By Amy Rudolph
Elm Staff Writer
To the delight of fans across the globe, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” debuted on Netflix in the wee hours on the day after Thanksgiving. I, like many other fans, was beyond excited to find out what the characters that I had invested so much time watching had done in the nine years since the original series ended in 2007.
My sister and I gorged ourselves on burnt cupcakes, movie theater popcorn, Dutch butter cookies, and diet cokes, Gilmore Girls style. It was an event my sister and I had been looking forward to for months since we caught wind of the rumors of a revival. For us, the show was something that allowed us to bond and laugh at the funny antics of a TV family that in some ways reminded us of our own. We were both enamored with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s labor of love, but we still had problems with it.
My main issue with the reprisal is more of an issue I had with the entire series as a whole. No matter what horrible situation happened to a character because of someone else, they were always expected to forgive them and move past it, even if that meant there was no apology or resolution to the issue. Rory Gilmore always implored her mother, Lorelai, to forgive some rude or hurtful behavior that Emily, Lorelai’s mother, had dished out. In the new four part event, Lorelai and Emily brought back issues that they had dwelled on for 32 years that never seemed to ever get resolved. Lorelai was always expected to apologize to her mother so that events would “go smoother” and everyone could just “get on with it.”
Luckily for Lorelai Gilmore, she is a fictional character who only lives on TV screens and inside Sherman-Palladino’s mind. Lauren Graham, who plays Lorelai, does not actually have to worry about the issues she acts out actually affecting her life, but for many people, these situations are very real.
Especially in the holiday season, people are expected to just let things go so that everyone can move past it or have a nice holiday. Rude comments and upsetting incidents from holidays past are to remain in there so that no animosity will be served with a side of turkey. That one relative who condemned you for your lifestyle or called you a bad name is welcomed into your home with open arms, no matter how much you hate it. This is what the Gilmores had to deal with, and it is the harsh reality for many people around the world.
Holidays are often meant as a time to forgive and forget, but just because someone thinks you should forgive and forget does not mean you have to. You do not have to forgive your uncle for the slur he said at dinner, or your grandma for commenting on your weight gain. You do not have to forgive your best friend who promised they wouldn’t hurt you, but is now the one hurting you the most. You do not have to forgo whatever feelings you have for the sake of others.
You do not live in a TV show where life stops once the credits roll and the screen fades to black. Your feelings and experiences are something that stay with you all day, every day. If you are not ready to forgive someone who has hurt you, don’t. If you think that letting the negative feelings you are harboring toward someone will make you feel better and enjoy life more, then by all means, do it.
Do whatever makes you feel best, but do not act like holidays are meant for forgiveness. Holidays are meant to be spent surrounded by people who love and care for you, if that does not include some people you thought it might, that’s perfectly okay.
If you think this is a bunch of bupkis, that’s okay too. I still have to convince myself that sometimes you can’t just forgive people because you think it’s what you should do. My feelings are valid, and so are yours; we can be mad together.