I’m glad Betty left Don. Though if this post were about Betty, I would discuss how her very nature (read: attitude towards her kids) will keep her from being happy and loved. Already in the first episode of Season 4 we see Henry Francis slowly realizing how awful she is. I vaguely remember a dream from last night where Betty and I share a glass of wine and she shares with me her revelation: her kids are terrified of her and she hasn’t been a good mother. Perhaps I think too much about Madmen. But that’s neither here nor there.
No, today I want to talk about how Don prefers brunettes.
Let’s take a look at his lovers:
Not that Don really had feelings for this woman back in Season 1 when she was in the picture. She was nothing more than a hobby–something to occupy his time and an escape from the pressures of home and work.
Rachel Menken was a departure point for Don. In Rachel he found an intellectual equal–someone he could confide in and trust. The first point in his life–I’d wager–that he discovered that he could love and be loved. The despair he felt when she discovered his desperation (due in part to his lot in life, and in a large part due to his inability to love and accept his wife and family) was profoundly real.
Following his disastrous affair with Rachel Menken, Don went back to flirting around with the women he met. The Comedian’s Wife was just that: a woman he met who wanted him and who he could stomach sleeping with.
Barely blond? Brunette?
Regardless of hair color, Don found Joy’s free-wheeling sexuality disgusting the way Don was (and is) disgusted by Betty and her, well, Betty-ness. His sordid experience with her drove him back to the original Mrs. Don Draper, in attempt to make peace with his past and himself.
Here Don found something. Found someone. Remember when he left her in the car the night Betty confronted him about his past? Remember when they spoke the next morning and she asked him if he was alright? And he said, “Only you would ask me that.” Only her. I’m surprised and disappointed not to meet her again in the first episode of Season 4.
Instead we find Don flirting around again, and with a blond–bound and determined not to learn from his love patterns of the first three seasons as we have and destined to repeat his mistakes all over again.
Infatuation is not love, Don. Infatuation is not love. And infatuation seems to be what you find in blonds. That’s why you never loved Betty. The infatuation wore off, and you were left with a level of commitment and pressure that made you uncomfortable and unreliable.