So, I know I am late to the Gilmore Girls party. Like, really quite late. But, thanks to Netflix, I can now fill in all the episodes I didn't see on ABC Family while babysitting in 2004. And my biggest draw to the show this time around – besides Rory's three absolutely adorable guys (seriously this casting director was ON IT) - is the Rory and Paris dynamic.
Poor Paris. She is so, so unpleasant. She has a gift for putting people off. She offends people when she means to and also when she doesn't. But as I watch through the seasons, I see Rory – who is sweet and kind and has super perky Lane as a friend model – move to spend most of her time with Paris. How does this happen? Why on earth would Paris ever become, arguably, Rory's best friend?
Here's what I think we can learn from this highly unlikely pair, and why Paris ends the series as one of Rory's top people.
1. Paris was there.
Paris is literally in Rory's world. They face the same pressures, expectations, and challenges. Unlike Lane, who fades away quite a bit from Rory's everyday space, Paris understands what it's like to be in a super elite prep school. She's doing the crazy college admissions process too. She is also starting at an Ivy League university. When someone is in your circle, they get you in a way that others don't. There's an intimacy there that matters. You need people who are in your world, even if you might not have chosen them as friends otherwise. Don't miss them.
2. Paris was there.
I saw a movie once where a character said we need someone to "bear witness to our lives." Paris is a friend for a lifetime. When someone puts in the time for the long haul, they become a key piece of our lives...even if they are challenging, and prickly, and abrasive. Think of how many hours Rory and Paris log over the course of the show. This is priceless. Having someone who asks how the date went, or what grade you got on the test – someone who knows what you usually eat for breakfast and could name all the pairs of shoes you normally wear – that is valuable. Don't discount it.
3. Paris was there.
Paris cares about Rory. I love the scene where she covers for Rory when Dean shows up and Jess is there. Also the scene where she tries to kick Logan out when Rory's upset. She freaks out when Rory drops out of Yale. She is present in pivotal moments and does her best to help her friend. That is something rare. She doesn't get it right a lot of the time, but she really tries, and in the end, she's the only friend who consistently tries.
This relationship is so important to remember when we find ourselves pulling away from people because we "don't click" with them. Sometimes the most beautiful and interesting friendships come because you don't "click." I think the better question is "do we make each other's lives better?" In the end, if seven seasons and tons of fans are any judge, that's what will count.
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