When my brother answered back, however, here's what he had to say:
Poor, poor lady Sybil, although I saw the eclampsia coming like a freight train. So the chauffer is going to bolt, leaving the baby to be cared for by Mary and Matthew. And all is well. Laura, thank you so, so, so very much for opening up my life (which has very little free time, mind you) to the Wonders of Drama that is Downton Abbey. I suffer through the episodes so that I can spend Quality Time with my wife. Although I do worry about Mr. Bates.
Now, I admit, I was suspicious. I didn't trust my brother. I was convinced that he had googled the episode and was yanking our chain. Pulling our leg. Making fun of us.
But it did get me thinking about the types of men who watch Downton Abbey, and I have determined that they come in three distinct categories:
1. Those who genuinely like the show (yes, they actually exist). These men tend to be highly educated, like wine with their dinner, and have traveled the world. The person who introduced me to the series watches it every Sunday with her husband, who is a doctor. What is interesting is that they are from Puerto Rico and watch it with the subtitles (how do you do British accents in a subtitle?).
2. Those who pretend not to like the show, but actually do. Most of my guys fall into this category. They are closet Downton Abbey followers. They wouldn't be caught dead watching an entire episode, and yet they keep wandering in to watch. Last week my husband walked in during the Sybil scene and stayed. "Wow, that was pretty intense," he commented. "Did you know that was coming?" He knew when Lord Grantham lost his fortune and that Mathew's honor prevented him from accepting an inheritance. Every week he asks me if Mr. Bates is still in jail. Even my sons are curious and like to pop in to see Professor McGonagall (the fact that they know Maggie Smith is in the show indicates an awareness/interest). For Christmas they even gave me a Downton Abbey behind-the-scenes book.
Finally, before I reveal the third category, you are probably wondering about my brother. Did he google the episode? Did he really watch it? He falls into category three ...
3. Those who know what's good for them and make their wives happy. Yes, my brother watches the show as a way to spend some quality time with his wife. They also have a deal: he watches Downton Abbey with her, and she watches The Walking Dead with him. Hey, whatever works, right?
Downton Men ... they're out there. Of course, the real test will come tonight. Superbowl vs. Downton Abbey? Downton Abbey vs. Superbowl?
This should get interesting ...