Declutter your makeup bag and create a beauty routine that’s sustainable (in more ways than one)
Declutter your makeup bag and create a beauty routine that’s sustainable (in more ways than...

Sarah Finnan

‘Bridgerton’ author on the female gaze and why the show’s sex scenes are revolutionary, not raunchy
‘Bridgerton’ author on the female gaze and why the show’s sex scenes are revolutionary, not...

Sarah Finnan

Dublin has been named one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit by Lonely Planet
Dublin has been named one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit...

Megan Burns

5 spooky bakes to make at home this Halloween
5 spooky bakes to make at home this Halloween

Erin Lindsay

40 must-read books to try before you’re 40
40 must-read books to try before you’re 40

Sophie White

“Every day is a bad day” My invisible battle with Lyme disease
“Every day is a bad day” My invisible battle with Lyme disease

Amanda Cassidy

Finally, scientific proof that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were subject to an online hate campaign
Finally, scientific proof that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were subject to an online hate...

Sarah Finnan

Even former Victoria’s Secret models felt brand’s body ideals ‘went against Mother Nature’
Even former Victoria’s Secret models felt brand’s body ideals ‘went against Mother Nature’

Sarah Finnan

Netflix and Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’, will be the must-see series of 2022
Netflix and Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’, will be the must-see series of 2022

Jennifer McShane

These charming Irish cottages are the perfect weekend getaway
These charming Irish cottages are the perfect weekend getaway

Shayna Sappington

Image / Editorial

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl


by Lia Hynes
28th Jan 2019
Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl

When Liadan Hynes’ marriage fell  apart she had to work on adjusting to the new reality. In her weekly column, Things Fall Apart she explores the myriad ways a person can find their way back to themselves…


How did I not know that Gilmore Girls is a show about a single mother and her daughter?

Coming to the party late doesn’t quite cover it here. The show has been, gone, and had its (fairly awful) ten-year revival. I have only discovered it in the last few months.

I should have known I would love it; the Work Wife does, and we share a similar taste in movies. Everything from the excellent, (Heathers) to the awful, (The Holiday, and yes we realise how bad that is).

Escapism

Obviously one doesn’t need to be a single mother to appreciate the TV as-escapism appeal of the Gilmores. There’s a reason some people consider a rewatching of the seven seasons an annual aid to getting through the post-Christmas months. It’s the TV equivalent of comfort food; just what is needed when all about is dark, winter seems never-ending, and self-denial is the order of the day.

Related: Surviving my first dinner party
since the split

What could be cosier than the New England hamlet of Stars Hollow, with its town meetings, local diner, beautiful clapboard houses, always fairy light illuminated world? Pure fantasy, obviously, but lovely.

But as an actual single mother, Lorelai Gilmore means so much more than this.

Gilmore Girls, Dorothy Parker Drank Here ProductionsGilmore Girls, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions

Joyful

For the uninitiated, the Gilmore Girls are a mother and a daughter, Lorelai is the mother, a single mother, to daughter Rory. Yes, it’s all complete fantasy, and we’ll skip over the fact that Lorelai rarely seems to actually work, and the annoying underlining of how much the Gilmore women eat, whilst professing hatred of all exercise, yet still maintaining the bodies of Pilates instructors, or the fact that Lorelai’s hair is always blow-dry perfect.

Related: I’ve cracked the code to weekends
as a single parent 

For what Lorelai Gilmore is, is not sad. In fact, she’s mostly pure joy. She loves her life. Her daughter, their home, hanging out, watching movies, eating, going to the local restaurant, pottering, chatting with her best friend. She is absolutely, definitively not an object of pity. The only thing that comes close is Lily James/Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia. Nobody is making a sorrowful moue or aiming a sad-for-you head tilt at Lorelai.

And that is so refreshing when as a single mother, Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz in About a Boy can feel like the definitive screen takes on your genre. The other unappealingly homespun, falling apart, her single-motherness indelibly marking her child. The other impossibly beautiful, slightly sad, but saveable, by Hugh Grant of all people.

Meryl Streep Mamma MiaPhoto: Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia; Relativity Media, Playtone and Littlestar Productions

Nobody wants to be judged

That’s not to say there isn’t room for sadness, and that we should pretend to be happy! happy! happy! all the time. Hardly. But when you find yourself in one of life’s marginalised groups, admittedly for the first time in your life in my case, this kind of thing can be irritating.

As I sit working one morning, the radio discusses feckless taking advantage of the welfare system, and a contributor casually lists off those typically guilty of this crime. “Drug addicts, single mothers…”

“I work my ass off…” I scream, throwing a pencil (the first thing to hand) at the radio, surprising myself with this unplanned outburst.

Related: If your marriage is ending and your world
has fallen apart, this letter’s for you

I’m white, middle class, with a body that hasn’t yet met with societal prejudice. Part of me wants to tell myself to get over it. You’ve gotten this far without ever really feeling other, feeling pitied, or judged. Check your privilege.

But when a friend speculates on whether sons of single mothers are more likely to misbehave, I don’t have a son, and yet still, I bristle. He’s commenting on something in the papers. He doesn’t mean anything by it. His face freezes a little when he realises what he’s said, and he tries to backtrack. I make it easy for him. Because I know he didn’t mean anything by it.

But still…

“It always makes me sad to see a marriage end when there are kids. Because that will never be ok.”

A friend said it to me aeons before my own marriage combusted. But it stuck with me. People say things.

And they don’t mean them.

And they haven’t experienced your reality, so they don’t really know what they are talking about.

And because this is a situation in which everyone gets out alive, and it will be ok.

But still. I bristle.

About A Boy, StudioCanal, TriBeCa ProductionsPhoto: About A Boy; StudioCanal, TriBeCa Productions

My poster girl

And so part of me feels determined to push back against these lines someone else draws on my life.

Against the idea that to be a single-mother is for certain things to be preordained.

Related: The importance of surrounding yourself
with like-minded women 

And so there is Lorelai Gilmore, with her unbridled joy, and relish for life. Her own life, specifically. Her life with her daughter, these two women who are each other’s person, each other’s home. “These two women… (who) belong to each other,” the show’s female creator said.

Lorelai Gilmore is my poster girl.

Photo: The Gilmore Girls, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions and Warner Bros. TV

Also Read

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
EDITORIAL
‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid

Not everyone was happy about the Duchess of Sussex getting involved in US politics. But her letter on behalf of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

Things Fall Apart: Why Lorelai, the happy single mother from Gilmore Girls, is my poster girl
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington