You said it, Maggie

I admit to being a big “Downton Abbey” fan, and a large part of that is due to the snarky Dowager Countess. Magnificently played by Maggie Smith, Violet Crawley is the queen of one-liners. Who wouldn’t love a character with quips like these? “I’ll take that as a compliment,” says her visitor. The DC responds, “I must have said it wrong.”

One of my favorite lines from her comes in response to a remark made in the first season, when the new heir to Downtown Abbey, Matthew Crawley, is talking about how he intends to continue practicing law as he learns the ropes of running an estate. He notes that he will be available to do the latter during evenings and weekends. As you can see from the picture, Violet is ready to remind Matthew of the chasm between the aristocracy’s existence and his plebeian world. She leans across the table and inquires, “What is a week-end?”


I’m writing about this remark because Mark and I are about to leave on a vacation – I think. I mean, I’m sure we’re going somewhere; tickets for a tour of Egypt are booked, flights are scheduled, and our bed is covered with stuff to pack. But the word “vacation” implies that you’re getting away from something. When you’re retired, as we are, there’s no job to escape. When you live in apartment overlooking the Mediterranean and spend your time reading and hanging out with friends, there’s not a lot about your current situation to want to get away from. So we’re taking a trip, but are we taking a vacation?

Let me know if you figure this one out. In the meantime, I’ll be shoving travel pants into my suitcase and trying to think of witty ripostes to use on our fellow travelers. Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “You said it, Maggie

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