I love Downton Abbey.
My husband loves Downton Abbey.
And because we talk about it all the time, my kids love Downton Abbey. (Though my son, the budding socialist, protests, “It’s not fair, their house is too big! They have too much money!” Oh, my little Branson…)
Last Friday people’s Facebook posts began to light up about being joyfully reunited with their favorite aristocrats and their servants. I knew I had found a sister in Meredith, the rockin’ blogger at Mom of the Year when she mentioned she might have a friend DVR Downton Abbey in case of a DVR fail on her part. She understood perfectly when I freaked out about my kids bedtime conflicting with the season premiere. She didn’t even virtual snort when I pondered hiring a sitter so Hubs and I could watch our show in peace.
My kind of gal.
And writing about it, even more so.
So even though I love, love, love those clothes (upstairs); I would be awestruck to walk the halls of that “house”; and why I would empty my bank account to study at the Dowager Countess Academy of the Withering Remark, life as a Downton Abbey daughter might not be all silk and roses.
1. One sexual encounter and you were ruined. Imagine a beautiful stranger throws himself at you. Maybe he’s from an exotic land and looks like something from the cover of a Harlequin romance novel. And because you are a beautiful young red-blooded Englishwoman you cannot and do not resist. And now you are a marked woman who might as well walk around with sandwich boards reading (insert lowly cockney voiceover now), “Forgive me, I am but a wanton SLUTPUPPY.”
2. Required: An MRS degree by 20. I don’t know exactly how old these girls are, but Edith seems at the most 25. And everyone (including herself) is concerned about her, as though she’s gone and bought herself a steerage ticket on Old Maid Cruise Lines. Everyone is all up in her business, because if it doesn’t happen soon, she may be headed for a cottage and a bunch of cats.
3. The Problem of mixed marriages. People got their knickers in a twist at first that William was a member of the bourgeousie (gasp!) – a lawyer! Sybil, who fell for the (gasp!) chauffeur, who was (gasp!) Irish, might as well have given her family and English tradition the finger -- or whatever hand signal the Brits do. The very idea of my marriage, in that I am black and my husband is white -- would have caused the Dowager Countess to choke, Carson to have a heart attack, and one of the lower servants to knock over a candle with a platter and burn dear Downton to ashes.
4. The food thing. I am not a big fan of meals. I prefer grazing throughout the day. This would so not work at Downton. The servants could not be bringing Lady Nibbler tidbits all day. And then, dinner was was always in full dress. Hello, did you get a load of how narrow those skirts were? Not to mention lycra-free? You’d be faced with all this rich deliciousness and not be able to chow down. Mrs. Levinson, the American grandmother who actually enjoyed her food was looked down upon as the House Piggy.
5. Getting Run Over by the Gossip Mill. Sure FB wasn’t even a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s great-grandfather’s eye, but those tongues sure were a flappin’. From Thomas and O’Brien’s big eyes, ready ears and appetite for scandal to the society ladies making sure they stayed in the know and everyone stayed in their place, you’d better mind your Ps and Qs. Or else...
6. Can we say bo-ring? Granted right now, as a mom of a 2.5 and 4 year old, I’d sell you both eyes and a kidney just to sit down for five minutes. But, My Word! Imagine having so little to do in the world. The leisure class indeed! Spending days on end reading, walking the grounds. . . maybe a stroll into the village and visiting would not work for high strung me. Just to have something to do I would chase drama like a hound on a hunt, and get my ass in huge trouble. Maybe have a fling with a footman (not Thomas!). Which means I would bring the Granthams down a golden staircase of infamy. (See above slutpuppy, mixed marriages and scandal).
So there it is, and that’s just the upstairs part. Downstairs, sheesh!
For more reasons, go straight away and check out The Mom of the Year!
And if you’re wondering what we’re doing on Sunday night in terms of our kids’ bedtime, they might just be on the couch with us. #ThankGodItsPBS