Fair warning: there are spoilers below. If you haven’t watched all three seasons of Downton Abbey yet, seriously, what’s your problem?
1. It’s OK to fall in love with your cousin if she/he has a lot of land and/or money.
2. WWI and the Spanish Flu were pretty awful, though mainly for minor characters. On the other, they were pretty handy for resolving tricky plot situations.
3. Most everyone back then had fairly open attitude about you-know-what. (I’d say what, but we’re not supposed to talk about it.)
4. I need someone to help me get dressed in the morning. Scratch that — I need someone to help my kids get dressed in the morning.
5. Dowagers are awesome and hilarious. So awesome, my wife blurted out during one episode, “I want to be a dowager!” (When I pointed out that I would have to be dead, it dampened her enthusiasm only slightly.)
6. Being a former prostitute and being a former professional entertainer carry similar levels of shame.
7. If brought off correctly, letting yourself be shot in the hand and kidnapping your boss’s dog can open doors for you. (If any publishers are reading this, please contact me about The Thomas Barrow Guide to Career Change.)
8. Next time you need to win a game of tug-of-war, see if you can recruit a 50-something shopkeeper. (Related: When you need to fill out a cricket team, young boys will magically appear as needed.)
9. If you love your husband or wife, don’t ever have a baby. Ever.
10. Maybe it is a good idea to have a chaffeur.