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Last fall, all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls came to Netflix and everyone in Internet land rejoiced.
As a big fan of the series back when it was airing, I was one of those rejoicers.
Also, I was pregnant with my third daughter and experiencing some pretty awesome morning (read: all-day) sickness, so I was totally on-board with spending my evenings parked on the couch and watching my favorite characters rattle off their witty banter. Plus, there's Jess (also Logan, because why force yourself to choose when it's all fictional anyway?).
After a few episodes, though, I started feeling a little queasy, and it wasn't just because I was growing a baby.
It was because suddenly what seemed hilarious and hip to me as a young adult wasn't sitting so well with me now that I'm a parent myself.
First off, Lorelai Gilmore, who had seemed the epitome of cool-mom to me, now seemed like a teenager who just. wouldn't. grow. up. Lady, you have a teenager daughter of your own now. It's time to stop pretending you're ultra-cool and accept that you are the parent. And it's not darling when your daughter Rory has to step up and keep you in line—it's just sad when a child has to play the parent role.
Second, I know Emily (Lorelai's mom) is supposed to be the bad guy in the whole thing, and I'm definitely not a fan of her controlling and heavy-handed parenting, but ... um, sometimes (actually a LOT of the time), she's got some serious words of wisdom. They're just delivered in the most unpalatable way possible.
The thought of my daughters dating either a disrespectful snarky and flaky drop-out or an entitled rich kid who takes nothing seriously gives me major heartburn.
Third, now that I have children, I am not confused about whether they are supposed to be my best friends or my children (if you're confused, the answer is definitely "they are your children.") When Lorelai says, "Rory and I are best friends, mom. We're best friends first and mother and daughter second," it's hard for me not to think, "Well this is why when you fight, your fights stretch on for six episodes."
Which brings me to the fourth reason "Gilmore Girls" doesn't sit well with me anymore: You need to learn to disagree with your child (or your parent) in a way that doesn't lead to episodes-long or a years-long silent treatment. If you spend too much time being your child's best friend, you won't have a lot of experience or solidarity when it's time to make hard parenting calls or tell your child or parent that you strongly disagree with their choices.
And finally, my love for both Jess and Logan has always been strong. But now? The thought of my daughters dating either a disrespectful snarky and flaky drop-out or an entitled rich kid who takes nothing seriously gives me major heartburn. I guess what's attractive and sexy when you're an 18-year-old is a little different when you're a parent.
Yes, I'm saying it: I don't care how good-looking they are.
All that said, I don't think I'll be able to resist watching the new episodes coming next year. And who knows—maybe those Stars Hollow characters have grown up a bit in the intervening years, too.