I shouldn’t be one to call the kettle black, being a chunky gal myself. But I feel compelled to offer further proof that Matthew on “Downton Abbey” is, indeed, putting on a little sympathetic baby weight . . . and Mary isn’t even pregnant yet.
For the uninitiated, “Downton Abbey” is simply the single most important series currently on television, with the possible exception of the “Shahs of Sunset” (give credit where credit is due). This PBS Masterpiece Theatre production, now in its third season, takes us to the English countryside during the tumultuous years right after World War I. The cast is an Upstairs/Downstairs combination of lords and ladies and their sometimes-inappropriate spouses, plus a motley household staff of gay, criminal, sweetly wise and naively obtuse characters.
So on this past Sunday, a special penultimate two hour episode culminated in a cricket match between The House and The Village (all of which really belongs to the castle, anyway, in some feudal manner). As noted by my favorite “Downton Abbey” pundits, the boys at the National Film Society, Matthew was looking a little portly in his cricket whites.
As further evidence, I’d like to ask how many of you have noticed that whenever Matthew and Mary are in bed, Mary is always the one leaning over Matthew. He is firmly planted on his back, head on pillow, while she hovers over him before coming in for a relatively chaste kiss. Am I right? You know I am.
I think Google Images is in cahoots with the show to keep this quiet. While there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of photos of Matthew on the web – I couldn’t find one illustrating my point. But even in this photo, note how Mary’s hand blocks any suggestion of a double chin.
Presumably, those kisses in bed were leading to sex, since they are both intent on creating an heir. And that reminded me of the first time I realized that the person on top is at a disadvantage when it comes to looking attractive. Quite some years ago I was madly in love with a very attractive man who was in his early forties at the time. One afternoon while in the throes of passion, I looked up to see that his handsome face had all but collapsed into a wrinkled mask. I was shocked. Later, I was relieved to note that his face had returned to its normal, adorable appearance.
Obviously, this phenomenon becomes more likely as we age (like just about every other crummy thing that happens to our bodies). If you are reading this and you are under forty, you still may want to try the mirror test periodically so you’ll know when it’s time for you to insist on the missionary position and/or pitch dark to maintain your fresh, dewy appearance.
Here’s how to do it:
Holding a hand mirror, or laying it on a surface below you, lean over and look down at your image in the mirror. That is what your partner sees when you are on top. If you don’t scream when you look down, you are still young enough and fit enough to get away with this position.
If, however, you look down and folds of skin are pooling around your eyes, nose and under your chin, well . . . what more can I say? Either give up the gymnastics, or turn out the lights. I am only saying this to women, though. I should make that clear.
If a man is reading this blog, I will only say it is your manly duty to gracefully allow your partner to claim the more attractive stance. Don’t even bother with the mirror test. You’ll only upset yourself and if you have an ounce of chivalry, you will have to suck it up and be on top anyway.
As for the person lying on her back, the wonderful news is that everything kind of gently recedes just a bit into your hairline and you will present a gorgeous, chiseled visage, smoothing out wrinkles and even hiding that hint of a double chin. In addition, your stomach will be as flat as it can get. The only down side is that you might want to leave a push-up bra on, unless you have implants that defy gravity.
I heard that Matthew might not be returning for season four. I hope that’s not the case, and certainly not before Mary gets preggers. Although, maybe she and Branson would hook up. She could take over raising Sybil and pair up with a guy who has already proven himself, swimmers-wise.
I just hope Matthew isn’t leaving because he couldn’t stay away from the trifle and syllabub and the show didn’t think we’d buy into a love story between Mary and a chunk-a-hunk. That just wouldn’t be fair, but that’s show biz, I guess. We shall see.
In the meantime, I hope this little entry combining my fascinating observations on “Downton Abbey” with a little practical sexual advice has been helpful to one and all.