Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Oh, how I adore Downton Abbey. I love the way that times have changed now that the first war to end all wars is over. Skirts are rising, ankles are showing, and Matthew's mom is trying to help hookers learn to sew.
If you watch Downton Abbey, then you'll know what I'm talking about. If you don't watch it and think you might want to give it a try, then SPOILER ALERT!
My buddy Rita
(over at Soul Comfort Corner)
and I have been burning up the ether with our email discussions of Downton Abbey, and in particular, that spinsters get up for breakfast. This all started when poor beaky-nosed Lady Edith got jilted at the altar.
|How do you do?|
I am poor beaky-nosed Lady Edith Crawley.
The man next to me is the dolt who left me at the altar.
Lady Edith can be kind of -- shall we say? -- pissy. Always jealous and causing trouble for her older sister, Lady Mary, who got married recently and then it was supposed to be Edith's turn, and we all know how that ended with Lady Edith dashing home from the church and casting off her veil ever so dramatically so that it gracefully floated over the staircase and to the floor in slow motion and then Lady Edith fell on the bed to sob. Exactly what I did AFTER my wedding. But, I have to admit it wouldn't be easy to have a beauty like Lady Mary as your older sister.
|Hello. I was Lady Mary Crawley.|
Then I married my distant cousin Mathew Crawley.
Now I am still Lady Mary Crawley.
I am a great beauty and I know it.
Mary and Edith help me realize how fortunate I am to be the youngest of five sisters and the only good looking one. It's so lovely to be hated for one's beauty. Perhaps I shall marry a distant cousin who will one day be Lord Grantham.
Ah, but I digress.
Back to Edith being a spinster. After Edith lay on her bed and sobbed for a while and refused to eat, then she got up the next day for breakfast because, she said, spinsters get up for breakfast. The matter came up again in the most recent episode. Matthew asked Edith why she didn't stay in bed for breakfast like the other ladies. Well, Matthew, you fool, she's a spinster and she SAID spinsters get up for breakfast.
Now this whole situation has Rita and me wondering why married ladies get to stay in bed for breakfast. Rita opined that it's because of all that sex they're having, which got me to thinking that breakfast in bed might be a married lady's consolation for performing her wifely duty by lying still in bed and thinking of England.
I wonder if Queen Victoria really recommended that sexual advice to her daughters. Another digression, I know. I have a huge biography of Queen Victoria that I hope to read before I die.
So, I guess what this all really comes down to is if you know why married ladies got to have breakfast in bed, then please tell Rita and me because we are burning with desire to know what's up with ladies in bed. And shut that mouth in your dirty mind.
Infinities of Downton Abbey love,
Lady Janie Junebug
Mrs. Chatterbox and I are big fans. But just between you and me, it's ridiculous to think a huge estate like this would have Mrs. Padmore as head cook. At this time in history women didn't run kitchens, especially for someone as set in his ways as the Earl of Grantham. His lordship would insist on a chef with proper French credentials.ReplyDelete
Still, we wouldn't think of missing an episode.
I had no idea. On Upstairs, Downstairs the head cook was a woman. I remember when Mrs. Upstairs Downstairs Cook hounded her poor scullery girl or whatever she was into hanging herself. I think of DA as a cousin to Upstairs, Downstairs. Kind of like cousins who marry. Kind of like my great-grandparents who were cousins and got married. They lived in North Dakota and probably didn't know anyone else. But, ah, I digress yet again. Which of us is the chubby chatterbox?Delete
I have the new season's shows recorded but I haven't watched them yet. I think I should get started!ReplyDelete
Definitely! The Hurricane and I are lovin' it.Delete
HAAA!!!! I LOVE DA and this had me in stitches. The Dowager Countess is the one I'd really like to meet~ReplyDelete
Oh gosh, yes. She is so fabulously sarcastic. Remember when Mary was going to marry that creepy guy who owned the newspapers and she broke it off? He got mad and said they'd never see him again, and the Dowager Countess replied, ever so delicately, Do you promise? I WANT TO BE HER! But not for another 20 years.Delete
Dear Janie, I, too, like you and Shelly and Rita, love DA. I'm lying on the bed with dessert awaiting me at 8pm every Sunday night now. The truth is, however, that I don't find Lady Mary beautiful--there's simply not enough life in her face. Now Sybil has a passionate face--filled with emotion most of the time and I so much prefer that to a look of indifference, which, I believe, deadens a face.ReplyDelete
As to spinsters and married women and staying in bed, all I know is that--as a spinster in the 21st century--I often want to lie abed and enjoy the warmth beneath the covers. But the cats insist I get up each day and feed them. And they do run this house--and not like the Downstairs cast either! It's all hairy-scary!!!
