As a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, who watched all seven series (153 episodes) in the space of three months, and has watched it the whole way through four times now, I felt I should share the life lessons I have learned. Lorelai Gilmore, my favourite character, is a strong witty single mum who goes through life being a good friend, business woman, girlfriend and mother to those around her. She is the character from whom I have taken most of my newfound wisdom. Besides that, the other characters involved; her mother Emily, her daughter Rory and her best friend Sookie; are also sources from which you can learn. The show is just the best way to learn about life – with a side of sarcasm and wit.
So without hesitation, let’s get on with it.
*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS*
Lesson #1: Family is everything. Never ever forget it. Some family members will be your best friends, others will drive you a bit crazy, but at the end of the day, they’re all you have! My favourite family moment is when Rory says to Lorelai “Mom, you’ve given me everything I need” right when she’s about to leave home to go to Yale.
Lesson #2: Tell your family or your loved ones that you love them, and do it often. The family comes first theme is obviously a theme throughout the entire show, but the way that Lorelai and Rory talk to each other, and tell each other how much they mean to them is the absolute reason why their relationship is so strong. The quote that made me cry like a lost child in a supermarket (I’m talking meltdown crying!) was this one, Rory’s high school graduation speech, in the last episode of Series 3: “I live in two worlds. One is a world of books… It’s a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric, but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars, without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild. But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore. My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom: you are my guidepost for everything.”
Lesson #3: If you are crying over him one minute and happy the next, it’s probably not a healthy relationship and you should run! In Series 5 Episode 18 & 19, Lorelai’s daughter Rory is torn about her open-relationship with fellow Yale student and rich kid Logan Huntzberger and in one scene is crying on the floor over him next to the toilet after being sick (due to too much of Miss Patty’s punch). Unhappy, Rory goes to end it but Logan suggests he can be a boyfriend and so they go to give it a go. After a tumultuous meal at the Huntzbergers’ house, where Logan’s mother and grandfather lay into Logan’s choice in dating Rory, confused she calls her mother. Lorelai then goes on to say “You, my beautiful, brainy, fabulous daughter, were lying on the floor of the bathroom, wondering what you had done wrong! Which is disturbing to me on several levels, including the fact that I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the floor of the bathroom! Is that really the kind of relationship you want to be in?”
Lesson #4: Life can be scary and disappointing, and that’s OK. This is particularly shown in the last series as Rory hunts for a job after finishing university. In Series 7 Episode 7 she feels lost and says: “Everything is just… ending. I just feel like everything is gonna be over. I’m done at the paper. Soon I’m gonna be done at Yale, and it’s just like I’m standing on this cliff, looking out into this huge, foggy abyss… And in my whole life, there’s never been an abyss. It’s been abyssless. I’ve always known exactly what’s in front of me, and I’ve always known exactly where I’m going… And now, I don’t know what’s out there.” This made me cry because it described my exact feelings too in the run up to finishing university, and the summer following it. I was terrified, and constantly getting rejections for jobs I had applied for. Everything felt awful and it felt as though nothing would work out, and I’d just become some jobless slob. Fear not though, Rory gets a journo job…. as did I ;)
Lesson #5: Reach for the moon and you’ll land among the stars. Basically, aim high, and don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big because with enough hard work and determination, you can and will get there. Lorelai always instilled this into Rory and told her all the time how smart, talented and loved she was. In Series 1, Episode 2, on Rory’s first day at Chilton she says: “You are an amazing kid. You have earned this. You just go in there and show them what smart really is. I love you.”
Lesson #6: If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t what you really want, no matter how much it hurts. In Series 7 Episode 14, Lorelai finally realises that her and Christopher cannot work things out because she doesn’t want him despite the fact that he is “the man she will always want to want”. He was “always this wonderful possibility” for Lorelai but “it’s just not right”.
Lesson #7: You’ll know when he is the one. In Season 7 Episode 21, Rory rejects Logan’s marriage proposal and talks to Lorelai about it afterwards. Lorelai says she thinks that Rory made the right decision because: “Someday you’ll meet someone, and you’ll just know it’s right. You won’t want to hesitate. You’ll just know.” This is everything.
Lesson #8: Just because you’re attracted to a person, doesn’t mean you should date him. It’s not all about looks! As Lorelai explains in Series 1, Episode 5… “I’m attracted to pie. It doesn’t mean I feel the need to date pie.”
Lesson #9: Listen to your friends – they often know you better than you know yourself. Lane and Rory had an inseparable bond, and by the end, Paris was also one of Rory’s lifelong friends. Often in life, particularly when we go through rough times, we think we know what we are doing, or that we will eventually sort ourselves out. But often it takes a long time to realise that you are down- or that something in your life needs changing. Friends sometimes notice it before we do it – and as hard as it is to take in – they should be listened to. In Series 1, Episode 21, Lane tells Rory: “I love you, but you’ve been mopey, dopey, and about 12 other melancholy dwarves for the past 5 weeks and I miss the old Rory.”
Lesson #10: You never really grow up. Not matter how much you think you’re a fully fledged adult – we are kids in our minds really. And that’s OK- in fact that’s the best part about us all. We should embrace our inner children and enjoy life a little more, with no fear of being judged – just as Lorelai always did. In Series 2, Episode 4 Rory reminds her mum of this… Lorelai: “I am a grown woman!” Rory: “Says the woman with a hello kitty waffle iron.”
EEE I cannot wait until the new series!