Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Gilmore Girls Observances by Tyler & Me

YAY! My Tyler-boy is home!! And, as expected, we have jumped right into some "Gilmore Girls" viewing. NOT the new season, of course, because we are missing the third of our three musketeers, but a few important, selected catch-up episodes for the sone who has not yet made it back through ALL the episodes!

So, the most wonderful of all wonderful things occurred as we began our GG session - we realized that we had MANY similar observations of the characters and series and I decided that those observations MUST be the next post I make.

Here goes...

1. Paris is crazy and scary and awesome and crazy. This is not a news flash to anyone, but as we watched her "hunkered down in her hobo hut inside the 'Daily News'" (so said Tyler) it came into acute and glorious focus. We loves ya, Paris, we LOVE ya!!! (and - YEAH - Paris Gellar does NOT perp walk!)

2. Rory is a creepy kisser. I really thought it was just about those gross first kisses with Dean, but, really, she's not an awesome kisser. And Tyler agrees. He thinks that Alexis isn't even good at it when she's not Rory - like in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." Ewwwww!

3. Tyler dresses just like Luke. In fact, they are literally wearing the same shirt right now as we watch season 6, episode 14. Yup.

4. Emily is just divine! Again, not a news flash, but one thing that we all seem to agree on is how much we LOVE Emily Gilmore. Sure, she's infuriating much of the time. But she's the OG when it comes to infuriating, passive-aggressive, shrill, biting comments and manipulative cahoots!

5. Sometimes Rory's bangs are a bit heavy. That's all. There's really not more to say.

6. Luke does sort of resemble Nicolas Cage. I recently made a post on Facebook about one of my favorite holiday movies, "The Family Man," starring Nicolas Cage. My mom made a comment, "Do you think Luke looks like Nicolas?" It took me a minute to figure out which Luke she meant, but then it was obvi. And, yes, tonite Tyler and I have noticed that Luke does, at times, resemble Nicolas Cage. Especially without the baseball cap.

7. Rory's immaturity and fit-throwing bug us so much because we're used to her being the grownup. Our catch-up viewing tour started with "Friday Night's All Right for Fighting" because of Savannah's strong recommendation and insistence that the family tension showcased at the end of the episode felt very, very familiar.

Anyhoo - as I've already pointed out, this episode in particular seems to showcase Lorelai acting the mature parent with wise insights and helpful advice, while Rory acted the petulant, spoiled, only child (according to Emily at dinner!). The point is, Tyler said he wanted to throttle Rory and I explained that she is supposed  to be acting like a brat and figuring things out and being ridiculous - because she's young and growing and learning. Lorelai, on the other hand, should have been the grownup all along, but she doesn't usually act like it - however, she suddenly jumps the shark in this episode into a wise, maternal sage spouting helpful, rational, reasonable, forgiving and even generous guidance. It's weird.

It may not look like it, but this is Lorelai's shining, mature mom moment!

Well, friends, that's about it. Today is the last day in our resistance of the new GG episodes. Tomorrow we will dive in!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Day 6 - Emily Gilmore's Guide to Life

She can be a polarizing figure, but the more times I watch "Gilmore Girls" the more I just love Emily.

She's the Queen Bee, the Queen Bitch, the one who taught Lorelai to hold grudges and manipulate her loved ones - and a woman who takes life firmly by the balls (although she would never be that crude!) and makes it her bitch.

Here's a peek at life according to the undeniable, unflappable, absolutely fantastic and perfectly infuriating Emily Gilmore.

Know what you want 
and don't let anyone give you any shit for demanding it. 

When it comes to men - make them work for it. 

Reward a person's actions accordingly...

Sometimes, even the most refined woman needs to pull out the big girl swears.

Don't cross her family - she'll make you pay.

Keeping up with the Joneses is for amateurs.

Be culturally sensitive... the best of your ability.

Twinning ROCKS!

If you're going to suffer, take the ones you love down with you!

Sometimes we all need a little breakdown.

NOTHING happens without her approval. 

We all get a crack in our armor from time to time. 

Never miss a chance to humiliate an enemy with lascivious secrets and bad fashion.

You've got to have standards. 

Do as I say, not as I do... 

Call your loved ones out before they stage the intervention.

And, matter what anyone else thinks, two glasses of wine at lunch is ALWAYS the right decision! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 8 - Friday Night's All Right For Fighting

Many of you may recognize the name of this post as the title of Season 6, Episode 13. About a week ago Savannah texted me at an ungodly hour to let me know she was literally LOL-ing her ass off watching this episode of familial dysfunction and confrontation.

