Dauntless Dotty: part two
Dotty: …Amanda King!
Dotty: Oh dear.. oh this is sad.. died of an apparent suicide.…Divorced mother. Two children. She…she lived here.…Amanda, you passed away two days ago. This is your obituary (You only Die Twice)
Dotty on Amanda’s love life
Dotty has great hopes of Amanda finding love again. Dan, I mean Dean, appears to be the first man in Amanda’s life since her divorce a year before the series opens (The First Time). In fact we meet Dean the meteorologist (or the back of his head ) before we meet Lee. But since I’d rather look at Lee’s face than Dean’s rear, here’s an early Lee/Amanda moment just after we see Dean at the train station.
Back on topic….Dotty is a huge Dean fan. According to Dotty, he is: …a rock in my darkest moments (you want your mum to like your boyfriend but that’s beyond weird)…he’s so patient. It’s like talking to a registered nurse (The First Time). Sensing that Amanda is less than blown away by Dean (after all Dotty knows know when [Amanda’s] fires are fanned), Dotty reveals that Dean is going to name the next major hurricane ‘Amanda’ (Saved by the Bells) – I would run screaming for the hills if Dean did that for me, but that’s just me.
Dotty even arranges a lunch with Evelyn, Dean’s (awful, smug, boring) mother (I am not now…a Spy).
And Dotty bravely defends Amanda who hasn’t turned up (as she has partial amnesia and has forgotten who Dean is!): But the girl is a wonder. I mean, we had this fichus once that just drooped over and quit one day….
…Well, Amanda would not let it die. I mean, she repotted it; she nursed it; she talked to it; she pleaded with it. Soon it was back on its feet.
Poor Dotty – what you do for your kids!
Dotty is ignorant of some of Amanda’s more interesting romantic affairs (e.g. James Delano in Service Above and Beyond), but continues to suspect that Amanda is having an affair when she’s actually becoming a spy/intelligence operative/agent. Even in Munich, Dotty is convinced that Amanda is romantically involved with men…
Dotty: You see? First you meet a businessman friend, then you meet a friend that lends you a wild outfit, and then you meet a baron. You do have the touch, Amanda. Your grandmother, she met a lot of men. (The Times They are a Changin’)
Dotty: I think it’s wonderful that you have a date with an Englishman (Welcome to America, Mr Brand) – ahem, if you say, so Dotty…
…and that even learning Russian (from Agency tapes!) could lead to opportunities for love – Dotty: You know, I want to tell you something. I think it is a wonderful idea that you are learning Russian. With all the poets and the dancers coming over here, you could land yourself an artist (We’re Off to See the Wizard).
Dotty on Amanda’s activities and her job
It takes Amanda a while to tell Dotty that she is working at IFF: we go through a range of bizarre excuses – her club and the clams (The First Time), the rummage sale with the stuffed head contribution (Here Goes the Neighbourhood)…
Dotty seems to swallow the excuses in the early period of Amanda’s involvement with the Agency. But she does become increasingly sceptical as time passes – Dotty: You know, Amanda, sometimes you puzzle me. I mean this only in the most loving way. But last night, you didn’t get home until morning. Then, dear, you do get these rather odd phone calls, after which you go rushing out of the house. I mean, I’m sure it is perfectly innocent (Sudden Death) – and thinks Amanda may be living a double life.
By the middle of season one, Amanda has established a ‘pet and plant’ caring service cover to explain her bizarre absences (I am not now…a Spy)
Lee’s fish were cared for by Amanda (and she paid a high price for it – Saved by the Bells)
Nonetheless, Dotty suspects Amanda of having an affair with a married man (Bud Marcher – Dead Ringer)
Amanda: This wasn’t a date, this was business! And I can’t say anything else about it.
Dotty: Amanda, I am not pressing you, am I? I mean, that’s just not my way! If you say it’s business, it’s business…Business. What kind of business is she in that she can’t tell me about?…I know you don’t want to lie. I have my own theories.
Amanda: Oh, you do?
Dotty: Yes, you see, I haven’t read Agatha Christie for thirty years for nothing. I don’t have one theory. I have at least six….Give my best to Bud Marcher.
Dotty is clearly wildly curious about Amanda’s unusual comings and goings and she doesn’t fool Amanda
Dotty: …All right, don’t ask. I tell myself don’t ask, it’s Amanda’s business, I tell myself.
Amanda: Thank you, Mother.
Dotty: Unless you’d like to tell me.
Dotty: Fine. Fine. It’s all right (Saviour)
By the latter stage of season one, Dotty knows that Amanda works at ‘IFF’ and feels that they don’t appreciate her (Fearless Dotty).
