A miracle has happened over the last few days at my house: Michael has now watched four episodes of Downton Abbey with me! (Thank you, PBS, for posting them for free!)
My husband has watched them with me of his own free will. And he has been asking questions, lots of them. He even mentioned yesterday that he should probably watch the first two seasons so that he can know what’s going on a little more. Ahhh!
Talk about my heart skipping beats over this man. Wow.
I have never been more thrilled to pause a show four or five times (at his request) to (badly) explain things like, “OK, so that blond guy Matthew, the guy whom Mary the oldest daughter is marrying, is really a more middle-class guy but is the heir to the money because of the English laws at the time that prevented the money passing to a woman and the Titanic killed the other heir who actually had amnesia for a while and moved to Canada but came back during the war and remembered who he was but he was terribly disfigured and he ended up running away again so we’ll just have to see what happens with that. Poor Lady Edith.”
While I’m pretty ridiculously excited that my husband sat down to watch a totally-not-his-type-of-show program with me, I’ve been thinking more seriously about a minor, but important event, that I think led up to that moment.
The evening that Michael and I first watched Downton Abbey together, after the kids had gone to bed, he happened to be playing a certain multi-player online war game that he loves and I generally come close to despising. (I am not a video game fan, especially video games about war. There’s something about having to constantly be thinking about killing people and at the same time being chased by increasingly dangerous and well-armed opponents that just isn’t in the same hemisphere as my cup of tea.)
My mom was visiting that night, and after she and I finished some things in the kitchen, she suddenly sat down in the living room to watch him. And she started asking him questions about what he was doing. That man practically lit up like a Christmas tree. He started animatedly explaining things to her, and before long, my mom and I were both sitting on the couch, all but cheering him on as he got all the way to a personal record of Wave 23. I was maybe sort-of-if-I’m-being-honest slightly excited for him.
I remember feeling guilty that night as I thought about my longtime behavior toward Michael when he plays this game. Truth-be-told, he is always careful to turn down the volume, and he always asks respectfully (maybe sheepishly) if I mind if he plays. He knows I don’t “approve” of it. I’ve made it probably painfully obvious that I’m not the least bit interested in it. But you know, the fact is that he almost always meets up online with his brothers, cousins, or his uncle to play, and they play as a team and goof off and generally have a blast together. I should be more glad that he has this small way to stay connected with his family, who all live at least a state away from us.
I wonder if my mom, and me just a little, showing some interest in Michael’s game was what made him decide to give Downton Abbey a try.
I wonder if me dropping my snobby condescension for a few minutes softened his heart toward something that I enjoy doing.
I wonder. 🙂
In my opinion, Lady Mary is a little snobby about a lot of things. I think it will be interesting to see how she and Matthew’s relationship matures.:)