I got pregnant as a teen just like "Gilmore Girls'" Lorelai – and here's how she taught me to be the best mom I could be
You see, I am kind of a real-life Lorelia Gilmore, and I’ve basically charted the trajectory of my life along the same course as hers. Don’t laugh, I could do worse as far as dopplegangers go. And not only am I ready to catch up with all my Stars Hollow peeps in the Gilmore Girls reboot, I’m ready to catch up with my human patronus, Lorelai Gilmore.
When the original Gilmore Girls first aired, I was actually closer to Rory’s age than Lorelai’s, and I had a tiny toddler instead of a teenager. That’s right, both Lorelai and I become mothers when we were teenagers. Which is why I couldn’t help but hang on to her every word — I believed she was here to teach me about life.
Now that I’m closer to Lorelai’s age (from the original series) and Nolin is almost 19, I feel an even stronger kinship to Lorelai. We really do have a lot in common.
We’re the same kind of mom with the same kind of daughter
Like I said, Lorelai and I both got pregnant super young — I was 19, while she was 16 when she had Rory. And all on my own, I raised a beautiful little green-eyed daughter who was too old for her years, just like Rory. In those early days of the show, when Nolin was little, and Rory was a teenager, I looked to Lorelai and Rory as what I wanted us to be when we grew up.
When Nolin turned 16, I re-watched the series with a particular interest in Season 2. Rory and Dean were hot and heavy, and then a certain, hunky leather jacket arrived in Stars Hollow. Nolin had her first serious boyfriend, and she and Rory were both mooney-eyed over their respective heartthrobs.
Lorelai taught me to have some chill in those early days of closed doors and whispered giggles on the phone. It was because of her, that I didn’t barge into Nolin’s room everynight, flop down on the bed, and demand to know what they were talking about. If Lorelai could be cool, then I could be cool.
In fact, I remember saying this exact thing to Nolin one night, after she was hours late for her curfew. Of course, she didn’t love my Gilmore Girls-related levity, and there were a few days of stomping off and slamming doors. Lorelai got me through that first boyfriend, and she also got us through the inevitable breakup from a punk who didn’t appreciate my sweet baby.
Nolin and I made it through those years between 16 and 18 with lots of Netflix, sushi and mutual eye rolls. When she turned 18 and moved out, I turned to Gilmore Girls again, this time watching and re-watching Season 4. The episode in which Lorelai moves Rory into Yale was punch to my mommy heart.
This scene went down almost exactly the same way in my life. Although my Nolie wasn’t heading off to an Ivy League, just her very first apartment with two other roommates, it felt the same. I camped out in her apartment during moving day, taking her to buy groceries, moving furniture and just finding any and every excuse to linger in the doorway. I was clinging to my baby for dear life, and she was resisting like her life depended on it.
My daughter comes to visit me pretty often, and when she does, we sit on the couch, tangled up in snuggles and hair stroking (mostly me to her) and talk about everything we’ve missed while we’re apart. On one such occasion, we thought it might be a good idea to watch Grey Gardens together. We mistakenly romanticized the idea of being old and lonely together. Just like Lorelai and Rory, we were quickly disavowed of any romantic notions about living with wild raccoons and promised to never let each other become the two crazy ladies with all the cats.
Coffee is also what fuels my life (and motherhood)
Lorelai and I have the same amount of love in our hearts for coffee, sarcasm, and pop culture references. She has Luke’s as her go-to coffee spot, I have Midtown Coffee. I’ll admit, the squeaky little college students aren’t as dreamy as Luke. I still like to think they love to see me coming. If, at the very least, it’s because I’m single-handedly keeping the lights on.
Lorealai has Paul Anka. I have Bill Murray. Bill Murray, the cat, that is. At the exact time Nolin left carrying the last bit of her stuff (*sniff sniff*), I went straight to the animal shelter and found the most ruggedly handsome cat with an inscrutable sense of humor (just like the real Bill Murray).
I suck at relationships and I’m just generally awful AF sometimes
When Nolin was little I didn’t date much. I was a waitress by night, English-major by day, and room-mom extraordinaire. I had a boyfriend here and there, but much like Lorelai, I continually screwed it up, and left a wake of carnage from every casual fling I ever had.
Remember the time when Lorelai has to see Max Medina after having broken off their engagement? That stoney, chilly, awkward silence, then the subsequent, heartfelt profession of lingering love is pretty much how every single one of my relationships has ended. Me and Lorelai: the ones who got away. Or rather, the ones who sabotaged it and then ran away.
I’ve got my fair share of mommy issues
Instead of getting “Gilmored” I get “Patricia’d.” As much as I love my mother, she is a force to be reckoned with. Patricia has an opinion on what I wear, who I date, how often I vacuum, and how many cats a single woman should own. She also believes Nolin is the greatest thing since call-waiting, and blames me unilaterally for any and all questionable decisions Nolin makes in her life.
If you threw Emily Gilmore in the octagon with Patricia, my money would be on my mother. She’s five foot tall, Southern, and raised two daughters on her own. Emily wouldn’t stand a chance.
Although my mom never forced me or Nolin to participate in a cotillion, she did make me wear nude pantyhose under every single dress until the age of 18 years old. She is the queen of left-handed compliments and the mayor of passive-aggressive town, but she’s my mom, and I have to try. I always try to imagine, “WWLD?”
Now that Gilmore Girls: A Day In The Life is so close, I get to revisit Lorelai and see how our trajectories are holding up against each other. I hope Lorelai finds love and happiness (in whatever shape, form that may be), she and Rory are still in mother-daughter love. Because I’d like to think that kind of bond is unbreakable.