Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life Gives Two Soulmates A New Chance At Lifelong Bliss
Rory and Paris have both made some questionable decisions over the years, but choosing each other wouldn't be one of them.
There's a rumor going around -- created by me, starting with this sentence -- that Gilmore Girls was originally titled Wow, Those Are Some Bad Choices. I mean, seriously, I'm sitting here wracking my brain and the only characters I can think of who have even a so-so track record on judgment are Lane, Miss Patty, and the Troubadour. (Yes, it's not a great sign that he's still busking after all these years -- start an indie label, dude! -- but at least he hasn't blamed his lack of success on systemic oppression of the white male and adopted a Pepe avatar.) (I hope.)
While there's plenty of competition for the title of "Poor-Decider-in-Chief," the weighted total definitely points to none other than Rory Gilmore (or "Rory Gilmore Sex Boat" if you're nasty). I mean, sure, she was raised by a rebellious teenager and probably slept in a lint trap for the first year of her life, but things got considerably better for her after that; for God's sake, her fallback housing situation in her 20s was a luxury pool house with daily maid service. (Today's nitpick from a former New Englander: the very concept of a "pool house" is 100% West Coast. Emily and Richard would have a guest house or a carriage house.)
And yet, as we check back in with Rory at the ripe old age of 32, her decision-making skills have yet to hit puberty. I'm not going to fault her for trying to make a career as a freelance writer, because, hi there...but her love life is as befuddling as ever. For two years she's been dating a perfectly nice guy for whom she clearly has no use whatsoever (and I know lots of people are all Team Paul, but come on, he's a Costco-sized dumbass himself if he's been accepting Rory's smattering of love kernels for that long)...
...and if that wasn't enough, she's carved out a long-term mutual-sidepiece situation with Fucking Logan Fucking Huntzberger, Fucksquire. ("Flying to England" used to be a fun euphemism around these parts, but now I shall forever associate it with Rory giving Logan a tentative beej while he plays online poker with Jared Kushner.)
So, is there any hope for Rory to crawl out of this decades-long romantic sinkhole? You bet there is -- and it's been right in front of her this whole time.
Yes, I was on the "Rory + Paris 4EVA" train years and years ago, but I think their storyline in "Spring" only makes it clearer than ever that these two are soulmates. They're both facing similar quarterish-life crises, stuck in funhouse-mirror versions of the lives they once imagined for themselves, and they're both in need of a swift kick in the ass to knock them out of their respective ruts. Fortunately, kicking each other in the ass is something at which Paris and Rory have always excelled.
It's no secret that their fierce rivalry at Chilton drove them to be the top two students in their class (and possibly in all of Chilton history, because Lord knows that place was pretty well padded out with wealthy dunces); Rory may have had her sights set on Harvard since she was a fetus, but I doubt she'd actually have been accepted without Paris breathing down her neck for three years. It was one of the most productive frenemy-ships since Siskel and Ebert, and the fact that it later turned into an actual friendship proves that each of them understood just how valuable their competition was.
But friendship is one thing; romantic life-partnership is another. And in order to make the case that Paris and Rory are truly each other's lobsters, I'm first going to dig back into the Season 4 episode "Boys In Bikinis, Girls Doin' The Twist," a.k.a. "The One Where Rory And Paris Go On Spring Break."
Thought you got ahead of me, eh? Well, no, as a matter of fact, The Kiss That Launched A Thousand Tumblrs is not my star witness in this case. (While we're on the topic, though, Rory's "Aw, man!" when Paris starts asking follow-up questions is one of my favorite micro-moments in the series.)
No, I'm talking about this earlier scene in which Rory and Paris, having arrived at the hormonal hellscape of Daytona Beach (I've been there for Spring Break too; I know whereof I speak) decide to skip all the clothing-optional shenanigans and just camp out in their motel room with pizza and a Joseph Campbell documentary.
Come on, people! If you've found someone to do that with, you've found marriage material, full stop. How can any of Jess's hipster bullshit, or Logan's 0.01-percenter bullshit, or Dean's homemade-car bullshit, compare with someone who lets Rory be her full, authentic, hopelessly nerdy self? "I've seen [The Power of Myth] four times," Paris announces. "Five," Rory counters. My God, it was all right there, if only they'd allowed themselves to see it!
But hey -- as the proverb goes, the best time to blah blah was blah blah years ago; the second-best time is now. And since fate has conspired to render Paris a free woman once again, Rory ought to count her blessings and board this train before it leaves the station. They've already got a low-level interdependence thing going on, with Paris giving Rory free lodging whenever she needs and Rory chipping in with the childcare, and taking things to the next level could do them both a lot of good. Rory knows, for example, that running a fertility/surrogacy clinic couldn't possibly have been Paris's ultimate career dream (and yes, that job was merely a contrivance to shoehorn Paris into the Luke/Lorelai storyline which itself was even more of a contrivance, but that's a matter for another day), whereas Paris definitely knows that Rory is capable of more than the occasional magazine byline.
Seriously, why not give it a shot? They could both do worse. (And they have! Repeatedly!)