So it’s Valentine’s Day. Everyone is running around confessing their undying love to one another. Men are dropping engagement rings into champagne glasses, buying overpriced roses and otherwise participating in cliched rituals to make the women in their lives happy.
Or they are not. And that may be worse, if someone is expecting and hoping for more.
Valentine’s Day is a beautiful, lovely occasion. Many people enjoy parting with reality for 24 hours and pretending to live in a fairy tale.
I have nothing at all against this. Hand me a tiara and a ball gown. I would happily reside in fairy land full time if it was an option.
How about a dose of reality? It is still winter here, so I’m a touch edgy.
Who better to keep us in check than Violet, the Countess of Grantham from Downtown Abbey? You may think she’s an old bitter woman, but she isn’t.
“I’m not a romantic… But even I concede that the heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.”
She’s full of wisdom. She reminds me of my own grandmother, who often said things that would make us cringe, but often said exactly what we needed to hear.
What does she have to say about marriage?
One way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.
True. True. Do you agree?
Cora: “I hate to go behind Robert’s back.”
Violet: “That is a scruple no successful wife can afford.”
Let the records show that I never go behind my husband’s back.
The next one makes me laugh every time I see it. Maybe I have a strange sense of humor, or perhaps there is a bit of truth to this statement.
Marriage is a long business.
I once told a friend that relationships aren’t supposed to be hard. After all, mine was perfect and easy. “If it’s that hard, maybe you shouldn’t be in it.” Spoken like any know-it-all, well rested 20-something, without children, a mortgage and health problems. Obviously, I was wrong. Life happens and things aren’t always sweet and easy. That’s why the vows are what they are –in good times and in bad, for richer and poorer, fatter or thinner – because these things will come your way at some point; because marriage is a long business.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not poo-pooing marriage. Marriage is beautiful. A loving marriage is something to be treasured and protected. It’s highly likely you’ll have to fight for it from time to time.
But enough of all the serious talk. How about a little dry British humor? A controlled laugh? Or perhaps a smirk? Here are some of Violet’s best moments from Season 1 of Downton Abbey:
Wishing you an entirely tolerable (and maybe even happy) Valentine’s Day!