I remember the first time I watched the Gilmore Girls. It was 2003 and I was sitting on my sofa in my Powerpuff Girl pajamas, feeling like the biggest kid in the world for being able to stay up past 8 p.m. By the time the screen went black and Amy-Sherman Palladino’s name flashed on the screen, I was hooked.
I knew from that moment on that I would do whatever it took to become Rory Gilmore.
Last week, like many other times in college, I couldn’t sleep. So, of course, I watched the entire seventh season of the Gilmore Girls in one night. This time, however, as the screen flashed black for the final time, I came to a new conclusion.
I shouldn’t have dreamed of becoming Rory Gilmore. I should have dreamed of becoming Paris Geller.
Paris Geller pulled it together in those final months at Yale. While Rory was floundering around, angry at her terrifically hilarious mother and her terrifically enviable boyfriend, Paris was plotting her takeover of law school, medical school and probably the world.
Undoubtedly, Paris Geller wasn’t the most sane character in the Gilmore Girls.
“I shouldn’t have dreamed of becoming Rory Gilmore.”
But do you know what Paris Geller never would have done? Had an emotional breakdown because an arrogant, “butt-faced miscreant” may or may not love her back. I can’t say for certain what Paris would have done in Rory’s situation, but I am sure she wouldn’t have moved into her grandparents’ pool house.
Editor-in-Chief bunkers aside, Paris thrived at Yale. She never dropped out of school because of her myriad of crises. Paris didn’t spend her last months at Yale worrying about flousy art students. Paris had her eye on the prize. Paris saw that the purpose of an Ivy League education isn’t to run parties for your grandmother’s DAR.
Now yes, Paris was mean. She was cripplingly anxious and hardly ever tactful. But she was always herself. And more than that, Paris grew and matured. She became an excellent friend to Rory. Paris took Rory in when she had no where else to go. Paris spoke up about her disappointment over Rory’s choices. Paris stood up for Rory against the art students. Paris reminded Rory of the importance of life after Yale.
Paris was often the only one who worked to make Rory realize her dreams and goals were not centered around boys, parties or mansions, but around all of the books, all of the heros and all of the inspirations she had grown up with in Stars Hollow.
And while I would still sacrifice my first born to meet Christiane Amanpour in my pajamas, I don’t want to grow up to become the Rory Gilmore I met in those last few seasons.
I want to become Paris Geller.
Not for her snark, or for her embarrassing hip hop dancing skills, and certainly not for her bunker inside the newsroom, but because she achieved everything she hoped for. She became the girl Rory should have been.