“You’ve Been Gilmored!”

I quote Lorelei with the utmost seriousness. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been “Gilmored.” Hardcore. I’ve been “Gilmored” in the weirdest of ways: emotionally drained, physically drained, intellectually drained. Just…drained.

All from watching the revival of the a little TV show.

No, Kaila. It’s not just a television show–“it’s a lifestyle. It’s a religion.”

Note: To read why this show really does mean the world to me, check out my previous post. 

Oy! (“With the poodles already!”) I just can’t stop the Gilmore quotes.

Can you blame me? The revival was everything I imagined and then some. It also left me begging for more, leaving me unsatisfied and grumpy and thinky. Yes, that’s a made-up word. Do I care? No!

This revival even hindered my ability to write a review/discussion about Disney’s newest heroine, the Polynesian powerhouse Moana. That’s how serious my thinky-ness was, my friends. I freaking adored Moana, but the fate of the Gilmores consumes my headspace.

After I thought about the cliffhanger ending–really thought about it, multiple times, in the dead of night and at the helm of my steering wheel during my morning commute–I really was satisfied, enough that I began to function again, going about my daily tasks knowing good and well that Rory and Lorelei are still doing ok.

Who am I kidding? I want more, I want more! *Pounds fists onto the keyboard of my laptop and deletes the gibberish I left in my tantrum’s wake*

Alright. The time has come to discuss details of the revival, to explain my frustration and my satisfaction, and to acknowledge the scary quirks that prove Gilmore Girls has been and will always be a reflection of my life, my mom’s life, and my sister’s life. My grandma’s life, too.

I’m here to warn you that there are SPOILERS AHEAD. I repeat. SPOILERS. COMING. NOW.

First: Rory takes up tap dancing to relieve stress. I know this seems like an improbable first detail to discuss, but it’s so important.

Do you know what I did after moving back home from my six months of galavanting at Walt Disney World? I took up tap dancing.

Seriously.

I felt aimless and out-of-sorts, and I desperately needed a goal to work towards. I needed an activity to do for exercise. I needed something. 

I strapped on some cheap tap shoes my mom bought on Amazon and turned to YouTube and a how-to DVD and began a-tappin’ away. For a few weeks, at least.

I just thought it was so funny/scary/wonderful that Rory was doing something that paralleled so specifically to my life.

Also, Lorelei has “Sadness” stickers (the lovable blue character from Disney’s Inside Out) stuck to her computer. Paul, Rory’s less-than-memorable boyfriend throughout the revival, mentions this for just a split second in “Winter.”

My mom and I went nuts.

Sadness is one of my mom’s favorite Disney characters of all time. She loves Sadness. And I mean loves. After we saw the movie in theaters last summer, my mom just kept saying over and over and over: “I just love  Sadness. She’s so cute. I just love her.” Over and over. And over. Lorelei’s (assumed) love for Sadness was just so perfect.

After nine years away from the little screen, Gilmore Girls was still scarily similar to our lives in such minor and important ways.

Ok. Now lets talk about some juicy details. Actually, let’s just skip to the final four words, because I’ve been obsessing for a week and a day:

Rory: Mom?

Lorelei: Yeah?

Rory: I’m pregnant. 

Credits.

AHDK;AHGDKA;HDKLA;HDKL;HKFLAHDS;LKGH;ADLKSHA;LKSAHKDL;ASHLKSHF;KLASD;LKFASHKLHOIHGOQIERWHFLKADSNF;LKDSH;LAKFDSHKFH;ASDKLJFDLS;HF;LKASDLK;FH??????!!!?!>@??????!!!!!!!!!!!adkshkl;sahgdko;ahied;afhlkdsnkk;hl;kl;khkhlLKKH;IO;HF!!

The above literary rendition of my thoughts and feelings is completely accurate and poetic and well-written.

Ha.

Ok. I get it. I understand why ASP (Amy Sherman-Palladino) would end the series this way–Lorelei, aged 16, was pregnant with Rory by Rory’s father Christopher, a guy who always loved Lorelei but could never get his act together and eventually caved when it came to joining the family business. Luke pined for Lorelei for years and years, and the two finally realized their happy ending. Rory, aged 32 (the same age as Lorelei when the show began), is pregnant with Logan’s (loves Rory, is screwed up, and is in the family business) baby and Jess (Luke’s nephew) is seen gazing lovingly and longingly at Rory though a window, foreshadowing Jess’ involvement and storyline when it pertains to his relationship with Rory.

Lorelei asks for more money from her mother to expand the Dragonfly, Kirk finally does something totally and completely right, and Emily finds her independence and happiness in Nantucket. Rory figures out her purpose (a book about Rory and Lorelei’s life entitled Gilmore Girls), and the audience hopes that the little baby is a girl and the book is a bestseller and that life goes back to being unicorns and rainbows for Rory.

