Today is the second installment in my newest guest blogger series which I am still so in love with because I keep getting the best answers from my friends! The series is called Another Me at 23 where I ask my friends what other era they would like to have lived in if they could be 23 all over again in another time/place!
Today, Mary Straton from Olive You, Darling shares her thoughts!
Confession is good for the soul: I wasn’t technically invited by Queen Bee to guest post on this subject. I read Mary Susan’s spot, and I sent Laurel a text immediately
demanding requesting to be featured.
(Editor’s note: I was going to email Mary Straton after work on the day she texted me, but she’s so on the ball that she totally beat me to the punch!)
This came at a most apropos time. I watched the series finale of Downton Abbey the night before, and at one point in the show, I actually texted Laurel about how I think I would have really thrived during that time period. But I think what really I meant was, I would have thrived as an aristocrat during that time period. Nobody puts baby downstairs in the kitchen as a cook’s assistant. Sorry, Daisy.
If you’re not familiar with the series, it is set in early 20th century Britain in a Yorkshire country house named Downton Abbey, home to the Earl and Countess Grantham (you had me at “Yorkshire country house”). The Granthams employ a myriad of staff, including a housekeeper, cooks, ladies’ maids and a bad azz butler who serves as the liaison between staff and the m’lords and m’ladies. For an anglophile like myself, it is essentially a glimpse into heaven.
I wasn’t asked to choose a favorite character, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t. I should probably choose Anna, the much-adored lady’s maid; or maybe Rose, the ingénue cousin; or even Edith the underdog. But the heart wants what it wants, and my heart wants to be Lady Mary Crawley. Oldest sister? Check. Same name? Check. Not easily impressed? Check. Flat-chested enough to wear drop-waist gowns? Check and check. She’s not afraid to speak her mind or stick her neck out for something – or someone – she cares about.
I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to dress in formal gowns for dinner and wear gorgeous tweed coats when the men in my family hunt. And who am I to deny a lady’s maid the opportunity to fix my hair (I have a LOT of hair, people), choose my earrings and lay out my fancy silk pajamas? And just as Mary does, I can be as glam taking over operations of the estate as when I’m making potential suitors jealous in my perfectly appointed hats and gloves.
These characters are on the cusp of a changing world, but we know what awaits them following World Wars, a Great Depression in the United States and a complete upheaval of the lives and status they’ve always known. But if anyone can handle that, I – I mean Mary Crawley – can.
Thanks, Mary Straton! I wish I could travel back in time with you and live at Downton, if only for a day! I’d definitely have to steal some clothes from Mary’s closet, give Thomas a little “get it together, dude” cheek slap, and beg for Rose to let me be her best friend! But only after I eat way too much at their perfectly set dinner table. Oh, the life of the Crawley family!!
(Now if only we didn’t have to wait until TWENTY SIXTEEN for the next season… Can someone speed that process up pretty please!?)