I decided that I needed to immediately review said episode to refresh my memory of the exact context.

Savannah's description:
"Momma! I'm watching the episode in season 6 when the whole family is fighting at dinner then getting along and then fighting and then getting along. It feels like our lives. Haha."

I received the message with a mix of pride and trepidation.

First, I was exhilarated that she was reminded of her own family and second, I was mortified that what inspired that comparison was fighting - then getting along - then fighting - then getting along.

I jumped into the tub, set up my bathtub office and re-watched the entire episode.

In the context of Savannah's declaration, and my previous countdown posts, I had several epiphanies during my review. Here you go:

1. OMG - Lorelai actually shows all the growth and insight I have heretofore claimed she was without! Yes, it's true! In this episode, Lorelai orchestrates a reunion between Rory and her grandparents (to which none of them consented) and counsels her daughter with these wise, wise, words:

"You and your grandparents are at a huge crossroads - a precipice, if you will - they are the bridges of Madison County and you are Meryl Streep...I know you and your grandparents are playing 'who can freeze out who the longest' - which I know can be fun - but if you ever hope to have a relationship with again, then someone needs to make the first move.

"I remember the first Christmas (yes - there's a Christmas tie-in!) after we left Hartford. We were at the Independence Inn and I got an invitation to their annual Christmas party and I didn't go, and that one move defined our entire future relationship."

Lorelai goes on to admit that her effort to break the ice so many years ago wouldn't have felt wonderful, but it may have been the first step to a different relationship and potentially different future for both her and Rory.

After Rory admits that it may - or may not have- made a difference, Lorelai pulls at her daughter's heartstrings, emphasizing how important a relationship with her grandparents has always been to Rory. Then Lorelai pulls out the big guns - she's already scheduled Friday Night Dinner for all of them - just like old times.

"C'mon - Friday night dinner - cocktails, Mozart, mind games, good times."

OMG! I have to reiterate the horrible text talk for this one. I actually feel badly for condemning Lorelia so harshly without giving her performance in this episode its due. She is the Lorelai I've always longed for - the one I knew was there somewhere - the one who was able to contribute to the growth and development of an exceptional daughter.

Kudos, Lorelai! Kudos!

2. Family dinners are prone to awfulness. I like to believe that when our family gets together it's always awesome, but I know that is likely not the total truth. While I, as the grownup, may have one perspective, my loinfruit may have another.

I tried to watch the melodrama of the Friday night dinner in question play out from Savannah's perspective. After a while, it wasn't a challenge to see what she was so ebulliently texting me about.

There was a veneer of formality and politeness, under which months and years of resentment, misunderstanding, fear, and love were bubbling.

They were all on edge until they were shouting outright at one another.

Then they were all admonished to behave civilly and give every one at the table their due.

Then they were all laughing uncontrollably as they all united in spiteful mirth against a common enemy.

Then they were dredging up age-old hurts and parading them out for good measure.

Then they were uniting again.

Then dissenting.

And so on...

I believe it is the combination of bi-polar responses and full cocktails that really brough thte episode home for my progeny.

3. Through the years, we all will be together...Even if it's only during the holidays, family will haunt you until the end of your days - and we wouldn't it any other way.

Whether we like it or not, family is hard to shake - and most of the time that's a really, REALLY good thing. And they're gonna stand by us no matter how much we go off their pre-planned course for us, or how many tattoos we get, or how much we vote for the opposite political party.

What watching this episode after the input of my daughter did for me, was to solidify the importance - and blessing - of family in our lives.

Rarely are we so motivated to understand the other side's point of view. To put aside our gut reaction to hear what someone else has to say. To look past our biases to see the best in others - because we see those others as human beings, and part of our whole.

The big, bad truth is that we very rarely see eye-to-eye with those in our lives. But there are reasons that we soldier on - business, friendship and family. And, when it comes to family, we don't really have a choice. Of course, we could choose to freeze out our family forever, but if those relationships matter, we're going to work to find a way to get to neutral ground. And that's exactly what this episode explores - and it doesn't make it pretty.

Whether we like it or not, we tend to love our family - and that forgives a multitude of (real OR imagined) sins. This "Gilmore Girls" episode shows us how to navigate those stormy waters. Next time you're at a loss for how to get past something with your great aunt or brother-in-law, sit everyone down in front of this episode and (if it's your style) pour a fresh round of drinks and watch a family that's more (for the moment) dysfunctional than yours.

