Gilmore Girls and Me


Gilmore Girls and Me

Kim Delmar Cory 
            The seven season series, Gilmore Girls, and its four afterglow episodes, A Year in the 
        Life, have inspired me, as a woman of a certain age, to consider spending ‘my pension on brandy 
        and summer gloves.

            Why do I feel obliged to watch these reruns mercifully offered on Netflix enough times 
        to rival the number of ubiquitous twinkle lights wrapped around every pole, tree, building, 
        newspaper stand, and the town square gazebo in the small fictional Connecticut town of Stars 
        Hollow along with the extravagant over-the-top pumpkin and gold leaf decorations saturating the 
        town in autumn?
            Irreverent elegance, spirited defiance, and the flouting of civilized behaviors stick to me
        like white rice to the bottom of a pot with every rewatched episode. 
        These are women who age gracefully but never grow old. And they both look good 
        wearing a lipstick called “Vicious Trollop'. 
            I admire Lorelai and I want to be Emily when I grow up. 
        Lorelai Gilmore, lovely single mom to a 16 year-old daughter, is in her 30s throughout 
        the seven year run of the original series Gilmore Girls. Eccentric, independent and sassy, with a 
        penchant for Jimmy Choos and red vine candy, Lorelai is someone that women of any age would 
        love to emulate.

            She runs a charming Inn. Check. She hates exercise. Check. Not a fan of salad. Check. 
        What are the odds of a mother warbling the sappy theme song from the movie Beaches, 
        “You are the Wind Beneath my Wings”, to her teenage daughter like Lorelai does after two 
        teenage boys have a knock down drag out fight over the daughter that had to be broken up by the 
        police? Anybody?
            Within the final Year in the Life episode that occurred nine years after the original series 
        ended, Lorelai is happily with the same man, Luke. It is by her choice that they are not married. 
        Her Inn is struggling and a beloved employee is leaving.

            She is in a rut. A work rut. A life rut. 
        Has that ever happened to any of us when in our 40s? (Communal nod acknowledged). Maybe 
        we get a new hairstyle, hunt up a new gluten free, low fat, vegan recipe, or move the couch to the 
        other wall. Exciting stuff. 

            So what does Lorelai do in response to her 'rut'? She decides she needs a change. So she 
        challenges herself to do Wild (the book). Yes, Lorelai, who despises any outdoors beyond her 
        porch, determines she will hike the 2650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to find 

            After buying a backpack that likely outweighs her, hiking boots, and unfood-like 
        substances in tubes, she flies out to the West coast and, although she doesn't hike the trail, in her 
        pursuit of this goal Lorelai discovers answers to her life questions. 
        No couch shifts. No new hair style. No new recipe (she doesn't cook anyway). Check. 

            Just flying by the seat of her pants out of her comfort zone. 
        For decades within the original series, 60 something Emily, high society mother of 
        Lorelai, served as chair of fundraising committees for orchestras, ballets, hospitals, libraries, endangered animals and hundreds of causes du jour.

            Her entire existence revolved around 
        coordinating her social calendar and that of husband Richard, hiring and firing household staff 
        -her record of firing maids likely held at two per day -- and contributing to the economy with 
        copious sumptuous purchases.

            Emily's status as darling of the DAR (Daughters of the American 
        Revolution) was without a doubt one of her most cherished accomplishments. 
        Skip to 9 years later in an A Year in The Life segment where now 74 year-old Emily sits 
        on a DAR membership board. Emily and her stately DAR darlings are interviewing a bimbo 
        esque trophy wife for potential admittance to the DAR. They all know it will never happen but because the interviewee is the third wife of a prestigious member         of their social circle, 'Barbie' is interviewed. Emily ambles over to a table and noisily rifles through a box of cookies, choosing 
        one that suits her as the board ladies continue their pointless interview.

            In what might be the 
        most extraordinary and illuminating words spoken by the character Emily throughout her tenure 
        as a matriarch of society and the DAR, she proclaims with dismissive eloquence that could only 
        be delivered by a woman of a certain age: “Bullshit!”. Emily has had enough of the affectations 
        of the DAR and everything involved in it. It is all “Bullshit.” Thus this classy broad meanders 
        out of the room, leaving all with their mouths agape.
            ‘Bullshit' is a good word and I am inclined to use it more often, thanks to Emily Gilmore. 
        Since her husband, Richard's, recent death, Emily struggles to reinvent herself. Her 
        marriage to Richard and place in society defined her. Now she has lost one and dismissed the 

            When Lorelai visits her mother one afternoon, she finds Emily throwing out her precious 
       belongings. A friend had recommended The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up book by 
        Marie Kondo as a way of decluttering her house of any and everything that doesn't bring her joy' before selling it. Including prized art work, antique furniture,         designer fashions and more. 

            After Lorelai points out that her mother may regret throwing out her furniture, clothing and 
        antiques, Emily discovers this is not the way to reinvent her life. 
        It's hard to regroup after such losses. We will probably have like experiences. Possibly 
        react as Emily did. 
        But Emily does sell her house. She takes on a “gentleman friend'
        (much to her daughter's chagrin) who does not replace Richard, but simply provides her with the companionship of a 
        man of a certain age.

            She buys a small cottage on Nantucket Island that might well have fit into 
        the living room of the mansion she sold. 
        And she lives in her cottage. Sitting on a yard swing overlooking the stars and ocean with 
        a glass of wine at night, bundled up under a blanket. 
        Possibly contemplating how she will spend her “pension on brandy and summer gloves.' 

        Poem 'Warning' by Jennifer Joseph.