At the beginning of last night's "Mad Men" episode, Megan Draper comes up with a big idea. After whipping up a bowl of spaghetti for Sally, who doesn't like fish, Don's new wife has a thought: She's making the spaghetti as her mom did before her, and her grandmother did before that. The scene could go back to the years of the cavemen, she says excitedly, or be adapted for a family scene on the moon.
This could work for the Heinz ad campaign, she thinks. And Don agrees. Multiple generations passing down a simple family ritual. It's a pretty picture. But all is not as it seems.
Sally's mother is nowhere to be found. Megan's mother is terribly unhappy. And Peggy's mother is horrified by a daughter who is about to embark on a life of sin.
Peggy and Joan aren't that different after all. Peggy had a child out of wedlock and hid the evidence. Joan is raising a child born from one frantic night on the street.
Peggy's father is gone. Joan's son's father (Roger) barely asks about him. And though Sally's and Megan's fathers are trying -- really, they are -- they are terribly uncomfortable with the concept of their little girls "spreading their legs and flying away."
Betty doesn't appear in the episode, but her imprint is everywhere. We know she would never approve of Sally's makeup, boots or phone calls to Glenn. And so does Sally.
The city is "dirty," Sally tells Glenn, and "I'm not your girlfriend."
Fast forward 46 years, and Peggy could be Hannah from "Girls," a somewhat awkward, insecure woman who sleeps with a man, though he's in no way giving her what she wants (love, attention, commitment, etc).
Meanwhile, Sally could be Marnie on "Girls." The beautiful, intelligent woman who's stuck in an uninspiring relationship because she doesn't fully know how to ask for what she wants.
If it were up to Don, he would be relieved if Sally became Marnie, because that would mean she hasn't become him -- sleeping around as the chess pieces continue to move about the board.
Feminists took issue when Peggy's mom said her boyfriend was "using her for practice." But 46 years later, that's an ever-present theme in "Girls," too.
Sally's ready to put on makeup. Yet she's not ready to eat the fish. So for now, Don can breathe a sigh of relief -- because his daughter hasn't yet turned into Peggy, Betty or Hannah from "Girls."
She's not Glenn's girlfriend -- for now.