As you know, I've been away from reading and commenting on blogs for about six weeks. You have left comments on my blog throughout that time and I deeply appreciate that. Thank you. Now please, if there are any postings of yours that you'd especially like me to read, let me know. Peace.
Darling Dee, my posts are just same old, same old -- kind of like me. I think a good word for Lady Mary is impervious, but I did find it ever-so-romantic when Matthew proposed while the snow fell around them.Delete
Dear Janie, yes, "impervious." Now that's an accurate word! Peace.Delete
I'm up to date on Downtown Abbey as Spouse calls it. I have found Edith to be more likable as the seasons progress. But my faves are Violet and Mrs. Hughes.ReplyDelete
The Hurricane says she's becoming more fond of Daisy this season. I thought Daisy was adorably innocent when she felt guilty about marrying William. I liked Thomas and Miss O'Brien being evil together, and I like them even better now that they're feuding. But, yes, I think the Dowager Countess is my favorite. Maggie Smith is marvelous. Oh, before Christmas I saw some of the cast members on Today. The girl who plays Daisy is quite pretty and was thrilled to be recognized on the streets of New York. And the guy who plays Thomas is pretty darn Hot! (And yes, I used the capital H on purpose.)Delete
I NEED to start watching this showReplyDelete
You do indeed. The residents of Downton Abbey have fancy dinners every night during which they drink a bunch of wine and then they have after dinner drinks. You could drink a glass of wine with every course they have. And an episode might even have two or three dinners with wine. Perfect excuse to drink a LOT of wine! The Hurricane went to school at Cambridge for a year. She said the dressy dinners, which they had frequently, consisted of many courses and each course consisted of a little food and a lot of wine. Then they had port and claret after dinner when they toasted the Queen and Sir Winston (she was in Churchill). I think you belong in England, darling -- at a fancy school with big dinners and plenty of wine.Delete
One of these days I am going to have to watch this show.........lolReplyDelete
It's a marvelous distraction. I forget everything else when I'm watching it.Delete
I've been married most of my adult life and I've never gotten breakfast in bed. Of course that might be because I wake up hours before everyone else! Damn this insomnia!!!ReplyDelete
Insomnia is miserable. I've never had breakfast in bed either.Delete
I stopped reading at "spoiler alert." I'm currently up to date (as an American). Will this spoil the rest of the third season?ReplyDelete
No, I won't spoil the rest of the season for you. I'm up to date on PBS, too. Not fortunate enough to watch DA in England, where I want to go so very, very much and wander the moors like the Bronte sisters.Delete
I love this show! I felt so bad for lady Edith getting jilted. What a stupid, stupid man. She, for once, seemed genuinely happy.ReplyDelete
I was wondering about the breakfast in bed thing, too. I was thinking it must have to do with sex, too, although they would never have said that was why.
Yeah, I felt sorry for Edith, too. I think they used code words to talk about sex. Like before Edith left for the church Lady Cora asked her with a meaningful tone something like, Do you need to know about anything? I thought, Oh, those poor girls. Their mom waits till the wedding day to offer an explanation of sex without even saying sex. And yet when Mr. Pamook died in Lady Mary's bed, Lady Cora helped out with moving the body and stayed pretty calm. She didn't run around screaming that her daughter was ruined.Delete
In an upper class extended family with servants and house staff, the spinster is usually at the bottom of the totem pole since she does not contribute to the household's income, nor is she an heir of significance. As a result, the correct etiquette would be similar to that of a long time house guest which is to enjoy the hospitality, but not to consume unnecessary resources that might be in demand by the actual householders (householders, heirs, and their wives and children).ReplyDelete
Young daughters are indulged and coddled until it becomes apparent that they are likely not leaving the household to get married. At this point, they are expected to carry some of their own weight and to try their best to not be demanding. The same is expected of unmarried men (older sons or younger siblings to the heir) once they are past their marriageable age.
As for married women, it is understood that they are consuming resources which are rightfully theirs as the higher ups in the female hierarchy. This does not mean that they lay in bed to be fed grapes by servants all day, but they are allowed a more luxurious start of the day in order to accomodate for the fact that they are married to the men of the house and must obviously be consumed with the numerous duties that accompany managing an estate and its accompanying social conventions.