Why this mom dreams of Downton Abbey


Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m hooked on Downton Abbey.

Now that the wait is over and Season Two is finally here, I’m one excited gal. This show has everything I like in a costume drama.  Gorgeous country estate?  Check.  Aristocratic English family with tangled love lives?  Check.  Beautiful dresses?  Check.  Maggie Smith? Check.

Even Scott, who normally goes all glassy-eyed any time I put on a series featuring women in corsets, is getting into it.  For a guy whose tastes run more towards shows where madmen threaten to unleash computer viruses upon the world, this is no small thing.    It is really fun to have a partner for my Sunday night viewing.

And I’ve realized something, too: there is a little part of me that wants to live in this show.  I want to be Lady Grantham, or her daughters, and to have nothing more to do than swan around in lovely dresses and have people do my hair for me.  I want to breakfast with a butler in the background and be able to go take long walks on green lawns with dogs at my heels.  A life of leisure sounds pretty darn nice for a mom whose days are full of anything but.

I know, I know; it’s easy to romanticize the past.  And when I really think about it, then no, I don’t want to switch places with Mary Crawley.  I would not want to live in a world where women could not vote and could not inherit property and where one night in the company of the wrong man could ruin your life forever. That would stink.  And I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be the scullery  maid who labors below stairs nearly all day, like a mole, barely seeing the sunlight.  I like how the show addresses all of these issues, pointing out the rigid constraints on women of the time.

But I still *do* love the thought of having people wait on me, which never happens in  real life.  And the idea of being able to sit at a vanity table and spend hours getting all dolled up sounds awfully good to a mom who never even has time to put on eye makeup before dashing out to work.   Perhaps my reaction is a clue that I should find ways to pamper myself a little more in my real life.   Maybe I need to bring a little bit of Downton’s grace and elegance to my own chaotic, messy existence.

Until I can figure out a way to do that, though, I’ll be living vicariously through the Granthams.  Sunday night will find me with a mug of hot tea in hand, my husband beside me on the couch, and the household chaos a million miles away.

You too?

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