I think back to when they closed Eigers, my family's favorite ice cream shop. My young son literally bawled, imagining California visits to Poppa and Grammy without the nightly trek to grab some one-of-a-kind Rainbow Sherbet. We all have places, things and flavors that signify "it must be California," "it must be spring," "it must be summer." They are so seemingly dependable that we rarely stop to simultaneously lament, "I must be a year older." Remember in To Kill A Mockingbird how the annual summer arrival of Dill ("I'm little but I'm old") always meant the adventures could begin for neighbors Scout and Gem? Traditions are there for a reason. They bring comfort and a sense of stability when all else may seem to be uncertain.
All this is a long way of saying I am deeply pissed to hear Mad Men won't be returning until at least 2012. Pardon the whining, but I hate lawyers and agents and networks and greedy if genius creators. I WANT MY DON DRAPER. July has come to mean a lot of lovely things, but for me, returning to the '60s and catching up with Don, Bette, Peggy, Roger and Co is right up there.
So your first question is: Can her life be so sad that this is all she has to look forward to? A good question. Clearly, I need to find something else wonderful to do on Sunday nights at 10 that have nothing to do with Jon Hamm. I consider myself pretty good at spinning to find the positive, so I am determined to think of this as an unexpected gift, a new and available hour during which to find something productive or creative to do. Though I think back on a friend once saying he had grown a beard so he could have that extra 15 minutes every day that he had wasted shaving. "The only problem," he later admitted, "was that I suddenly had 15 minutes with nothing to do." I will rise above that, maybe use the time to catch up on that hour of sleep we all just lost.
Your second question: Isn't there some other show as tantalizing and involving? Even though only a thimble-sized percentage of the population watches Mad Men, the answer is simply no. Not only is it beautifully produced, written and performed, it is great history. Not to mention that it ended on a record number of surprise notes, leaving us literally hanging on those cliffs of wonder. I know there is a pun about premature cancellation or something here, but I am too overwrought to find it.
Your final question is, of course: What if Mad Men never returns, if all this negotiating comes to naught? There is truly no positive spin, except that of the always beneficial exercise of testing one's own inner strength and endurance. If I survive this, I can survive anything. I'm not losing all perspective here. We suffer loss every day, far more serious than the disappearance of a television series. We find other ice cream shops that make their own yummy flavors. We find new mates. We find new quarterbacks. Speaking of which, a big shout out of sympathy to all those NFL fans who are looking at a potential gameless season. You too are likely mourning what you will not be watching. (Matter of fact, what are you doing that third Sunday night in July?)
I am curious what HuffPost readers would do with that extra hour.