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."

No comments: