Home > only slightly ranty, Random Musings > I’ll Have Coffee with My Coffee: Gilmore Girls, Dating, Marriage, and Quirky Charm*

I’ll Have Coffee with My Coffee: Gilmore Girls, Dating, Marriage, and Quirky Charm*

 

If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to make a good pop culture reference, while sipping on a cup of coffee.  Usually, the mug is about the size a small fish bowl, and I might even burst into song.  But only if you’re special.  Or if I’ve had a fifth cup of coffee.  You see, I make coffee that could scald sins off of your soul, or at the very least cause some kind of internal bleeding.  If the spoon doesn’t stand up, or run yelping off into the distance, I’ve done something wrong.  (Word to the Wise: Never offer me decaf.  I don’t care if it’s three in the morning and I’m strung out on pixie stix, coffee cake, and chocolate.  Giving me decaf is like handing an alcoholic a Zima: it’s kind of insulting.)

What was my point again?  I mean, aside from rambling on with lightning speed, razor-sharp wit, and conveying a charming, impish kind of charisma?  (That would be evident in person, I swear.)  They tell you that you can’t learn much from watching tv.  But I simply don’t agree.  From Buffy all the way down to I Love Lucy, you can learn something.  Albeit, in the latter case, it might be how to not to make wine, but still.  Knowledge is knowledge.  Or so the devil tells me.

One of my favorite shows is Gilmore Girls.  And Lorelai Gilmore is, without question, one of my television heroes.  Self-sufficient to an astounding degree, she left home at the age of sixteen (okay, I didn’t do that), had a kid (okay, I skipped that part, too), and became a successful woman (I’m working on it).  Like a caffeine-powered, Jimmy Choo wearing Super Woman, this character possesses a level of quirky charm that could—if she really existed—resurrect Jesus and possibly block out the sun.  Okay, I kid.

One thing that I always liked about Lorelai is that she had standards when it came to men.  Sure, her dating record was as marred as anyone else’s, but she didn’t date just to date.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about all the women I know, and I’m wondering what happened.  Instead of focusing on dreams and careers, it’s about finding a boyfriend—any guy will do!  Hey, you there!  You’ll do!  No, not you.  You in the blue shirt—and getting married.

Somewhere, the Ghost of Sadie Hawkins is doing a waltz.  In her wedding dress, I assume.  What else would she be buried in?

Now, before you start calling me a Marriage Hating Moron, take a breath. The institution of marriage, while largely flawed, is a good thing.  What I don’t get is why so many people I know seem to be settling.  As in “If I don’t have a boyfriend, something must be wrong with me—oh, you there!  In the cowboy hat!  You’ll do!”  Granted, the moment you walk out of the womb, some of your relatives will be plotting your nuptials.  By then, it’s too late.  You can’t very well crawl back in.  (And trust me when I say, nothing is more humiliating that a female relative telling you to go hang out at the nearby army base to find a husband.  Because you’re in  your late twenties, unmarried, and therefore some kind of a societal leper.  Note to those concerned: men are not fish.  If I wanted to catch something, it’d be a trout.)

So, enter onto the scene the fictional Lorelai Gilmore.  Her dating disasters rival my own, except she has a slightly better wardrobe.  Granted, I’ve never left anyone at the altar or proposed to someone.  But still.  Work with me here.  Aside from the coffee-guzzling, pop tart eating, flawless skin, and keen fashion sense, that is something I admired about the character: she didn’t settle.

When I look around at all the people I know—friends, acquaintances, family members—I consider that maybe I’m the Dodo bird.  And then I realize that so many people are in bad relationships.  Or they’re in relationships just to say, “Hey, Look!  I’m not alone.” I’ve seen marriages built on that precarious foundation, and it worries me. Add kids to that kind of volatile mixture, and it’s the Relationship Hindenburg.

Because, strangely, there’s something wrong with being single, somehow.  And instead of worrying about ourselves, and our future, we’re wondering what kind of flowers to have at our beach wedding — to the guy we met last week.  All things must lead to marriage, after all.

There’s nothing wrong with dating.  It can be fun, when it isn’t a total disaster (I really should share some of those stories.  They’ll make you weep caffeinated tears, I swear).  There is, in my opinion, something wrong with waking up one day and realizing you have a boyfriend that you don’t even like.  Or who your friends find incredibly boring, because he is duller than a silver spoon buried in dirt for twenty years.  And yes, mea culpa, because I’m referencing women, and maybe I sound a little sexist.  But most of my friends are women, and the guys are either married or single.  Maybe it’s the social stigma—bachelors vs. old maids.  I don’t know.

So, yeah.  I want it all.  The Jimmy Choos, the writing career, and the guy who can make me laugh, until I nearly snort coffee.  I don’t care if he’s divorced, or has kids, or has a tattoo on his ass.  My standards aren’t etched in stone, either.  I’m flexible.  (That’s what she said!)  But I do have standards.  I won’t do what I’m “supposed” to do.  I honestly prefer to be a little quirky.  Not Courtney Love quirky—but Lorelai Gilmore quirky.

If I like a guy, I’ll date him.  If not, hand over the coffee and go.  Life shouldn’t only be about the Pursuit of a Husband.  Or the Pursuit of a Boyfriend.  Whichever.  My point is that if you don’t know who you are, no one else will either.  Unless you figure out what you want, instead of what other people are telling you to want—you can’t really find certainty with someone else.  Or in someone else.  You can fake it for a while.  (There’s a joke in there, somewhere, I just know it.)

So, this was a little personal.  And a little ranty.  But I love to rant.  And I’ve had two cups of coffee already.  I’m going for a third as soon as my heart decides to settle, instead of trying to break out of its rib prison.  Granted, I have my Bridget Jones days.  When weddings roll around, or I run into an old friend, I rather loathe the inevitable “Oh, I’m single.”  (Or the “are you dating anyone special?”  “No, but I’m dating a lot of unspecial people.  Thanks for asking.”)  It’s not because I dislike being single (sometimes, I do; I’m complicated like that).  No, I don’t like that crestfallen look people tend to shoot me.

Truthfully, I like my freedom.  It means that if I see a hot guy (yes, I’m mature), with perfect hair, at Starbucks—I can talk to him.  And by Java, I love to flirt.  I think it should be an Olympic sport.  (It could work.  Really.)  As long as no one’s bunny gets boiled in the process, all is right with the world.

But hey, that’s just me, and I’m a little more caffeinated than most.  Some might say that impairs my judgment.  I like to think it keeps things interesting.

*This is a repost from 2009, from an old blog.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I missed this the first time around, and it’s so good! My favorite part: (Or the “are you dating anyone special?” “No, but I’m dating a lot of unspecial people. Thanks for asking.”) LOL!

  2. August 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of people (women) advocate for “dating for the fun of dating,” but I’ve never really understood that line of thinking. Granted, my dating history is a relatively short one, but in what limited experience I had, I didn’t see the point of getting all dolled up and wasting my best lipgloss and my most painful shoes on a guy I wasn’t seriously interested in.

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