Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Things I Can't Stand About Lorelai Gilmore

I used to gush about Lorelai and wish I had the same cool-mom cred, but after my recent re-viewing of all seven seasons, I feel a bit differently. I still love momma Gilmore, but along with my previous placement of her at the cool kids' table, I also think she'd be right at home in "Heathers" or leading the Plastics.

In the pursuit of fairness, (and in response to my own list of things I love about her) here's a look at the things I really don't like about Ms. Gilmore.

1. She's super self-involved.
Lorelai seems like a great gal to have on your side - and I think that's mostly true. As long as whatever you have going on doesn't interfere in any way with her personal drama du jour. Whether's it's the baptism of Sookie's babies or the death of Michel's beloved Chin-Chin, Lorelai has a very hard time looking past her own feels to give any real compassion and/or empathy to those who give it to her on the regular.
Best examples:

  • Giving a magazine interview that publicly skewers her mother without any thought about the fallout. 
  • Obsessing about the wedding date she didn't cancel instead of trying to understand how much April rocked Luke's world - she's the last person who should throw a fit because someone wants to put their kid first (especially after missing out on the first 12 years!).
  • Every time she treats Sookie like her personal assistant instead of her best friend.

2. She's often more a friend than a mother.
This is one of the things that, at first, makes her seem like a cool mom. However, in my book (and as I told my own kidlets repeatedly), being a mom isn't about being friends. It's about keeping them alive and helping them become self-sufficient, happy adults who contribute to the world in which they live. I'm not saying that Lorelai didn't do that, but she was often more into being besties that she came off like a big sister instead of the grownup in charge.
Best examples:

  • Helping Lane and Rory lie to Mrs. Kim - no matter how cray-cray Mrs. Kim could be, that's not mom behavior.
  • The constant complaining about and belittling of her own parents - what kind of example is that (and where's the gratitude)?
  • Ganging up on the poor ballerina with Rory.

3. She sticks her nose where it doesn't belong.
Lorelai has an opinion about every little thing, and she (in her own mind) is pretty much always right. She speaks her mind freely and with very little (if any) self-editing. Sometimes that's endearing, but often it just made everything worse. She wants us to think she is the big, independent voice of reason who dares to say what everyone else is thinking, but usually she's just getting too involved in drama of which she needs no part.
Best examples: 

  • Confronting April's mom after the slumber party without running it by Luke, or even checking with April. Not cool.
  • Every single "if you hurt my daughter" conversation she had with Rory's various boyfriends. In fact, nearly every private convo with Rory's paramours was cringe-worthy and over the line.

4. She's unforgiving.
Oh. My God. Lorelai has a LONG memory and she never forgives and forgets - especially when it comes to her parents. She is still angry at them for trying to protect her as a kid and provide her with a life of privilege and opportunity. They'd never had a daughter who got pregnant at 16 before, and they didn't know how to handle it, but they didn't throw her out as many real-life people do. Yes, Richard and Emily know how to go overboard, be controlling and play the same grudge game, but she never learns to put her pride aside for the greater good. Lorelai even freezes Rory out when she goes to her grandparents for help.
Best examples:

  • Every time she reignites her years-old resentment and hurt because her mom looks at her funny.
  • Not inviting her parents to her college graduation.
  • Hiding her engagement to Luke from her mom.

5. She wears tiny scarves.
Seriously - what's up with those baby scarves?

6. She's immature.
The longer I watched Lorelai run around and around (and around) in the same circles with her parents, her love life and even her daughter, the more she seemed like the same clueless, frightened 16-year-old kid who got knocked up. Sure, she became a successful business owner, but her tantrums, fits and endless grudges became tiresome. No matter how much Lorelai is lauded as the cool mom to end all cool moms, she still mostly does exactly what she wants to do - consequences be damned!
Best examples: 

  • Marrying Christopher and hiding it from Rory. Seriously?!?!
  • Sleeping with Christopher after blindsiding Luke with an ultimatum (did anyone else feel like she was just making up a reason to fuck this one up?)
(Is it any coincidence that both of these involve Christopher, the deadbeat, douchebag boy wonder? GAG!)

