An Asset to the Abbey

“A family must never be a topic of conversation.” ~ The Dowager Countess, ‘Downton Abbey’

A more fitting quote could not have been conjured as I sit here on a Sunday night watching the Season Premiere of ‘Downton Abbey’. Following a day – well, a month – of family issues, I was on the verge of purging all that’s been going on, and writing it all out here, but they aren’t my issues at stake, and not my place to speak of them. Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder from a Dowager. Sometimes I’m too blunt, too coarse, for my own good. For the good of others too… perhaps more-so.

And so I find relief and escape in the fading aristocracy of a family, and world, very much removed from my own. A soap opera with British manners, and Dame Maggie Smith – I’ve missed this. It’s so much nicer when the intrigue and the drama is made-up – even if what goes on there mirrors what is happening here. Properties come under peril, histories come under scrutiny – the language of a family is rife with particular dialects, subtle nuances, tricky traps, emotional minefields, and hidden pockets of hurt. You can change almost everything about your life today – your friends, your lovers, your husbands, your wives – but you cannot change your family. A lot may have shifted in the world since the time of ‘Downtown Abbey’, but that much remains the same.

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