Like most teenagers, my mom and I had very different ideas about how I should spend my time, what was appropriate when it came to boys and just how to be a teenager in general. I loved her with all my heart but let’s just say I went through a phase of binge watching Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and How to Deal on repeat.
Gilmore Girls aired sporadically back home in Guyana and it wasn’t until I moved to Toronto in 2005 that I was able to watch it in chronological order. By that time, I was eighteen. My teenage years were almost done and I was just starting to seriously think about the rest of my life. And Lorelai and Rory were the worst thing to happen to young, impressionable me.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE the show. LOVE it. I have just come to realise what an unhealthy example of parenthood it actually portrays. Also, Lorelai is super judgmental and the Rory as mistress thing was just upsetting, but I digress
I loved the way they interacted with each other. They were best friends. They were mostly supportive of each other. They had a connection no one else understood. I wanted that. I thought of it as the exact opposite of what my mother and I had during my teenage years. It was obviously too late to have my daughter at fifteen but I thought twenty-three was still young enough to try and recreate the GG magic (I drew the line at naming her after myself. That had always seemed really creepy.).
My twenty-third year arrived and I was a year out of university, unemployed and thoroughly disillusioned with life. Mostly, I was very upset that I wasn’t going to have my own Rory. I blamed myself for not being as resourceful as young Lorelai. She was fifteen and she made it. Why couldn’t I make my life work at twenty-three?
I rewatched the show with my sister (who had never seen it before) last year. I enjoyed it even more than I did years ago. Why? Because I realised that that parental relationship was never feasible for me, or most people. Yes, Lorelai was resourceful but mostly she was lucky. If the inn hadn’t taken her in, she likely would have had to return home. If Stars Hollow hadn’t welcomed her with open arms, she may not have had the time to develop that bond with Rory. But it was the fact that if all else had failed she still had her rich family to fall back on that was the real kicker. Lorelai and Rory were never truly in danger of being destitute. Lorelai may have worried about money but it would never be an issue that left her unable to focus on her daughter and her well-being.
It was a relief to finally see the truth about Lorelai and Rory. Accepting that their relationship wasn’t a realistic one made me able to enjoy the show without wondering if I had somehow made the wrong decisions about my own adult life. I know it seems crazy to base a solid life plan on a television show but motherhood was important to teenage me, and Lorelai was the best mother teenage me had ever seen. That honour now belongs to my own mother. She had me at twenty-nine and though we had a rough go of it during my teenage years, I couldn’t be happier with the example she set for me.
I’m excited to see what adult Rory is like in A Year in the Life and how her relationship with her mother has evolved. But, honestly, I’m really here for Jess. 😉