Dotty: Did they like your work?
Amanda: They didn’t say.
Dotty: Ah, well, you see? That is big business for you. Ninety words a minute, no mistakes, and they haven’t even got the decency to say thank you. It is a big company, isn’t it?
But, in response to Amanda’s garbled anecdote about a pet, she maintains: Amanda, you know me better than that! I wouldn’t pry into your life. I mean, I have too much of my own life to worry about.
Dotty: Work, work, work. Darling, you’ve got to take some time for yourself. You need something exciting (Weekend).
Dotty continues to remind us how downright weird Amanda’s job appears from the outside:
Dotty: And what about that outrageous tale about how you got your sweater ruined at a muud-wrestling bar?
Amanda: Oh, Mother, that’s the truth. Now, the film company that I work for, IFF, wants to buy a book and the contact was at this… bar.
Dotty: A muud wrestling bar?
Dotty: …I’m waiting…For you to tell me why you’re taking our laundry to work.
Amanda: I don’t know.
Dotty: Amanda, this film company you work for is *very* strange...But our machines work just fine. All you have to do…
Amanda: I know.
And a parting Dotty-ism: Just don’t say that you like the product if you really don’t. I mean, they really try to trick you, you know.
And more on dirty laundry – Dotty: Amanda dear, why don’t you invest in a nice pair of overalls for work (Welcome to America, Mr Brand) – Please use *any* excuse to get rid of *those* ‘pyjamas’, Dotty!!
As her mum, she worries about Amanda’s well-being – Dotty: I am not going to talk about your work with this film company because I agreed it’s none of my business. But I do have the right to be concerned about your well-being. Film people are different, Amanda. They have strange views and attitudes. I’m not so sure that they are the kind of people you should be with….Film people are not always what they seem…. (Playing Possum)
Dotty:..You have been with IFF quite some time. I think you ought to ask for a raise. You deserve it.
Amanda:… I think you’re right.
Dotty: Of course I’m right, I’m your mother! (Murder Between Friends) – Yes Dotty, the mother is always right, or so I keep telling the mini-Jets (I don’t really; I don’t want them to be too disillusioned in later life!!)
She wants Amanda to move on but doesn’t tell her until she gets her new (and ill-fated) job with Byron Jordan (Murder Between Friends)
Dotty: I never liked the idea of you working for IFF. I mean they should’ve moved you up, given you something challenging to do. I think you’re gonna find this new job much more exciting…you never know. I mean one of these days you might open your own security company… Do you know anything about security Amanda?
Dotty on relationships
Dotty believes in love but she has rather a pragmatic approach to it –
Dotty: With some men, you can have an absolutely thrilling evening and there’s no guarantee that you’re ever going to see them again. You know what I mean? (The First Time)
Dotty: That’s what we need around here. Someone handsome who can fix the sink and barbecue and has his ownhair… Yes, he’ll be sweet and gentle and wonderful and have a good job (A Lovely Little Affair).
If at first you don’t succeed….Dotty: Amanda, you will not believe this. This is from your great aunt Irene. She is getting married again. …Is this the 5th or 6th time? …Well, I tell you something. You just have to keep doing it until you get it right. That’s what I always say (Burn Out).
Dotty believes that a woman should take care of her appearance and devotes some time thinking about this – Dotty:…Darling do you think a woman becomes more or less attractive as she gets older…to men?
Amanda:…I guess it depends on the woman.
Dotty: And the man (Over the Limit).
and acts on her research….
Dotty and Lee have not connected yet in season three..although Dotty wants to invite him for dinner on two occasions:
· As an unknown work colleague of Amanda with burn out
Dotty: Burn out? ..Oh, well, why don’t you invite her for dinner?
Amanda: Mmm. It’s not a ‘her’, it’s a ‘him’ and I really don’t think that would do it.
Dotty: …Well, this might be very good for him. I mean, you know what they say. Social activity can cure a lot of ill (Burn Out).
· When she spots him when he goes undercover as their neighbour (Vigilante Mothers)
And finally, for the health sciences types, Dotty’s tips for a healthy body and mind:
Dotty: I cannot find the vitamin C anywhere, so I am going to boil a grapefruit. That’s what your grandmother always did (Dead Ringer)
Dotty: Now, as soon as we get these things put away, I want to take a look at that knee.
Amanda: It’s okay, Mother, I only just barely skinned it.
Dotty : Oh! Well, that’s the spirit! A positive move is the best thing when you’re depressed. I can see a change already (Playing Possum).
Thank you for joining me as I sift through what we know about Dotty.
I’ve enjoyed how she keeps me laughing, especially into the third season. I’d love to hear everyone’s favourite Dotty moments.