It's Official: I'm Totally Obsessed

...with the show, Downton Abbey. It's not just for the gays and old gals! It's for youngish ladies like me who like old-timey period pieces about the way life used to be - if you lived in England (where I've actually never been, by the way).

At first, I shied away from this show because of all the hype on online. You see, I don't fall for hype. I waited a full two years to see the movie "Dirty Dancing" after it came out; I was the last of my friends to get a CD player because I loved mix-tapes and secretly thought something better would come along (mini-discs?); and I refused to join Facebook for years until people told me point blank that I was never going to be invited to anything ever again because, "Facebook event pages are where it's at."

Not so secretly though, I enjoy being the last to do things because I'd like to think (and I'd like others to think) that I'm too busy and cool to enjoy mainstream shows, films, and music. I'm spending my free time discovering underground cultural oddities that you know nothing about, and when some of those things become mainstream I'm that windbag saying, "Oh that show/film/band? I saw/heard it last year! It's really good/bad."

However, when you're home on a cold, cold winter Sunday* with an injured wrist and don't have cable but know that the first season of Downton Abbey can be played continuously on Netflix** you chose the hype. And I'm glad I did.

The first season opens in 1912 and ends on the cusp of World War I. Downton Abbey is the name of a large manor in the Yorkshire countryside inhabited by the Crawley family headed by Lord and Lady Grantham (their official titles). They only have three daughters meaning that the they will lose the house and titles eventually to a distant male cousin, Matthew - because those are the archaic rules of aristocracy never to be put asunder. 

Naturally, a manor needs many servants (headed by the Butler Mr. Carson and the Housekeeper Mrs. Hughes) to service the benevolent but spoiled aristocrats who don't actually do anything. They give dinners, walk around the gardens and try to get the daughters married off. There are stories of love and loss among the family and among the servants who are like family.

I want to visit this manor and exist in this time for a short while. I want to dress up for dinner each night wearing almost every one of the dresses the ladies wear (minus the corsets). I want to be alive in a place where romance comes in carefully handwritten letters with ink stains; where time alone with a man had to be stolen, and sharing a kiss guaranteed a marriage proposal the next day.   

Just for a few days...just for a moment - When ladies were treated like ladies by men who were men.

*Add homemade Hot Toddys to this and you will understand what heaven is like

**Thank you for allowing me to watch season 2 online

SPOILER: If you want to see what these actors look like in modern times, click here. Or don't - Just pretend everyone is real and exists only in the early 20th century.