I had no interest in watching Downton Abbey. It seemed like everyone was doing it, and I hate to do what everyone else does. I ignored my friends' comments about how wonderful it was and even poo-poohed the selling point that Maggie Smith was in it. For these mistakes, I now hang my head in shame.
It was over coffee at my parents' house that my mother mentioned she'd picked up Season One ofDownton Abbey at the library on my sister's recommendation. Mom finished that first season in 24 hours. I've known my mother all my life, and she doesn't commit to that kind of show easily, particularly if it doesn't star Andy Griffith or Dick Van Dyke. I was intrigued.
I checked Netflix and found they had Season One on streaming. My life changed forever.
Jason didn't understand why I didn't want to make dinner or clean the house, but these things seemed trivial to me. It was more important to me to find out if Mr. Bates and Anna were ever going to be able to be together. I started talking about Mary, Edith, and Sybil like they were my own sisters (good thing my sister had gotten sucked into the show first, so we could gang up on them when we thought they were being foolish.) My thoughts took on a British accent. One day, when I was feeling particularly sad (for Branson) I called my mother, who cheered me up. I sent her a hand-written card the next day: You were so kind to cheer me up yesterday - I was terribly blue. I think anyone who really knows me knows that pre-Downton, that note would have contained 14 colorful and inappropriate words and would never have been hand-written on embossed stationery. My life had changed.
It took me about seven days to watch all three seasons. (I tried to cut out the unnecessary things in my life, like sleep, but I wound up face-planting myself on my iPad from exhaustion during an episode in Season Two, so I napped and re-watched the whole season from the beginning.) My sister, mother and I wound up video-blocking each other at the local library, all of us trying to get our hands on Season Three before the others. I started referring to my late grandmother as the Dowager Countess. Nobody in the family seemed to mind.
If you haven't watched the show yet, I'm afraid I've bored you. But you're missing out. Be a sheep. Watch the show. You'll thank me for it.
And do drop a note to let me know how you got on.