Mad Men & The "Sally Becomes a Woman" Episode

5 years ago

I'm not a Mad Men maniac, though, after being a casual viewer in the past I have watched all of this year's episodes.  I've particularly enjoyed watching Sally, since we seem to have been born in the same year.  I've had those dresses and, in the previous season, I had Sally's haircut, too.  Like Sally, I was an oldest daughter.  Like Sally, I wasn't the easiest kid.

In the '60s, there was a great emphasis (at least in the northeast) of making sure girls understood about adolescence and "Questions about Menstruation."  The Modess company would provide girls groups with pamphlets, sample sanitary napkins and belts.  It looked pretty formidable.  So from the time we were about 9, most of us had a general idea about what was going to happen to us.

It bothered me at first that Sally had a mini-meltdown over having her first period. At least she understood what was happening.  It was puzzling that she did go running to her mother rather than talking to Megan, given Sally hasn't been on good terms with her mother. But while Betty chose to give a "responsibility of womenhood" lecture, she was reasonably sympathetic to Sally's overreaction, and they did have a rare, nice mother-daughter moment

Unlike Sally, who is only about 10 or 11 when she had her first period, I was a relatively ancient 14.  Almost every girl I knew, including my younger sister, had a period before I did.  I was excited to finally have a period (which, ironically, first showed up while changing after gym class), and getting a sanitary product was no big deal.  I told my mother after school.  Mom said she was proud and gave me some sanitary napkins, whih were neither sanitary nor napkins.  I hated using them and switched to tampons almost immediately.

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