While mopping the floors at Luke’s diner night after night, Rory has a lot of time to think about the next phase of her life. She considers asking Logan’s dad for a job, but can’t ignore the fact that his newspapers are closing one by one. Lorelei perkily suggests a master’s in journalism, and Rory pooh-poohs it; would it really put her any further ahead of the now fierce competition? The epic return-to-grad-school/flee real life/panic applications of 2008/2009 has made her ask herself some serious questions about her chosen field of journalism. Maybe Logan’s slimy dad is right. (I’ve personally always thought he nailed it when he assessed Rory). Rory isn’t a shark. Rory doesn’t really like to compete.
Here’s where Rory and I are once again alike. She’s high-achieving, yes, but not Paris. I’ve always had a (slightly less insane) Paris in my life, a best friend who was the top of the class, and needed to be so. The Parises of the world will always be fine, career-wise, but the Rorys? (And maybe the Alixes?) Not so sure. She and I tire of competition quickly and spend time asking, constantly obsessing, what is it all for? Why can’t we just sit in a corner, puff on a cigar and read books all day and occasionally be brilliant and collect a paycheck? Like old, male, college professors of the 1950s?
Rory dreamily mops while reading some Joan Didion, and it occurs to her: she should get an MFA in creative nonfiction instead. Rory is used to pie-in-the-sky schemes and dreams, being the daughter of a woman whose antics fueled seven seasons of an adorable show.
Cue the darling indie song that plays while Rory sits at the counter of the diner late into the night working on a manuscript to send to the most prestigious of writing schools: The Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Rory, being a Gilmore, frets constantly, after slipping her huge envelope into the mailbox, and yet also sort of, kind of, just a little bit, expects to get an acceptance letter. This is the girl who got into both Yale and Harvard. Whose grandparents blow smoke up her ass on a weekly basis, grandparents whose wealth has opened countless doors for her. Why wouldn’t she get in?
Over the next few months, during the picturesque winter in Stars Hollow, Rory serves burgers and banters with Lorelei with gusto, confident that her future (at least for the next few years) has been decided. While Lorelei stands outside on a chilly February morning in an absolutely darling slippers and robe combo, dreamily monologuing about the loveliness of snow, Rory paces the halls in the house, waiting for the mail. It arrives, and the girls pile on the couch with steaming mugs of coffee to open it. Rory’s face falls when she reads:
“We regret to inform you that we will not be admitting you into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. We received over 900,000 applicants for 25 spots, including some from Nelson Mandela, Jesus, and Condoleezza Rice, and admission was highly competitive.”
And so of course, Rory goes into a funk – Rory was always in adorable funks on the show, with that big porcelain brow of hers all furrowed. Lorelei, that unrelenting optimist, tells her to try again next year. Richard and Emily are disgusted that their child of privilege was not admitted, even after they tried to schmooze the board of the university. Emily goes on a drunken tirade about low-class state schools, and who needs them anyway, and why would anyone want to live in Iowa, that dreadful place, while Richard smiles tightly over his glasses, looking at bills that they cannot pay due to losing at least two thirds of their money in the stock market. He still hasn’t told Emily.
Meanwhile Rory calls Lane to complain about the unfairness of it all, and Lane is simultaneously being puked on by two toddlers with the flu.