I don’t watch Downton Abbey. I’ve tried a few times, and I found it mildly engaging, but somehow I’m just not as into it as so many people seem to be. Which is strange, since I usually do like that kind of thing. And it’s got a fabulous cast. Maybe I should try it again . . .
In any case, this post isn’t about Downton Abbey (though I’m happy to hear comments about the show and why you love it—or don’t, as the case may be). It’s just that I had an oddly specific dream last night that reminded me of [the very little I know about] Downton Abbey, and that got me thinking about it.
The dream was actually about playing a kind of parlour game in which each participant took on the role of a member of an aristocratic British family. There was an element of charades about the whole thing—we even dressed up—but there were complicated rules as well. There were papers where we kept track of who owed money to whom and all the little in fights between characters. I was Sir Thomas, the eldest son of . . . I dunno, the two rich parents. Even though I was the son, I was an adult, as were my two younger sisters. And we had a family friend who’d been the mistress of Sir Alfred, Lordy Tennyson.
Weird thing was, though everything was very Victorian in flavor, all the dates on the papers in the game were in the 1700s. (And yet Tennyson was the 1800s, wasn’t he?) Like, something happened in 1707. And then we traveled the Continent from 1714–16. And we took a trip on a huge steamer at some later point, too. I remember wearing a dinner jacket and bow tie and the like, and I can picture my sisters in their white, lacy dresses and big Victorian hats with ribbons . . . I was lying on the floor of the parlour (no idea why) and the girls jumped on me, laughing and teasing. That part is very vivid to me.
I suppose it means something to dream about being (or pretending to be) a man when I’m not, but really, I always had to be “the boy” when I played with my friends, and it never bothered me. So the dream might just as easily be speaking to my actual experience. I’ve never worn a tuxedo, though. That was different.
No one playing the game with me was anyone I actually know. I have no clue why I was at this place, playing this game to begin with. Seemed to be some kind of house party . . . ::shrug::
Anyway, I woke up thinking it was all rather Downton Abbey. At least, from the little bit of the show I’ve seen. I found myself wondering how one would play such a game when the events were so clearly laid out; where is the room for chance or whatever? I suppose the fun was to be had in the acting it all out, like a theatrical. (And there was no set dialogue, only the events.) And I wondered whether it was a real historical family or something made up . . . It was just a very strange and oddly specific dream. And I’m used to having these kinds of dreams, but . . . There was something different about this one, though I can’t quite put my finger on what or why.