7. She keeps sleeping with Christopher.
OMG - I can't even.

8. She's afraid of intimacy.
Unless it's getting it on with Christopher, this gal can't run fast enough from anything resembling intimacy. Every time she gets the chance to be close with someone - whether her parents or a love interest - she hits the road (justified self-righteous reason in hand).
Best example:

  • Leaving Max high and dry. SMH

9. She never seems to pay for food or coffee at Luke's.
Maybe this is just a personal pet peeve, but as an independent business owner, she must know how her constant leeching affects Luke. Sometimes we should still pay for our coffee - even if batting our eyes and flirting can help us get it for free.

10. She won't give her own mother a break.
This entry may seem superfluous as it is interwoven through so many of the others, but I really think it goes too far. Of course Emily makes it easy for Lorelai to push her away, but if Lorelai would just put her ego and wounded pride aside for one moment and really listen to her mother (followed by really talking to her mother) I think this relationship could take leaps ahead in short order. Lorelai needs to see Emily through a mother's eyes - it would make all the difference.

Being a mom made me see my mother with completely new eyes. And those new eyes had sympathy, compassion and a level of understanding I never knew before. It doesn't mean I think my mom did everything right, but I know that she did what she thought was right because she loved me. And, really, that's all any of us can do.

Love her or hate her, at the end of the day, it's the extremes of Lorelai that make her a character that we just can't get enough of. And I totally have to admit that her awfulness is part of her overall charm - after all, we're all pretty awful sometimes.

Day #22 - "Gilmore Girls" Words to Live By

"I can be flexible, as long as everything is exactly the way I want it, 
I'm totally flexible."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 23 - Not a Blog

Truth be told, it was me who was particularly stupid today, but I took on some extra assignments and totally forgot about another article that was due yesterday! So, needless to say my writing brain is tapped out. In the meantime, enjoy Michel's Gilmore Girls Words to Live By - Day 23.

Monday, November 28, 2016

I Smell Snow

Much to the delight of our beloved Lorelai, we received the first major snowfall of the season today. And, in its honor, I'm changing up my planned post to explore the magic, the wonder, the mystery — and misery — of this seasonal miracle.

My best friend, Terri, doesn't have much in common with Lorelai Gilmore, but one thing that they both adore to a disturbing extent is snow. And they're both a little witchy about it. Lorelai can smell it coming and Terri beckons it with a little penguin totem that sits on her front porch wielding a banner that says, "Let it Snow." 

Terri can also make snow appear — and stay — through reading material. When she was reading the "Twilight" series it rained all summer long (and we live in a desert). Although that's not snow, the same principle applies. She is a witchy, witchy woman and, if she had her way, she'd pull an Elsa and put us in perpetual winter.

I, on the other hand, am not a lover of snow. In fact, I have hated it most of my life. But, in recent years, my resistance to the wet, fluffy, white stuff has started to wane. Don't get me wrong, I'm not even close to loving it Lorelei-style, but I'm beginning to see the allure.

Snow Is Magical
Whenever Lorelai talks about snow, the word magic isn't far behind. She craves the magic so much that she continually freezes out her loved ones — opening windows and dragging them out of bed  to get just one more whiff of that magical snow air. Lorelai says that all the best things in her life have happened in the snow — her best birthday, her daughter's first steps. She views it as a promise of good, unexpected things to come — and I think Terri does the same.

As I've started to look at snow as more than a huge pain in my ass that makes me cold, wet and possibly stuck somewhere getting colder and wetter, I think I'm beginning to understand the magic. At first I just equated that little tingle with the holidays. I've always loved a white Christmas. But that was about all the snow I was willing to take. The week before and the week following Christmas should be snow-filled. But the rest of the year? Forget it. 

Today, however, I looked at the brilliant blanket of white covering the world and felt a little bit of the Terri & Lorelai magic. I felt excited (and possibly delusional). I voluntarily donned my coat, hat, boots and mittens and went outside to shovel the snow — even though I have someone to do that for me.

The snow transforms my barren garden and naked trees into things of beauty. It makes our old dog act like a puppy. It slows everything down and makes the world quiet. Peaceful. Still. A world covered in snow almost feels like a secret. Like anything is possible.

Snow Is Miserable
After my jolly jaunt into the great, white world I became re-acquainted with why snow has never been my one true love. I was a dripping pile of wet — wet hat, wet mittens, wet coat, wet boots. My challenge was to get everything off and in a position to dry without spreading the cold, wet mess throughout my entire house.

