Down Town Abbey

I took my wife to see the Down Town Abbey movie this evening. I know it’s actually pronounced “Downton”, but I’ve been calling it that for years just to bug her, and it still works. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today, but fortunately the movie took care of that. There were three big takeaways from this trip to see the movie tonight, and I’ll touch on them all briefly.

The first thing I want to point out is that it should never be questioned how much every man in that theater tonight, myself included, truly loved their ladies. We should all get credit for showing our affection by spending our evening with them watching this movie.

I can say this with certainty, because the latest Rambo movie was playing right next door. But we chose to sit with the ones we love and watch the saga of an early 20th century English aristocratic family struggle with the changing times, rather than see Sly Stallone kick the shit out of the Mexican drug cartel. Save this one fellas, one day you’re going to be able to use this.

Next, I’d like to point out is that the kids who work at the movie theater have absolutely no knowledge of customer service, nor do they seem to ever want to learn about it either.

Make no mistake, whether you’re going to the ticket line or the concession stand, you are a pain in their ass and they would have preferred you took your date dancing tonight rather than come into their Cineplex and interrupt their social life. Simply uttering the words “excuse me,” will get you the hairy eyeball as you have required them to look up from their Snap Chat and deal with you .

I get it kid, I was an angsty teenager myself once. I just didn’t have a magic glowing metal slab that allowed me to stay in constant contact with my friends, play games, watch videos and look at porn while I was at work, so I actually had to do my job.

I’m not saying I’m better than you. I mean, if we did have that kind of tech back in the eighties I may have been just as big a dickhead as you are, but we didn’t, so you’re just going to have to deal with us old farts telling you how much tougher we had it when we were your age.

However, I will give you some advice and recommend you drop the phone, as well as the attitude. If you want folks to get on board with the fifteen dollar minimum wage concept you’re not helping the argument by sitting on your ass and acting like I just asked you split a cord of wood when all I want is a damn bag of popcorn.

Mostly though, the movie got me thinking. Not so much the plot, but the characters and the period the story takes place in. One of the recurring themes I noticed tonight, and after I thought about it, something the show always dealt with, was the struggle of the individual characters to either accept their lot in life, or fight to change how society requires them to be.

Within the context of the story, the Aristocrats are wealthy, and have to hold to society’s standards. The servants are servants, and they are in the same situation, albeit they have a tougher row to hoe than the rich folks. After all, if you are going to be pigeonholed into what society expects from you, it seems logical that the rich folk probably have it better.

If you were a maid, then that was all you were ever going to be. The best that you could hope for is to rise in the ranks and get hired by a wealthier family. More than likely though you were going to spend your life changing sheets and cleaning laundry and never allowed to even want more, let alone go after it.

As for the rich people?

Well, if you were a man, you had life dicked, without question. Sure, you may have been under a little pressure to live up the society’s standards, but for the most part, your days were filled with tea and scones, fox hunts and drinking cocktails in the drawing room after dinner. Good work if you can get it as they say.

But if you were a woman, regardless of your wealth, your options were to look pretty and marry up. No challenging career opportunities, no equal rights, just shut up and look pretty. Life for them was kind of bleak, regardless of their wealth. Women still have it tough today, but nothing like the ladies had to deal with back then. The women who broke down these barriers were truly heroic, and every little girl today should know their stories.

But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that the people of that day and age had little to no choice with their lives.

We do.

We can be or do whatever we want because we are blessed to live in a time and place where we are the only ones who can decide what are limits will be. The people who lived in the class system during the turn of the twentieth century could only dream of the freedom you have today, and it’s a shame that sometimes we lose sight of it.

Sure there will always be the ones who want to stop you, but once you have made your mind up to do something, they can only slow you down, they can never stop you.

It’s like when Bruce Lee once told us we need to be like water. If we are like a pond, then we will stay within the banks that surround us. But if we are like raging river, no matter what they put to block you, will only slow you for a moment. Sooner or later you will bust through whatever obstacle is in your way.

The bottom line is we are truly blessed to be alive in this day and age. We honestly can do whatever we want to do with our lives, no matter what. It’s funny it took a movie like Down Town Abbey to remind me.

And I have to be truthful, I am a fan and I did enjoy the movie. But if you did see Rambo, don’t tell me how it ends.


  1. hahaha I love this! Tell your wife that I too was annoyed by Down Town Abbey! We are indeed so lucky to be living in an era when we have choices, but it’s so important to remember that there are people who aren’t so lucky even today. I like the idea that I will make all I can from my life and talents for all those who can’t.
    Have a happy Monday Mark! I am looking forward to reading more of your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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