Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Prairie Eydie (Finally) Arrives At Downton Abbey

Mathew:  Pre-medical miracle.  
I have arrived late to the Downton Abbey craze.  I assumed Downton Abbey would be stuffy like previous Masterpiece Theaters.  (Dusty productions where the climax involved a broken tea cup.  Gasp.) Was I ever wrong!  Downton Abbey is a soap opera for "classy" people.  I recognize many plot lines in Downton from my 25 years of watching General Hospital.   Groom, paralyzed by war, suddenly able to walk down the aisle to his sobbing bride, anyone?  Yes, please!  Bride jilted at alter because groom considers himself inferior?  Bring it on!

You need to break me outta here, Sonny!  Just like Anna will bust Mr. Bates outta the cooler in Season 3 of Downton Abbey.  
Downton Abbey has amnesia, facial disfigurement, inter-cousin marriages, paralysis, and dead relative resurrections.  I am only in the beginning of Season 3, but already I have learned SO much from Downton Abbey.

Things I have learned from Downton Abbey THUS far:

You may want to be useful at a garden show.

Be useful.

Lady Edith and Lady Sybil shone during World War 1.  Lady Sybil wrapped her gorgeous locks in a dish towel and became a nurse after a day or two of training with Lady Crowley.  Lady Edith spent her days finding books for convalescing officers.  (I also love recommending books.  Counting by 7s, by Holly Sloan is a fabulous Young Adult book that I recently finished.  Truthfully, any age would love this book.)  Lady Crowley has a sickening need to be useful and ran off to work with war orphans - not know her son was paralyzed.  When she tired of orphans she started "helping" prostitutes who didn't want her help.  (You don't need to take it to Lady Crowley's extreme.  Just help out when and where you can.)   

Dress for the Occasion.

How I LOVE the costumes on Downton Abbey!
  • the long gloves
  • the bejeweled necklines.
  • the striped linen
  • the mountains of fur

My grandmother always said if you didn't have an occasion to dress up, you needed to make one.  At 99 years old and 10 months, my grandmother still looks fabulous and is still dressing for the occasion of luncheon.  I love how people at Downton "dress" for luncheon and dinner.  (Who is in charge of the laundry at Downton?)

A "zinger" delivered to Lady Edith from the Dowager Countess.

Purse your lips when you are at a loss for words.

Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, (For those of you wondering, a Dowager is a widow who holds a title or property.) often purses her lips before or after delivering "a zinger."  I find the "lip purse" gives you either time to think of a "zinger" or make sure the "zinger" has had its intended effect.  The "lip purse" can also be used solo as it gets displeasure communicated without saying a word.  Lately I have found the "lip purse" to be extremely effective when reviewing my son's sloppy, slapdash math homework.  Works like a charm.

Save your energy and don't react with emotion.

We use so much emotional energy smiling, crying, ranting, tearing up, etc.  Let us follow Lady Mary's example and adapt a deadpan expression in all situations.   She was poker faced  when Lady Sybil died of eclampsia.  Not a wrinkle graced her porcelain face when the  Turkish diplomat, Kemal Pamuk, died in her bed.  Hmmmm.  Maybe she did react a bit when she found out Lord Grantham had lost Cora's fortune in a bad investment.  

Maybe Dowager Countess says it best (once again!):

I look forward to learning more from the Downton Abbey crew. Perhaps next time I will focus on what I have learned from the servants of Downton.  

Prairie Eydie


  1. Grannie taught Lady Mary and her sisters, when they were but tiny sprites, that Ladies do everything possible to preserve their perfect, privileged complexions...hence the gloves, furs, hats, and unwrinkled countenances....I am sure there was at least one verbal zinger involved!

  2. I cannot believe your GH picture wasn't of Duuuuke and Ah-nna....

  3. How could I have forgotten that??? Duke and ANNA were the original Mr. Bates and ANNA! Oh dear. I hope Mr. Bates isn't blown up in an explosion in season five only to come back as a ghost in season six.