Obviously that was a head fake; this weekend featured no buzz, only the gentle jackhammering sound of my air conditioner drilling itself into my brain. August and I are officially over, in case you were wondering. My bone-deep hatred of summer waited longer than usual to make its appearance this year, which had at least the illusion of personal growth to it, but now even that is dead for me. Turns out I haven't evolved at all! In fact it feels like a doubly, or perhaps even trebly (?), depressing setback that this is something I have to deal with now, on top of everything else, at this late date. I was so close to streaking straight through to autumn but was tragically struck down right at the finish line/third base/goal post/whatever. A real dream deferred.
This weekend was notable for some delicious cheese I bought at the greenmarket ("You guys knocker it out of the park!" says commenter Mike at the Valley Shepherd Creamery website, and I concur) but ultimately will go down in history as the weekend I finished watching Mad Men. Also known as the weekend that broke my heart into a million tiny pieces of sadness and joy and awe. Multiple people have remarked over the years that they were surprised I wasn't a Mad Men fan, but it takes a lot—A LOT—to get me to commit to years-long serial storytelling these days, and sadly, when enough bozos in my Twitter feed won't shut the fuck up about a thing, I feel almost honor bound to opt out just for the sake of restoring balance to the universe. It's a ridiculous and lazy non-position, I know, but usually I'm okay with that. Ridiculous and lazy are two of my best qualities.
Not this time, though. This time I stepped up thanks to the truly and utterly delightful Mad Men series at my number one favorite blog in all the world, Strawberry Fields Whatever. Every week I looked forward to LJ and Liz's Mad Men posts and would read each one happily while having no idea what they were writing about. It didn't matter at all what they were writing about, actually, but I'm glad it was Mad Men. I'm glad I was able to fall in love with Don and Peggy and Betty and Sally and Joan and Roger and Stan and even Mona and Caroline long before I even knew who these characters were. It's nice to meet the friends of friends, even though in this case literally all of these people are total strangers and many of them fictional. And Pete! God almighty Pete. (This was the same way I first fell in love with BSG, btw, back when TWoP [RIP] was still a thing and I would devour the recaps for this crazy sci-fi show I wasn't even a fan of. I'll trust pretty much anything I read if the writing is sharp and conversational yet also light on its feet. I think we all know and accept this about me by now.)
By the time the series wrapped in May I was so sad that they would never post about Mad Men again at SFW that I figured I owed a debt to them to start watching in order to understand what it was they had loved so deeply. So on Memorial Day weekend I started paying up. It took a long time to get through—longer than I expected, actually—and it was heavy, you know? It's a heavy show, no doubt about it, to the point where sometimes I would have to turn it off and go for a walk outside and think for a while. It's a show that takes some pondering. No doubt it colored my summer months and summer routine in ways I'll only come to understand in the years to come. But the best thing was reaching the end and knowing that meant I can go back and start all over again from the beginning with these people I know now and love in an even realer way, and absorb and understand it from a different perspective and be richer for the experience. Perpetual renewal, that's the lesson I learned from my epic summer journey of Mad Men.