The Joy of Staying Home Alone and Not Doing Anything Special
On the Gilmore Girls, no one could understand why Rory wanted to stay home alone
All these years later, I still haven’t watched every episode of the Gilmore Girls. So far, though, there has been a lot to like about the show for someone like me who is not interested in narratives that place trite matrimaniacal plots at their core. Sure, there is some coupling and some crushes and near-miss weddings, but that’s not the heart or soul of the show.
Mother Lorelai Gilmore and daughter Rory are a single-parent family that shines. I enjoy the friendship and love between them, and the passion each of them has for her work (paid work for mom and school work for daughter). Rory is super smart, gets absorbed in books to the point of obliviousness to everything else around her, and wants to go to Harvard. And she makes no apologies for any of that. In fact, she seems utterly joyful and unselfconscious about her love of learning.
In what may have be my favorite episode so far, Lorelai is going to be away for the evening and Rory is so happy just to be able to spend the evening home alone. Her plans are nothing dramatic. She just wants to do the laundry her own way, order tons of the food she likes the best, and, best of all, simply have the house to herself.
None of her peers can understand this. Her boyfriend is flabbergasted that the two of them could have the place to themselves, but Rory wants to stay home alone — to do laundry! Another guy who is interested in Rory makes up an excuse and a lie to stop by — then doesn’t want to leave. Paris, Rory’s competitive friend from school, is freaking out about her less than perfect grade on a recent test, and keeps whining and begging Rory to let her come by to study, until finally, when she appears at the door, Rory caves. Rory does insist, though, that Paris can only stay for an hour, then she has to leave. Of course, Rory eventually gives up on that, too.
Nothing works. Rory doesn’t get her luxurious night to spend home alone, and none of her friends ever really gets it about the attraction of such an evening.
But I get it. And I suspect that many other people do, too — perhaps especially those who are single…