Unfortunately, I went in through the back door, but needed to get to the front door to take off my boots. I considered taking them off in the kitchen, but in my efforts to un-drip myself I had pretty much already made the surrounding area around my feet wet. Any attempt to situate myself somewhere else in the kitchen would only lead to more puddles. 

I rested my sopped hat on a barstool over a vent and left a trail of wet footprints and drips across the kitchen to discard my boots and coat in the front entryway. Once everything was hung up I dutifully wiped down the kitchen floor to erase the scene of the crime. However, the more I worked on the floor, the worse it seemed to get. I realized I had enough wet dog prints on the floor that you'd think I ran a kennel. And then I got a good, strong whiff of that wet dog smell. My favorite.

And, once everything was clean and smelling better I looked outside to admire my work only to find it all covered once more in the beautiful, magical, promising (taunting) blanket of unending snow falling from the sky. The snow would always win. Always be one flake ahead of me. I couldn't conquer, control or influence it in any way. Unless having it melt all over me, the dog, and my house when I come inside counts.

I was about to berate myself for giving up so easily on the wonder of snow, and then I remembered Lorelei's falling out with the white stuff. After her magical midnite viewing of the first snow, she woke up to find her jeep frozen, buried and then attacked by a fallen branch that could no longer hold the weight of the wonderful snow. And this tried-and-true snow devotee took it personally — she literally tried to inflict pain on the snow as she dug out her car. 

If snow and all of its dastardly treachery could tear down a true believer like Lorelai, then I shouldn't feel bad for quickly returning to my own natural state, which prefers to be snow-free.

Whether you're a snow lover or a snow leaver, there's no denying that there is something special about those goddamned falling flakes. I may not yet be a true convert to the snow-loving ways of Terri and Lorelai, but I'm closer than ever before. And, as long as it gives me a great excuse to cozy up in front of the fire with a glass of wine, I'll keep giving it the old college try.

Day #24 Gilmore Girls Words to Live By

“I smell’s just my favorite time of the year. The whole world changes color. 
Flakes, flurries, swirls, crystals whatever form it comes in, I’ll take it. 
We go back, snow and me  we have a beautiful history. 
Sleigh rides, ice skating, snow ball fights I’ll even take curling...
Hot cocoa, hot toddies - it’s the best time of the year."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

12 Things I Love About Lorelai Gilmore

(Image Credit:
If mommyhood were high school, then Lorelai Gilmore would definitely be sitting at the cool table. She's hip, she's fun and she's most definitely hot. She's the kind of gal you want to confide in, and she's always good for a laugh, a lark or a scathingly sarcastic come-back.

She's the anti-Donna Reed, and God help us, we love her for it!

In honor of the supremely cool Lorelai, here's my list of the top 12 things about her that absolutely adore.

1. She's a Fierce Momma Bear
Lorelai may move through men faster than Miss Patty can find them, but one thing on which she never wavers if her immovable devotion to Rory. When it comes to dating, no dad (even one cleaning out a gun on the front porch) has ever been more terrifying than Lorelai Gilmore when she's telling Dean, Jess or Logan exactly how things are  and how they're going to be.

2. She Can Do TakeOut Like Nobody's Business

Julia Child she is not, but she can take a phone and a slew of take-away menus and turn them into a mind-boggling feast that only those who dig the Gilmore world can fathom. Whether it's from Luke's, Al's Pancake World, or an odd assortment of Chinese, Indian, and pizza establishments, Lorelai turns ordering takeout into an art form. Rory's inaugural night at the Yale dorm was a masterpiece.

(Image Credit: Tumblr)

3. She's Knows How to Do Life Like a Boss
This teenage momma worked her way up from housekeeping and sleeping in the spare shed to owning her own home and, later, her own inn as well. She outsources bake sale projects to the unsinkable (and gastronomically gifted) Sooki, she has coffee running through her veins, and she does it all in figure-hugging wrap dresses and knee-high boots. If she was into musical domination instead of quaint New England inns, she'd definitely give "Empire's" Cookie a run for her hard-earned money.

