Humans love naming things — look around you, and I bet you’ll see dozens of names. This week, take a photo of one!
Names have different meanings for different people. For this week’s challenge I decided to go in a bit of a different direction. What’s in a Name – what infuses a name a meaning, depth, emotion? Society, history, living, media, experience . . .
Gilmore Girls – this means nothing to some, a television show to others, a cult following to others, and the meaning goes even deeper for some. The later is where you will find me.
My youngest daughter, Cassandra, introduced me to Gilmore Girls during the first season. I’m not a dedicated television viewer so it was hit and miss at first. Although back then Saturday evenings you would find me watching Trading Spaces (a reality TV show where neighbors switched homes and redecorated one room in the other person’s home). Many an idea for my own home came from watching this as did a new adventure in discovering I could lay my own ceramic tile floors, paint, upholstered furniture, repair cabinets, build retaining walls and fences. Cassandra and I would frequent antique stores and second-hand shops looking for ideas and treasures to add to our home.
By season two, we were watching Gilmore Girls weekly along with Trading Spaces – looking forward to the two hours together spent interested in the same thing. For Gilmore Girls we made coffee and had treats prepared. Sometimes her girlfriends (and on occasion boyfriend) would stop in to watch with us – no phones or interruptions were allowed. We lived in a little cottage style house at the time, just the two of us. My older two children were on their own by then. When I began to travel with work we would watch then call one another to discuss the show and for me to check in on her day. Her friends referred to us as the Gilmore Girls. We were not exact – we love nature and didn’t eat anything close to the junk that the show portrayed them as ingesting. Also, I did most of my own home repairs although I always wished I had a handyman friend like Luke and chef friend like Sooki.
Sometimes our lives paralleled the show. Like when I returned home after dropping Cassandra off to live in Pennsylvania with my oldest daughter, Allison. When I returned to our home for the first time knowing I would now be alone and life would never be the same it was an emotional moment. Life without children flashed before my eyes in hit my heart with a bang – what it would be like to have a home without children – empty. It would the first time in my life – I gave birth to my son Joe when I was 17 – living on my own. Not long after that day, I was watching a Gilmore Girl episode when Lorelai Gilmore (Loren Graham portrayed the Mom) walked into her home after her daughter, Rory, left home for the first time. In the show, Lorelai had been a Mom since 16. The show reflected her loss, her transition to a home that would never be the same. Lauren Graham and the director caught the emotion perfectly. It was as if I were watching my own reaction in a replay before me. I felt her pain and that of so many other parents transitioning into this new realization.
We continued to watch Gilmore Girls – Cassandra from Allison’s home in PA and I from my home. She stopped watching after a while and started watching America Idol with Allison. At the end of her senior year I sold the ’empty nest’ to my granddaughter’s Mom and relocated to California with Allison. Cassandra relocated to Florida, then Pennsylvania (PA), North Carolina, back to PA. During our relocations she became interested in Gilmore Girls once again. She would watch the show three hours in advance of my watching on the west coast so we would call one another the next day to catch up on the show and life.
In the meantime, my granddaughter became interested as well so we had three-way conversations for a short period of time. During the conversations we also discussed books and creative pursuits we were pursuing at the time. Those calls were a wonderful way to connect and bond.
Once the show went off the air I purchased the DVDs for each of the girls and myself. Eventually I relocated back to New York, Cassandra returned as well and my granddaughter was still living in our little cottage with her mother. She and her mother (who had purchased my home) were being referred to as “Gilmore Girls.” Life had taken a full circle.
We would enjoy Gilmore Girl weekend marathons mixed with sleighing, board games, hiking, visits to coffee shops and second-hand stores. Those were some of my favorite moments. Today, Allison is watching the reruns on Netflix and realizes that she really enjoys the show and understands why we were so drawn to it in the beginning – strong women, intelligent conversations, references to books, history, quirkiness, following your dreams, learning lessons and growing.
Imagine my surprise last year when I received a text from Cassandra about the upcoming Gilmore Girl Fan Festival being held within a couple of hours of my home. I immediately purchased tickets and reserved a hotel room. Our birthdays are in November so it was an early birthday present to us. Never did I regret that decision, it was a wonderful experience.
We met mothers, daughters, friends, sisters and some men from all over the world who shared in the same experience. A cult – maybe. A lifestyle – maybe. A love for strong women, single Moms rising to overcome challenges, continuing education, small business, entrepreneurship, relationships, friendships, adventure, books, history, love, compassion, overcoming obstacles, quirkiness, laughter, silliness, family, mother’s love – that is who we are and I am proud that others share in this same philosophy.
The Gilmore Girls Revival aired the weekend of my birthday so Cassandra and Colt spent the night and we watched all four episodes together. My granddaughter relocated to New Mexico this past fall otherwise she would have been hanging out on the pull-out couch with us. Of course there was coffee, gluten-free snacks, salsa and chips. We eat healthier than the show portrays the Gilmore’s appetite preferences. Cassandra made my ‘I Love Snow Shirt”. It was a wonderful time and even my one year old grandson, Colt, enjoyed the show.
We do not need a show to live our lives to their fullest but Gilmore Girls became a fabric that ran through our lives for over a decade. We are both college educated and lifelong learners. We are not afraid to try new things and don’t see anything as a failure – everything is a learning experience. My home is filled with books and I love coffee, bookstores, and coffee shops. This would have been the same with or without the show. We both continue to learn, grow and expand – Gilmore Girls will remain a part of our heart and a special time in our lives. So what’s in a NAME – everything and anything that you want it to be. Names have no meaning unless you give them meaning.
Have you ever been pulled together with others through a television series? If so, which show had this effect on you. If you are a Gilmore Girl fan, did you attend the Gilmore Girl Fan Fest?
Love and Light!
If you are interested in viewing photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below: