The time Don Draper bummed a cigarette off of my buddy.

You're gonna want to read this top to bottom...

The TL;DR...

I just launched How to become the Don Draper of cold email over on Product Hunt. If you've got a second, I'd love for you to upvote the sonofabitch here or at the black button down below.

The whole story...

It's right around this time of year when I start blowing up your inbox with odd meandering personal essays before going completely radio silent for the last two weeks of December as I contemplate the human condition and question everything: my work, my existence, my happiness, etc.

Then, come January, like clockwork, I turn a year older and I return to this email newsletter, Sticky Notes, which has been the most consistent practice in my life for the past three to four years. 

So, while this uptick in production might feel a bit overwhelming to you when compared to the once-a-week newsletter you're used to receiving from me, just dog-ear these emails and come back to them over the holidays when you find yourself missing me.

Anyway, I don't have much time to write to you this morning because my adopted pitbull, June, has been an absolute hellcat. Seriously. Just to buy this 60-minute window to write this piece, I had to stuff a gym sock inside one of those Kong dog toy thingamajigs and then stuff the sock-stuffed Kong dog toy thingamajig into another gym sock and so on.

When I showed her the Frankensteinian dog toy, her eyes lit up like a speed-crazed Raccoon that had stumbled upon a trashcan filled with enough blow to give Pablo Escobar a hard-on and she became ravenous and snatched it out of the air like the little greedy land shark that she is. And, fortunately for me, she's been side-tracked ever since.

This is what you have to do if you want to be productive with a 60lb black-and-white terror that never seems to run out of energy.

Anyway, let me tell you the story I promised you about seeing Don Draper in the flesh and blood... 

A couple of months back, I was in New York City with my girl for the release of her most recent album. We were out celebrating. I was moderately drunk, sitting in a booth, taking a breather as my girl and her friends were dancing, when I looked up and saw a man that resembled Don Draper. 

It took me two or three glances at him before I realized that it was, in fact, Don Draper.

He was seated beside a good-looking woman much younger than him (but much older than eighteen) who appeared to be doing her best to not outwardly give it away that she was inwardly freaking the fuck out.

From time to time, he'd whisper something in her ear and grab her thigh and then nip at his cocktail as she whispered her response, giving the impression that this wasn't his first rodeo. 

He had a cigarette resting in his ear that reminded me of a cannon, off duty. This felt on-brand. He was grinning from ear to ear. This felt off-brand. 

Watching him exist dressed in street clothes rather than a suit and tie, left me feeling offended, even cheated, at the idea that Don Draper, The Don Draper, wasn't brooding somewhere off in a shadowy corner, chain-smoking whilst scribbling away on a cocktail napkin, thinking up the next big Lucky Strikes campaign.

Which, makes me wonder, now that I'm writing this, about the difference between movie stars and the vast majority of folks who flock to Instagram.

These days, the contrast between our physical selves and our digital selves is as stark as the contrast between actors and the characters that they play.

I'm certainly not an exception to this. I'm acting, too. A reader once wrote me and said that she would be offended if she ever laid eyes on me in person and I wasn't completely black and white. 

What a strange existence. 

Anyway, back to Don...

At some point in the night, Don looked at one of my buddies who was also partying with our entourage and motioned him to come hither.

Apparently, Don was out of cigarettes and thought my buddy looked like a smoker. His intuition was correct. My buddy was a smoker and pulled from his pocket a pack of Parliaments, loosed a cigarette and handed it to Don.

Don exchanged the new cigarette for the old cigarette in his ear, lit the old one and shelved the new one for a future smoke. 

I've made it a rule for myself to never approach celebrities (primarily because being a significant other to someone who gets approached often, I see first-hand how much this can negatively affect one's life). 

But, there was a part of me that wanted to walk up to Don Draper and tell him that even though he isn't technically Don Draper, his character in Mad Men played no small part in getting me to fall head over heels for advertising. 

Instead, I named a course after him. 

Cheers, Don. 


– Cole

P.S. I just launched How to become the Don Draper of cold email over on Product Hunt and I'd love for you to upvote the sonofabitch here or at the black button down below.

Upvote me on Product Hunt.

^^^ can we all agree that this should become the universal symbol for a ham sandwich?

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