“Gilmore Girls”: Why Rory Gilmore Needs to Remain Single

GilmoreGirlsLike many of you, I am psyched about the “Gilmore Girls” revival. “Gilmore Girls” was staple TV viewing for me during the early aughts, and one of the few shows I managed to keep up with during college. (Do you know how difficult it is to keep up with a weekly TV show when you should be studying and/or drinking?) I always felt a kinship with Rory. I was a little bit older than Rory, but a little bit younger than her portrayer, Alexis Bledel. Like Rory, I was bookish, ambitious, and kind of nerdy. Also like Rory, I was a serial monogamist during my high school/college years.

Much speculation has been made of the fact that all of Rory’s beaux—”Nice Guy” Dean, bad boy with a brain Jess, and WASPy Logan—will return for the miniseries. Who will Rory end up with?

Which brings me to the crux of this blog entry: I am very much hoping that, at the end of this miniseries, Rory Gilmore is single. I don’t mean that adult Rory should join a convent or anything like that. But when the final credits roll, I’m hoping that Rory is not married, not in a relationship, and doesn’t have any serious romantic prospects on the horizon—and she’s just fine with that.

There’s a lot of arguments I could make to this. But the main thing it comes down to is this: it seems like every movie I see, every book I read, every TV show I watch, featuring a protagonist that is a Woman of a Certain Age revolves around said woman’s quest to find herself a man, and how she’ll be a pathetic, lonely cat-lady if she doesn’t. For the record, the median “certain age” seems to be about 27. We don’t even get to make it to our 30th birthdays without hearing about biological clocks and how all the “good ones” are either married or gay.

Rory was 16 when the show debuted in 2000, which means she’ll be about 32—the same age Lorelai was when the show premiered—during the revival (God, I feel old now!), putting her squarely into Woman of a Certain Age category.

Young Rory was no stranger to dating and relationships. But that was never what drove her character. Instead, she worked her ass off to get into Harvard (even though she ultimately chose Yale) and to become a journalist like Christine Amanpour. She rejected a marriage proposal from Logan after her college graduation and instead accepted a job offer as a reporter covering Barack Obama’s campaign.

(Sidenote: I remember that, at the time of “Gilmore Girls” finale, Obama still seemed like a longshot. I wondered what would happen to Rory after the campaign inevitably ended. Guess we all know how that turned out!)

I’d like to think that adult Rory will be very much the same way. That’s not to say that she won’t date or that she’s taken a vow of celibacy, but that it isn’t at the top of her list of priorities. And if her former boyfriends waltz back into her life and turn her head again, I want her to have a Kelly Taylor/“90210” moment and say, “I choose me.” (Of course, unlike Kelly, Rory isn’t going to end up with a cokehead three weeks later.)

Millennials are getting married later and later, and some are choosing not to get married at all. And yet, women are still bombarded with media—not to mention well-meaning family and friends—who seem to think that the Hallmark Channel Original Movie way of life is the ideal. But it’s just not for everyone. And we’ve got to stop teaching young women that being with someone—anyone—is better than being alone, because it’s not.

So that’s what I want Rory to be: a role model for young women who haven’t met their special someones yet or maybe don’t want to get married at all or maybe just don’t care one way or another. At the end of the “Gilmore Girls” revival, I want Rory to ride off into the sunset alone and be just fine with that.

Tuesday Book Rec: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

EveryHeartDoorway

I’ve been focusing a lot on promotional stuff as of late, but I wanted to take today to return to my Tuesday Book Recommendations.

I get these “author crushes.” Basically, it’s when I look at another author with a combination of envy and awe. And yes, I know—we all have our own voices and styles, etc. Still, it doesn’t stop me from looking at the work of other authors and thinking, “I wish I could do that!”

Seanan McGuire is one of those authors for me. Every book I’ve read of hers, whether it’s her fae fantasy October Daye series or her zombie political thriller Newsflesh trilogy (written under her Mira Grant pseudonym), every book I’ve read of hers has been entertaining and engaging, with great characters and story. But what really gets me about McGuire’s work is her worldbuilding. Every sci-fi/fantasy universe that she creates is so complex, well-realized, and they’re each so different than one another.

In Every Heart A Doorway, McGuire’s new novella, she describes multiple, unique worlds, each of them a love child of Lewis Carroll and Tim Burton. At the heart of the story is a question: what would happen when Alice and Dorothy Gale and the Pevensie children came home? They’ve had these big adventures in this fantastical worlds, and then they come home and are expected to act like nothing has changed. Their family and teachers and friends have certain beliefs about who they are and what they’re like—but they no longer fit.

The book takes place at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The families of these children believe they’re attending a school to cure them of their otherworldly fantasies, to turn them back into the people they were before their disappearances. But really, this is a retreat for children who have gone to another world, long desperately to go back, and have to learn to live in the world knowing the doorway back “home” will probably never open for them again.

There a murder mystery, but that was the least interesting part of the book for me. The most interesting were the stories of the students and their respective worlds: Nancy and the Hall of the Dead, where stillness and silence reign; Jack and her Frankenstein-esque scientific pursuits; Jill and her vampire-master; Christopher and the bone princess with whom he fell in love.

But the story that touched me the most was Kade’s, a transgender boy. Kade was kicked out of his world, after years of being a hero there, when they realized that the girl they thought they had taken was really a boy. But Kade’s parents cannot accept that he is transgender, either, so he’s stuck at the school as Miss Eleanor’s ward, not really belonging anywhere.

There are deeper metaphors here, about growing up and finding a place where you belong and not fitting in with the world around you. It was sad and sweet and beautiful, and it touched me in ways I can’t quite articulate. Maybe because I was one of those kids who never quite fit in. I would have loved a school like this one.

I also loved McGuire’s treatment of gender and sexual identities in the story. Nancy, the protagonist, is asexual. Kade, the leading male character in the story, is transgender. This story is not about that, and for the most part those aspects of their characters are treated as no big deal by the other students. For Nancy and Kade, their sexual and gender identities are just one more way they don’t fit with the world around them.

To be honest, I almost didn’t pick this book up. I got sick of YA novels after reading a lot of them several years back, and I’ve mostly avoided them since. I did so because I’m a McGuire fan, and because the premise sounded interesting.

And I’m so glad I did. It touched me in ways I didn’t expect, more deeply than any other story has in a long time.

Two Reviews, and an Interview with Dale Highland

The Demon Within got two really awesome reviews recently:

ZombieJoe at Wicked Lil’ Pixie blog gave the book 4.5 stars, saying the book had an “excellent, punchy opening” and that he was “deeply entrenched in the story.”

Michael D. Griffiths at SFReader gave the book 5 stars–his first five star of the year!–saying, “If you like Dark Fantasy, I’m not sure if you would find a lot of downsides here.”

Finally, ZombieJoe at Wicked Lil Pixie also interviewed Dale. You get to find out whether she’s Team Batman or Team Superman, what her favorite curse word is, and what her dream demon-power augmented job would be.

I know the blog has been inundated of late with promotional stuff. I will have a non-promotional post up very, very soon, I promise!