Life comes full circle; life goes on.

I understood, but I was so mad.

I longed to see Rory stupidly successful, ruling the world. I was never concerned about her ending up with a boy, but I was so disappointed in her decision to be “the other woman” in Logan’s life. Side note: I knew Rory was not going to decidedly end up with anyone in this revival. It’s never been about the romantic relationships of Lorelei and Rory…it’s always been about their relationship with one another as mother and daughter. But if I had to pick…#TeamJess all the way.

Anyways.

My disappointment came from seeing Rory struggle with her career, her personal decisions, and with her young adult life in general. I still see myself in Rory. I have dreams of success and fulfillment. I just didn’t want to believe that Rory’s ending was not a happy one. I want my happy ending, and Rory’s tiny taste of success followed by heaps of rejection and failure is scary to think about.

That could happen to me.

After I (briefly) took a step back from the revival and began re-watching it, I realized that the foreshadowing of Rory’s fate was always there. Not just in these four episodes, but in the entire series.

Rory was always going to end up like her mom. Always.

I finally realized (after days of consideration and contemplation aforementioned) that this was never a bad thing. Rory’s fate could bring her direction and purpose, fulfillment in her personal life and, ultimately, in her career. Let’s face it: Rory’s book will be such a bestseller with the addition of the uncanny coincidences.

ASP does a wonderful job illustrating that life isn’t about happy endings and smooth sailings. It’s about creating happy endings from any messy situation. Life is full of “peaks and valleys,” and we like to believe that the Gilmore girls can handle it. We can handle it, too.

Rory Gilmore is pregnant by a stupid boy. (sorry #TeamLogan.) I truly believe she’ll make the best of it.

With the help of her mother, of course.

Despite my initial frustrations, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was six hours of pure magic. I cried when I saw my girls strolling through a wintry Stars Hollow, accompanied by lilting and comforting “la la’s.” I bawled when Rory chose Richard’s office as her hallowed writing space. Lorelei’s attempt at “doing Wild” and her recollection of her favorite memory of Richard was perfect. Luke and Lorelei’s wedding made my heart smile.

Gilmore Girls will always be my favorite. If you need me, I’ll be in Stars Hollow. And no, you can’t convince me that I don’t live there.

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Dear “Gilmore Girls,”

Today. Today is a day I’ve been waiting for for the longest time.

Well. Since the seventh grade, to be specific.

I wanted to write a letter to the cast, the writers and creators, and whoever helped make Gilmore Girls a thing. I’ve watched interviews and realize that sometimes you can’t grasp how much this show means to some people.

Let me tell ya. It means a whole lot–dare I say it means the world— to my little family.

So. Here goes:

Dear Gilmore Girls,

You came into my life during a very weird, hard, and transitional time. It was the summer after sixth grade, the summer before seventh. My mom and dad had just gotten a divorce and I was still hurt. He had left in January of that year, 2006, days after my maternal grandfather’s death. I was embarrassed. I was confused.  The second-to-last season of your show was on the air.

My mom had read about your show in a magazine–a single mom and her daughter, Lorelei and Rory taking on the world– and decided to pick up season one on DVD that summer. My little family–my mom, my sister, and me– needed a little TLC, a fresh start.

The obsession began. We watched all six seasons that summer, and watched the last season as it aired.

What did we love about Gilmore Girls? At the time, we fell in love with Rory and Lorelei’s relationship, the eccentric little town, Rory’s bookish personality, Lorelei’s spunk, and Luke’s diner. We loved the Gilmore girls’ relationship with Richard and Emily. We admired the work ethic that both characters embodied, their ambition to become a journalist or to own an inn. We loved everything about your show.

We cried as we watched your show end in May of 2007. We were heartbroken it was over, but because of your show, our world truly changed.

We compare the seasons of our lives to seasons of your show. My college years? Mostly compared to season four, when Lorelei struggled financially and wore her famous pink coat over and over. She kept bread and tomatoes in the pantry and in the fridge. We did (do) too. Figuratively.

Junior and senior year of college? I dropped what I thought was expected and decided to truly pursue “Rory” passions. I’m now applying to graduate schools in creative writing and English, I’m working two Rory-ish jobs, and I’m not afraid to be a little different, a little “impractical.” I can do these things because I have my own Lorelei, my mom. She encourages me just as Lorelei encouraged Rory to pursue her dreams in journalism.

Now? Despite my current contentment and happiness, I still feel like season seven Rory, looking out onto a great abyss that is my life and wondering what it will hold. I feel like Rory when she turned down Logan’s proposal. She relished the feeling of facing the unknown, to living life unsettled.

That’s where I am. That’s me.

The show has grown with us, all of us.

