Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Know Thyself, or Jeez, Gilmore!

In my fine tradition of over-analyzing the TV I watch and the books I read, I need to have a moment to obsess over my turn-of-the-century TV crush: Gilmore Girls.

via, Wikipedia
I wanted Rory's corduroy jacket when I was in high school. I wanted her cute pyjamas with the cakes on them that she wears when the Chilton Puffs abduct her in the night to join their sorority. I wouldn't have minded her flawless skin and shiny hair, either, come to that. And Jess. I could have done with a Jess in my high school days. And here, dear reader, is where the critique begins.

When it comes to TV shows, I always have strong opinions on who should end up with whom. For Loralei, I would have been happy with either Christopher or Luke. For Rory, though, I was most definitely Team Jess. Sure, maybe they needed to break up for a while, but once he got his act together and wrote his book, he was even more perfect for her than he was when he was stealing her copy of Howl to make notes in the margins for her, or clandestinely sabotaging the Dickensian snowman so that Rory and Loralei's Bjork look-alike would win.

So let me start off with my, possibly damning, opinion. I hated Dean. Never liked him. Snobbish reason first? He was nowhere near her level intellectually, and for someone as smart as her, whose intelligence was such a big part of her sense of self, that should have been more of an issue. (Let me say, I'm more lenient because they did also bond over saving the world together, but this is the crux of my beef with Ron & Hermione as well.) Practical reason second? He was waaay too moody and jealous and demanding.

Dean never trusted Rory. Yes, I get that having any guy - let alone guys like Logan and Jess - hit on your girlfriend is annoying. You're all dogs and their pissing all over your fire hydrant: I get it. But honestly! He always insisted that he loved Rory, but part of loving her is trusting her. She needs to be able to have her own friends and her own life without you hovering at the edges all the time like a conspicuous bodyguard. That means you don't actually need to sit in on that Shakespeare rehearsal for her school project just because Logan will be there. Especially when it was painfully obvious that she didn't want you there waiting to throw down like a deleted scene from West Side Story when she was trying to perfect a project that was a huge part of her overall grade.

Now, I need to go back and address the "tell me you love me" beef. To mix my TV references, it's a bit like Callie & George back in the good old days of Grey's Anatomy. He said to her, "If I say it now, you'll know I'm just saying it because you did...when I do say it, I want to mean it." Unfortunately, Rory being the bumbling wordsmith she is under pressure, there was no hope of something so succinct and to-the-point coming out of her mouth when Dean was having his pouty hissy-fit in the front seat of that scrap pile of a car. However, even barring a good explanation, "I need to think about it" was a decent starting point. But, yet again, Dean's refusal to use his little grey cells (as Poirot would put it) got in the way. No, my dear, you don't just know you're in love with someone all the time. Sometimes, you have to sift through all of the complicated emotions that person conjures up in you to decide: do I like him? Do I just want to get in his pants? Do I care about him? Does he make me happy? What does it all mean!?

Perhaps I'm asking too much of a 16-year-old boy...but somehow I don't think I am. If you've taken the time to be in a relationship with someone to the extent that you're honestly friendly with their parents and you're building them a car, you should be having these sorts of conversations at least with yourself, if not with the person you're dating. And if you're having a whinge-fest because they didn't say "I love you" at your perfect moment...well, maybe you're not mature enough to have this relationship in the first place. See? This is why we can't have nice things.

via, Know Your Meme
That said, let us consider Rory and the shining example of how to function in a relationship that she has in her mother. The woman who managed to get to within a week of her wedding before she realised she didn't even love the man she was going to marry!

Now, while a 16-year-old might not be so self-aware, a 32-year-old woman who's raised a kid, had a decent education, and a startlingly robust sense of self-esteem ought to know better than to let matters get so out-of-hand. I mean, she apparently knew at 16 that marrying Christopher, despite being his best friend, knowing him her whole life, possibly even being in love with him, and - oh yeah! - having a baby with him, was a bad idea. In this case with Max Medina, she refused to acknowledge the reality of her own actions. She ran into Rory's room saying, "there's a boy in my bed" the first time Max spent the night. She refused to cut him a key to the house! She never discussed how he would fit into Rory's life once they married. And yet she felt like it was okay to marry the guy?

The moral of the story: know yourself before you get to know someone else. Biblically or otherwise. Learn to acknowledge your faults (at least to yourself if you must pretend to perfection in public), think about how - in an ideal world - you would handle certain situations. Then, when your boyfriend is throwing a tantrum at the end of your date in the scrap yard - you have a starting point from which to collect your thoughts and tell him, "It's not that I don't love you, but it's a complicated thing for me to say, and I don't want to ruin things by saying it when I'm not ready!" Or, when he's being unreasonable about you being friends with a guy he doesn't like, you could say, "Well, you don't have to like all of my friends. I appreciate that you don't like him, so I won't rub it in, but you can't tell me who I can and can't hang out with, okay?" Of course, if you then go and kiss this other delinquent bookworm at a wedding, you may have to take your moral high horse back to his stable, but the point remains. If you are such a stranger to yourself that you're surprised by your own actions, you really have no business making yourself part of a matched set.

via, Tumblr
Obliviousness, thy name is Gilmore. Of course, that might also be willful self-deception's name (or is that Collins...) but either way, I still love that show. Horribly dysfunctional relationships and all.

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