Coffee… chocolate…Mountain Dew…sex …drugs…alcohol…and now…Netflix streaming. (An abbreviated list of addictions.)
On Netflix one can find a series that is compelling and binge watch all weekend. You watch one episode, like it, and then you tell yourself, “Well. It’s not really a full hour long, so what harm can another episode do?” Hours later, you realize you’ve watched a whole season, and you don’t even have the audacity to be embarrassed. You simply want to start the second season. Now.
Not me, of course. I’m talking about other people.
“Gilmore Girls,” is an older series that I just discovered. I use the episodes as a sliver of light in between a darker series I have been streaming and watching (in moderation, of course).
Lorelai drives me bonkers. It’s absolutely ridiculous how she rambles a mile a minute, like a thirteen-year-old in a thirty-something body. Her blatant disrespect of appropriate adult behavior leaves me chagrined. And her eating habits. Come ON, people! Who actually eats a spread of marshmallows, Pop Tarts, doughnuts, etc., for almost every meal and whose skin stays glowing, body trim and energy level up? No one. And cut your parents some slack for gawd’s sake, Lorelai. Yes, they can be manipulative, but they care and they are trying and you need to give the defensive posture you always assume a break from the Friday night meals.
I love Lorelai. She is enormously flawed with a fragile heart of pure gold. She has taught me a lot about how to get along in life and with other people who drive me bonkers. Here are the Lorelai Lessons on Life I have learned (I suspect Lorelai would have loved the alliteration there…anywho…):
- Make the most out of the moment, and have fun for once.
I am decidedly too serious…about everything. So what if I make a mistake? So what if you make a mistake? Isn’t life supposed to be messy? Lighten up, people.
- Rituals make the good life.
Albeit a trifle overdone in the series, Lorelai is spot on about the importance of rituals and habits of fun to mark the day…a holiday or any old day, doesn’t matter. We are all creatures of habit, and we are glorious when we actively seek to change unconscious habits into conscious rituals. It enriches life like nothing else can or does. Way to go, Lorelai. Now pass the pizza and start the movie.
- Let people be who they are.
This is the hardest part. I want to ring Taylor’s neck for being so narcissistically suffocating. Put a hand over Babette’s loud mouth (though Sally Struthers has me in stiches with how well she plays that character). Kirk should be put in a corner for time out, like all misbehaved and lost children. Emily needs to be told off on a regular basis. Luke disappointed me so I would have stopped going to his café, and quite frankly, I do not see Christopher’s appeal at all. But after allowing people to be who they are…I’d visit Taylor’s sweet shop every week, just for the lovely nostalgic ambiance. He was right about that, and his town festivals are so frickin’ charming. I would want Babette as a friend because her loyalty is unquestionable. Kirk has more to him than meets the eye. I’d cut him some slack, too. Emily has a good heart, just a little constricted. I’d get her tipsy when she wasn’t looking, about every other week. With that quick mind of hers, I bet she would be hilarious. I may not go to Luke’s café as much, but I’d go to him with a problem knowing he’d have a solution. Christopher will grow up some day and for now, I’ll let him be in peace. And so on. People are quirky and flawed and hard to take sometimes…but isn’t the human character and spirit fascinating? Isn’t it remarkable how decency is not dependent on logic or predictability, or even maturity? Isn’t life RICH because of people!?!
But most important to remember, and this is what I owe Lorelai the most for…is that flaws make us human and therefore… actually…loveable.
Most of humanity IS well-intentioned, striving to be better than any flaw. Our flaws do not need to trip us up, embarrass us or make us regret being alive. They can be embraced and accepted, loved and shared at whatever stage they are in. We can do the same with any “flaws” of our family, friends and neighbors.
In fact…thanks to Lorelai, I have come to view perfection not as an honorable goal to always strive for, but as an asinine, boring and ludicrous illusion. It is the flawed human that melts my heart – and knees – leaving me feeling like I belong and deserve love, too.