Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursdays are Lonely Without You

Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen the final episode of Mad Men or you haven't seen any of it but plan to watch in rerun, don't read this post!

Last night I had that odd feeling that something was off, the feeling we get when perhaps we've forgotten to brush our teeth or lock the door or turn off the stove.

Or watch Mad Men.

Sadly, there's no Mad Men to watch. At least not until the reruns begin or summer 2008 gets here: the season ended last Thursday.

Wandering around the 'net, I've found a few brouhahas (0r might the plural also be brouhaha?) about Peggy's "surprise" pregnancy.

Surprise? Raise your hand if it hadn't crossed your mind. Uh-huh. That's what I thought.

For some, it wasn't the pregnancy but the fact that Peggy herself didn't seem to recognize she was with child.

TV Guide had a thread running on this; I don't know quite where it is now and don't really feel like looking it up, but for every two people who screamed implausible! Mad Men has already jumped the shark! was at least one who had a story like the two I'm about to tell.

In 1971 I worked with a woman who told me the story of her first pregnancy: she had no idea until she went into labor. She'd always had irregular periods and continued to spot during the pregnancy. She didn't gain much weight and hadn't begun to attribute it to a possible pregnancy. How did she account for all the wiggling in the belly? That I don't remember. She gave birth to a full-term child.

This one I can directly verify. Ten years ago last month my 14-year-old niece gave birth at home. Until the child arrived, her mother (my sister) had almost no idea, nor did anyone else in the family. C looked a little chunky (as did Peggy) but not nine months pregnant and my sister had even asked her once if she was pregnant. The girl denied it. In this case, it apparently wasn't full denial on the pregnant girl's part, but denial regarding dealing with it. C's doctor told my sister that these invisible pregnancies aren't all that uncommon when the pregnant girl/woman has a strong reason to deny that it's happening. The mind is an interesting, interesting thing. C's daughter A was full term and healthy despite no prenatal care, and today is a sassy, active ten year old.

In Peggy's case, she was living in an era when women just didn't know much about their bodies. She'd obtained birth control pills, but we all remember just how helpful her doctor was, don't we? And (going on fuzzy memory) I believe Peggy first slept with Pete within days of obtaining her pills.* (We are all assuming it's Pete's child, yes? If it's not, that would be jumping the shark.) Having been given no real information, Pegs probably thought those pills were magically protecting her, not knowing that they take some time to fully kick in. Recall her insistence that it was impossible.

More evidence that not only is Peggy's denial real but that her unknown-to-her pregnancy is not some impossible event: a nurse rather quickly says she'll call psych, as if this is a common occurrence.

Next summer seems so far off...

*Reading the episode 1 synopsis on the show's website, it appears it was the same day, although there's no mention whatsoever here of Peggy's actual visit to the gynocologist. Odd, since the synopsis is quite detailed otherwise.

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