And laugh, and shake your head, and use the break in tension to become friends again. Believe me, it will be worth it.

XOXO to all the families and other complicated relationships out there - love one another!

Day #8 - My favorite quote from the episode under discussion:

"I tried to timeshare a plane. It is in no way even close to the same thing."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 9 - soooo close!!

Day #9 Gilmore Girls Words to Live By

(just some favorite moments to make us all warm, fuzzy and not a little snarky)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Anniversaries (a re-post)

This week marks two tough anniversaries, and I just don't have the wherewithal to delve back in this year. But they are heavy on my heart and so I want them to be acknowledged. Therefore, here's the post I wrote one year Gilmore Girls tie-in is that I know they say goodbye to Richard Gilmore (Edward Hermann) in the new episodes, so here's to all of us who've lost someone and still feel the sting of their absence and the warmth of their memory.

  1. the date on which an event took place in a previous year.
    "the 50th anniversary of the start of World War II"
    • the date on which a country or other institution was founded in a previous year.
      "Canada's 125th anniversary"
    • the date on which a couple was married in a previous year.
      "he even forgot our tenth anniversary!"

      For better or worse — just as in the wedding vows so notably associated with the idea of anniversaries — certain dates, moments, events mark us forever. 

      Some are relatively easy. The day we were born or met our true love or became a parent or got proposed to on the beach. Those are fine anniversaries. Dates to remember, revisit and celebrate. Pop the champagne, crank the tunes and cue the laughs. These are moments to mark. They remind us of who we are, where we came from and where we hope to go.

      Others are more challenging but just as persistent. Sometimes even more so. None more difficult than the dates, moments and events where we had to say goodbye. 

      For as surely as the moon follows the sun, anniversaries of sorrow and pain dog our days. 

      These occasions of remembrance are not less important than those occasions of celebration. In fact, they are so bittersweet because they co-mingle the joy of a person with the pain of their absence. 

      Today marks one year (two years, now) since Tyler's dear, sweet girl Julianne took her leave. 

      Twelve months, 365 (730) days, 52 (104) weeks that I can scarcely believe have passed. 

      A year in which I have cried so many tears. For so many reasons. And so many for Tyler, for Julianne, for my friend who unexpectedly lost her husband, for old friends who tragically lost a son, for a baby boy lost so many years ago, for my beloved grandfather and wonderful aunt, for a desperate uncle, for my little brother's childhood best friend, for too many lost to the despair of suicide over the years and their loved ones left to carry on...for everyone faced with the stark and irrevocable absence of someone they loved

      Most of these sorrows I have carried with me for years if not decades, but the beautiful Julianne opened my floodgates. I don't know why and I still haven't been able to really stem the tide. And part of me is okay with that. I believe the memory of a person, the celebration of a person, the absence of a person deserves attention, notice, acknowledgement and even tears. Especially tears as it seems that is the best I have to give in their honor. 

      Standing in Today and looking backward I am grateful for many things. I am supremely glad and eternally grateful that I answered the phone on the second ring when Tyler called in the wee hours of the morning. I am so grateful that I kissed Julianne on the cheek and said "I love you" the last time I saw her. I'm grateful I did the same to my grandfather the last time I was able to share a day with him. 

      I'm thankful that it's a year (2, now) later and Tyler is strong, happy, healthy and more hopeful than I can remember. 

      I'm grateful that I've seen enough loss to know that we can survive. That we do survive. And that our survival honors and celebrates those we so desperately miss. But that doesn't diminish the loss or make the anniversary easier. 

      What I do know is that over time — and it may be a very long time — the anniversaries come with less weight. Less dark weather and haunted dreams. The first time you realize the anniversary is upon you without weeks of gloom and despair heralding its arrival you will feel guilty. For some reason we are prone to wear grief as the testament of our love, devotion and remembrance. But, when we think about it objectively, we would never want anyone paralyzed in mourning on our behalf. 

      The undeniable truth is that anniversaries are unavoidable. Some we look forward to and some we wish had no reason to exist. But their acknowledgement — and their passing — is imperative. 

      In the words of King Solomon, 

      "There is a time for everything,
      and a season for activity under the heavens:

      a time to be born and a time to die,

      a time to plant and a time to uproot,

      a time to kill and a time heal,

      a time to tear down and time to build,

      a time to weep and a time to laugh,

      a time to mourn and a time to dance,

      a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

      a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

      a time to search and a time to give up,

      a time to keep and a time to throw away,

      a time to tear and a time to mend,

      a time to be silent and a time to speak,

      a time to love and a time to hate,

      a time for war and a time for peace."

