I Watched Gilmore Girls and Now I’m Thinking Too Much

I watched the Gilmore Girls revival over the weekend.

There.

I said it.

Laugh at me. Deride me. Label me with your sharpest effeminate nicknames. It’s not like I have masculine issues or anything.

I grew up with a little sister who loved Gilmore Girls, and as such, I saw more than a few episodes. I was the older brother “doing homework” in the living room while Gilmore Girls was on, but truthfully I was watching along with the family as Lorelai quipped something to Rory who quipped something back to her mom who quipped something right back to her daughter, back and forth like a tennis match of linguistic finesse.

Gilmore Girls is a witty show, it’s a charming show, and it’s a show about finding one’s way.

I didn’t watch every single episode with my sister, but I did watch enough to know that I’d totally live in a quirky town like Stars Hollow and that I’m most certainly Team Jess.

I mean. Like. C’mon.

With just four episodes, the Gilmore Girls revival was something I could easily commit to. As I watched it this weekend, several things jumped out at me.

First, I noticed how characters from a decade ago were re-introduced into the story. We’d only hear their voice in another room, or the camera would pan up from their shoes or from their hand holding something, or they’d break onto the scene with a flurry.

Every character re-introduction was intentional and special.

I thought back on my road trip and how life often felt like a TV revival: either my re-entering someone else’s story or their entering my own. Or both. The camera would follow my footsteps across the coffee shop floor as I sat across from an old camp friend. Or I’d stand knocking at the front door as it swings open to a college friend or a high school classmate of a decade prior.

And the reunited characters would catch up on one another’s stories over medium roast and laughter.

It’s one of my favorite things about life: when characters once thought lost return.

Second, I noticed how everyone knows everyone else in a town the size of Stars Hollow. You can’t walk down the street or into Luke’s Diner without bumping into someone from high school or the business across town.

I stopped and wondered what that’s like. To go about your daily business and constantly run into folks you actually know. It’s rare that I’ve ever run into someone I know at a coffee shop or grocery store.

What’s it like to reach for a carton of 2% milk and find an acquaintance reaching for one, too?

Gosh, what is that feeling?

I want that feeling.

Lastly, I marveled over the previously unrealized similarities between me and the female protagonist, Rory. Writers. Introverts. Wanderers. Souls bouncing between homes and relationships that never quite settle as their twenties turn to the thirties.

Plus, we’re both, like, super witty. Or at least I think I am.

Throughout the revival, Rory doesn’t know where she belongs. Is she supposed to return home permanently, is she meant to be on another continent entirely, and is she ever meant to share life with someone?

Amid all her bouncing, Rory grounds herself in her writing — a book project, primarily. And I realize this is my grounding, too.

Despite — or perhaps spurred by — all my wandering, I have the written word. Ever and always. Faithful and true. From coast to coast and — if necessary — ocean to ocean.

My recent #MakeNovemberTolerable exercise excused, I’ve not embraced the written word as fueling to my existence this year. A blog that sat dormant for weeks and months. A newsletter that flickered. A book that begs to be completed.

It’s been a challenging year of starting over, building an online brotherhood and “brand,” and hoping for Stars Hollow moments when I’ve done nothing to earn them.

I’ve not committed to a church or some sort of group or any sort of community outreach — where do I go? — and so how will I ever recognize a fellow townie at the grocery store?

Can I snap my fingers and acquire this hometown belonging my heart craves?

Or can I clap and claim the confidence of a nomad ever en route?

Or must I hover between the two? The heart of a townie and the steps of a nomad?

  • Kevin Zimmerman

    This is so much of why Elliott thinks we’re similar. Except I don’t write.

  • Sunday I had a very fulfilling experience as a long term member of a community. In church I sat near a 20 year old friend who was worshipping God with deep feeling. My thoughts went back to 1981 when I first met his mother. At the time she had just become a Christian and had a similar passion for God. Now, 35 years later her son is being a powerful influence on others.

    It gives me joy to see God faithfully working in His children’s lives, then in His children’s children. I wouldn’t have seen the beauty in this if I had not stayed connected with these friends for 35 years.