4. She's 100% Committed to Who She Is

Maybe the reason Lorelai can't seem to say "I Do" to someone else, is because she already tied the knot with herself. There's no talking to this lady when she sets her mind to something — and she doesn't distinguish between that which is good for her and that which is bad. But even when she makes you want to slap her (sleeping with Christopher again?!?!?) you have to admire her commitment to the action at hand. Whether it's stubbornly defying her mother, doggedly supporting Rory or pathetically seeking comfort from her baby daddy, she jumps in with both feet every time.

5. She's the Best Friend a Girl (or Guy) Could Ask For

In the midst of running her inn and single-mumming the hell out of her daughter, Lorelai still manages to make time for the supporting players in her life — most notably Sookie and Luke. Even though she doesn't always follow through (leaving Luke in the lurch on painting party night), she always means well and she usually goes way over the top to make up for her mistakes. She even knows Sookie's pregnant before Sookie does. Lorelai and her friends are woven into one another's lives without reservation and I think that's a beautiful sight.

6. She Loves Cheesy Shit

And I'm not just talking about pizza. Lorelai is in love with things like balloons at birthday parties, wacky town traditions and the first snow of the year. She loves the romance and spectacle of classics like "Casablanca" and "An American in Paris," but equally digs the "Final Destination" franchise and "Hard Bodies." She buys all the candy in Willy Wonka before sitting down to view the movie. She's a dork and she does it balls-out.

7. She Gives Back to the Community

It may seem like the town is always coming to Lorelai's rescue, but they wouldn't be there for her if she wasn't an integral part of the fabric of Stars Hollow. She and Rory are key players in all the town's many festivals and traditions — and when all the guests for the Victorian-themed Bracebridge Dinner get snowed in, she invites the town to come stay at the Inn and enjoy all the goodies (including Jackson in tights and horse-drawn sleigh rides!).

(Image Credit: Twitter)

8. She's Beautifully Flawed
Lorelai has inspired a cult-like following of ladies who look up to her, but the best part is that Lorelai isn't perfect. She messes up a lot. And she messes up spectacularly. In fact, I put forth that Lorelai may have been one of the original "Bad Moms" as brought to us on the big screen by Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristin Bell. It's great to see a role model that doesn't get everything right.

9. She's Plucky

From its fun pronunciation to its undaunted definition, there's hardly a more apt word out there to describe Momma Gilmore. No matter what happens, she has an uncanny ability to get back up, dust herself off and live to snark another day. Neither fire, nor arrests, nor car accidents, controlling mothers, or bad-boy boyfriends can keep Lorelai Gilmore down.

(Image Credit: Tumblr)
10. She Has No Filter
One of her most recognizable traits is her rapid-fire dialogue, chock-full of obscure pop culture references and dripping with sarcasm. Sometimes it's funny, others it's endearing, but every so often it gets her in trouble. 

I don't think Lorelai even knows what an internal monologue is, but that makes her an open book that we get to read. And we get to live vicariously through her often ill-timed rants that put all the posh people on edge — and make them more uncomfortable than the sticks that are so well-placed up their arses.

11. She Eats Dessert First 

— not every time, but Lorelai definitely has no qualms about ordering desert. She's constantly eating donuts, cake, pop tarts, pie, candy, and pretty much anything that's artificially flavored and stuffed with sugar. I just wish I could eat like Lorelai and still keep my girlish figure — I've never seen this junk food junkie work out, and it's simply not fair!

12. She Believes Life is Cause to Celebrate

One thing Lorelai does very well is mark an occasion. She throws killer slumber parties (just ask April), plans elaborate movie nights, simulates Asia in her house when Rory's plans change and takes on four Thanksgivings in one day. Lorelai doesn't hold back when it comes to celebrating life's important moments and she works hard to intentionally create memorable experiences for Rory to take away with her into the world. I've tried to do the same with my kids, and I love it every time Lorelai turns an ordinary Thursday into a special occasion.

Day #25 "Gilmore Girls" Words to Live By

(Image Credit: Tumblr)

(In true Paris Gellar form I'm going to write both sides of the issue, because I can - check back tomorrow for Things I Can't Stand About Lorelai Gilmore)

26 Days Until I Can Watch "Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life" (or Who the Hell Decided Patience Was a Virtue?)

Unlike the rest of the "Gilmore Girls" devotees out there, my wait for the return to Stars Hollow has not ended. Indeed, the worst days, I fear, are still to come.

