Hello. Remember me? Good. Because as LHB already mentioned, WE’RE fucking BACK.
And even better for you, I am COMICALLY unemployed, which means that between searching couch cushions, sidewalks, and ornamental fountains for enough spare change to buy an iced coffee (that shit costs A LOT of pennies these days, no?) and desperately applying to ALL OF THE JOBS, I have a little extra time to bring you the sex. Potentially I could become really resentful of that time, and by extension, the blog, and start to associate its success with my joblessness, thereby initiating a brutal spiral of love and despair, turning writing about historical sex from an act of silly glee to an act of self-loathing, but whatevs.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Oh, wait, if you care about Mad Men and didn’t watch the most recent episode yet, first reconsider your dedication to exemplary serial storytelling, and then go watch it and come back. We good? Wasn’t it so sad? Okay.
Today’s li’l tale of seduction and nudie photos (YOU HEARD ME, NUDIE PHOTOS) set in 1960s London is SO RELEVANT RIGHT NOW. Because:
1. Everyone’s favorite corgi reservoir Betty Windsor has been on the throne for SIXTY years and crazies all over Albion are celebrating her DiamondJubileeFuntimeSpectacular™ by watching a bunch of boats on the Thames in a rainstorm. Also, unrelated, but did you know that they officially changed the name of Big Ben to Elizabeth Tower in honor of the DiamondJubileeFuntimeSpectacular™? Stupid. Anyway, Betty was about ten years into her reign when this scandal happened, and she lives in London, so BOOM, RELEVANCE.
2. JAF, myself, and Draperites across the world are mourning two losses this week: another season of Matt Weiner’s magnum opus will conclude (at the same fucking time as the True Blood premiere…shameful, TV schedulers, shameful) following the death of our favorite cash-strapped, bespectacled Joan-kisser, Lane Pryce. By hanging. Sad. Anyway, JAF and I felt it was only right to commemorate both tragedies with a post. Also, the 1960s is when the Mad Men show happens, and Lane is (was…oof) from London. BOOM, RELEVANCE.
3. If you’re an MRG/JAF level Draperite, you’ll see there are three other pretty convincing Mad Men parallels tucked in the story. They are meta-references, because the whole thing is sort of chronologically-contextually referential. We’re so fucking meta, and don’t you forget it. Also I’ll probably just tell you what they are. BOOM, RELEVANCE.
And after 415 words of preamble, we’re ready to begin. Classic MRG. Did you miss me?
Okay, there was once born to a Scottish millionaire and his child bride a daughter named Margaret Whigham. We’re going to call her Peggy, in the spirit of Mad Men, but she’s not like our spunky/dissatisfied copywriter. She’s totes more of a JOAN, you guys!!!!!!!!1
Peggy grew up in New York, but also spent a lot of time abroad, so that her beauty was known AROUND THE WORLD by the people who keep track of shit like that. And girlfriend knew how to use what the good lord gave her; she had “romances” with a lot of famous international playboys and other specials like Ali Khan, Glen Kidston, Martin Stillman von Brabus, Max Aitken, and the 7th Earl of Warwick. (CAN YOU SPOT THE MAD MEN REFERENCE? (of course you can, I linked it) Winner gets a virtual pat on the back. Or what the hell, a virtual BJ.)
But soon it was time for Peggy to settle down. As the child of a millionaire, it was her duty to choose a man to whom she would hand over her immense fortune regardless of her right to it, because you know, vagina. And she chose Charles Sweeny, an American golfer who was super hot. I’D SWING HIS NINE IRON, ifyouknowwhatimean. Anyway, they got married in 1933 and her wedding dress was UNREAL. Then she popped out a couple babychildren, as one does, and they stayed together for a good fourteen years, which is actually pretty respectable given the rest of Peggy’s scandalous love life.
HERE’S WHERE SHIT GETS REAL: About four years before the d-i-v-o-r-c-e (divorce), Peggy fell down an elevator shaft. (Mad Men reference/blowjay number 2!) An. elevator. shaft. She probably would have died had she not awkwardly landed where the cable attaches to the elevator car, but she still cracked her head open. YIKES. According to Wiki, the accident made her lose all sense of taste and smell (con) and also made her voraciously horny at all times (pro). LET THE SCANDAL BEGIN!
