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Betty, Sally, JoAnne, Phoebe

Spoilers ahead for Mad Men season 7. Sorry.

Betty Draper died of cancer. And I don’t know how to react.

Lung cancer, of course. It was on Mother’s Day. I wasn’t especially bothered, even though it was the first Mother’s Day without my mom. I don’t miss her any more on some arbitrary day than I miss her any other time. But on Mad Men, the one that aired last night, Betty Draper got diagnosed with cancer and got ready to die. And… I don’t know what.

I don’t know why it should strike me so. Betty and my mother were very, very little alike. Betty was cold, childish, and petty from an abusive home, while Mom was warm, selfless, and strong. Betty was everything my mother was trying to escape by leaving the tiny town she grew up in and distancing herself from her own mother, who was loving but still kind of self-absorbed and small-minded. But still. But still. It’s all tied up, somehow, my mother and Betty and the women of Mad Men. A similar culture shaped her. Taught her to smoke. For everything she did to move past it, it still infected her with the constant fear that people would judge her for not being perfect. Just like Betty.

I remember how thrown I was seasons ago when Betty gained all that weight and the possibility of her having cancer then was raised. It tweaked me because of how Mom’s cancer put sixty pounds on her. Two shockingly beautiful blonde women completely physically changed by the specter of sickness. It’s stupid, but it always seemed like people as beautiful as they were had some sort of armor. To see that armor taken away showed just how vulnerable they were. So vulnerable that eventually they died. Sally’s mother and mine.

I don’t know. Sally is my mother, not Betty. My grandmother was closer to Betty-- and she died of cancer too. But now Sally has become me. I become my mother.

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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