      Anniversaries are a time for us to remember, to mourn, to celebrate, to share and to heal. For Tyler this is the first (second) of many tough anniversaries to come, and that breaks my heart. But he is up to the task and I am so proud of him. Along with the pain, anniversaries also bring resilience. 

      I am indescribably devastated to have this anniversary to mark but am so grateful for the love, light, joy and healing that it brings along with the sadness. Because to remember that bright girl is to remember sweetness, authenticity and a true, genuine spirit that was rare for a girl of just 17. She was delightful. I am so glad to have known her and cooked meals for her and watched the way she looked at Tyler and never once hesitated in calling Tyler "him." 

      We love you Julianne. You are in our hearts now and forever. 

  2. Day #11 Gilmore Girls Words to Live By

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Footloose vs. Mrs. Kim

If you know anything about Mrs. Kim, you know that she is a formidable, Christian, Tiger Mom of the first order. Her daughter, Lane, is Rory's best friend and Stars Hollow's resident expert on all things punk, rock, and otherwise pop musical.

Growing up in the shadow of Mrs. Kim forced Lane to become inordinately creative in hiding her secular interests. Lane took sweeping things under the rug to new (and literal) heights heretofore unknown by mortal teenage miscreant. The fact that she had a completely categorized and indexed library of music, clothing, makeup and anything else deemed dangerous by Mrs. Kim, hidden in the floor of her bedroom makes Lane the iconic teenage foil of overprotective mothers everywhere.

For those of us who grew up loving "Footloose," Lane's predicament resonated.

I, for years, have described my own teen years in terms of "Footloose." Secular music, dancing, makeup, etc. were all forbidden. My mother and Mrs. Kim would've been besties!

But I had something Lane didn'ta stepfather with an unwavering commitment to logic and reason.

In very similar fashion to Ren (we're back to "Footloose"), I, too, pulled out the big guns in my fervent quest to be allowed to dance. I also turned to the Good Book and the words of King David to make my impassioned plea in defense of dancing. It didn't hurt that I also threw in my stellar record of behavior, grades, and responsibility for consideration.

On her own, my motherlike Lane'swould not have been swayed.

And I can't blame her. She was acting in good conscience. In defense of my mortal soul. Her restrictions and limitations were out of love and a desire to save me from the inevitable follies, misfortunes and heartbreaks of growing up. And, of course, from the waiting lake of fire with all the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

However, my mother was not on her own. She was married. And, like any good, Christian woman, she believed in obeying her husband. A state of affairs that (I must admit) fills me with a mortal dread, but for which I was supremely grateful as a teenager eager to get her groove on.

This unexpected blessing was two-fold for me. First, I had an awesome man who was willing to listen to my arguments and consider my case in a fair and just manner. Second, I had a mother who (whether she liked it or not) was going to support her husband's take on the situation.

Ultimately, I think we all benefitted from this arrangementeven if we didn't realize it at the time.

In the end, I, along with Lane and the kids of "Footloose" won my right to dance.

And, when Lane finally reached out to Mrs. Kim, she got what she wanted, too. Mostly. In fact, Mrs. Kim became so gung-ho in her efforts to support Lane's Rock-n-Roll dreams, that she single-handedly booked Hep Alien on their first tour. Granted, it was a church tour, but she held nothing back when it came to believing in her daughter and her dreams.

The wonderful thing about each of these repressive situations is that when everyone finally opened up and talked (and listened) to one another, love always won out.

While I never went to the same lengths that Lane went to, in order to subvert her mother's smothering love, I've always felt she was a kindred spirit.

It wasn't until recently, during my reviewing of "Gilmore Girls" that I recognized the correlation between Lane and my own "Footloose" teen narrative. And, I realized that the townspeople of "Footloose" would have been hard-pressed to stand their own against Mrs. Kim. When it comes to strict rules about behavior, influences, and who you can date (Korean boys are always preferred), Mrs. Kim would win every single time.

There's no love like a mother's love, and even though "Gilmore Girls" is rife with motherly devotion, there's no mother more insanely dedicated to what she believes is her daughter's best interest than Mrs. Kim. She doesn't compromise. She doesn't waver. And, even though she has a first-class ticket on the crazy train, she always ends up doing the right thing for her daughter.

So, on this, the 12th day of my vigil waiting to watch the next chapter in the "Gilmore Girls" saga, I give props to Mrs. Kim and her fanatical motherly devotion.

Day #12 Gilmore Girls Words to Live By (or not...)