Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley and Lady Grantham all in one, has announced she will leave the Abby at the end of Season Six. By death I would imagine as there’s no other way to get her out. Ask Cora. God knows she’s tried.
The unfortunate part of that announcement is she is the one character I truly love. I look forward to spending my Sunday nights having tea with the Dowager and rewinding her best zingers until I have committed them to memory. Then I spend my week looking for opportunities to zing them at other unsuspecting people, or commoners as she would say.
Why do we love Violet so much? I know… because she reminds us of our Mothers, grandmothers, Mother-in-law, favourite aunt or older sister. You know the one?
She’s the one that can think out loud without fear of reprisal because everyone’s either afraid of her or is not sure how to take her. She delivers her lines with such careful precision that one is not sure if it is a compliment or an insult.
Lady Grantham reminds me of so many women in my life. You just have to translate her best zingers into your own family’s dialect to hear the voice of someone you know.
Lady Grantham: “I will applaud your discretion when you leave.” Or as my Mother would say, “Don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.”
“Everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.” Or as Mother would say, “That long white dress is hiding more than her virtue.”
“Mary won’t take Matthew Crawley, so we better get her settled before the bloom is quite gone off the rose” Or translated by a favourite Aunt, “You’re not going to be young forever girl. Pick one!”
Cora Crawley: “Are we to be friends then?” Countess Violet: “We are allies my dear which can be a good deal more effective.” You’ll have to hit the ten year mark before you hear your Mother-in-law say that.
“Why do you always have to pretend to be nicer than the rest of us?” My Mother pinching me at any given wedding or funeral when I give her the “stop doing that” eye.
“I do hope I’m interrupting something.” My Mother on any given night.
Cora: “I hate to go behind Robert’s back.” Countess Violet: “That is a scruple no successful wife can afford.” We pretty much heard this one from all our Mother.
Mrs. Crawley: “I take that as a compliment.” Countess Violet: “I must’ve said it wrong.” …Ok that’s pretty much me on any given day.
“It’s the job of grandmothers to interfere.” My Mother used this one all the time.
“Wars have been waged with less fervour.” My Mother describing the relationship between me and my siblings.
“There’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like. Avoiding one’s friends, that’s the real test.” We have all heard that from some lady in our life.
“Principles are like prayers. Noble of course. But awkward at a party.” I’ll be using this one whenever I get the chance to talk about principles, which is not that often.
Oh how I will miss my tea with the Dowager and her “I am old I can say anything I want” ways. Her death will bring me to tears I am sure. The worst part is she won’t be able to make fun of her own funeral which I know would be hilarious.
What will her parting zingers be while she lays upon her English lace deathbed? Will she finally tell Lady Edith to stop being so desperate then she might get a man? Will she finally call Lady Mary a big fat whore? Will she thank Cora for saving Downton Abby from bankruptcy with her dirty American money? Will she admit she has a crush on Tom, even when he was the chauffer? Will she finally tell Lord Grantham to grow a set?
Oh what will she say? We will wait with baited breath until January 2016 to finally see season six of Downton Abby. That is unless Maggie Smith decides she is tired of playing Maggie Smith. After all she is 80 years old.