When I was a little girl watching Bewitched, I decided that one day I was going to own my own advertising agency. I could write copy and storyboard concepts that Darrin couldn't begin to imagine. Oh yes, I would be a generally awesome business person (with a fabulous London Fog trench coat with matching umbrella, but I digress). Then I grew up. Life got in the way, not to mention being told many times that I sure did have big dreams for such a little girl... I happened to be in my twenties at the time.
So, I was happy to read a memoir written by a woman who managed to succeed where I stumbled. Not only that, she did it a decade earlier than my attempts. I looked forward to hearing about the process, the battles, the hits and misses. Well, I got a few. The author went at this project focused on comparing her experiences to the TV show Madmen. Unfortunately for me I haven't been watching Madmen. Fortunately for me it seems that the writers follow the basic trope of standardized TV characterization so I could follow along fairly easily.
But I was expecting more. Yes, there was sex and drinking and even (gasp!) cigarette smoking. And those of us of a certain age aren't going to be shocked by the chauvinism here. I doubt any of us came through that era unscathed but frankly, Ms. Maas got through less scathed than the `average girl'. That's probably not a popular opinion, but I call `em as I see `em. And she does freely admit that she would not have survived without her housekeeper/nanny/all around extra family member who was with the family for many years. Not to mention her husband who supported her in all the best connotations of the word.
The last portion of this slim collection does deal with the myth that women can have it all. You can as long as you have plenty of help, understanding employers, and don't mind a heaping helping of daily guilt.
Maybe in another fifty years women will find a way to have it all. But for now, if you feel as if you're the only one drowning, you should read this and breathe a sigh of relief. Just make it a short sigh; dinner's not going to make itself.