The power of story to make me forgive a dress

Mary's Dress

Last Sunday was the start of the new season of Downton Abbey. Yay! I had a few moments of frustration due to a misprint in the local TV lineup (it came on at 9 p.m., not 8 p.m. as listed), then settled in for two hours of catching up with the Granthams and their staff.Of course, there are a great many things yet to be sorted out. Bates is still in prison. Thomas is still awaiting his comeuppance. Daisy still needs to grow a brain. But there was a wedding. Ahhh. Mary, the eldest daughter wed in English eldest daughter fashion.

But that dress. One of the wonderful things about the show is the costumes. Gorgeous dresses and starched aprons and footmen in uniform. Lovely. But the wedding dress. Hmmm. It was . . . a sack. Whoever dropped women’s waistlines to their hips in the 1920’s should be dug up and shot. The dress wasn’t ugly, exactly, it was just underwhelming. The veil and tiara were perfect–but that dress.

And here’s the funny thing. As I was watching the show I held my breath as Mary came down the stairs and turned the corner. Oh, I thought. And then I decided to like that sack of a dress. Because Mary was wearing it and I’d been waiting for this wedding and I love the costumes and I love the show and . . . I decided to like the dress.

Which is the power of a really good story. It can have flaws. It can have disappointments if the story is strong enough to predispose us toward forgiveness. In retrospect, I’m disappointed with Mary’s wedding dress. But I’m delighted with Downton Abbey and so I’ll not only forgive the dress, I’ll admire the crystals stitched into the bodice.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

9 thoughts on “The power of story to make me forgive a dress

  1. I feel exactly the same — wanted to love the dress, but . . . couldn’t. Love the story anyway. Although I sure would like to have seen more of the wedding.

      1. Which, for me, is the best part of the show. They could not have chosen a better actress to play the Dowager Countess, and she gets all the best lines. 🙂

  2. I agree, the dress was underwhelming. But the fact that the wedding took place in spite of everything–THAT was elegant!

  3. I haven’t watched this episode of DA yet … I haven’t been home — but your comments remind me of the immense disappointment I felt over the ugly purple dress they put on Giselle at the end of Enchanted. After all the pretty, fairy tale-like dresses she wore throughout the movie, it almost ruined the whole movie for me.

    Now, I do understand what they were wanting to do with the purple blech: to show she’d moved past the idea of a fairy tale life & embraced reality. But couldn’t they have done that with something that was actually beautiful & reflected her sweet personality? Ugh. Still, you’re right. If the story’s good enough, I’ll forgive an ugly dress. 🙂

      1. No, I’m good. I like the show but don’t love it like so many people do. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Masterpiece for decades & feel they’ve had many shows that were better. Maybe it’s because I watched it originally because of the Titanic story-line … which ended up being a disappointingly small part of the show. Anyway, no, you didn’t ruin it for me. 🙂 I’ll still enjoy it just fine. But I might notice the dress more than I would have otherwise. . . .

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