Here at Downton Abbey-West we are a privileged lot. We have central heat, electricity, an ocean mere steps away, and well meaning neighbors. After a near obsessive tear on the famed British television program, I am prepared to come up for air and share a thought or two on Julien Fellowes’ masterpiece.
It all seemed so simple; everyone knew their place. The servants were thrilled to serve tea and fine dinners to the aristocrats and then slurp down stew in the basement kitchen. And the aristocrats were equally thrilled to be served, knowing they were offering employment to those “below decks.”
If it weren’t for the war itself, and those damn women working on the home front while the men were off doing battle, we would perhaps, still be in our upstairs/downstairs positions. At least those living across the Pond.
Things have changed for the better for most of us, but something from that era that should make a comeback are the titles. Folks both up and down longed for their blessed titles: Footman, Valet, Steward, even…Master of the Horse. And upstairs: Sir, Duke, Earl, Lady, Princess, or Dowager Countess.
There is something about a title that gives one confidence, respectability, even street cred. I recently discovered a business whose singular purpose is to bestow upon you just such a title…for a small fee of course. Sort of a modern day example of A Knight’s Tale, where the Geoffrey Chaucer character made up pedigree “patents” for the squire-who-would-be-knight.
I wonder what it would cost to become Princess of Portland?
Or perhaps the more realistic, Countess of the cottage.
Okay, Okay. I will slurp my stew and settle for Baroness of the Blog.
What’s your title?