She had a bunch of high-profile affairs, usually with married men, once with a man married to Jackie O’s cousin who had access to the White House and had to quit his job after word got out about he and Peg. Then in 1951, she married Ian Douglas Campbell, the 11th Duke of Argyll. She was his third wife, which probably didn’t bode well, but she was really, really happy, saying:
“I had wealth, I had good looks. As a young woman I had been constantly photographed, written about, flattered, admired, included in the Ten Best-Dressed Women in the World list, and mentioned by Cole Porter in the words of his hit song You’re the Top. The top was what I was supposed to be. I had become a duchess and mistress of an historic castle. My daughter had married a duke. Life was apparently roses all the way.”
Listen, I never said she was modest. And actually she wasn’t in the American version of “You’re the Top,” but she was in the Anglicized version of the song when Anything Goes hit the West End. Don’t get greedy, Peggy, it looks bad on you.
Okay, so by all accounts, things are going great for sweet, humble Peggy. Until, of course, Ian slapped her with a divorce suit so hard that my boyfriend Marshall Erickson would be proud.
See, Ian had discovered a few Polaroids (third and final Mad Men meta reference/blowjay, made even more meta when we continue reading) of Lady Argyll completely nude except for her signature three-strand pearl necklace. A REAL pearl necklace, you dweebs. Not a semen one. Though he also submitted as evidence a few more photos, and these depicted Peg in the same outfit, if you will, “fellating a naked man whose face was not shown.” Fellating is a court-approved way of saying SHE WAS TOTALLY GIVING HIM A BIG OLD BLOWJAY.
And Ian also submitted a little list of dudes he was SURE his ganting (Scottish for horny, I felt it was appropriate contextually) ex-lady wore her special outfit for – 88 dudes in total. So public opinion really turned against ol’ Peggy, especially when the totally fair and impartial judge labeled her fellation-sensations as “disgusting sexual activities.” I think that maybe someone could have used a little bit of Peg’s company in his chambers, if you catch my drift. Anyway, he of course granted Mr. Campbell his divorce, saying that poor horny Peggy “was a completely promiscuous woman whose sexual appetite could only be satisfied with a number of men.”
Then times got hard (in the day-to-day struggles sense, not the penis sense) because she’d been totally publicly disgraced – she’d been a high-society woman, remember. So she was like “WELP, guess I’ll just give the people what they want” and wrote a supposedly salacious memoir which actually just ended up being a series of first world anecdotes and shameless name drops. No one bought it, so she also opened up her fancy London townhouse for paid tours. Blarg.
And it gets sadder: eventually, she was so destitute and so helpless that her kids had to put her in a nursing home, where she died in 1993 after a bad fall. Sad. And she died in penury, meaning she owed a lot of people a lot of cash. Sad sad. And she was buried next to her first husband, who was arguably the love of her life. Happy-sad, which is the worst kind of sad!
But hey, guys, don’t be any of those kinds of sad! Because some fabulous gay (I’m making that up, but it’s really the most likely scenario) wrote an opera called Powder Her Face about the last days of her life that features a totally realistic blowjay scene! Wiki calls it “voracious,” and they don’t fucking exaggerate. I don’t know if I’m sure what a voracious blowjay opera would be like, but I am sure that I want to go to there.
So this week, as we say goodbye to another season of excellent midcentury drama, let’s remember Margaret “I’m gonna call her Peggy, cause of the Mad Men show” Campbell, her bravery, her style, and her willingness to fellate fellows on film. May we never forget. United we stand. Always in our hearts.
AND HERE’S A META THING THAT I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF UNTIL JUST NOW, YOU GUYS: Her name was Peggy Campbell. Had our Peggy Olson married the father of her adopted child and the world’s biggest shit-eater Pete Campbell, that would be her name. Shh. I get it. Be quiet. Let it sink in. Shh.