Let’s face it: You’re never going to watch Downton Abbey, and it’s not called DownTOWN Abbey. Unfortunately, your mom has weekly tea party screenings and now you no longer know how to communicate with her. We’ve got you covered with this handy list of mom-tested, daughter-approved Downton hacks! With the right technique, your mother will find talking to you almost as interesting as speculating about what exactly happened to Michael Gregson in Germany.
Speak only in an English accent.
Your mom probably finds it hard to listen to you if your accent is lacking the posh rhythm and sophisticated grace of the Downton’s speech patterns. If she stares at you blankly when you’re trying to tell her about your engagement, start incorporating a few phrases such as, “Stick it up your jumper!” and “I’m feeling a bit squiffy.” There’s a chance you might see a shred of light return to her glazed-over stare.
Eavesdrop on her phone conversations.
Your limited knowledge of Downton Abbey tells you that it’s probably about 90% eavesdropping, 10% non-eavesdropping. “Accidentally overhearing” your mom’s conversations is the first step to forging a genuine connection with her again. As long as she spots you while you duck behind a doorway and run away with a clanking tray of cold tea, you’re doing great!
Make a big deal of eating at the same table as her.
Repeatedly express how honored you are to share a meal with your mom at the same table, even if it means sitting very far away from one another in complete silence, while she mutters under her breath about how the potatoes you ordered don’t have enough salt. The more grateful you are to be in her presence, the less she’ll wish you were a member of the upper crust.
Act surprised by all of your technological devices.
While taking your laptop out to work, continuously announce how amazed and scared you are of this newfangled typewriter, telling her you “don’t like change.” Call the touch screen on your phone, “new jazz,” and refer to your mom’s TV as “going to the theatre.” If you’re up to the challenge, pause every conversation with her just to point out even the slightest anachronism. She’ll love it.
Exhaust yourself from walking through her house.
The bigger you make your mom’s house feel, the more she’ll realize you exist inside her reality. Walk up and down the stairs until you’re genuinely out of breath and when she asks where you were, say you took a jaunt to “the tenant’s farm.”
Deliver her meals by way of the basement.
By bringing food and beverages up from literally beneath your mother, she’ll respect that you know how to put her in her proper “above it all” place. Kick it up a notch and serve her in unflattering aprons and bonnets. Her britches will untwist so fast, you might even have a chance of telling her about your new job before she asks if it’s suitable to a woman of your position.
Now that you’re armed with tips to find your mother’s love and affection again, take a deep breath and enter the battlefield with a croquet mallet and a well-groomed thoroughbred. Or is it a polo stick? Bloody hell! Good luck!