When we first learned of the new "Gilmore Girls" installment, my kidlets and I made a pact to set aside all other cares, obligations and considerations in order to huddle together on the couch (with ample junk food, of course!) and go back to Luke's Diner, town meetings, and the Dragonfly Inn together.

Our original plan was to commence on the day after Thanksgiving, the day the series was released. However, despite our best intentions (always paving that road) it was simply not possible for us all to come together. We discussed our options - viewing remotely together through FaceTime or Skype or plain, old phone calls, viewing separately and then re-viewing together - and decided that  we simply could accept no substitutes to our original game plan.

Besides - if Lorelai could completely postpone Christmas itself until Rory returned from jolly old England - we could delay our "Gilmore Girls" reunion for a few weeks.

But now we must be on our guard and avoid any and all spoilers about the super-anticipated show we all love. Fortunately, the holidays should provide plenty of distraction along the way. And, to help me while away the Gilmore-less days to come, I've decided to post a Girls-centric blog every day until the viewing.

And, believe it or not, I have a LOT to say,.

So, if you're sick of all the "Gilmore Girls" nostalgia, I'm sorry - ignore me and my rantings for the next little while. However, if you - like me - have discovered new things to love (and a few things you don't love so much, after all) about the spirited, quick-witted, pop culture-loving phenoms of Stars Hollow, keep an eye out for my daily epistle.

 Day #26 "Gilmore Girls" Words to Live By

"Only prostitutes have two glasses of wine at lunch."

"Well, then buy me a boa and drive me to Reno, because I am open for business!"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

confessions of a nasty woman

After reading all the news - all the reports and all the analyses - I feel like I should be a Trump supporter.

I don't have a college degree.

I was a single mother at 20 - and a divorced mother of two by my early 30s. 

I'm in the low-to-middle class (depending on the year).

I'm white.

And - to top it all off - I have blonde hair and blue eyes. 

But I couldn't be more appalled at this election's outcome. 

I am also a friend and family-member of mixed-race, gay, lesbian, transgender, immigrant, mentally and physically disabled/challenged, non-educated, religiously fervent and other wonderful people who are not exactly like me.

Despite all that, I believe in the undeniable right of all people to be treated equally and with kindness, respect, compassion, understanding and the benefit of the doubt (even the people I don't agree with).

I drove across at least three states to go to my daughter's wedding to another woman. 

I now proudly call that same daughter my son. 

My greatest fears in the wake of this election are that we may no longer (for real) be listening to one another - searching for common ground - or even seeking basic understanding of that which we don't already know. 

I'm  afraid that hate and fear are stomping out love and reason. 

I may be scared about the future of my healthcare (I'm self-employed and the Affordable Care Act has been my best, most affordable and ONLY option), my right to control my own body, my son's safety in a bathroom, my daughter's chance at a fair shake in a man's business world, and the life and liberty of Americans not fortunate to be considered "normal" or lucky enough to have been born here - but I am stalwart in my faith that good will prevail, that right will out, that most people set out each day to make the world a better place and that we as a people learn from our mistakes. 

As a textbook, fundamental Christian for most of my life I was heartsick over the voice of Evangelicals in this election cycle. I did not find the love, forgiveness, understanding, grace and compassion that I was raised on. 

I do, however, have to give a shoutout to the predominant religion of my state - the LDS church - they held fast to their convictions and did not bend them to accept a man whose public behavior (all we had by which to judge him) exhibited hateful, violent, racist, bigoted, deceitful, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic and otherwise deplorable (yep, I said it!)  attitudes, actions and values. 

Huzzah! to an organization that stands by its fundamental beliefs.

In the quest of my life I have thirsted after knowledge that would bring hope and relieve suffering and show me a path of giving, love and compassion. 

I have not been a saint, but I have benefitted from the study of those who are. 

And - after having spent my life as a gentile in the world of Latter Day Saints, I must give them their props for being willing to stand up and say NO - regardless of the consequences. 

I may be living in a perpetual RED state - and I may have to buy my wine at the liquor store instead of the grocery aisle - but at least I know that some truths remain self-evident: Mormons are really hard to hornswoggle and people can stand on their own truth even if it's not popular. 

I'm not happy with this whole election cycle - but obviously we have a problem. 

Now is the time to give each other a break - let's look one another in the eye and be human. 

Who cares who sits in the Oval Office if we don't have each other's backs?