She shaped my ideal for motherhood. I loved everything about her– her hair, her eyes, her smirk, and her quick wit. I could never get over how she could talk so much and make me want to listen to every word, even the ones I didn’t understand.
How did she know so much about pop culture?
I was going to be just like her.
I was going to grow my hair long and somehow replicate her flawless ivory skin. I would be sarcastic and ironic and have a half smile that would melt everyone’s heart when I goofed up. I would buy my boots at the thrift store and eat dinner at the local diner where we’d know all the people. My daughter would lift the glass top of the doughnut dish and help herself to one with chocolate glaze and sprinkles (and then my offspring would end up at Yale because my rapid-fire verbal skills prepared them for Ivy education).
Like her, I was going to befriend all the quirky people in my town even though I live in a gigantic urban city and my neighborhood is up and coming so befriending “quirky” outsiders might get me killed. I’m also married to the father of my daughter. Oh, and I have a son. And my parents aren’t rich, East Coast bluebloods.
But none of the differences were going to stop me. No-Sir-Eeee.
What stopped me was my actual motherhood. I let go of trying to make my skin glow like hers during pregnancy. All that acne felt like a sign. You’ll never be Lorelai. My hair grew long, but it was stringy so I looked like a greaser. My kids both love sprinkled doughnuts but we don’t get them at Luke’s Diner; we get doughnut holes at Costco spend the next 10 days fighting about who will get the biggest one.
Still, I’ve used her as a north star in my parenting. I cram a ton of dialogue– all of it witty and sharp– into every conversation at home. Usually I am talking about myself or spewing random facts about Willie Nelson (“he’s a black belt in karate” and “he’s covered Kermit the Frog’s Rainbow Connection”). No one listens, but I know that each one is an homage to my favorite fictional mama.
I’ll never be Lorelai, but a part of me will keep trying. Forever.