By mohnikapoor / / Like many young men, I fell in love with Don Draper at first sight. I had just returned from 9 months abroad—first living in London and then wandering around the castles of the Balkans and the near East—and was recovering from a slimy, biting stomach bug I’d caught in Istanbul. Armed with a Netflix account, I retreated into a dark basement and sat mesmerized by Don for days, like the dark, distant father of my fantasies. I fashioned myself a novelist and an essayist; I thought my attraction to Don was purely a cocktail of father issues and lust for a lost American masculinity. In fact, I even wrote a 25-page paper on the subject for my behavioral psychology class in the fall. My professor loved it, although Sarah Lawrence was the type of place where you could get away with writing a final paper about a TV show as long as you used strong enough verbs. But after spending time in marketing, I realize that I might have loved Don for his career. My job has been a series of frantic extremities; like a series of hyena cries. I’ve always loved pressure. I’ve always loved competition. A pitch dwindles from many agencies to a few, and then it’s a creative dogfight—a battle of creativity and competence. And then there’s a chance for ecstasy; that moment where you see a client imagined his brand seeping into the fabric of Americana and emerging a new shade, reborn.
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