Dowager Countess to Cora – “I’m so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I’m with her, I’m reminded of the virtues of the English.”
Matthew: “But isn’t she American?”
Dowager Countess: “Exactly.”
In times of stress, I look for guidance, so I thought…who better than the Dowager Countess herself to reach out to. So…
The Right Honorable Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham, Dowager Countess, etc., etc. etc..
First of all, I hope you and your family are doing as well as possible after your tragic losses of two young members of your family (and in one season). Dreadful. My deepest condolences. I’m wishing for you no more untimely deaths of gorgeous young Downtonites in the future, particularly direct heirs, regardless of their Hollywood aspirations (looking at you, Matthew, traitor). Thank goodness for young, though, fatherless little George. I would assume he has a suitable nanny, and would guess that Carson will take a particular interest in the future Earl, as will you and Lady Cora, even if his mother doesn’t.
I am writing in desperate need for advice about, well, essentially, my country. You seem to be a fountain of wisdom and gleeful snark (an overused term here for sarcasm and rather nasty wit favored by the young), and you might be able to advise our leaders in Congress before they take the country in most unpleasant direction.
My family are long time Americans, through and through, and claim two Mayflower descendants in my ancestry, as well as an American President, Ulysses S. Grant, and I am a daughter of the American Revolution (sorry to mention that here, are you still mad about that?). Sadly, my pride in my four hundred year old American ancestry is being put to the test.
Hoping to hear from you soon and thank you for your time.
Respectfully and sincerely yours,
I am taking the liberty of addressing you as Cynthia, as I assume that is your given name at birth and infinitely more suitable to a woman your age than “Cindy”, which sounds like a cheerleader from the 1950’s. Dreadful. Cynthia is quite proper and sounds actually somewhat high born.
Regarding your concerns, I pride myself on keeping up with news from the colonies, and I would agree that your concerns are well founded. I would add that had the Americans remained under British rule, your current situation might never have happened.
Your congress is not only unpopular, but widely reviled and your House of Representatives seem particularly loathsome, especially recently.
I see from some research on your family (more on that later) that your family is , shall we say, well heeled? This is a good position as you most likely would be able to quickly reach your current leaders. I’ve seen a number of pictures of you and your family with former Presidents and such, and these relationships could be quite helpful to you in passing on my suggestions. If you’ll remember, I once said, “I am never wrong” and, well, I never am.
Here are a few of my thoughts.
1) For goodness sake, feed your people. Even at Downton, we make sure Mrs. Padmore provides food for the needy, although at Downton, no one is particularly needy as we are good stewards of our land, our village, and our servants and villagers, unlike you colonists. For shame. I’d suggest an immediate cut on the food allowances for members of Congress voting against your food stamp program. I’ve read of bloated travel expense accounts. Your own representative, the abysmal Steve King, apparently has no problem trotting about the globe for no good reason and spending government funds. Cut the Congress off! Serve them right, the gluttons.
2) Why all the hue and cry about medical care in your country? The United Kingdom has been seeing to that for years. It’s a simple system at Downton. We pay Dr. Clarkson, and he takes care of everyone. So, he’s not always the best diagnostician, he was right on Sybil wasn’t he? And you call us snobs and out of touch with the common people. Double shame, America. Fix this at once, and advise those in power who won’t that they too can lose their government funded health care. If there’s anything worse than a hypocrite, it’s an American hypocrite. “Give us your tired, your poor”…rubbish, I say.
3) I sincerely hope a woman can finally come to power in your country. I’m getting more open minded about that. After all our Mrs. Thatcher, though a bit icy, (which didn’t bother me at all) could rule with the best of them. She’d get your Congress in order, or throw them out herself.
4) I’m beginning to think you may need a benevolent but absolute monarchy over there. Think about it…
5) You’re all obsessed with money and power. Of course, we value those too, but we aren’t so loud about it. It’s quite common and displays a lack of proper breeding. I think Americans may have an inferiority complex, and to compensate, they fight over money, and indiscriminately move their armies into various countries every few years. Nonsense! Remember what happened in Rome and remember what happened to our own beloved empire (I was a fan, of course, it seemed most suitable to me). But…a warning…
6) Your country has a strange fascination with your citizens’ personal lives. Learn to stay out of each other’s business. It’s that old Puritan streak coming through (those were your ancestors, dear)… Remember the wise words of Mrs. Patrick Campbell who said, “Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!” Write that down and post it everywhere.
7) Don’t even start me on the firearms problem. Look what happened to us when we armed angry and irrational Americans. Beastly!
I hope these suggestions have helped.
Now, on a more personal note, I am pleased to hear that your family, has, at least, for your country, a somewhat respectable background, despite your double handicap of being both American and new money. (: Your little weblog has been most helpful in gaining more information about you and your family, although I caution you against over sharing. Ladies must try to not be too public about personal details.
I also read that you all have English blood, which was encouraging, though I realize that there were most likely no peers in your background. I’ve searched Debrett’s and alas, not listed. I should have known. After all, even the landed gentry, not to mention the aristocracy, was generally not hopping on crates like the Mayflower to come to the New World. Why would they, for heaven sakes?
Against my better judgment, I do welcome your correspondence, and perhaps our two families could (gasp!) come to know each other. You never know when my financially challenged son Robert will lose yet another fortune, and your two brothers resources could come in handy in the days to come in the care and maintenance of the Abbey. We have, alas, had to make alliances with Americans before, when the coffers needed to be filled. Your family does look well bred (for Americans), and seem healthy. Your party pictures on various family members Facebook pages concerned me, though. Are you people always that intoxicated? I assume you have servants looking after these rather large and gauche gatherings? Carson would be aghast… But didn’t Ulysses Grant have issues with the drink? Most unfortunate.
You do, however, have some lovely nieces who look particularly promising as future Countesses, if the need arises. Just a thought…
Most sincerely yours,
Violet, Countess of Grantham (that’s your ladyship to you, dear…)
P.S. Remember what I said about the American Revolution….all this could have been prevented had you just remained with us…think about it.
P.P.S. If there was ever a marriage alliance, at least it wouldn’t be with a chauffeur, but something would have to be done with your antecedents. Is it possible that you may have changed the name from Wyatt? A family with an old history here, and titled, even though most of them were traitorous creatures. Something could be made of that…