I named my car Luke (my Ford escape is reliable…it was the obvious choice), my sister and I quote Gilmore Girls on the daily, we compare our pups to Paul Anka, and when we struggle with problems that seem insurmountable, we compare it to your show; we work through it.

Sometimes I’m early season six Rory. Not good. Somehow episode nine, “The Prodigal Daughter Returns,” happens in my own life, too. My momma always forgives me, and I always forgive myself.

The lesson Gilmore Girls truly instilled in us? You can take on the world in an unconventional way. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and single moms and their daughters can rule the world.

Before we found Gilmore Girls, my mom was implementing the idea of not playing the victim in our “unfortunate” situation. We would be strong and we would do good things; she was so adamant about facing the world with a can-do attitude. Gilmore Girls was just a cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the creamer in the coffee. It was a tool in becoming who we are today.

Excuse my french: we are badass, independent, successful, loving, strong, witty, and hard working women. We’ve taken on the world with the help of your show. We’ve taken your narrative and used it as a way to make sense of our own lives, to compare the events in our history to the history of Rory and Lorelei. My career was inspired by Rory, my mom’s resilience and independence mirrors Lorelei’s, my sister gets Luke’s constant need to take care of the ones he loves, be it by obligation or by reluctant love. I’m unapologetically ambitious like Paris and my sister embodies Rory’s nurturing nature.

Heck. We identify with Kirk. Who doesn’t love Kirk?

In short, your show has been a mainstay in our lives. We re-watch it every year, and each year we’ve realize how much we’ve grown. It used to be about Rory’s relationships with Dean or Jess or Logan.  When I was younger, I didn’t realize how Rory’s estrangement with Lorelei was so detrimental. Now my heart aches in season six, when Rory is so lost. I tear up when Richard says, “What she tackles, she conquers.” He reminds me of my grandpa.

I’m writing to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for creating this show, for showcasing strong women, for introducing idyllic Stars Hollow to the world, and for always being there. You’ve given us a show to love and quote forever and ever.

I’ve been waiting for this revival for so long, and watching it with my little family is going to be the most wonderful thing. Bring on the tears, bring on the coffee, and bring on the Gilmore-isms. We’re ready to enjoy your show together as a little family, and we’re excited to continue to enjoy everything that Gilmore Girls stands for.

Thank you and copper boom.

Sincerely,

Kaila and family, equipped with our own alliterated title

Take Me to the Moon…

No. Not really. I’d be terrified.

I am, however, newly obsessed with the Space Race of the 1950s and 60s, all thanks to the book and television series The Astronaut Wives Club. My mom and I decided to watch the show on a whim, and now we are hooked. We hustled to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of Lily Koppel’s book, and the obsession became completely ingrained.

We’ve been enthralled with the fashion of the past, captivated by the relationships between the real-life astronauts and their wives, and busy googling and wondering about the real people behind the space craze.

I’ve never been a girl fascinated by space; I’ve honestly always been terrified of the “last frontier.” The thought of a whole lot of nothing and dark matter and stars just floating out there to infinity and beyond scares the living daylight out of me. I hate thinking about things that are unknown–my future, ingredients in the food at sketchy restaurants, and space, of course. It’s all too much.

The Astronaut Wives Club makes space seem a little more…human. Feasible. Nostalgic. I can empathize with the wives holding their breaths and wringing their hands as their husbands blasted off to dabble among the stars. I can’t imagine the anxiety, the not knowing, these women must have felt. I admire their bravery to face the press for the sake of beating the Russians to the Moon. I have nothing but respect for the women behind the heroes–some put up with infidelity (at least until after the Space Race) to help secure their husband’s spot in history; others battled inner battles (such as Annie Glenn’s speech impediment) to upkeep the essential ideal American appearance. They put on brave faces for the press despite their feelings of terror and apprehension.

Long story short, these women are lofty hero[ines] themselves.

Thanks to the ABC drama and the biographic page-turner, I’ve even conjured up a slight interest in the stars. About a week ago, I ventured out after sunset and marveled at a celestial phenomenon–Venus and Jupiter were in sight, so close to each other that my pinky finger could cover them both. Scholars believe this phenomenon could have been the star of Bethlehem. I wouldn’t have even cared if it weren’t for the Astronaut Wives, real women who would look at the Moon knowing their husbands were so desperate to walk its surface for the sake of fame, country, and history.

If you haven’t watched the TV show or picked up the book, I urge you to do so. These were real women living in a time when women had limited rights. They were supposed to be the perfect homemakers and have things just so, but they also had a voice. I love learning about different times in history, but I never paid much attention to America’s space craze. Now I know what an incredible time in history it was, and I also know a little about the people behind the Moon walks and the missions. It took a whole army to make history–men and wives included.