I just started watching Downton Abbey (I know, late to the party much?) and I’m on episode two. The brilliant Maggie Smith (I’ve always loved her — loved her as McGonagall, loved her as Mother Superior, loved her as Granny Wendy and now love her as Violet Crawley) just delivered a brilliant, laugh-out-loud line:
Lord Grantham: [About Matthew Crawley, Lord Grantham's new heir] I thought you didn’t like him?
Lady Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess: So what? I have plenty of friends I don’t like.
I think it’s true of most of us, don’t you? Or else, it has been. I remember years ago being with my mother and my mother-in-law, telling a story about some people I went to school with. I forget the story I was telling, only that I must have been complaining about someone because eventually my mother-in-law said “I thought you two were friends?” And I responded, “Oh yeah, we’re friends. But we don’t really like each other.”
My mother-in-law, who has two sons, looked horribly confused, and my mother turned to her to explain: “This is what it’s like with daughters.”
These days I can honestly say I don’t have any friends I don’t like. While it was a joke on Downton…it wasn’t. Not really. And when I was in college there were plenty of us who were forced to interact enough that we smiled at each other, played nice, but didn’t especially consider ourselves true friends. Now it seems we’re all so busy we hardly have time to see the friends we adore, let alone waste time on the ones we secretly can’t tolerate.
But still, I laughed in recognition when that brilliant Maggie Smith delivered the line. She’s pretty awesome, no?
What about you? Admit it — haven’t you felt like Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham? Ever had friends you don’t like?