|Downton Abbey Fashions|
Lately, when my head hits the pillow at night, I pretend I’m living in Downton Abbey. The mansion in the British drama that’s taken America by storm. Someone brushes my hair for me and I change outfits six times a day.
Of course, in reality, when I wake up I’m wearing polka-dot pajama pants, an Old Navy T-shirt and my son’s black socks.
Because, most mothers do not actually buys socks for themselves. This is messed up. The cultural construct of motherhood as self-sacrificing.
My life is nothing like Downton Abbey. I’m not Edwardian Chic.
It’s more like the movie, This is 40, a funny, unfiltered look at an American family. A husband and wife raising sassy kids; trying to forgive and forget.
I think most of us are trying to flourish in the middle of a lifetime together.
On Saturday morning, my husband and I quarreled about Lucille. She doesn’t even know it because she died in 1940.
In 1889, Lucille Mulhall’s father grabbed up a piece land in Oklahoma Territory. In1899, he started the Congress of Rough Riders, which Teddy Roosevelt helped promote.
When Lucille was 14, she became one of the horseback performers competing against men in roping and riding events. Will Rogers said she was the first cowgirl.
Today, Lucille’s is a restaurant in the tiny hamlet of Mulhall. It’s about an hour north of Oklahoma City. I thought it would be fun to go and my husband was pretty agreeable to it. On a scale from 1 to 10, his enthusiasm was about a 6.23.
Of course, I needed it to be a jovial 9.9 to neutralize my mother guilt. So, when he responded with a “HMMM. Sounds alright,” I was deflated.
Did you know the average couple argues nearly 2,500 times a year? Mostly about little things.
In the movie, This Is 40, the wife finds the husband sitting on the john holding his iPad. This is the fourth time today you’ve gone to the bathroom, she says. Why is it your instinct to escape? She grabs the iPad away from him and walks off.
We didn’t go to Lucille’s on Saturday or cross the Cimarron River or enter the Lawrie Stretch. I didn’t escape my boredom.
By late Sunday afternoon, the daylight of weekend was nearly burned. The kids jumped on the trampoline while I pulled weeds and Robert swept the garage. After their baths, I fixed them tea and toast. Robert read them stories and we put them to bed.
We settled on the couch for a rerun of Downton Abbey, and when it was over I told Robert a joke every Gen Xer heard as a kid:
What did Kenny Rogers say when the wheel fell off his skateboard?
♫ You picked a fine time to leave me Loose Wheel ♫
“I didn’t know how bad you needed to take a long drive,” Robert said, and I said, I didn’t know how to tell you.”
This post originally aired as a commentary on KOSU Radio March 5, 2013.