In 2000, I was newly married and everything in life was ahead of me. I stumbled onto the show Gilmore Girls and I fell in love at first show. You see, I never had a great relationship with my own mom. There was nothing wrong with our relationship; other than we are complete opposites but I love my mom but we were never “friends”. My best friend in college had that kind of relationship with her mom and I was always envious because who wouldn’t want their mom to be their best friend. Gilmore Girls was a wonderful representation of what I dreamed of having with my mom and exactly the kind of relationship I hoped to someday have with my own daughters but it was all hypothetical.
Fast forward five years and I had my own little girl. I remember watching the opening credits of Gilmore Girls rolling with Carole King singing Where You Lead in the background and my toddler dancing to the music and my heart filled with so much love that it nearly burst because it was everything I felt for my daughter. To this day, every single time I hear that song, I smile because I think of that great, big love that I have for my girls; the unbreakable love and sisterhood that you can only be felt between a certain kind of relationship between a mother and daughter. It’s the kind of relationship I have with my girls.
Fast forward, 11 years and here I sit Thanksgiving weekend watching Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life with my two daughters and all I can feel is blessed. When I first watched the show, the relationship between Lorelai and Rory was something I wished for but never had and now, it is something I have times two. I know not every mother and daughter have that symbiotic, complete each other’s sentences and thoughts, talk in circles; six degrees of separation logic understanding but we do and it is even more special than I ever imagined.
I know that the show was a writer’s creation but the relationship, there had to be some foundation in reality to actually “get it” so dead on. It exists.
Spoiler alert; If you haven’t already seen it and don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now.
I love the way the story picks up a decade or so later. It gave us time to see growth in the characters. It gave Lorelai and Luke time to figure stuff out, it gave Rory wings to fly and get some distance and become her own woman and it gave all the characters time to expand and contract; become three-dimensional, not simply two-dimensional caricatures of reality. Sometimes life is hard and sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned and sometimes your person can’t fix all of it. Bad things happen to good people and life is complicated and messy and it can’t all be wrapped up fully in a nice bow in an hour-long episode; only if it were.
Relationships are work and sometimes people have to get hurt to learn their lessons. That is life and we don’t always make the right choices. Sometimes we follow our hearts and it leads us down a path of reckless abandonment and, while it might be the greatest adventure of our life, it just isn’t realistically feasible to sustain long-term. Sometimes we have to let go before we’re ready. Sometimes we have to fight for what we want and sometimes life throws us so many curveballs that we just don’t know which way is up but in the end, life works out even if it’s not the way we planned because that is what living is all about; the experiences…the journey. It’s all our journey.
Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life was unexpected for me. Things didn’t go as planned but I loved seeing the progression. It’s like going home and catching up with all the people you grew up with. Most of the time, the reality is very different from what any of you imagined it would be but it’s okay and it’s just nice to have those people who you knew when. I loved watching it with my own Rorys (wrapped up together in a soft blanket as we ate pop tart biscotti and Red Vines) and I loved the messy way it all turned out because, in life, there is seldom a direct path from point A to Point B but you can get there a million different ways.
I don’t know what Netflix plans to do but I would love to see more of the Gilmore Girls and see how their messy wonderful story turns out. It ended in a way that the reboot almost felt like it could be a repeat. Things were similar but at the same time, completely different and unfamiliar. Nothing was as we expected and at the same time, it was exactly as we left it. I don’t want to spoil anything for my fellow Gilmore Girls fans so I will leave you with this; if you loved the original Gilmore Girls franchise, you should watch A Year in the Life with an open mind and an open heart and remember that the good parts of life are seldom planned and all the real living happens when your plans go out the window.