Men" episode. Susan loved the part where Don Draper looked down the elevator shaft into oblivion. I told her my obsession with The Beatles song "Tomorrow Never Knows" that was played at the episode's end and how to me it signifies the beginning of a new era and how Don Draper is completely uninterested in being a part of it.

Our waiter looked a little nervous when we still hadn't ordered anything to eat, so he brought us some calamari that he says was "his treat." That's waiter-speak for please, please eat some food to soak up that alcohol.

Susan and I didn't work out any major business deals. But we laughed, we talked about serious things, and we laughed some more. And we did eventually eat lunch.

Then we looked around and realized that we were the only two people left in the restaurant. She called her chauffeur and I hitched a ride because suddenly the walk back to work seemed like a long way.

Was it fun? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Maybe. Could I make it part of my work week like the characters on "Mad Men"? No way.

When I got back to my desk, I realized I needed a secretary like one from the TV show who would clear my schedule for the afternoon and not let anyone in my office so I could take a nap on my couch.

I needed a Roger Sterling to come by my office and engage me in witty banter.

Instead, an editor told me to get my copy in because it was getting late in the day.

I wasn't ready for reality, so I went on You Tube and searched for "Tomorrow Never Knows" and lost myself in the video and music for a few minutes before getting back to work. I know Don Draper wouldn't approve, but Roger Sterling would be singing along with me.


Turn off your mind relax and float down stream
It is not dying, it is not dying

Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void,
It is shining, it is shining.

Yet you may see the meaning of within
It is being, it is being

Love is all and love is everyone
It is knowing, it is knowing

And ignorance and hate mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing

But listen to the colour of your dreams
It is not leaving, it is not leaving

So play the game "Existence" to the end
Of the beginning, of the beginning