February 7th, 2011

Episode 1.7 - Kiss & Tell: Don’t Take It Personally

So it is in the seventh episode that Rory receives one of her big firsts: her first kiss. For a teenage girl, it was perfect. It was completely planted on her by Dean spontaneously. And as we all did when we received our first kiss, Rory ran to tell her best friend Lane at her house (or the antique shop, whichever you prefer). The strict Mrs. Kim overhears Rory telling Lane blasphemous things like kissing boys and shoos Rory out of the house/store. Notice that when I said “she ran to her best friend,” I said Lane and not Lorelai. In fact, Rory dances around ever telling Lorelai that the kiss happened. So guess who Lorelai hears the news from? The one and only Mrs. Kim. Of course Lorelai feels hurt to be learning of her daughter’s first kiss through a third party. 

But Rory was not keeping this from Lorelai to hurt her feelings, it was more because Rory didn’t know how to tell her. In the past I have found myself getting upset when I learn a friend didn’t tell me something major that happened to them (i.e: first kiss, sex, etc.). But then I have to put myself in their shoes. When it comes to our sexuality, it is an awkward thing to talk about —to anyone. I have a hard time admitting to my friends that I drunkenly kissed a boy at a frat party, not to mention if I actually have feelings about a guy. 

So how can I be upset when my friends are not so different from me? We have to learn to not take things personally if our friends (again, or daughters) do not immediately confide in us things about their love life. It is their love life, and we just occasionally get the privilege of hearing about it now and then. And 9 times out of ten, they’ll eventually talk about it with you.

And in TV land, Rory and Lorelai eventually talk about the first kiss, and it turns out to not be so awkward at all. How’s that for a happy ending : ) 

January 31st, 2011

Episode 1.6 - Rory’s Birthday Parties: The Kids Are Not Alright

You’ll notice that I skipped episode five, but it’s because I will be talking about that theme later on in the season when it is more prominent. 

Rory celebrates her birthday in the sixth episode of the first season. Lorelai has a big party planned with all of the quirky people of Stars Hallow for her Rory. Not to be outdone, Emily insists that Rory will have a birthday cocktail party at the Gilmore’s with all of Emily and Richards friends…and all of Rory’s classmates (whom she is not friends with) from Chilton. When Rory learns that her grandmother has invited her classmates she is mortified, to which Emily completely disregards. This perplexes Rory because Emily had been making an effort to get to know Lorelai and Rory better. Lorelai can tell that something is wrong with Rory, but when Rory doesn’t admit to anything, Lorelai drops it. Needless to say, this all leads to an outburst by Rory at the party from feeling embarrassed and as if it isn’t her party at all. 

So I am not about to go off on Lorelai for not pushing why Rory seemed upset. But it does bring up something important: sometimes it pays to be more perceptive of our friends’ (or daughter, in this case) feelings. When we are close enough to someone, we are perceptive their feelings; the good and the bad ones. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to push them on the bad feelings, but sometimes it is necessary. Rory didn’t tell Lorelai that she was upset because she didn’t want Lorelai to be upset. Our friends (and we’re guilty, too) do the same thing. But we aren’t stupid. We see it when they are down. Most of the time they will not want to put the burden on you, but what they (and we) don’t realize in the moment is that it really is not a burden. Be a venting post for your friends, and they’ll do the same for you.

Had Rory gotten off her chest what was really upsetting her, we probably would not have seen the big blow-up that we did.

But that wouldn’t make good TV, would it? ;-)

January 30th, 2011

Episode 1.4 - The Deer Hunter: It’s Okay to Lose the Battle

Rory has to prove herself at her new school. She really has to study to be at the top of her class so that she can fulfill her dream of going to Harvard. She has an exam on Shakespeare that is very important to her grade in her English class, so she and Lorelai spend the week cramming for the exam. They cram so hard the night before that they both oversleep. Rory has missed her bus to Hartford and Lorelai has a meeting at the Inn at 8. Both frantic, Lorelai tells Rory to take her car to Hartford. Rory hurries, but while at a stop sign, a deer hits the car, making Rory even more late than she already was. By the time Rory reaches Chilton, the exam has already begun, and she is informed that she is not eligible to take the exam. A hilarious hissy-fit ensues from Rory, followed by another one (this time by Lorelai) in Headmaster Charles’ office. Headmaster Charles tells Lorelai that exceptions will not be made for Rory (regardless of the deer), and perhaps Rory is not meant to be at Chilton or go to Harvard. Lorelai then questions Rory if she actually wants to go to Harvard, or is it because it’s what Lorelai wants for her. She tells Rory that there is no pressure if she were to want to leave Chilton. Rory assures Lorelai that Harvard is her own choice, and she will not be defeated by Chilton. Ultimately, Rory’s English teacher, Mr. Madena, calls to tell Rory that she’ll be allowed extra credit work to make up for the missed exam. 

We’ve all heard the phrase “pick your battles.” I am not saying that Rory and Lorelai chose the wrong battle, but more they accepted that they lost it is commendable. How Rory handled it is even more commendable. She could have let this missed exam defeat her, but she did not. She chose to keep headstrong even though she was told that she would probably never make it. Isn’t that a wonderful way to be? Sometimes I forget that even though I am defeated by some situations that I am only fighting battles. I have not lost the war yet. Look at Rory; in the end she was accepted to both Harvard AND Yale. Maybe we all aren’t working toward ivy league schools, but we are fighting in the war of life (stop laughing at the cliche). So next time you feel discouraged, remember it’s only a deer in the car door. 

Episode 1.3 - Kill Me: It’s Okay for Your Friends (or daughter) to Like the People You Don’t

At Friday Night Dinner, Rory announces that she must take on type of athletic sport class at Chilton. Over much debate, the Gilmores say Rory should take on Golf. This is of course decided because Richard Gilmore’s favorite sport is golf. At this point, Rory and Richard are distant, and Emily insists that Richard take Rory to “the club” to play golf. Richard has his reservations, but promises Emily that he’ll be pleasant.

This, of course, sends Lorelai into a panic. Her daughter is about to spend an entire day with the very people Lorelai despises: her own parents. The always polite Rory sucks it up and prepares to spend the day with her grandfather. And wouldn’t you know, the two actually have a lot in common. The day ends with Rory and Richard taking on not only the role of grandfather/granddaughter, but as friends. You can imagine Lorelai’s shock as she learns of this, and it does not settle with her well. She has an unexplained lashing out at Rory all because she couldn’t stand the fact that Rory could possibly like the people she didn’t. Lorelai finally sees the error of her ways and apologizes to Rory, letting her know that it is okay to have a relationship with her grandparents.

We’ve all been in this situation. Our friend develops a new friend who we cannot stand even for a second. Sometimes it’s hard because you feel you are tearing your friend in two different directions. So you start to avoid them. You judge them for things you normally would not have before. But for what? To ruin a great relationship? As we see with Lorelai and Rory, the deterioration of a friendship is not worth it. It is okay that you and a friend (or daughter, or boyfriend, or mother) have different taste in people. It does not have to reflect on the relationship you have built. After all, Richard and Emily are not so bad and provide some pretty good laughs.