It's hard to believe but 16 years ago today Gilmore Girls aired its pilot episode on The CW (well back then it was The WB) and as we know, the rest is history. Thought it was never a ratings hit (after all it was competing with rich teens from Orange County and vampire slayers) it had a devoted following. So much so that people, mostly women in their 20s and 30s, lined up all over the country today at coffee houses to see Luke's Diner recreated and drink coffee (the official drink of the Gilmores) from special Luke's diner cups for the Gilmoreversary.
As I was one of those people up bright and early to grab a cup, you can imagine how much this reboot means to me (even though I watch the reruns daily.) Gilmore Girls was a standout series. It was a show about a mother and daughter (and the mother of that mother), but their relationship wasn’t the typical one; it was more like a friendship. We had never really seen anything like this before. And though it never received any awards, the show was adored and developed a cult following. These women were intelligent, funny, complex, and could outtalk anyone. No wonder they had so many handsome men vying for them. Here are a few lessons we can learn from the Gilmore Girls.
1. Do drink a lot of coffee.
Maybe not quite as much as them, but if it gives you the same amount of energy it gave those ladies, then do it.
2. Do work hard.
I think one of the things the show did well was emphasize how hard both Rory and Lorelai worked. Lorelai barely finished high school, but she was determined to make it on her own and support her daughter, so she worked her way up to management at the inn and earned a business degree. You could see that Rory was a kid who would stay in on Saturdays doing homework (they can’t show it because it’s television), but she definitely wasn’t at the mall every day after school.
3. Embrace eccentricities.
A big part of Gilmore Girls was Stars Hollow and all the weird people that lived in it. But Rory and Lorelai loved that town and its residents because they took them in and treated them like family. And frankly, they were super entertaining.
4. Education Above All (even cute boys)
One of my favorite moments on the show just happens to be in the pilot. Rory just met a cute guy (dreamy Dean), and it makes her second guess if she really does want to go to a fancy private school. Her mother says, “Don’t get me wrong. Guys are great. I’m a huge fan of guys. You don’t get knocked up at sixteen being indifferent to guys. But, babe, guys are always going to be there. This school isn’t. It’s more important. It has to be more important.” Young girls can get so distracted and they have to remember what’s really essential.
5. Do keep that friend that drives you crazy/challenges you to be better.
The dynamic between Paris and Rory was always fascinating. They started off as enemies because they were each other’s competition, but it eventually evolved into a really strong friendship. Paris always drove Rory crazy, but she also knew she was a great friend to have. You should also have a coworker like this.
6. Do know that it’s OK to struggle.
No one is perfect, even Rory Gilmore. My one criticism of the series was that Rory was pretty darn perfect for basically four seasons of the show. But finally she hit a road block. She was challenged. She wasn’t perfect at something (or rather someone told her she wasn’t perfect) and it really derailed her, so much so that she dropped out of school and really went through a life crisis. I think a lot of women who are perfect students face this when they enter the real world. Now it took a little while, but Rory did find her way and she came out stronger.
7. Dreams take time.
Another great part of the series was that both Rory and Lorelai had major ambitions that they eventually achieved, but it took time. Lorelai did eventually open her inn, but it wasn’t overnight. Rory did go to her Ivy League school, but not without a lot of hiccups. We can't wait to see what happens in the reboot when it comes to their goals.
8. Accept Change
This is a bit of a spoiler alert for the reboot, but since the beginning of the series Rory always talked about being a journalist. However we recently found out that she is a teacher now (or at least she is during one of the episodes which take place during different seasons.) Entertainment Weekly revealed that "Rory's one article published in The New Yorker hasn't exactly helped her journalism aspirations, and she's living a vagabond life and not seeing much of her mom." Rory entered journalism at a turbulent, changing time so she may have not ended up liking the new direction. Perhaps she is teaching and then writing as a side hustle or maybe she just found that that wasn't the career she wanted. Whatever the reason for the pivot, it is great to see her changing gears.
9. Mom knows all.
Even though your mom may be out of touch and has no idea what you’re talking about (my mom still doesn’t understand Twitter), she still knows you better than anyone and will most likely have good advice. And even if you have a very tough and complex relationship with your mother like Emily Gilmore and Lorelai do, work at it.
10. But don’t eat like them.
Because you will get diabetes.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix