Because I feel like having a teenage myspace moment, but without the million friends, and my mom thinks I should do lighter topics, it’ll be fun to comment on Gilmore Girls for a minute. If you look at my TV listings, the show has been on the TiVo list for several years now. As the season ends, I could use a place to organize some quotes I’ve collected over the past months about various aspects of romance. There is a point, because I’m thinking about the workings of a good relationship, mostly romantic but also otherwise. So I’m going to start with the quotes, then attempt to tie them together with thoughts and the season finale.
Rory: He cheated on me … with an entire wedding party.
Paris: Oh … Nice.
Paris: Men suck.
Rory: They do suck.
Paris: You can’t count on them. They never have your back.
Rory: No, they don’t.
Paris: They make you love them, and then they let you down and you’re walking around with a stomachache for the next six months.
Rory: Is that how long it lasts?
Paris: I don’t know. I hope it’s only six months.
Bridesmaid Revisited, 28 February 2006
There is no escape along the lines St. Augustine suggested. Nor among any other lines. There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
A fine woman understood that giving her body (in earlier times, even her kiss) meant giving her heart, which was too precious to be bestowed on anyone who would not prove himself worthy, at the very least by pledging himself in marriage to be her defender and lover forever.
Leon Kass, End of Courtship
When you cried I’d wipe away all of your tears
When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears
and I’ve held your hand through all of these years
Evanescence, My Immortal
I saw this guy in front of me, he was a real man, he was solid and he was strong. he would protect me, but he, he got me. I knew all that when we started dating, but that moment when I realized how much he cared for Rory, that was it. Suddenly I knew I was ready.
Lorelai in Partings, 9 May 2006
Looking through the Television Without Pity forums (a dangerous pastime, I know), there are a lot of posters who wanted Luke to chase after Lorelai. A majority of posters, and the show recapper,
blame Luke. Here’s a sample: “I’m so angry at Luke I don’t care what the hell Lorelai did. He should have chased after her. She professed her love to him, she was desperate. He should have taken her into his arms, kissed her, and said whatever you want baby. Instead of being a clueless ass and freaking about her talking to Anna.”
A minority note that Lorelai has acted fully passive aggressive. Again, to quote: “So his girlfriend who has barely spoken to him the past few months suddenly issues an ultimatum without regard for the longterm consequences and people are aghast that he apparently didn’t do anything? Lorelai ignored him for the past two episodes and from the looks of it, he’s been frantically trying to get in touch with her, and then she goes into an irrational diatribe, suggesting that they go get married without, at the very least, Rory being there?”
It’s hard to tell from the forums, but I wonder about the gender mix of the defenders. I suspect females will defend Lorelai more often, while males prefer Luke. That’s to be expected. There’s the conflict of impetuousness versus stability, and the role of male acceptance. The male-female conflict of millenia plays out again. What do I think?
Despite what telephone solicitors often think, I am a guy. Females work under different rules. Over the past year I’ve learned some of girl-code, like “confidence” and “chemistry”. That’s helped. Nevertheless, most of the time I think in the straightforward problem solving mode of Y chromosomes. That makes me question Lorelai. Instead of expressing her frustration, she waited. Instead of asking about Luke’s problems, she let him go. Eventually, she couldn’t even face him, the man she loves, the man she asked to spent life with. What changed? For a person engrossed by communication, she’s afraid of revealing herself. She knows Luke as caring, the holder of hands, the defender and the lover. Vulnerability, though, eludes her. She doesn’t want to be the one to deal with their problems. Luke and Lorelai have issues, like all relationships, but the story is written for her to shirk her responsibility. Maybe it’s out of character, but she’s stuck with the consequences. Things fall apart.
That doesn’t mean things wouldn’t fall apart if she initiated a conversation. I’ve had friendships and relationships where a revelation destroyed the balance and ended the interaction. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes the people reach an understanding. Sometimes, the best times, it deepens and strengthens the bond. I don’t know what would happen. On TV, it’s writer’s choice. In reality, it’s one of the three. Yet those are all preferable to the slow, agonizing decline followed by a last minute explosion. The first representative poster wants the magical miraculous ending. Those do happen, yet miracles not that much. There was bitterness in the writer’s ending. Things happen that way, and I get no teenage squee this time. Sigh.