Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Warning: Spoilers below!
I am an avid Gilmore Girls fan, so naturally I was counting down the days to November 25th! I got into my pajamas and grabbed all the snacks I could find and sat down to watch it. Boy, had time passed! Stars Hollow was still whimsical and quirky but our leading ladies, Rory and Lorelai, had certainly changed.
Growing up with Rory was nostalgic for me as she was battling university anxiety and boy drama the same time I was, so I felt a sort of kinship with her. I was excited to see her matured and grounded at 32. The beginning of the show followed my expectations with Rory as a very accomplished writer travelling across the world to pursue her dreams of journalism. But as the show progresses, it becomes painfully obvious that Rory is still the confused girl she was at 22.
Rory knows she wants love and wants validation and she mistakenly believes that her worth lies in how desirable she is and how accomplished she is in the professional world. She spends all of her energy in nurturing a no-strings attached affair with Logan while cheating on a boyfriend she keeps forgetting to break up with. She is juggling her heart and adds the hearts of Paul and Logan in the mix. She also painstakingly tries to further her career to make a name for herself and prove she is good enough. I can relate to that desire to want to be perfect and to want to be loved and accepted by the world. We have all felt lost, anxious, disappointed, confused and disillusioned about the future. In a world of variabilities and job contracts, it is terrifying to think about setting roots with no promise of security in relationships and careers. No underwear, no job, no financial security - Rory thinks she has hit rock bottom but it is clear that there are deeper issues at hand.
Gilmore girls glamorizes hook ups and intimacy without exclusivity or commitment. There is a lot of love-swept airplane flights, and playing house without evaluating the relationship. But the one thing I love about the show is the mercy exchanged between Lorelai and Rory. They are quick to forgive and provide the love needed to get up after a heartbreak or disappointment. The lesson of Gilmore girls is this: Your past doesn't define you. Rory and Lorelai are modern heroines in a sense because they are clear depictions of what women desire. The desires of the feminine heart are written all over their stories. We desire to be chosen, to be set apart, to be delighted in and to be loved. In these desires, we can be tempted to grasp after love and fleeting joy and we see the characters make bad choices as they strive to be loved. But we also see Lorelai and Rory pull themselves out of their messes time and time again.
Rags to riches: Lorelai rose above her family's judgments and prejudices as a teen mom. She worked hard to put her kid through Chilton and Yale, raised an independent, bright daughter by herself and built a successful inn business from the ground up. That's pretty impressive!
Healing the fatherless wound: Rory comes to terms with her estranged father, Christopher, and deals with her abandonment issues and the pattern she has created with guys. She wants to never be abandoned so she dismisses her forgettable boyfriend, Paul, and insists on keeping things casual with Logan out of fear of intimacy and rejection. But we can see that she is not a casual girl. She needs roots, she needs commitment, she needs exclusivity. Rory is devastated when she must part ways with Logan because Logan is a younger version of her dad - in the corporate family business, rich, aloof, superficial, avoiding responsibility, no strings attached. When Logan leaves her, it's like her dad leaving her all over again. Both Logan and Christopher did not win a Gilmore girl's heart because they did not fight for her.
Putting a ring on it: Luke pushes Lorelai to be permanent. He will never leave. He will fight for their love. He will compromise for their love. They both went from person to person but now that they found each other - he will fight to be her person, forever belonging to each other. Luke fulfilled Lorelai's desires and squashed her fears of not being settled, and she finally let him in. After what feels like forever, they finally marry!
Although there are a lot of parts of the plot that are given a proper ending, the elusive last 4 words open up a whole can of worms! I was shocked and caught myself screaming "What!?" as I heard them and saw the closing credits roll down the screen. I was left with disbelief, anger, and frustration as I saw Rory confide in her mother and share her shocking news. Like mother, like daughter - the show had to come full circle with Rory emulating Lorelai in her beauty and also in her brokenness. It is uncomfortable as a viewer to see the show wrap up without a bow and without clear closure between characters, but that ending is a deeply intuitive lens into our own lives. There are no bows, no closing soundtrack, and no scripted dialogue in our lives. Our lives are raw, un-edited, and starkly transparent. Our reactions to love, loss, joy and sorrow are messy, and flawed. All we can do is live our days to the fullest, love each other, and show up for each other.