The adult guests at Rory’s birthday party swap stories of Rory as a child. Babette and Morey remember her thinking a toadstool ring was a fairy ring, and waiting for the fairy to arrive. Lorelai says that Rory was “about ten” at the time, but later we learn that Lorelai and Rory didn’t move next door to Babette and Morey until Rory was eleven.
Although eleven is about ten, it’s pretty old to still believe in fairies. This charmingly naive fairy-lover is hard to tally with the intellectually precocious child-Rory we keep hearing about, but does show that the brainy Rory has an imaginative side.
We also learn that Rory took ballet lessons from Miss Patty, and that although she worked hard at her dancing, she wasn’t very good. Only Miss Patty seems to think she had any talent and is disappointed that she stopped. This reminds us of Amy Sherman-Palladino, who trained in ballet. Unlike Rory, she could have turned professional, and Miss Patty’s sadness is a parallel to Amy’s mother’s disappointment when she decided to pursue writing rather than ballet as a career.