Serious Saturday: Megan Calvet and Me

For those of you who don't want any Mad Men spoilers, please don't read the rest of this post.

Megan Calvet, one of Mad Men's fifth season's new pivotal characters, is a girl that you love or hate. Even when she first appeared in the fourth season as Don Draper's secretary, she had people bitching about her non-typical toothpaste smile while others adored her for her colorful style and sunny demeanor.

In season five, the new Mrs. Draper became a more fleshed out character. She gave Don a run for his money by NOT doing what he wanted her to do or expected of her, and what was even more surprising: he seemed to like that. But then again, what man wouldn't appreciate a girl playing a bit of a dominatrix, suggestively cleaning the floor in her underwear while telling the naughty boy to sit down since he ain't ready for her jelly?

The trouble started brewing when Megan gave voice to her doubts and frustrations. Isn't that where it always starts to go downhill? When you admit to yourself that life isn't all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows all the time? The girl turned out not to be perfect, even though all evidence seemed to say she was, for a while at least. She got depressed at work even though everything seemed to be going her way, and when Megan finally decided to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, it became increasingly obvious that this wasn't going to come as easy as her short stint as a copywriter at SCDP.

After months of struggling from rejection to rejection, being put down by her mom and having to deal with a rather questionable degree of support coming from her husband, Megan was close to giving up. Settling for less than the dream is easier than falling on your face time after time, isn't it? It might even be considered the sensible option. And when she finally reached a goal in the form of a part in a commercial, I couldn't shake the feeling that this wasn't the dream, this wasn't what she had been pining for, crying for, fighting for.

Let's cut to the chase: I relate to Megan. It's not just the superficial similarities: both of us being with an older guy who has "baggage" (and a bit of a personality), our penchant for cute dresses, being from another country than the one we currently call home, having a pale, dark haired sort of European look (she has the teeth, I have the nose), being daddy's girls, our love for a bit of light S&M or our (mostly) positive CAN DO attitude. No, it's the search.

Growing up and going through life I have always been the girl that was good at everything, had potential. Just like Megan! I set my goals, I pursue my dreams, I go places. My guy calls it luck. He sees me as the kind of girl who works hard and actually gets where she wants to be, whereas your average Joe usually ends up following a detour that doesn't necessarily get him where he aimed for. So in order to reach happiness, I just need to make up my mind about where to go and then be on my sure-to-succeeding way! But when I reach the place marked X on my map, the grass is hardly ever as green as I thought it would be. 

I instantly recognized Megan's conflicted feelings on landing the Heinz account. While this might be perceived as ungratefulness, I understood the emptiness that comes over you right after reaching a goal. Shouldn't it feel or be better? Would it have been if you had worked harder? Are you as good as you thought you were? Shouldn't it all come easier?

I remember that as a young kid I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. After giving it a bit of thought, I figured out that I was stuck. How can you know what you want to become unless you have a calling? A place that, once you reach it, will feel like the home that you never really left? The open spot in the puzzle where you will fit in like the missing jigsaw piece someone accidentally brushed under the carpet? I would just have to wait until my calling came to me.

No such place exists. All of us are forgotten jigsaw pieces whose puzzle maybe never even actually existed, except in our minds. But having an ultimate destination is one hell of a safety buoy in an insecure world. Megan is sure she will find purpose and happiness once she becomes an actress. Maybe she will. I hope she will. And in the meantime, the pursuit will keep her from losing her way. Maybe she'll simply have to keep looking until she realizes that her happiness doesn't lie in the arrival, but rather in the search.


  1. it's like looking forward to christmas and when the day actually comes it isn't that special as one imagined. I know what you mean...

  2. btw it's me nastassja from my eye ( If you're asking yourself who this crazy MC is :D

  3. I always feel that way about christmas! Except when I eat lots of really good food. Food is my happy place. And I remember you! :D

  4. I've been saving this to read when I finished the series (yesterday). I like your analysis. I'd also add that in getting the commercial the way she does, she lets Don slip into that helping/dominant role again, he respects her less, stops thinking of her as an equal, that is on the road to cheating again....

    But I love Megan. And she's Canadian. :)

  5. so sweet that you've come back to read this! I agree that something switched in Don's mind, but I still want to believe that he's changed, that he wants to make this work. Megan gets what she wants, unlike Betty who lost the Coca Cola job because of Don. I want Megan and Don to make it work! But if Don screws up, Megan will land on her feet. Unlike Betty once again.