When “Gilmore Girls” finally dropped on Netflix earlier this season, I was stoked. I love the Norman Rockwell-ness of Stars Hollow. I love the characters’ sharp banter brimmed with pop culture references. But, most of all, I love the relationship between Lorelai and Rory.
When the show debuted back when I was in high school, I was excited that I was finally able to connect with a mother-daughter relationship on television. Often times on TV, kids and their parents remain separate from one another. There’s an antagonistic element to their relationship with a whole lot of, “Parents suck!” or “Aw, come on, Mom! You never let me do anything!” or “You’re grounded, and I don’t want to hear another word from you!” Growing up, this type of situation between parents and their children was very foreign to me. My mom and I thoroughly enjoy each other’s company, and we trust each other immensely; we’re actually best friends. So, I never identified with the push-and-pull dynamics between ‘rents and their kids that was often portrayed on television. “Why don’t those daughters like talking to their moms?” I wondered. “How come moms never have faith in their daughters?”
Enter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Their relationship defied mother-daughter tropes. They liked hanging out with each other! They supported one another! They ate junk food together and never made each other feel guilty about it!
There’s been some criticism over the years on the unlikeliness that a relationship like Lorelai’s and Rory’s could ever exist. Well, I’m here to tell you that it can exist—and does. Here’s what happens when you and your mom are the Gilmore Girls IRL.
We like each other’s tastes in music, movies, books, etc.
Lorelai introduced the Bangles and Pippi Longstocking plus a ton of old movies to Rory. Instead of rejecting her mother’s tastes in pop culture, Rory fully embraced them, incorporating them as her own, too. I can totally relate. Thanks to my mom, I have a fondness for Hall & Oates, Alfred Hitchcock movies, and Louise L. Hay’s books. When I was a kid, I definitely was the odd person out (I still don’t know who, or what, Silverchair is), but I didn’t care much back then, and I certainly don’t care now. My mom introduced me to almost everything I love—writing, movies, self-awareness—and I’m grateful. Plus, who doesn’t like Hall & Oates?!
We fight but instantly make up.
Just like the best of friends, Rory and Lorelai have gotten into some pretty heavy-duty fights over a variety of things (but mostly related, somehow, to boys). But no sooner do they mince words with each other than they are making up and drinking coffee at Luke’s (except for that time when they didn’t talk for weeks after Rory dropped out of Yale, but they did eventually reconcile!). My mom and I are the same. Our fighting matches can be epic (slamming doors, curse words), but we immediately apologize to one another, share a pot of tea, and pick up right where we left off (except for that time when we didn’t talk for a few days—and yes, that was over a boy).
We know everything about each other.
Lorelai and Rory don’t hide secrets from each other—and even when they do, they eventually fess up to them anyway, like the time when Rory lost her virginity to Dean and then later revealed all the details to Lorelai. Been there, done that. The morning after I lost my virginity, I called my mom and told her all about it (her response: “Finally.”). Lorelai and Rory have an honest relationship because they trust and support each other; there is no judgment between them. They have each other’s backs, no matter what, and so do my mom and me.
We support each other.
Lorelai made a lot of sacrifices to give Rory the kind of life she never had, including committing to a weekly dinner with her estranged parents so her daughter could go to Chilton, and then, Harvard (well, Yale). In turn, Rory asked her grandparents for money so Lorelai could open the Dragonfly Inn. My mom supported me with my first and only choice of going to NYU, which was my idea of Rory’s Harvard. My mom spent her life encouraging and supporting me to accomplish what she didn’t: to graduate from college, and at my dream school, at that. To this day, my mom has helped me endlessly with care packages and random twenty-dollar bills slipped in my purse. In return, when my mom showed interest in conquering her fear of horses, I immediately signed her up for horseback riding lessons for her birthday. Three years later, and my mom can’t picture a life without horses.
We love AND like each other.
Loving and liking your mother are different kinds of things. You can love your mother for raising you, for giving birth to you, for being your mom; but you don’t necessarily have to like your mother. Lorelai and Rory genuinely like each other. They enjoy spending time with each other, whether it’s having movie nights or attending the latest Stars Hollow event together. They actively seek one another’s company, because they have fun together. My mom and I love hanging out. We have Netflix nights in (currently watching “Damages” and “Orange is the New Black”), we have our designated TV shows that we watch together (right now, “The Voice” and “MasterChef Junior”), and we like gabbing over a gluten-free pizza and a bottle of wine on a Friday night. We may have epic fights sometimes, but when it comes down to it, there’s no one else I’d rather hang out with—and I’m pretty sure the feeling’s mutual. Right, Mom?
. . . Mom?
Brianne Hogan writes about love, TV and her Mom; sometimes separately, sometimes not. She writes about other things, too. A graduate of a very expensive education at NYU, she’s proud to call herself a freelance writer who spends her days in a onesie. She loves red wine as much as Olivia Pope and Alicia Florrick combined, and works on her night cheese nightly. Follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.